It has been amazing to witness someone’s life change right before our eyes. Amber Patterson learned back in November of 2016 that she had been selected from over 80 applicants to receive a full smile makeover, absolutely free of charge, from Martin-Taylor Dentistry. Let’s listen in as Amber talks about her experience.
Amber, tell us a little about yourself.
I’m 35 and I am an Army veteran. I’m married and I have two children ages 11 and 13.
For the last 15 years I worked as a hospice CNA. Currently I’m going to school for radiology at Pima Medical Institute to become a radiologic technician. It’s a two year program and I graduate in July. I only have five months left! School is definitely harder than I thought. To be honest, I think it’s harder to go to school than it is to work.
How did you learn about the free full smile makeover offered by Martin-Taylor Dentistry?
I saw it advertised on Facebook and my first thought was, “Oh I don’t know if this is true.” But it was worth a try. A lot of things on Facebook are just scams. But knowing that I really needed dental work, it was worth taking a chance.
Was entering the contest easy?
Yes, very easy. They asked a little bit about me and my situation. When I saw that they asked for pictures I thought, “Well this must be the real deal if they want to see what my mouth looks like.”
How were your teeth affecting your day to day life?
After I had children, a lot of my teeth broke. I didn’t want to smile because I didn’t have a whole mouth full of teeth. Eating was difficult. I only had one molar, the rest of my back teeth had been pulled. It took me longer than everybody else to eat because I only had one tooth I could use to chew. It was just frustrating. Plus I had old cavities that were hurting. I had one that needed to be pulled out. I had a lot of teeth problems. Every day was painful.
What prior dental work had you had done?
I hadn’t had any dental care for a long time. I only have Access, Arizona’s state insurance, and they don’t cover dental care for adults. Any time I had a cavity, the only option was to get it pulled.
Tell us about when you had learned you had won the smile makeover.
I got a call from Martin-Taylor’s office. They said that I was a finalist for the smile makeover. They asked me to come in and have x-rays taken. Worried, I asked, “How much will that cost?” She said, “No, no, it’s all free.” So I went in and I had the x-rays done. After the x-rays, I met Dr. Taylor. After he did an examination of my mouth, he said, “Oh this is a perfect case.” When he told me I was being chosen to receive the makeover, I couldn’t believe it! I had no idea when I went in I was going to be chosen. Every time I have a visit with Dr. Taylor I make sure I tell him thank you. Every single time. Because it really has been life altering for me, just to be able to smile again. To be able to eat again. To not be in pain. It’s a life changer for me.
How was working out a treatment plan with Dr Taylor? Did you understand all that your full smile makeover would entail?
I was apprehensive at first because I knew I needed a lot of work done and I thought it was going to hurt. So I was a little afraid. They knew coming in that I was scared. In fact, I think it was the first thing I asked. “Is this going to hurt?” Dr. Taylor said, “Oh we’re going to make sure it doesn’t.” And he was right! Dr. Taylor made sure that I never had any pain or discomfort. It never hurt. They did not give me less service in any way, even though they were providing everything to me for free. They really took good care of me.
How has the work gone so far? Is it what you expected?
It’s gone so much better than I imagined. They have done everything in their power to make me comfortable. It is amazing. I just couldn’t have asked for a bigger blessing. I was worried about the root canal in particular. I remember my mom used to tell me, “If you have a chance, don’t get a root canal. Just get it pulled.” But when Dr. Taylor did a root canal on me, I felt nothing, and he saved my tooth!
What changes have you noticed since the work began?
It’s incredible not to be in pain everyday! Plus my teeth are all one color — white! I was a smoker for a long time. I quit smoking three years ago and I told myself eventually I wanted to whiten my teeth. Having my teeth whitened professionally is more than I ever dreamed. I haven’t got my partials so I don’t have a full set of teeth yet, but now my teeth are all aligned. They’re all pretty. They’re all white. They all match.
What is your impression of Dr Taylor and Martin-Taylor Dentistry?
Dr. Taylor is wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. We’ve had little times to talk in between the times my mouth is open. He’s friendly. He’s down to earth. He’s a people person. Sometimes you go to a dentist and they are just kind of bland. They don’t take an interest in you or your life. And they don’t share things about themselves. But he does. His whole team are just absolutely wonderful people. I recommend them to everybody. I have all their little products. Their pens and their chapstick. I give them out to everybody at school and at work. I will speak highly about them for as long as I’m around.
People around me know what this has meant to me. They have been watching the progress each week. They know that I have gone to a lot of dentist appointments. They have been amazed at the results. At first people, including my husband, thought this had to be a scam, but they have seen real life changes and improvement. I guess it’s hard for people to believe that Dr. Taylor and his team would do this just to help someone out and expect nothing in return. It is pretty remarkable when you think about it. Did you know that all the work they’ve done on me would have cost almost $10,000! It’s insane what they have done for me. For free.
I hadn’t heard about Martin-Taylor dentistry before this, but now I see that they were named as some of the best dentists in Tucson! I believe it. They deserve that recognition. To think they did all that work on me, changed my life while asking nothing in return just astounds me.
Dr Taylor said one of the reasons you were chosen was he feels that you’re very teachable? What kinds of things have you learned?
I was never a big flosser. But now I see how not flossing caused me huge problems. I also only brushed my teeth once a day. I’ve since learned you really need to brush at least twice a day. Once when you get up and once before you go to bed. So many issues I had could have been avoided, but I had never been properly taught how to take care of my teeth.
I think I’m teachable now because I’m in the medical field. Sometimes when you are a caregiver you take the least care of yourself. Now I have a second chance and I’m not going through this to just go back to where I was before. I’m going to take better care of my teeth. I don’t want to be in this predicament again — where everything hurt, I was unhappy and I could barely eat.
What would you like to say to Dr, Taylor?
It’s hard for me to really put into words how grateful I am for what he’s done for me. I can just show him. Every day that I go there I am so grateful. I tell him every day, “Thank you for this.” I don’t think he realizes what he’s done for me. To wake up every day and be able to eat and smile is just something I didn’t think I’d ever have. I’m grateful and I thank God everyday for it. I thank him for just having enough compassion to reach out and say, “We’d like to give somebody an opportunity to feel safe and comfortable at the dentist again–to be happy with themselves and self-confident.” And he did it all with a smile and was personable. He didn’t look down on me and make me feel bad that I did not take care of my mouth. He explained things to me. He treated me with courtesy and respect.
The whole staff is amazing. I don’t even know all their names but they know my name. Every time I walk in that door, it’s, “Hi Amber.” It’s like a family and they make you feel good. I can’t thank this man enough. I’m very grateful. I’m trying not to cry. But I’m so happy.
Call or go online today to make an appointment with Dr. Taylor! You haven’t been selected to receive a free smile makeover, of course, but you will be treated with kindness, just like Amber. Everyone will know your name too. 520-549-3011