'We'll be removing 27 of Michael's teeth in one sitting'
An interest in water polo brought Michael Sheridan and Dr David Murnaghan together initially and now both young men have embarked on a remarkable journey.
Dr Murnaghan from the Boyne Dental and Implant Clinic, Ludlow Street, Navan has committed himself to removing all of Sheridan's badly decayed teeth replacing them with dentures initially, then implants which should give the patent a new lease of life.
The pioneering dentist took time out from his busy schedule to speak to the Meath Chronicle last Thursday afternoon and he recalled how he and Michael came to know each other, particularly when they were members of the Drogheda Water Polo Club.
It was while on a trip down to a match in Galway they chatted openly with Sheridan revealing the "shame" he encountered on a daily basis because of his teeth.
WATCH: Dr David Murnaghan explains how the procedure to remove and replace Michael's teeth will work
"I had known from talking to Michael just how bad the condition of his teeth had become, as a dentist the first thing you notice is people's teeth," David Murnaghan recalled from his the spacious, ultra-modern Boyne Dental and Implant Clinic on Thursday of last week.
The Navan-based dentist also knew that because of Michael's teeth his health was also under serious threat and he felt compelled to do something about it. At 34 Murnaghan is just two years older than Sheridan - and he just couldn't imagine trying to get through life with so many decaying teeth.
"Michael can't have a properly functioning diet, he can't chew his food properly, he can't bite into a sandwich like most people, he's in pain every day. Last year a Californian man died from infection, he was 26 and that's not the Third World. He had a tooth infection, the infection spread into his blood system, one tooth infected and he died. The mouth and the teeth are the gateway to the systems in your body.
"The Government is not pushing that side of health education currently. It's more about alcohol and smoking but oral health is very, very important, it's more important than a awful lot of the Irish population are fully aware of just now."
WATCH: Michael Sheridan tells the Meath Chronicle on the misery behind a decade of neglect and addiction to fizzy drinks
From Belfast Dr David Murnaghan is a highly experienced dentist who qualified from Queen's University in 2006. He worked in several practices before he moved to Navan five years ago and began to build up a practice on his own initially. Now there is six dentists assisted by a large staff at the Boyne Dental and Implant Clinic.
While he is a highly experienced dentist the Michael Sheridan project left him confronting challenges he had never faced before such as the removal of Michael's 27 teeth in one session, something he has never done before with a young client. He talks about how many of Sheridan's teeth are worn down but they still have deep roots.
"He's only 32 years-old, the teeth are not meant to be coming out, they are not going to be loose, we're going to have to make little incisions around them and he's going to be pretty tender for a couple of weeks. Michael is getting dentures before he gets the implants in April."
Partly because of Michael Sheridan's age Dr Murnaghan decided to take on the challenge of giving him a new set of teeth by utilising his expertise with Ken O'Brien, MD of BioHorizon, agreeing to supply the very expensive implants.
Michael Sheridan with sons Callum and Darragh
While David was happy to help out Michael also wants to get the message out there that ignoring dental problems can only mean trouble - and big trouble at that - in the long run.
Like Michael Sheridan, dentist David Murnaghan is stepping outside his comfort zone. Two young men pursuing the same objective but from very different directions.