Page 1

Medical Breakthrough

O

n a sunny afternoon in August, 2006, Britney Burleson was the passenger on a Four Wheeler and rode only a few moments before the unexpected happened. The Four Wheeler flipped, tossing her into the air. Her impact with the ground was devastating, and Burleson had to be med-flighted to the hospital. Immediately admitted into intensive care, she was diagnosed with an enlarged spleen, punctured lung, a slight concussion and extensive dental and facial injuries. Ten days later, Burleson left the hospital. She was thankful to be alive, but her mouth was wired shut with six reconstructive plates surgically implanted in her face. Burleson arrived home the day before her birthday and rather than eating her birthday cake, she sipped birthday ice cream through a straw. This began a very long, three-year journey to restore her dental health. Her mouth remained wired shut for two months, and she lost four teeth. She initially went to her general dentist. He, along with a local laboratory, created a

116

April 2010

Southern Distinction

Southern Distinction

removable partial that she greatly disliked. It was not realistic looking, and she was extremely self-conscious about her smile. Burleson refused to accept this as a permanent solution, but she was told that she would have to wait at least six months to a year for her face to completely heal before attempting anything different. After a year’s wait, Burleson worked with a local periodontist that came highly recommended by the oral surgeon that initially treated her at the hospital. Their goal was to place implants, which would retain her permanent crowns. In order to do so, she needed bone grafting and tissue replacement surgeries. Despite her periodontist’s best efforts and after multiple attempts over the course of a year, Burleson’s body refused to accept the grafts, and they were forced to explore alternative treatments. This was a challenging case, and the doctor wanted to achieve the very best results. He referred Burleson to Dr. Denton Kimbrough. Dr. Kimbrough is a long-time client of NuCraft Dental Arts, a dental laboratory in Bogart, Ga. Thankfully for Burleson, NuCraft has been honing their

April 2010

117


Medical Breakthrough

craft since before she was even born. For over 30 years, they have been forging the way to create a team of knowledgeable, dental artisans that would eventually, along with Dr. Kimbrough, be competent enough to restore her vibrant smile.

118

April 2010

Medical Breakthrough

After consulting and utilizing their shared knowledge base, together, they decided that a six-unit bridge with pink porcelain to replace the lost tissue and teeth would be the most aesthetically pleasing. NuCraft created a temporary restoration for Dr. Kimbrough, which Burleson immediately loved. However, the lab was not finished with their modifications yet. Adjustments continued to be made until it was exactly as she wanted. Everyone was thrilled with the proposed restorations. After three years, a devastating accident, failed treatments and becoming a mother, Burleson received her final restorations. The results spoke for themselves. Before the accident, Burleson was always the girl that laughed and smiled continuously. She can now smile confidently, and no one can tell that her restorations are not her natural teeth. Un f o r t u n a t e l y, Burleson’s results are not typical. Terry Fohey, owner of NuCraft Dental Arts, attributes this to several factors including the disintegration of professional partnerships, lack of accessibility to knowledge and the outsourcing of dental restorations. In this highly digital, fast-paced world of emails and texting, many laboratories have lost focus on per-

Southern Distinction

sonal relationships with their clients. NuCraft takes these relationships very seriously. Dentists arrive from all over the United States to meet the technicians themselves. The staff appreciates this time spent with clients. It is through this process that relationships are forged, and challenges can be faced together. According to Fohey, “The dentist plays a role similar to the quarterback on a football team. The quarterback calls the play, but he must have a talented team to execute it. The team has to know each play as well as the quarterback. We build a relationship with the dentist in a similar fashion. We attend the same dental courses and seek to acquire the same knowledge, skill and judgment as our dentists.” Without the effective teamwork between Dr. Kimbrough and NuCraft, Burleson’s complete restoration would not have been possible. As many dental schools discontinue teaching laboratory skills, and fewer technical schools are offering programs for certified dental technicians, essential knowledge and communication skills are quickly waning. NuCraft has been combating this by internally training both their staff and their clients. They host several continuing education courses each year and have trained with many of the masters of dentistry. Furthermore, more dentists and labs have begun outsourcing their work to foreign countries, such as China, to increase their profits. Currently, dentists are not required to disclose the country of origin for

Southern Distinction

their restorations. This is something that Fohey hopes will change soon. Not only does working with foreign labs make effective communication nearly impossible, these imported restorations are not federally regulated, and there is a great risk of future health complications for the patient. Until new legislation is in place, patient awareness is key. “Many patients do not realize what an integral role the dental laboratory plays in the restoration process,” says Fohey. “What I would like patients to know is that they have a choice. They have to specifically ask their dentist where their restorations will be fabricated and know that ultimately, it is up to them to be a proactive part of their dental health.” As you can imagine, Burleson’s accident has been lifechanging. After receiving an associate’s degree, she decided on a career in dentistry. She became a dental assistant and now works for an oral surgeon; she loves it. Burleson continues to ride Four Wheelers but now approaches them with a bit more caution. “I don’t look the same as I once did but, thanks to my entire dental team, I feel very confident in the way I look now,” she says. NuCraft Dental Arts’ maxim is “Granting Wishes with Artistry.” For Burleson, it seems they have hit the mark. For more information on NuCraft Dental Arts visit their website at www.nucraftdental.com

April 2010

119

NuCraft Southern Distinction Article  

Business Spotlight on NuCraft Dental Arts

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you