by Meredith Knight | Living Magazine | January 2019
Denicia Walker had a grim reality hanging over her for years. “I always had an underbite growing up,” she said. “From a young age, I was told I’d need jaw surgery to correct it. I rarely smiled because I was self-conscious a bout my smile. Eating was a problem, too. Because my jaw wasn’t aligning right, I had to cut up some foods to eat them and really only used a few of my teeth for chewing.
” The idea of jaw surgery haunted her. “It scared me,” Denicia said. “But I was told it was the only way to fix my problem.” She had a consultation with the doctor who’d perform her surgery and, as he outlined all the possible negative aspects of the surgery, she wished there was any other way. Then, the mother of a friend, who works as a dental hygienist, told her about Dr. Jennifer Buchanan and advanced orthodontic technology she’s using that might provide a solution without surgery.
“I had a consultation with Dr. Buchanan and she said she thought this new technology could correct my underbite without jaw surgery,” Denicia said. “She made me feel comfortable right away. My next concern was having braces at 21, but Dr. Buchanan explained how adult ceramic braces would be much less noticeable. They really were. People told me all the time, ‘I didn’t know you were wearing braces.’ When I look at pictures from that time, I can’t see that I have braces on at all.”
Denicia wore her braces for 19 months. During that time, her overbite was corrected, her jaw was properly aligned, and her teeth were straightened. “It went by fast and I actually enjoyed the process,” she said. “There was little or no discomfort, and every time I went in for an appointment they encouraged me and told me how great it was going.”
Denicia says the best part of having her problem corrected is being able to chew properly and eat whatever she wants. “I went to the dentist to have my teeth cleaned recently and they couldn’t believe how great I looked,” she said. “Dr. Buchanan and her staff always showed such interest in me, asking how school was going and remembering things we’d talked about at the last appointment. I would tell anyone who’s considering surgery to correct a jaw problem to get a second opinion, and if they’re in this area, go see Dr. Buchanan. I couldn’t be happier with everything she’s done for me.”