Research by dental implant specialist 21D has found that more than half of people living with dental issues feel their overall confidence is affected by having failing teeth. Adrian Elmer, 58, was once one of these people, until a two-hour surgery not only transformed his life but reignited his confidence too. Here he tells us about his experience.

My naturally loud personality was silenced by my failing teeth. Daily conversations became challenging as I found myself covering my mouth when I spoke and hiding my smile out of embarrassment.

My role as a team leader became increasingly challenging. I’m responsible for a team of nine men and my role includes communicating with both blue- and white-collar workers. This became harder the more my teeth deteriorated.

Despite being a loud character in a role that required me to be a natural communicator, I felt isolated and began avoiding conversations and social interactions.

People think that if you have failing teeth, it’s because you’re not looking after them properly. But there are so many other reasons why teeth fail, and I was desperately hunting for a solution.

East Anglian Daily Times: Adrian Elmer's whole life was impacted by his failing teethAdrian Elmer's whole life was impacted by his failing teeth (Image: Adrian Elmer)
Dentures brought me more problems. They never fitted properly and rubbed against my gums, causing painful ulcers and even more complications. They just added to the uncomfortable moments I had in my every day.

My diet was affected as I had to restrict the food that I could eat. The stress of eating something that could make me have a denture mishap just added another worry.

I longed to try different foods and eat out with my family and friends, but my restricted diet and difficulty eating robbed the joy out of these experiences. The list of foods that I couldn’t eat only became longer and I was constantly in pain. I avoided eating with people.

I struggled to remember a time when I didn’t suffer with failing teeth but at 35, things became significantly worse.

Visiting the dentist became increasingly anxiety provoking because of my dental history. I would make the receptionist phone me from my car when it was time for my appointment because sitting in the waiting room was too overwhelming.

During the pandemic, I couldn’t access the dentist and two of my teeth crumbled. This was too much for me to take. I felt hopeless. I needed to find a permanent solution and dental implants seemed to be the best and only option.

I started Googling options and began planning for surgery in Turkey. I even booked my plane ticket, but my anxiety took over and I pulled out at the last minute. Being in a foreign country with the language barrier, combined with my fear of dentists felt too overwhelming.

I looked into UK clinics and found 21D. After 18 months of researching and two consultations with other clinics, my gut feeling told me that this was the place.

For the first time ever, I felt at ease. The care and reassurance they provided meant that when it came to the day of my surgery, I had no anxiety at all. I arrived at around 11.30am and after a conversation about what to expect, I was in the chair before 1230pm. I felt no pain after the first injection and at 2.15pm, I was in the car on my way home. The staff made sure I was comfortable throughout the whole process.

After the surgery, I couldn’t stop smiling and I must admit I sent a fair few selfies to my friends and family. I felt like a brand-new person compared to who I was just a few hours before.

I had the teeth and smile that I had always dreamt of. I couldn’t stop looking in the mirror and I no longer recognised my old anxious self.

East Anglian Daily Times: Adrian Elmer says his only regret is not getting dental implants soonerAdrian Elmer says his only regret is not getting dental implants sooner (Image: 21D)
My son was the first person I went to see after the surgery, and he couldn’t believe it. He kept saying how different and genuinely happy I looked.

My recovery was speedy, I had minor swelling and bruising but it was nothing compared to the pain I’d experienced my whole life with my old teeth. The clinic rang me everyday to check up on me, I never felt alone. Just seven days later it was impossible to tell I’d had life-changing surgery so recently.

The results are priceless. Now no food is off the table, and I can eat out whenever without any anxiety. My confidence has transformed, and I don’t have to hide my smile anymore, I can communicate with anyone at work without worry. I’m finally living the life I’d always dreamt of.

If I could help anyone out there who is struggling with their failing teeth, I’d say don’t let it control you. Reach out to 21D and see how they can help. These guys will not let you down.  From the very first conversation I felt looked after and they still continue to check on my progress. Even now if I have any problems, they help me straight away.

My biggest regret is not doing this sooner. My life was transformed in a few hours and I really mean that.