It wasn’t always easy for Larry “Eagle” Gilbert to feel confident in his performance - especially with his dentures. When your mouth is your instrument, you need all of the components to be stable to be fully capable of singing. “A lot of people are surprised I was able to sing at all with dentures.”
Eagle wanted to be a singer for as long as he can remember. From a young age, he always had a good voice; his friends' very own Neil Diamond, they said. He struck out on his own at 16, working and keeping his creative spirit alive working with a vocal coach to improve his craft.
Like any teenager, Eagle struggled to maintain his dental health while living on his own. Too many sodas and other bad decisions led to early decay, causing him to first lose his upper teeth, followed by problems with his lower teeth.
Eventually, the challenges proved too extensive and he had all of his teeth pulled and replaced with dentures. While they have been a significant improvement over his original teeth, his dentures have presented their own set of challenges.
His day job involves speaking on the phone for most of the day. It’s a tough job, especially with ill fitting dentures that move around constantly. Eating is difficult, and making sure the dentures are solidly glued in before meals and snacks is tiresome. And his favorite food, hamburgers? Forget about it.
Reaching a breaking point
On the night of one particular performance, on stage as he was singing with his band, his bottom denture fell out in front of the crowd. “It was humiliating,” standing in front of so many strangers with his teeth in his hand, unable to continue. “I knew right then and there that I had to do something.”
“Wearing dentures was getting harder and harder for me. A denture adjustment or reline would work for a while, but I was spending more and more money on them. I thought I should just spend the money and get the teeth done permanently, rather than keep wasting money.”
He’d seen an ad for Britely, and recalled the affordability over other local options.
“I really like the office, they treat me like family and everybody knows my name. I was a little nervous to get my new teeth put in, but excited.”
Eagle describes the procedure itself as a great experience. He elected to not get anesthesia, and didn’t experience any anxiety leading into his surgery. While he did experience some pain, he says the end result was well worth the healing time.
“I was shocked that I could use my existing denture as a temporary placeholder until my final implants were in, I think that ended up saving me quite a bit of money.”
What is he up to now with his brand new teeth? Eagle can be found on stage with his band every week, and chowing down on hamburgers whenever he wants. “They’re healing nicely! And they’ve started to feel like they’re my real teeth.”
His vocal coach commented on the improvement in his voice since the implant surgery, noting that he was surprised when they met to hear that he was singing at all with dentures. “Most people with dentures sing through them, and aren’t singing like they’re supposed to. It’s a difference you can hear in their voice.”
“My implants have definitely impacted my performance; I can be on stage every week now and not stress about my teeth coming out. I feel so much more confident, it’s amazing!”