“Sticker shock.” That is the best way to describe my impression after the initial consultation with Dr. Morris and the office manager, Stacy. After a thorough no-cost exam with X-rays and a CT scan, I was told that my teeth were ground down to nubs and a full mouth rehabilitation would be required. They explained that all my teeth would need to be crowned to include “crown lengthening and opening the bite.” Two terms I’d never heard before. The whole process was overwhelming and inconceivable. Being a retired engineer and a newbie to Florida, I was a bit skeptical and apprehensive at my age—especially with all the advertisements for implants and “teeth in a day” scattered throughout numerous billboards and flyers in every newspaper and magazine. I was thinking that Florida should be renamed the “State of Dentistry,” since every other corner has a dentist office. I actually considered having all my teeth pulled and going with the “all on four” denture. But Dr. Morris and Dr. Bakke were adamant that it was not the best procedure for my condition and should only be considered as a last resort. To verify the process that Dr. Morris outlined, I flew back up north to review it with my previous dentist. He agreed that the amount of work that was outlined by Dr. Morris was necessary and verified the “all on four” procedure would not be in my best interest. I now questioned the validity of the cost for the procedure since it wasn’t covered by my insurance.
I went to numerous dentists that specialized in this procedure. They all quoted prices within a similar range; however, most left some procedures and prices unanswered and in question. It would require me to seek and follow up with other dental specialists for the crown lengthening and also receive root canals. That was the difference at Dr. Morris’s office. This was a one-stop-shop with all the necessary specialists in one office working in unison with Dr. Morris to provide the necessary expert care and deliver the final results. After agreeing to move forward, Stacy reviewed step by step what was going to occur at every appointment and the time requirements. Initially, I was taken aback by the number of appointments, but it became evident the procedure was not a quick “take your money and run” process. It was calculated and methodical, which no other office offered.
Now onto the procedure: I won’t say it was painless, but I will say it was well worth the pain and money. After seeing and feeling the final results, my only regret was waiting until I was in my sixties and not doing it sooner. I no longer smirk while taking pictures to avoid showing my teeth. I enjoy laughing and not having to cover my mouth. I don’t feel embarrassed while eating out in mixed company. I eat healthier because I feel healthier about myself.
I can’t give enough praise to Dr. Morris and her staff. It’s obvious they enjoy their work. They were there to answer any questions and put my mind at ease when I had concerns. They made exceptions to accommodate my schedule and welcomed me to come in with any concern. It’s the first time I looked forward to going to a dentist because the staff was so friendly and worked to make sure I was comfortable. And I can’t go without mentioning the dental hygienist, Natalia. She was gentle but thorough and explained in detail exactly what she was doing and offered up tips on better brushing and flossing techniques.
I’m still in awe of all the high-tech tools used to accomplish the final results and couldn’t be happier. For the first time in years, I enjoy smiling. Thank you, Dr. Morris and Dr. Bakke.