“Some Real Firm Believers Here”
When Silas Deans first came to Exalta Health dental director Daniel Armstrong in December 2018, it was quickly apparent that it would be no ordinary process to restore Silas’ mouth to full health.
He was already missing some of his back teeth which over the years had rotted and broke and worked themselves out. The remaining teeth were on the same path with many falling apart. As a result, Silas, who is homeless, lived with constant pain in his mouth.
For Daniel, the decision was easy, though not taken lightly: Silas would be fitted for dentures after his remaining teeth were pulled.
What happened next though was, for Silas, an unforgettable moment. Even months later his eyes light up as he recalls the conversation.
“They asked me if I wanted to pray,” Silas says, smiling. “I have never had a dentist ask that before. That was pretty touching. I remember thinking ‘Wow, these are some real firm believers here.'”
For Silas, who moved to Michigan with his family from Mississippi as a young boy and was raised as a Christian, the small gesture on Daniel’s part was a large reminder that “God plays a role with us in all matters, even in the departure of your teeth!”
The Beginning of a New Way of Life
And while it has not yet been a month with the dentures and they need some adjusting, Silas is quick to say that being rid of his rotten teeth has been a huge relief. “It was definitely time,” he says. He’s due back at Exalta Health so the tweaks can be made to ensure that Silas’ new dentures do the job for years to come.
Daniel says he told Silas that getting dentures is a little like a college commencement.
“The students rejoice because they are done with school,” he says, “while the keynote speaker informs them that they are now ready to ‘begin’ or ‘commence’ with the rest of their lives. So, the patient rejoiced when the dentures were finally delivered, but I charged the patient that it is just the beginning of a new way of life with fake teeth.”
It’s a life Silas couldn’t have imagined a year ago, one that now is within his grasp.
“I can’t thank them enough,” he says. “I can’t thank them enough.”