Smile for the Camera

January 2005

By: Scott R. Harden

Diana was preparing to celebrate her 25th Silver wedding anniversary. As she sat before the mirror and prepared to put on her makeup, Diana knew in her heart that she had made the right decision. Her strong desire to improve her appearance coupled with her husband’s support, allowed Diana a great sense of satisfaction in the decision that proved to be her best anniversary gift ever.

Several months ago, Diana was having a family portrait made with her sister. “Smile for the Camera” were four little words that would ultimately improve her life tremendously, but not before experiencing some mental anguish. When the photographer presented her with the close-up of her face, she was devastated by her appearance; the crow’s feet on the side of her eyes, wrinkles on her forehead, and thin lips. The crown on her front tooth detracted a lot from her appearance and was very apparent in the photograph. She never liked the crown because it has always been the wrong shade and has always had that dark band along the gum line as well. My teeth have always been yellow, crowded and just not attractive, she thought to herself.

Diana was overcome with emotion and walked out of the studio without uttering a word. Her sister caught up with her and sat down next to her on the bench. After a period of silence, Diana looked at her sister and exclaimed, “I can’t believe I have aged that much. I don’t want to have our picture taken because I don’t like the way I look”.

Diana researched her options, and made the decision to visit a cosmetic dental office that would deliver the new smile she desired to achieve. Upon entering the spa-like facility, she experienced a very serene atmosphere complete with fountains, candles and TV monitors displaying peaceful scenes in every room. The doctor and staff were all very friendly, and had a thorough discussion with Diana identifying her options and her needs. She was presented with before and after photographs from their smile portfolio to clearly demonstrate esthetic procedures currently available.

An initial treatment plan was developed that sounded very attractive to her, and encompassed cosmetic care that included bleaching, porcelain veneers, all-porcelain cosmetic crowns, and esthetic recontouring of several of her teeth. With Diana’s approval, the cosmetic assistant took impressions of her teeth. At her next visit, Diana was amazed at the level of information that was presented to her. A full display of her photographs were present, along with a “patient treatment plan video” that completely summarized all the photographs of her teeth, her diagnosis, and proposed treatment – with narration. A copy of the DVD was given to her to take home.

Moreover, two sets of study models were present in her consultation; a before and after smile. By working on the model, the doctor was able to demonstrate the exact steps he would perform on Diana’s teeth, which he had recorded into her chart. The model was then waxed up to simulate actual crowns and veneers. Diana was able to become an involved participant in the process and actually critique details of her treatment in advance. She then was asked to review color options and select the color right for her. This permitted her to achieve exactly the smile she desired.

The office manager was very professional about discussing the cost of treatment and financing, which made the dental care affordable to Diana – a sigh of relief. A coordinated referral to a plastic surgeon further assisted Diana in achieving exactly the look she was hoping for and this complimented her new smile perfectly. The office manager then helped coordinate all Diana’s appointments and made her dream a reality.

Diana’s decision for a new beautiful aesthetic smile made her look and feel many years younger. Diana was tremendously elated by her new vitalized self-esteem.

I feel like a million dollars, she thought to herself, and tonight I am ready to celebrate my anniversary. As the waiter poured the wine, and candles glimmered, Diana flashed a gleaming smile at her husband with the most beautiful anniversary gift that she has ever received.

To stay forever young is perhaps the dream of every person. Most of us wish we could visit the Fountain of Youth, and continue to look young and vital throughout our lives. A visit to Fountain View Family Dentistry & Cosmetic Center will provide you the stunning smile you deserve and help you achieve the satisfaction of looking your absolute very best.

Dr. Scott Harden is a cosmetic dentist at Fountain View Family Dentistry & Cosmetic Center. He can be reached at (770) 926-0000.