Dr. Roger Berger's magic dental emporium in Sutton
By Manfried H. Starhemberg
This coming October it will be 20 years since Dr. George Berger opened his dental clinic in Sutton. As in many small towns, there is always the suspicion that you have to pay more to go to the local shop/clinic/ boutique etc. So, most Suttonites migrate to Cowansville for their dental work. Wrong move! Dr. Berger and his staff of 23 in two clinics is a consumate professional, he has two partners, Dr's Bruno Ratte' and Karin Joduin, all highly trained professionals and passionate about their work. Many of the employees of the clinics have been there for a long time as well and they include dental hygenists, threatment specialists and a host of other specialties required in a busy practice.
Dr.Berger's personal forte is "implants". First developed in Sweden in the 1960's, this procedure, while costly, will actually maintain the health of the jaw structure which dentures can not provide. It is a fascinating science. Tiny "female receptacles" are screwed into the jaw which then will receive the new "tooth". The inserts are of titanium and thus far this is the onl;y material that the human body can handle without rejecting it. There are some studies done in Europe currently, to try to make the implant sockets of a ceramic material or of carbon fibre but the jury is still out on those experiments.
What happens when we lose our teeth? "here is the problem", explained Dr. Berger: "When teeth are extracted, a substantial amount of the bone that holds the tooth is also lost. In fact, once teeth are removed, the bone surrounding them is reabsorbed and loses its volume. The dental roots naturally transfer chewing energy to the jawbones, giving them the stimulation necessary for constant reconstruction. If these roots are missing, the bone is no longer getting any exercise, and this lost volume must be replaced, either with bigger prosthesis, or by means of a reconstructive bone graft, Wheater or not the roots are missing will have a major impact in the treatmen toptions proposed to a client"
How long does it take to do this? "Well, after the surgical removal of a tooth (or a set of teeth} it can be from ten days to six months, depending on the amount of surgical work required and the need to heal the jaws".
However, if someone needs just a single crown, the Sutton clinic can have you smiling the same day you come in with your problem as this state-of-the-art facility even has tooth milling machines which enable them to get your new tooth installed the same day. Pretty impressive!
I personally have had a great degree of fear of dentists since I have had a couple of bad experiences with two of them. Last week, I had all my remaining teeth removed by Dr. Berger so that I may finally get myself some replacements and I can honestly state that this was less painful than filling up the Range Rover with gas (and cost about the same). All I know is that after George numbed me with a few shots of whatever they use, he fiddled around in my mouth for a few minutes and I was done. Not the slightest discomfort, no pain afterwards, just a numb mouth for a couple of hours. I should have availed myself of this great service twenty years ago....
The question I had of course was: "Can traditional dentures completely replace my real teeth?"
Dr. Berger:"Traditional prostheses or dentures rest on the gums and do not bolster the reconstruction of the permanent bone we have naturally. The jawbone reabsorbs and gradually sinks. This bone loss can lead to an imbalance leading to abnormal tensing and slackening of the neck muscles. This explains the gradual emergence of face and neck pain. This is also the reason why people with no teeth seem to age much faster than those with teeth. Their lips sink and their chin is projected toward the nose because of the lack of buoyance requered to maintain the delicate equilibrium of the face's morphology. Partial dentures can also cause damage, the same phenomenon of bone resorption occurs, thereby depriving the surrounding teeth of support. The only real sulution is implants, and while we are cognizant of the fact that many people do not have the dental insurance or the money to do them, we are willing to set up a payment plan for people interested in this great option to return to good dental health"
Well, I shall not be able to get implants and will have to go the way of traditional dentures, but I I were a younger person with great hopes for that incredible job which would probably demand a good physical presence, I would mortgage my 1961 tractor to go that route. I have met some people who had the implants and I certainly would not ever have known them for artificial because they look perfectly natural and best of all, those rich cats "what have them" can chew naturally while dentures only allow about 35% of the normal chewing rate of healthy gums and teeth.