Nicky — Natalie’s Mother’s Story
This is a very sad story but has a happy ending, thanks to Dr. Raman, Amy, Melissa, & Jan. I believe my daughter Natalie, has had problems with her jaw from the moment she was born. The first 3 months of her life, when she wasn’t sleeping or eating, she was crying. At the end of every yawn, she would burst into tears. It was the saddest thing. When she was about 3 months old, she found her thumb, which she latched on to and didn’t let go of, for several years. She had chronic ear infections and was ill so often but as long as she had her thumb, she could cope.
She started having migraine type head aches when she was 5. Every week a severe headache would come on. She was in so much pain, she couldn’t go to school or play. She would vomit and be in bed one whole day and then have to recover from the whole ordeal the next. For many years she had only 5 good days out of 7, each week. She complained of random aches & pains, would get sick so easily and was pretty fragile. We took her to multiple doctors for all kinds of tests that ranged from allergy testing to brain scans. Everyone had a different theory or medication but nothing was helping. An orthodontist was the first person to get us on the right track by diagnosing her with TMD. Unfortunately, he was not Dr. Raman… She went through many different orthodontic and oral surgery procedures, which greatly reduced her headaches. We were all so happy, until one day, her jaw locked in the open position. She was just waking up and when she had a little yawn, her mouth couldn’t close. The muscles spasm and it is terribly painful, you can’t talk and it’s completely scary. We had to go to the emergency room and wait for them to put it back in place. This happened two more times in the next two years, which finally led us to a “TMJ Specialist”. After much hope, a years worth of orthotic adjustments and thousands of dollars later, it locked open again. This time it was the day after Thanksgiving and the emergency room was packed with more life-threatening situations so Natalie was in this excruciating position for more than 2 hours. The “TMJ Specialist” didn’t have any knowledgeable answers … He suggested it may have happened because she was having a period!
Instead of cracking up or losing all hope, Natalie wasn’t going to stop until she found a solution. None of us could live with the fear of this happening to her again. After doing much research and calling many doctors, she one day heard Amy’s sweet voice saying, “Raman Center for Advanced Dentistry, Amy speaking. YES, WE CAN HELP YOU!”
I will say, after all the years of unsuccessful treatments and after the most recent disaster with the dentist that told us all the same things we were hearing from the Raman Center, I don’t think anyone could have been more skeptical than Natalie, my husband and me. It took some time to gain our trust to start more expensive procedures. We wanted to believe everything we were being told but it all sounded so familiar. We did feel a level of sincerity, minus the ego, that we hadn’t felt before. Luckily we proceeded forward by listening to Dr. Raman’s confident explanations of his scientific approach, of how he has helped so many other patients that had been through even more horrifying experiences and by recognizing his patience in answering our multitude of questions. His kind manner, knowledge, confidence in what he does and love for helping people, convinced us to try again.
Dr. Raman was very careful with Natalie while helping her to feel better immediately. I was invited to watch all the procedures and really appreciated Dr. Raman and his staff explaining what they were doing, along the way. (I was a dental assistant 30 years ago and found everything very interesting.) At first, we all decided the orthodontic approach would be best. We all had different reasons. Dr. Raman thought it best because Natalie is 23 and had beautiful teeth with no fillings. Natalie thought it best because she liked how her smile looked, had beautiful teeth and was afraid the veneers wouldn’t look natural. She wasn’t crazy about having braces again, for the third time in her life, being 23 and engaged to be married, but she also thought it was more affordable so… what’s two more years?! My husband and I agreed with all those reasons plus we were concerned about the cost of veneers, so thought the orthodontic approach best. She had the braces put on, along with a brave face but after 4 days, she realized she couldn’t go through two years of all this would involve. We went back; Dr. Raman was so kind and understanding. He re-assured her it was fine, patiently took the braces off and we proceeded with a full mouth restoration.
Here comes the happy ending! Natalie has never felt better in her whole life and her smile looks completely natural. We are all very grateful to Dr. Raman and his wonderful staff. They are unbelievably talented, consistently kind, extremely patient, sincere, honest and make you feel like part of their family! We will always be very grateful to the Raman Center.