The Bob Cranswick Story
How Dr. Kamran Haghighat Gave Bob A New Smile --- and His Life --- Back
Even before he was born, Bob Cranswick had health problems. Doctors worried Bob’s lungs weren’t developing, so they gave him a round of steroids when he was still in utero. These steroids potentially led to a series of health issues after Bob was born six weeks premature. Surgeries, irregular growth spurts and an oral condition Bob’s childhood dentist described as “spongy teeth” plagued Bob’s youth and young adulthood.
In August 2018, at age 34, Bob’s health seemed to take a turn for the worse. His teeth began to break off, causing not only cosmetic concerns but lesions and infections throughout his body.
His father, Mike, described him as an “amoxicillin king.” Bob would get an infection, a doctor would prescribe amoxicillin, he would get better and then two weeks later, he would get another infection, and the cycle would begin again. Eating and everyday activities became increasingly difficult.
“To sit there and watch him eat on broken teeth was horrible,” says Mike. “You know your kids are going to have issues growing up, but when you have kids who have issues as adults, it really hits hard. You want to do anything you can to be put in their position or make your son’s life better.”
Mike and Bob agreed they needed to seek real help. Mike found a nearby dentist who offered to perform a $25,000 surgery, but the surgery would be temporary, and Bob would have to get the work redone in five years.
Bob continued searching online for the best solution and discovered All-On-Four® dental implants, titanium teeth implants that replace teeth with just eight implants—four on the top and four on the bottom—rather than individual implants for each tooth.
This discovery of All-On-4® led Bob to Dr. Kamran Haghighat, a dual board-certified specialist in periodontics and Oral Implantology. Bob booked a consultation and immediately felt at ease and confident about his choice. And thus began his journey towards regaining his oral as well as total body health.
“The day of the surgery is what really told me I had the right guy,” recalls Mike, regarding Dr. Haghighat.
“Dr. Haghighat came out of the surgery room that day and sat beside me in the waiting room. He had good news and bad news. The bad news? What initially had appeared to be small infections associated with some teeth was a large cystic lesion that had grown to a size extending across 5 teeth, destroying a significant amount of bone in the upper jaw. This cyst was causing a lot of Bob’s oral symptoms including pain and repeated infections. The good news? Dr. Haghighat managed to remove the cyst and treat the extensive bone destruction. He completed the same day teeth with All-On-4 dental implants in one arch and postponed the other arch until Bob's bone was healthy and strong again."
“I knew right then I didn’t have to worry about this anymore,” says Mike.
Despite completing only one arch, Bob had already gained a new healthier smile that day that he was happy to share for the first time in years. A few months of bone healing passed and his upper implants were also placed in the new bone that was regenerated after the cyst removal. He has temporary bridges now and soon will begin the final stage of getting his permanent teeth.
Mike says Bob’s life is already changing for the better. Although Bob had to be on a mostly soft-food diet until the implants are healed in bone, he smiles and laughs without covering his mouth and looks forward to the day he can bite into an apple, something he hasn’t been able to do in many years. There is finally light at the end of the tunnel for Bob, and it seems to be getting brighter and brighter.
Soon after Bob’s first surgery, Mike received a call from local chiropractor Dr. Kenneth Wecker of Elite Chiropractic and Wellness Center in Gresham. Each year, Dr. Wecker hosts a golf tournament to raise money for a local person in need. This year, after a friend nominated Bob, they selected him as the beneficiary.
“For you to get a phone call like that, it’s life-changing,” says Mike.
In July, 132 people participated in the tournament, including Dr. Haghighat, who was there the entire day, playing in the tournament and answering questions about Bob’s case and implant surgery.
“I just don’t see many doctors doing that,” says Mike, who has been increasingly impressed with Dr. Haghighat’s availability, attentiveness and chair-side manner: “I could call him up on the phone and talk to him any time. I can’t do that with other doctors…he makes himself available.”
The golf tournament raised $5,500 dollars, which will cover a small portion of Bob’s upcoming and past surgeries. But one thing Mike has learned through this process is what he calls “the perception of value.” A surgery like this is worth the money because it has changed his son’s life.
“A lot of people won’t hire someone because of their teeth,” Mike explains. “Everything is appearance. Everything is perception. And with this, I can lay my head down [at night] and know my son is going to have an equal chance at becoming a legitimate, bonafide adult without any problems in the future. That’s what I’m really happy about.”
To learn more about Bob’s road to health or to make a donation to his surgery and medical expenses, visit his Go Fund Me page at ca.gofundme.com/f/bobcranswick.
A Journey in Pictures
During & After
In Bob's Own Words
In first grade a hygienist from the dentist's office next door came in to give us the standard "brush your darn teeth kids!" speech. What has stuck with me my whole life is microscopic pictures of the bacterium that grow on tooth enamel. The idea of bacteria living all over my teeth eating away at them scared me more than anything else.
Everyone in class got a small brush and case to keep in their desks. Every day after lunch on my way out to recess I went into the restroom and brushed. I wasn't perfect about hygiene but overall I had a good mouth as a child. I had an amazing dentist growing up. He made me feel so proud to not have any cavities after a cleaning.
Fast forward to age twelve or thirteen my adult teeth were all in. They were awful. Not very straight and were yellow. Going into high school in the years following is when I first learned to smile without showing my teeth or sometimes just holding back the smile entirely. The yellow teeth I had were a side effect of being born very premature. The yellow color was from the crucial layer of enamel being thinner than it should be. Leaving the dentist was no longer something to be proud of. My brother and I always went together for cleanings and I think he’s the only one who understood how bad I felt when I had cavities. He always did a good job of cheering me up on the way home.
