Overcoming Fear of the Dentist & Getting Dentures

Here at My Community Dental Centers (MCDC), our mission is providing dental care for all. That means our doors are open to everyone, whether they’re insured or not. We also provide patients with a caring, stress-free dental experience. Patients like Victoria Nowakowski, who avoided the dentist for years out of fear, but needed serious dental work.

Victoria, who prefers to go by Vicky, now 25 and a mom to a 2 year old, was diagnosed with a hereditary kidney disease when she was in high school. From negative experiences while undergoing procedures for her disease, Vicky developed a huge fear of all medical professions and professionals. Due to this fear, she avoided going to the dentist. Vicky’s diagnosis and medical mistreatment also triggered depression, leading her to neglect her teeth. Eventually, her teeth became so sore and fragile, she stopped brushing all together.

In 2017, another dentist told Vicky all of her top teeth would need to be removed and replaced with a full denture. It wasn’t until 2020, when Vicky found MCDC in Ionia, that she felt like she could face her fear and get back her beautiful smile.

Vicky made the decision to document the entire process of getting her dentures on TikTok in order to help others who need them or have a fear of going to the dentist. And her experience resonated with many, because her TikTok videos went viral, racking up over a quarter million views, and leading to an interview with Fox News.

The Denture Process

Given the choice between removing all of her top teeth or keeping the front four for an easier transition, Vicky chose to keep the front four. From there, Vicky’s denture adventure followed the typical process. First, all her top teeth were removed excluding the four she opted to keep (three of which broke). After her gums healed (typically takes 8-12 weeks), several molds were taken. The molds were used to make models of Vicky’s mouth and create her dentures. She had a partial try-in to check and adjust the placement, bite, and aesthetics, and then her dentures were finalized and placed. You can watch her recap here.

From start to finish, the entire process took about three months. According to Vicky, the pain and discomfort she felt before having her teeth removed was much worse than anything she experienced while getting her dentures, making it much more bearable than she thought it would be.

Since getting her dentures, Vicky has been fielding questions on her TikTok channel. Based on her mission to help, she’s happily answered them, becoming a source of encouragement and positivity.

The Importance of Oral Hygiene

Vicky also wants to use her experience to promote good oral hygiene. “Dental hygiene is so, so, SO important….” she exclaims in one of her videos in response to someone asking if they can show the videos to their kids to encourage them to brush their teeth. Along with brushing twice a day, we also recommend flossing, and regular cleanings and oral exams.

Proactively taking care of cavities is also important — a fact Vicky now recognizes. “I can pretty much confidently say, if I wasn’t so afraid, and if I would have gone in when there were just cavities, I probably could have saved my teeth.”

With her new dentures, Vicky has a smile she is confident in and is truly happy for the first time in a long time. Vicky credits the Ionia MCDC staff with helping her not only face her fear of the dentist, but overcome it, thanks to their considerate and caring manner. If you want to feel just as confident in your smile, we’d love to help you. Check out our services, then contact the MCDC location nearest you.