I was just shy of ten-years-old when a family dentist told my parents what the X-rays revealed – I was missing thirteen permanent teeth. As my elementary school friends were putting baby teeth under their pillows, I was waiting for mine to fall out. “They won’t fall out on their own”, the dentist told my parents, “because there are no permanent teeth behind them.”
I was always conscious of my teeth, or my lack of teeth, and my early childhood school photographs reflect a blonde-haired, blue-eyed young girl, with lips closed, but upturned slightly in a smile. In a small town in New Jersey, a dentist and an orthodontist teamed up to devise an innovative plan to utilize the teeth I had to recreate as normal a palate as possible. After being fitted for a palate expander with full braces and headgear, molds and X-rays were taken and thoroughly examined. Baby teeth were extracted, permanent teeth were moved forward, bridges were inserted, and after years of dental visits and exams, I finally had “teeth”.
Those teeth would last me almost twenty years with frequent visits to new dentisits in new towns to have bridges re-glued and re-inserted, while my bite was growing increasingly smaller and more difficult to live with. By the time I moved to Lancaster, over five dentists had tried to no avail to alleviate some of the pain I was experiencing due to an uneven bite with deteriorating bridges. The constant and ever-present pain in my jaw had worsened over the course of a ten-year period, and when my general dentist suggested I visit yet another dentist, a prosthodontist by the name of Dr. Christian Silvaggio, I was less than optomistic.
During the initial consultation, Dr. Silvaggio assured me that he would uncover the cause of my jaw pain and alleviate it. “For ten years I have suffered,” I explained, “and for all my life, I have had dental issues.” He continued to listen as I explained that my mouth, my bite, my teeth would be a “challenge,” and he repeatedly assured me of his commitment to resolve my pain, while his office staff echoed those same beliefs. “He will fix your teeth,” they told me. “He is committed to that.”
A repeat root canal, then the discovery and removal of a wisdom tooth, began to improve some of the pain I had been experiencing for almost ten years. Temporary bridges were placed while awaiting the creation of permanent, sturdier and more efficient bridges.
I can still recall my visit to Dr. Silvaggio’s office when he removed my aging and dilapidated bridges. I had never seen myself without those “teeth”, those bridges, and I asked him for a mirror. As I looked into the mirror, horrified and saddened, tears streamed down my face. At that moment, I knew how committed Dr. Silvaggio was to his resolve in alleviating my pain because he sat beside me wiping the tears away. Such a compassionate doctor, committed and thorough, with patience and perserverance, Dr. Silvaggio set out to recreate a smile he had never seen, a smile that I had never known.
And my smile says it all. I am a wife and a mother of four, an author and story-teller. I am a church member, a Secular Franciscan, and my children’s teacher. I am busy and on the go, and I smile. I smile because I now live without that ever-present pain in my jaw. I smile because I am happy and confident. I smile because of a caring and compassionate prosthodontist who was committed to his patient and his oath. But, truly I smile because I have been blessed. I’ve been blessed by God, who sent me to Dr. Christian Silvaggio, so that I can smile with confidence and without pain.
Thanks to Dr. Silvaggio, My Smile Says it All.
Submitted by Kelly Ann Lynch, Landisville, PA
Dr Silvaggio, Kim, Kathy, and Kim:
I want to thank you for giving me a mouth full of teeth. I was welcomed, charmed, greeted with professionalism by a great team to regain a mouth full of teeth to be able to eat food again, talk and smile again without feeling embarrassed of how my teeth looked.
I thought about what you said of keeping up with my progress, thinking of coming to the office once a year for check up and cleaning, following up with Dr. Lenehand for cleanings every 4 months. Plus I don`t want to disappoint the red head that kept me laughing throughout the whole process. Kathy!!! You all have done a great job, though I may have wanted to kill when you had me smile for the camera first time, now I want the camera taking pictures of me all the time.
You all deserve a great applause for doing a great job on me, even if I might`ve dosed off in your chair quite a bit??????!