As time went on I tried harder and harder to not get cavities. The harder I tried the worse it got. When I would find a sore spot eating or brushing it would crush me. The shame I would carry going into the dentist thinking I had cavities was very hard for a kid. No one believed me when I said I brushed my teeth. I remember getting in trouble for not brushing, even though I had.
I got braces early in high school. For the first time with my adult teeth I didn't hide my smile because the braces were a good cover for my yellow teeth. I had braces for a short time, just over a year. When the braces came off we went straight down the street to my dentist for a cleaning. My entire life my dentist was a very calm gentle guy. He was never upset or made me feel bad about my teeth. But, he was livid when he looked at my teeth and left the room he was so upset. Turns out I had a deep cavity on every tooth where the braces made contact. When he came back in the room he told the front desk to push his appointments back.
He said something like "It's going to be a long appointment, but you and I have worked hard on those teeth and I'd really like to fix them now. I'll do my best to not make it hurt" and like always he didn't. After the appointment he told me that although he filled all the cavities, any more fillings would weaken the teeth. But there were more fillings in the years that followed.
My dentist retired in my late twenties. With the embarrassment of my mouth combined with financial issues I put off finding a new dentist for too long. Around age thirty my teeth finally gave up. My molars suddenly started sheering off and breaking. Fillings started to weaken and come out, and I started grinding my teeth at night. All four of my wisdom teeth broke at the gum line and started to decay as well.
I was having trouble eating at a holiday meal and my grandmother noticed my difficulty. She then covered the cost to have my wisdom teeth pulled and mouth restored with traditional methods. It was six months of appointments, drilling, fillings, and crowns. I felt for the first time maybe I could have healthy teeth if I took care of them. But only a month after the last of the work was done I started losing fillings.
For years after all the failing reconstructive work, I did not go back to a dentist. Knowing how compromised my teeth were, my only options were well beyond fillings and crowns and I didn't know where to turn. So I just kept suffering. My molars eventually started breaking again. Cavities got bigger and the pain got worse. I was breaking a tooth off at the gum line almost every two weeks like clockwork. I was left with a mouth full of soft painful remnants of teeth in my gum line, and others that were like broken glass shards. Pain was constant but I flossed and brushed through it. I would spend a long time after meals picking out any food left in the twisted wreckage of my teeth. Feeling hopeless I did my best to hide them. I started a non-customer facing job knowing my mouth was probably too bad to land a normal retail job. Eventually I could barely chew. It was so normal for me to be in pain and have bad teeth I just got used to it all.
Again my family took notice at a meal marking an occasion. My dad and stepmom saw how bad it was for me and stepped in to help. I even initially refused, warning of the high cost of what I was facing. But they promised to help me through it.
My teeth were mostly a lost cause and I thought none of them were savable. After finally going to a dentist for an examination I was surprised to hear that seven of my teeth were "salvageable, maybe" with root canals and crowns. Confirming the severity of my problems we found a dentist/surgeon who specialized in implant-supported dentures. We went in for the consultation and asked for several options on moving forward. I was hesitant to keep any of my natural teeth at this point as they have never stayed strong as dentists expected. When we returned to run through the options, the proposed treatment plan was to build bridges supported by seven crowns, but they did not present an option with full removal of the teeth. I felt like I wasn't being heard and felt uncomfortable with the doctor so we decided to look for other options elsewhere.
I had been very lucky at this point to avoid any major infection or abscesses from my decaying mouth. After the first consultation that luck had run out. I started to get abscesses in my mouth and gum line. I went on antibiotics for the infections and everything progressed faster and faster, especially the pain, constant sharp pain. It sometimes felt like a dentist drill was in there running all day and night.
I wanted to find someone who would do what is referred to as "all on four" a fixed bridge attached to four or more implants. As hard as my dental life had been to this point it is almost as hard to find information. Its a desert of information out there until you’re sitting in the chair somewhere. In the end, this led me to Dr. Kamran Haghighat. His website was the first ray of hope I found, the only place I found any information that made me feel like treatment was possible. The website was so informative and well made I knew right away I had found my next step forward.
It was still hard to book the appointment, even after working up the courage to show the first two dentists my broken mouth. But the moment we made the appointment was the moment my life changed. For the first time I felt like a person, not just a patient. Dani the office manager was the first person i spoke with and she made me feel at ease with coming in for a consultation.
Dr. Haghighat made me feel at ease right away and answered our questions and explained to us the options. Before I knew it the surgery was scheduled and quickly approaching. Awaiting surgery was one of the hardest times for me. The pain had reached new levels and I spent most nights trying not to move too much. Over-the-counter drugs didn't help anymore and for the first time I understood what unbearable truly was.
I was anxious about the surgery, even more about the recovery I was facing. During the surgery Dr. Haghighat found a cyst above five of my upper teeth. The cyst was where I needed bone for my upper implants so a bone graft was necessary. The next day I felt like a whole new person. The pain was gone; granted I had the expected post-surgical discomfort but it was nothing compared to what it was before.
I had a temporary fixed bridge to wear while the bone graft and implants healed. This was followed by impressions, fittings, and adjustments for my final permanent teeth. The whole process is complicated but fascinating. From day one I have always felt in good hands with Dr. Haghighat and his team. I think they were even more excited than I was when I received my final strengthened teeth.
As I write this I have had my teeth now for about a month. It has changed my life, not just taken away the pain. I can eat an apple again. I can eat a steak again. I can drink ice cold water again. Biting my cheek when eating recently made me tear up a little. It made me realize I was chewing my food without thinking about it for the first time in years. Beyond the improved quality of life because I can now chew, my teeth look amazing. I don't worry about how my teeth look anymore because I know they look great. People treat you better when you’re not hiding your teeth from them. and for the first time in my life I'm getting good at smiling more.