Restoring Hope Through a Smile (To see the article posted in Chapel Hill Magazine click here).
This amazing story is about the lasting difference small businesses make when they join together for a common cause. Through unconditional generosity and kindness, a beautiful young woman’s life has been changed forever.
At only 23, Amy Hildreth was diagnosed with chronic Lyme Disease. Due to the severity of the disease, as well as multiple mis-diagnoses in the 3 years up to that point, Amy was placed on heavy doses of antibiotics. This caused rapid tooth loss and, and the young age of 27, she was rendered completely edentulous. When the doctor told her on her first visit that she would eventually lose all her teeth, Amy says, “I didn’t believe him. I didn’t want to believe him. But I had to keep going—every month or so—to get 2 or 3 teeth pulled at a time, until they were all gone.”
Once most of her teeth were gone, Amy was fitted with removable dentures, which she wore until the age of 27. They were uncomfortable, loose-fitting, prevented her from eating solid foods, and even doing simple things, like smiling. Her dream was to have teeth that looked, felt, and functioned like natural ones, but because of financial limitations, she was certain it would never happen. Amy was losing hope rapidly. Then, the Absolute Care Foundation – a non-profit created by Absolute Dental Lab in the Triangle region – stepped in.
Conrad and Drew—the owners of Absolute Dental, a dental lab specializing in fixed dental prosthetics and implant restorations—with their non-profit, the Absolute Care Foundation (absolutecares.org), had set out to find a worthy candidate. Conrad and Drew say, “Our mission with the Absolute Care Foundation is to touch the lives of truly deserving people. When we heard Amy’s story, we knew this was the perfect chance to change a young life forever.”
Amy still remembers the feeling: “When I first saw the e-mail, I burst into tears. I could not believe it. It was like a light at the end of the tunnel. There were people out there who actually cared, who actually wanted to help and would do anything they could. I had never experienced that sort of kindness.”
After finding Amy Hildreth, Conrad and Drew joined forces with Dr. Uday Reebye of Triangle Implant Center, and Dr. Mark Scurria of Triangle Restoration Dentistry. Combining their talents and expertise, they worked together to help Amy get her smile back.
Dr. Uday Reebye of Triangle Implant Center, an oral surgeon specializing in dental implants, kindly donated his time, service, and expertise by taking care of all surgical procedures and placement of the needed dental implants.
Dr. Mark Scurria of Triangle Restoration Dentistry, a prosthodontist specializing in dental prosthetics, generously donated his services and talents towards restoring the case.
Absolute Dental Lab, combining forces with Nobel BioCare, a leading dental implant company, donated all prosthetic components and parts.
Patients with dentures know the frustration in dealing with the constant discomfort of loose-fitting dentures. There is now have an affordable fixed option for these patients. The procedure involves placing four to six dental implants in each jaw. These act as a solid foundation for the new fixed denture, which will look and function like natural teeth. Dr. Uday Reebye placed these implants in Amy’s jaw in April. Then, Dr. Mark Scurria, in conjunction with Absolute Dental Lab, attached natural-looking teeth to a Computer Aided Design titanium support structure. This restored Amy’s beautiful smile, and most importantly, replaced her once loose-fitting dentures with teeth that look, act, and feel natural. As a team, Absolute Dental Lab, Dr. Reebye, Dr. Scurria, the Absolute Care Foundation, and their employees, helped make Amy’s biggest dream come true.
Amy has never felt better. She is now able to enjoy eating chicken, hamburgers, and other solid food. “I appreciate my food more,” Amy says, “I was so tired of applesauce and ice cream!”
She is hopeful about her new life and can’t stop smiling. “I like being pretty again,” Amy says, “It feels great. Everyone judges you by your smile, and Conrad, Drew, Dr. Reebye, and Dr. Scurria gave that back to me. I could never repay them. I could never thank them enough.”