Thank you all for a great job
Dear Dr. Silvaggio & Staff,
I just wanted to once again thank you for successfully completeing my dental implant plan… that started so long ago.
You gave me such hope at the first appointment and truly did so many amazing things to end up with such beautiful results! Your concern & wonderful care was (& is) very much appreciated.
I just love being able to speak (especially in teaching Bible study groups) with confidence again. I enjoy eating and just can’t get over how great my smile is (can I say that?). Life really is so much better with having “permanent” teeth! I am so thankful every day for this.
Thanks again for all you did. Your entire staff is super! Your office surely is a blessing to many.
Many thanks for the professional care you and everyone in your office have provided to me over the past couple of months. I know you and Dr. Eckhart have gone over and beyond the norm to get me where I am – with a fixed device in place. That’s HUGE. It feels great to know it’s going to stay there when I eat, when I smile, when I sleep.
I can’t thank you enough for this exceptional level of care.
I’m actually going to miss coming into the office, since I’ve gotten used to being there and it seems that I’ve gotten to know you all pretty well. I just wanted to re-express my appreciation for the fine work by Dr. Silvaggio and team. I know I made the right decision, as compared to other options that I had. This process for me was a year long or so, as it started out with a series of root canals before the work performed by Dr. Silvaggio. I’ve had people ask me what I had done that makes me look different. As I mentioned yesterday, I feel confident in being able to smile again. Thats a big deal to me.
Anyway, thanks to all of you, and I look forward to seeing you when I return annually for my check-ups.
– Ben, New Holland, PA
Dear Dr. Silvaggio,
I happened to be paging through a local magazine and saw an advertisement for your practice that said, “Your smile says it all!” I got to thinking and wondered what my smile was saying now that I am your patient that it didn’t say before I was your patient.
The first thing that came to mind was that it was now effortless to smile. That may make no sense to anyone else, but I had a crown on one of my two large upper front teeth and the crown did not seat properly (which for many years had caused my gum to recede and discolor which would then leave a gap in the fit of the crown that allowed the underlying gold to show above the porcelain). I had a little black racing stripe right where no one would ever want one! That scenario was a part of my life for so long that without realizing it I had formulated a smile tactic. I would first place the tip of my tongue against the space between those two large teeth in order to restrict the amount of movement that my upper lip could make. Doing that meant I could keep my upper lip positioned to avoid showing the uppermost portions of my gums and teeth. You can imagine with that amount of effort, it wasn’t easy to smile. Thanks to you I can ‘just do it’ now!
The next thing that came to mind was a healthy smile. Prior to finding your practice, I lost a rear molar and had an implant done followed by a crown placement. I looked in my mouth afterwards and saw what looked like the baby tooth that I had lost many years before! As it happened, the molar was on my ‘preferred’ chewing side. I didn’t prefer that side any more! The smaller tooth made chewing much less efficient. I know it is really important to my digestion and health that I thoroughly and comfortably chew. Now that you have resized and replaced the crown, I am back to happily (and more healthily) enjoying my food with much less thought, planning and effort required.
Another thing that comes to mind is that I have a confident smile. The woman of the family is often left with the task of making the health care decisions for everyone else. I feel great about my dental care and am happy to say that I have recommended your office to many others and you now care for four generations of Lintons and we are often told what beautiful smiles we have.
Thanks to you, and your great staff, for my confident, healthy, effortless, smile! I guess you are right…”Your smile says it all!”
– Joy Smith Linton, Lancaster , PA
“I went to my family dentist for a routine toothache; x-rays were taken that showed a problem that was unexpected, periodontal disease. At 29 years old, I thought I took good care of my teeth and was not aware of the advanced stages of the periodontal disease. When my family dentist referred me to
Dr. Silvaggio, I’ll admit I was scared. It was “shocking” to be faced with the realities of getting teeth pulled and replacing them.
