Dental Departures: Facing a Future with No Teeth, Teenager is Gifted His Smile Back in Molar City

Tuesday, May 7, 2019 General News
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After suffering from rare disease, American teenager receives gift of new smile in Mexico.

SEATTLE, May 7, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Over the course of five agonizing years, a rare disease caused teenager

Colton Ficek to lose most of his teeth, but with the help of three generous dental health companies, he is smiling once again. Colton's ravaged dental health required nothing less than a complete mouth restoration, something his medical and dental insurance carriers refused to cover. Unable to afford the high cost of All-on-4 treatment in the United States, his family resorted to fundraising in an attempt to provide him the dental care he so desperately needed.

His tragic story eventually reached Dental Departures (the world's foremost dental OTA), Sani Dental Clinic, and Straumann (a leading manufacturer of dental implants), who became willing benefactors for Colton's treatment. All costs were covered by the trio when he traveled to Los Algodones in Mexico, also known as 'Molar City,' for his dental implants. Now Colton is able to bite and chew normally, talk and laugh without being self-conscious, and has a new smile he can be proud of.

It is unclear how Colton, from Baker City, Oregon, initially contracted the disease, but it was on a family vacation when the affliction began to show itself. Colton's mother, Shelley Conro, noticed a rash developing on her son's skin, which soon developed into sores. Colton was admitted to hospital with a swollen face and a severe fever; doctors remained unsure of what was causing these symptoms.

A number of days passed before he was finally diagnosed with life-threatening Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis and sent to the Legacy Oregon Burn Center in Portland. His skin blistered all over, literally peeling off, and it was only with specialty care that he could be kept safe and eventually recover from the devastating first stage of the disease.

Unfortunately, more was still to come for Colton. As a result of his skin peeling off within his mouth, he was left with scar tissue that blocked his saliva glands. Without a constant supply of saliva in his mouth to fight off harmful bacteria, Colton's teeth quickly began to decay. Fillings after fillings were used to try and patch his ruined teeth, but it was an agonizing cycle of damage control. Eventually, all of Colton's teeth had to be pulled.

Shelley's medical and dental insurance would only provide removable dentures for Colton—far from ideal for an active teenage boy. Dental implants were the most suitable permanent replacement for Colton's missing teeth, but an All-on-4 to replace both his top and bottom arch of teeth would cost more than $40,000. With no other option but to find the money themselves, Shelley set up an online campaign to start the fundraising.

Soon after it was shared on social media, Colton's awful condition grabbed the attention of Dental Departures, a Bangkok-based online medical travel agency that works closely with American dental patients in need of expensive treatment but cannot afford the high prices charged at US dental clinics. As CEO Paul McTaggart explains, "Everybody deserves quality dental care they can afford, and our mission is to help match patients in need with international quality dental services at affordable prices."

Colton's potentially edentulous future really had an impact on Paul and his colleagues. "Too often, we hear of nightmare scenarios of people in real need of dental care they can't afford," said Paul. "Colton's case was unique because he was such a young man with his whole life ahead of him. He was facing an entire lifetime with no teeth."

Dental Departures quickly put the wheels in motion to help Colton out of his terrible situation. For Colton and his family, everything then started moving quickly. "Even after of our tickets were bought, hotels booked, work vacation scheduled, and everything else I still was like, there's no way this is actually happening," said Colton's older brother, Chase Ficek.

Sani Dental, one of Mexico's largest and most respected dental clinics, contacted one of the world's leading manufacturers of dental implants, Straumann, who agreed to supply the expensive implants needed for an All-on-4. Dental Departures would help cover the costs, which included flights and accommodation, plus Sani Dental would also waive treatment fees.

Dr. Javier Muñíz Pérez, the Medical Director at Sani Dental, explained, "Given his young age and medical history, Colton was a challenging case for everyone involved in his treatment. With the expertise of our maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Hermes Somonte, and our prosthodontist, Dr. Karen Caballero, our All-on-4 treatment not only restored function to his mouth but also gave him a bright white smile."

Before arriving at Sani Dental, Shelley admits she has preconceptions about the quality of the clinics in Mexico. "I work at a medical facility, so I know what's expected in the United States in terms of hygiene and cleanliness. You would think a dental clinic in Mexico was not going to follow procedures the same as we do in the United States. I can tell you that at Sani Dental it's even better; they do a wonderful job."

For Chase, who watched his younger brother experience the pain and distress of his teeth crumbling away, the result is more than deserved. "When I look at Colton and all that he's been through, he was overdue for a miracle. Dental Departures and Sani Dental have been that miracle—they've brought his smile back."

Colton can now look forward to a future with permanent teeth and improved oral health, thanks to the kindness of a handful of dental health professionals who cared enough to do something about it. Still becoming accustomed to the feel of the new implants, Colton gives a thumbs up when asked how he feels. His mother's response surely speaks for both of them. "My wish has come true: Colton's got his life back."

About Dental Departures

Established in 2010, Dental Departures, along with its parent company Medical Departures, is the world's leading online booking platform for patients seeking high-quality, affordable dental and medical treatment anywhere in the world. With more than 100,000 bookings and 24,000 verified patient reviews, Dental Departures' network of more than 6000 dentists and 2300 clinics has helped hundreds of thousands of patients worldwide save hundreds of millions of dollars on dental care. Its parent company, Medical Departures, founded in 2015, helps patients find the best global options in medical care, including specialties such as cosmetic surgery, non-invasive cosmetic treatments, weight loss procedures, orthopedic surgeries, fertility treatments and more.


SOURCE Dental Departures

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