Procedures change lives of patients

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It’s been less than a year since Dr. Rob Piñón and Dr. Owen Packard opened Lakeside Dental at 1612 N. Barker Road. Measured by the number of patient stories and great memories, it seems even longer. Here are two favorites.

Dr. Piñón
A 39-year-old from Newman Lake, “Mr. Johnson,” came into our office in early October with severe generalized decay on almost every remaining tooth in his mouth. He suffered extreme GI disorders which contributed to acid erosion of almost all his remaining teeth. He was in pain constantly and embarrassed to even open his mouth, let alone smile.

After the initial comprehensive exam, we came up with an extensive plan of action that would take several months to complete. He responded with tears as he wouldn’t have his mouth back to normal by the time of a special cruise he planned with his wife in December. Knowing how much pain he was in both physically and emotionally, I gave him the option of expediting some of his treatment to get as much as we could before the cruise, and he agreed.

After three appointments, we accomplished the first phase of his treatment. When Mr. Johnson looked in the patient mirror, he broke down sobbing.

“Dr. Rob,” he said, “I’m so happy. I haven’t been able to even look at my teeth for so many years. This is just amazing. Now I will be able to smile and enjoy our cruise without being embarrassed. You are a miracle worker!”

I’m no miracle worker. However, I know I have the ability to change people’s lives through the gift of dentistry and look forward to many more stories just like Mr. Johnson’s.

Dr. Packard
“Jane” was a single adult in her late 40s who didn’t smile much and wanted her teeth to look nicer. We decided together she would benefit from braces and whitening. When her treatment was done, she was very happy with the results.

About 6 months later she came to my office and asked to see me. As I approached her, I could see she was crying, and my first inclination was to wonder if I had upset her somehow.

“Jane, how are you doing?” I asked tentatively.

“Oh, Dr. Owen, I just want you to know how grateful I am for what you have done for me!” she responded through tears.

Since her teeth were straightened and whitened, much had transpired in her life. What started as a confidence to smile more led to meeting a wonderful man who had proposed to her. She was so happy to be getting married. I told her she was so welcome and gave her a big hug.

“Jane, I can’t take credit for your marriage proposal, but I do want you to know how happy I am for you,” I said, thanking her for taking the time to share her news.

As I wished her well, I thought of what a wonderful thing it is for my dental team and I to see how profoundly our work can affect the wellbeing of our patients.

NOTE: A version of this article first appeared in the 2020 Liberty Lake Yearbook.

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