I am so excited to be sitting down today and finally sharing the skinny about my teeth! If you have been following me for the past year then you know in late 2019, I underwent a MAJOR dental procedure. I’m talking full blown, put me to sleep surgery! The whole shebang! In today’s post I will be breaking down what work I got done and why along with answering your questions! Keep reading for some before and after pictures that are totally cringe worthy!

Let’s start at the beginning of my dental journey. My parents always prioritize my dental health from a young age. Since I was about 12 years old I have been seen regularly at Runion Dental Group and have always had great experience. However, when I became an adult, I developed incredible anxiety about visiting the dentist. 

Still to this day, I am not sure why the dentist scares me but this fear caused me to avoid the dentist for the majority of my adult life. In 2017, I became pregnant with my oldest daughter and developed Hyperemesis Gravidarum. I have talked in depth about my struggles during pregnancy, but long story short, HG is severe morning sickness. In 2019, I became pregnant with my second daughter and diagnosed with Stage 3 Hyperemesis which left me battling for my health. For months during both of these pregnancies,  I was throwing up bile and blood over 30 times a day and was unable to brush my teeth without causing long periods of dry heaving and gagging.


Needless to say, my lack of dental hygiene during this time, paired with the exposure to constant bile and blood caused my already, not so hot dental situation, to take a turn for the worse. After I gave birth to my daughter, Evie, in July 2019, I knew it was time to take charge of my dental health so I scheduled that first a long time appointment and began this journey with the Runion Dental Group.. After the initial intake of my mouth, we realized that there was a lot of damage and decay that needed to be addressed.

 I was very open about my dental anxieties with Dr. Jon Runion and the entire Runion Dental Group team. They were nothing but kind, patient and thoughtful the entire time. At no point was I ever scared or in pain and it was such a comfort to feel like I was in the best hands possible. We set a date to do the bulk of the work that needed IV sedation in order to keep this experience pain and anxiety free for me. 

Below I am listing some of the work that I had done during the first surgery - 

  • 11 Fillings (on teeth # 2, 3, 4, 11, 12, 18, 19, 20, 29, 30 & 31)
  • Crowns/Veneers (on teeth # 7, 8, 9, 10)
  • Extraction (on tooth #13)
  • Bone Graft
  • Implants (on teeth #13 & 14)
  • Custom Abutment & Crowns (on teeth #13 & 14)

As I mentioned above, all of that work was done in the Fall of 2019 under IV sedation. I went into surgery at 7am and we completed around 2pm. After surgery, I was pretty swollen and obviously uncomfortable, however Dr. Jon Runion did a great job of helping me with pain management. For about a week I ate soft foods, took pain meds around the clock and iced my cheeks often to help bring down the swelling. After that first week, I started to feel like myself again.

Now, what you’ve been waiting for… BEFORE AND AFTER PICS!!

As you can see the most apparent of the work is definitely the crowns/veneers on my front teeth. I actually had braces and a permanent retainer that failed to keep my gap closed. For years, I felt self conscious about my gap. I didn't want to spend any more money on braces or Invisalign at this point in my life so I knew that crowns/veneers was the way I wanted to go.

What you can't tell by these photos is how the quality of my life has changed since having this initial surgery. I can now chew on both sides of my mouth, pain free. I am not self conscious about the broken/dying teeth in the back of my mouth and I truly feel like myself.


Since having this initial procedure, I have been back to Runion Dental Group easily a dozen times. Needless, to say my family and I will continue to visit their office for all our dental needs moving forward.

Now time for your questions!!!

What does maintenance look like for your new smile! Taking care of my new smile is pretty easy. I just brush and floss like normal and make sure I am heading in for my regular hygiene appointments at Runion Dental Group.

Did you whiten your teeth as well? Yes, I did! I was in temporary crowns before I had a second proceedure where we uncovered my implants and placed my final crowns from the lab. During that interim period, I was given an at home whitening kit to brighten my smile to match the shade we chose for my final crowns!

Can you eat apples? Is there anything you can't eat? Yes, I can eat apples and I only had dietary restrictions while I was healing. However, I do make sure I am drinking my coffee through a straw. I don't know if it actually helps but I want to minimize the staining on my teeth.

How much of your surgery was medically needed and how much was cosmetic? 95% was essential for my oral health. 5% was cosmetic.

How much did it cost? I am not going to go into exact details about how much this cost, but I will say that this definitely was an investment into my long term oral health. Also, it would have never gotten this bad if I hadn't put off going to the dentist for yearrsss. My advice to all of you is to make sure you are keeping up with your routine care so you don't have to worry about a big procedure in the future!


Guys, I literally can not stop smiling!! I never thought a healthy smile could change my life, and it feels cheesy even writing that down, but I am serious! Since this proceedure, my confidence has gone through the roof. I never even realized how much I paid attention to my teeth until now! 

If you are in the Columbus, Ohio area and are on the hunt for a highly skilled, kind dentist please check out Runion Dental Group. I have had gotten a couple of messages from you guys who have gone in for visits since seeing my posts and that warms my heart because I love be able to encourage so many of you to take charge of your oral health! <3

In my next post, I will be recapping my second and third procedures that I have had done since this initial surgery and will continue to answer more of your questions! So if I missed anything, please let me know below!

Alitzah Stinson
CEO of Ivory Paper Co
Alitzah Stinson


Alitzah Stinson

CEO & Founder