More Than Just A Smile Makeover

June 2005

By: Dr. Scott R. Harden

It’s 4:58 pm at Fountain View Family Dentistry when assistant Gypsy Shorb appears at the reception area door to tell her patient’s mother the doctor is ready for her. Jessica’s mom walks calmly down the hall toward her daughter, her heart pounding in anticipation. She had waited her daughter’s whole life to experience this moment.

Jessica is spellbound in the dental chair when her mom walks in. They are both overwhelmed with emotion as they admire Jessica’s smile makeover performed by Dr. Scott Harden.

Sixteen-year-old Jessica was born with a rare condition called ectodermal dysplasia- ED for short. ED is a hereditary condition characterized by abnormal development of the skin and associated structures, including hair, nails, teeth and sweat glands. Literature reveals this condition occurs 1 in 100,000 births in the US and 1 in 10,000 births internationally. The effects of ED can range from mild to severe and is apparent from birth. It manifests mildly in females and more predominantly in males.

This was true for Jessica’s brother, who was born with only 2 teeth. “Who would have thought that something so ordinary as teeth would possibly not develop in your child?” Jessica’s mother wondered. Jessica’s mom was made aware that she was a carrier for this genetic condition and she knew her children would experience the same concerns she had faced as a child.

Jessica, like her mother, was missing several adult teeth before her smile makeover. Jessica was always very conscientious of her appearance, especially her smile. Cosmetic dental treatment could not be performed fast enough for her! Her cosmetic treatment was carefully planned to coincide with orthodontic treatment to ensure that Jessica’s teeth were in the position to provide her with the best smile possible.

After 2 ½ years in braces, restorative treatment began in December 2004. Jessica couldn’t wait- she was so anxious to finally have the smile she had always dreamed about. Her restorative care consisted of the latest technology, including porcelain ceramic crowns and bridges on nearly all of her teeth. The specific phases of treatment were carefully planned to ensure that the proper function of her back teeth coordinated with the ideal esthetics of her front teeth, reflecting the proper color and shape Jessica expected.

The anticipation of Jessica’s new smile was overwhelming for mother and daughter. As they were admiring the results of Dr. Harden’s work, there was no uncertainty about how amazing Jessica felt. Her face radiated with abounding pleasure. She truly could not believe her dream had finally come true. Staring at her beautiful daughter, Jessica’s mom knew without a word that she had provided her with more than just a new smile. In her own way, she had finally made up for all the years of feeling devastated about passing this condition onto her daughter. Jessica had the most radiant smile, and it was a smile she would never again hesitate to show.

Although her total care was a very involved process and a serious financial commitment, it was worth the time and every penny to see Jessica’s proud and beautiful smile.” –shared by Jessica’s mother in a recent letter to the office