“The staff was wonderful and made me feel very comfortable as a patient. Dr. Silvaggio and his staff provided me with options, a timetable, and support in dealing with this event. I was able to schedule procedures that fit around my schedule and allowed me to transition to the use of dentures without causing a disruption in my life. Dr. Silvaggio provided follow-up phone calls in the evening to check on my progress. The staff made themselves available to answer questions and provided me with the support that I needed.
“In addition, Kim set me up with a financial plan that allows me to make payments through the CareCredit program. The entire staff took care of my needs and allowed me to concentrate on taking care of myself and adjusting to my new teeth. By the way, Dr. Silvaggio and his staff included me in the decision-making process and I never felt pressure to make any decisions regarding the procedures or options. I would recommend Dr. Silvaggio to anyone. I ensure you that Dr. Silvaggio and his staff will make your visits as pleasant as can be at a Dentist Office.”
– Mike M, Lancaster, PA.
“I had the greatest experience at Dr. Silvaggio’s office! He and his staff were always pleasant, professional and made me feel like I had been going there for years. It took me a long time to find a Prosthodontist that I felt comfortable with and completely understood my needs. I found that instantly with Dr. Silvaggio and therefore drove 50 miles each way for my appointments. It was 100% worth it and I couldn’t be happier with my smile. Thanks for everything!”
– Ashley, Phoenixville, PA.
“After two failed bridges on my six front teeth, two root canals (one had just gone bad), and root lengthening surgery, my patience was gone when my most recent bridge (number 3) also failed.
I knew that I needed two implants inserted in order to, once again, replace the bridge. I could not imagine how this dental work would be accomplished without going for months without at least some of my front teeth missing. I also did not know how I would afford all this dental work when my insurance had a cap on amount of dental work covered per year.
“This is when I met Dr. Silvaggio. The day that I walked into his office I had little hope that there would be a solution to my dental problems. Dr. Silvaggio and his staff greeted me as if we were longtime friends. They listened very carefully to my situation and then worked out a plan. Dr. Silvaggio began by removing the failed bridge. After having a bad experience at another dental office, the process frightened me. Dr. Silvaggio gently and carefully removed the old bridge. Honestly, there was no pain. He then replaced it with an amazing temporary bridge. The temporary bridge was so beautiful that no one realized it was a temp. Both the surgeon who did my implants and my regular dentist commented on how beautiful it was. The temp lasted through the entire two year process without breaking or staining. It was unlike any temporary bridge I had had before.
“Throughout the process of receiving two implants, Dr. Silvaggio adapted the bridge repeatedly so that I never went without my teeth. Dr. Silvaggio’s office manager Kim helped me with my insurance company benefits so that I could spread out my work to get the maximum amount back from my dental insurance. Throughout the process both the doctor and the staff continued to be a huge support, treating me like a friend and not just another patient, and were available whenever I had a concern.
Dr. Silvaggio also worked closely with my family dentist and the oral surgeon. I appreciated the team approach.
“I am grateful to Dr. Silvaggio for my new, great smile but also making me comfortable with dentists again.”
– LKM, York, PA.
“I have been a patient of Dr. Silvaggio’s for more than 5 years. He is always professional, capable, caring and willing to put in the extra effort that makes his work superior.
“Roxann the dental hygienist and Cathy & Kim the dental assistants are professional, pleasant, knowledgeable and technically proficient.
“Kim the office manager is always accommodating. She runs the office in what appears to be an effortless fashion and can somehow squeeze you in quickly should the need arise.
– Constance S., Millersville, PA.
“The entire experience is a great one. The team works very well together and with communicating what is going on. In my instance they dealt with insurance for me in a slightly complicated scenario and kept me updated. They also fixed what another dentist tried to do. I now have found out that regular dentists are doing more procedures then they should be just trying to make a dollar. A specialist like Dr Sudbrink or Silvaggio makes a major different with comfort, the final look, and longevity. I am not trying to sound like an advertisement but just trying to help anyone who may be undecided where to go.”
– Art, Fleetwood, PA.