Rating from 4 Reviews I was a person, was always treated with kindness, respect, and friendshipAlan, UK, 04 May 18
On my first visit to the SmileLux office at Milton Keynes, I was greeted by smiling faces, offered a drink, and guided to the comfortable waiting area. I knew I was somewhere special when I found magazines on the table that were all current and even better, one was about food. I relaxed immediately.
I was about to embark on a two-year journey wearing Invisalign retainers for 22hrs every day. I must admit that it felt like an impossible task as I was sure that I either ate or drank for much longer than that every day. Also, I was initially concerned how it might affect my speech. However, it soon became routine and I got so used to having them in that my speech was unaffected and they became part of the daily routine rather than something to be endured. They were just a part of life.
My appointments with Sunil Hirani were unlike any previous visit to the dentists or the doctors or, as I will shortly come to, the hospital. I never once felt like anything less than a complete person while at SmileLux. I wasn’t a set of teeth or a problem to be fixed. I was a person and was always treated with kindness, respect, and friendship. It sounds obvious but it isn’t always the case.
So, weeks passed and road marks were crossed as I completed six months, then 9, then a full year. Each set of aligners is numbered, so I counted them off month by month seeing the numbers rise. I was getting close to the end, number 42 out of 50, when things changed. I found that I had cancer. Actually, I had two – both apparently unrelated yet both in close proximity. One in a tonsil (Left) and one in the thyroid (also the left node). Two at once – wow, I was special at last.
Clearly, with radio and chemotherapy on the horizon I would not be able to keep wearing the retainers full time so, after consultation with Sunil, it was decided that things could go on hold and I would keep wearing the current aligner overnight three or four times a week to keep things in position. Interesting times followed, during which I learned a number of interesting things about my treatments and a few more interesting things about myself. I could cope. In fact, I coped exceptionally well and went through my treatments with barely any concern. Chemotherapy, which I approached with some misgivings, having heard ‘stories’, turned out to be fine. I didn’t react badly to the chemicals used and actually felt better after a day’s treatment than I did at the start. Radiology gave my neck a suntan you wouldn’t believe!
I can only assume that I was just very lucky. Things were detected in time, removed and the area treated. I had a session of Radio-iodine treatment as a ‘mopping-up’ measure, which involved me taking a tablet brought to me on a trolley and encased in a very heavy lead container. This is one of the ‘interesting times’ I mentioned. Cool, maybe I would glow in the dark. Apparently, some people thought they did but it was just the LED on the fire detector in the bathroom that caused that eerie effect when the light was turned off. Oh well, no superpowers then.
After over a year of treatments and with nothing further, apart from check-ups, on the horizon, we decided it was time to go back to the aligners and I finally moved on to number 43.
As always, appointments at SmileLux, were something to be looked forward to rather than something to feel trepidation about. It meant getting the next set in the number sequence. Once again, I was a person and treated almost as a family member. It was never anywhere to be afraid of going. Aligner numbers started to rise again and today I finally handed in number 50 along with much smiling and, a real surprise, a bottle of champagne and a congratulations card presented to me by the SmileLux team.
I was always a bit self-conscious about my teeth, particularly the front ones at the top as they were quite V-shaped. As a child I recall my mother telling me that I had ‘gravestone’ teeth, as they tilted over in every direction. It was a bit of a joke and treatments of the type I had just completed simply weren’t available or just not an option. I lived with my teeth for 65 years, a time I thought to be far too long to do anything about it, but I was proven to be wrong. Two years, 50 aligners, with a bit of a gap for interesting things to happen, and I couldn’t be happier.
Was it worth it? Yes! Undoubtedly. And cancer? Well, I have my regular check-ups and the ‘C’ word (Cured) won’t officially be used for a few more years, but it all looks very good.
Just like my teeth. Thank you, guys. The best! Recommended by my regular dental surgery in Bedford.