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Experimental dental study helps cancer survivor

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Buffalo: Experimental dental study helps cancer survivor
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Dental patient Marguerite Guido said, "To be able to smile and not have teeth missing, is really very important."

Marguerite Guido did not always have such beautiful teeth. In the early 2000s, cancer stole her smile.

"I'd had a lot of radiation that affected my mouth. And years later - even early on - I had a lot of dental issues," she said.

Her lymphoma battled into remission, Guido was still left with decayed teeth, missing teeth, and temporary caps that fell out.

"I was pretty much not living a normal life, because of my dental situation. Hiding my mouth," she said.

With nowhere to turn, in 2010 Guido became part of a five-year experimental study at the Eastman Institute for Oral Health.

Dr. Carlo Ercoli said, "She only had about six teeth in the lower jaw, which were badly decayed -- basically broken down."

Dr. Carlo Ercoli, and colleagues Dr. Fantuzzo, Dr. Bozza and Dr. Ridenour, all agreed to use what was, at the time, an experimental method. It involves "immediate loading protocol."
In conventional dental surgery, patients must wait for weeks of healing, between initial jaw implants and final tooth replacement. The new method, cuts that time in half.

Dr. Ercoli said, "We do place a fixed, temporary bridge right at the time of surgery so that the patient will come in with teeth and will go out with teeth."

For Guido, that meant after nearly a decade of waiting, her smile was fixed in just months.

Guido said, "These teeth function. I can eat anything, chew anything I want to chew. Obviously looking in the mirror at my smile makes me happy."

Dr. Ercoli said, "Today, we're all busy with work, family, children, grandchildren. And if we can get the same result - or even a better a result at times - faster...why not?"

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