Patient Perspective: DenMat's Snap-On Smile

January 31, 2013

Ryan Pichoff is, in many ways, your typical 16-year-old. He goes to high school, loves the outdoors, and when asked how he prefers to spend his free time, a simple “hanging with friends,” sums it up. There is, however, one very atypical aspect to Ryan: he has a condition known as amelogenesis imperfecta.

Ryan Pichoff is, in many ways, your typical 16-year-old. He goes to high school, loves the outdoors, and when asked how he prefers to spend his free time, a simple “hanging with friends,” sums it up. There is, however, one very atypical aspect to Ryan: he has a condition known as amelogenesis imperfecta.

According to the NIH Genetics Home Reference guide, it is uncertain just how many people suffer from this tooth development disorder, but estimates put it at 1 in 14,000 people in the U.S. While defects may vary, the condition is known to cause “teeth to be unusually small, discolored, pitted or grooved, and prone to rapid wear and breakage.”

What this meant for Ryan, is that he almost never smiled.

“From age 6 until now, I had yellow, small teeth. I hated showing them,” he admitted. “It was terrible.”

When his dentists-Dr. Marissa Whitehead and David Hicklin-first recommended Snap-On Smile and explained what it could do, “the first thing that ran through my mind was that I’ll be able to smile; I’ll be able to show the world that I’m not a sad kid.”

And when he finally had the appliance? “I couldn’t stop smiling,” Ryan said with a laugh. “It made me feel so good, and I’ve had a lot of people tell me that I look better, mostly because I smile a lot more.”

As an active kid with plenty on his plate, Ryan also discussed how much he appreciated the ease of getting the appliance - only two dentist appointments, two moldings, and no need to grind his teeth down. Just as valuable to his day-to-day life? The low-maintenance upkeep and comfort.

“I don’t feel anything when I put them on,” Ryan shared.

The other Snap-On Smile convert? Ryan’s mom, Pauline.

“I was absolutely thrilled when they presented [it] as an option. It seemed like such a simple solution to get Ryan through high school without having to resort to invasive dental treatment until both children had stopped growing and were ready to go ahead with crowning all their teeth. I wish this had been around when I was younger.”

Snap-On Smile has also proven to be the right fit for the Pichoff’s budget-the family’s dental insurance paid nearly 40% of the total cost.

“The ultimate plan is to have his teeth permanently crowned, but the Snap-On Smile system gives us a little more flexibility in deciding when we do this-the original urgency I felt is gone,” Pauline shared. “We can go ahead with the more expensive procedure when it’s convenient financially and when Ryan is at the optimal age for the best results.”

“I would tell anyone, Snap-On Smile is a great solution if you don’t enjoy your smile,” Ryan said. “You need it. It is pain-free, low-maintenance and...and just wonderful. I love the product.”

 

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