A Patient Story
Let Nancy Summer Lerch, DDS, FAGD, AAACD introduce to you a wonderful young man, whom we will refer to as ST. We fell in love with ST the very first day we met him. His quiet, respectful, and humble manner impressed us all. So did the fact that he hid his smile. We wanted to take on the transformation of ST. When someone comes into our office not being able to smile and then eventually leaves with the ability to grin like a Chesire Cat – THAT is a transformation! Their ENTIRE life changes: self-expression explodes, smiles abound, happiness comes knocking at their door, ideas that were dreams start coming true. It is an amazing adventure and it happens EVERY time when the reason for not smiling is addressed!
By age 24, ST and his parents had tried everything to get his teeth even, white and bright. Due to a series of childhood events, ST’s enamel was damaged and no matter how much fluoride therapy or brushing skills or whitening products were used, ST’s smile just never blossomed. Even after dental bonding, the results just did not do ST justice.
In the consultation we talked about dental porcelain veneers. ST’s teeth were strong under the damage and stained outer enamel, strong enough to support veneers. Further ST has begun to show a real commitment to his home oral hygiene care. Finally his teeth were in the right place, so the foundation of his bite did not need any changes.
(Proper tooth placement is key to a beautiful smile, both for functionality of the bite and long term stability. Proper placement also aids ease of home care.)
ST was a wonderful and willing partner in his appointments. His first appointment included a dental cleaning, full dental records including radiographs, pre-op models and photographs. The appointments were laid out to him, all his questions answered and forms signed. The most important aspect here was for ST to pick the style of teeth he wanted. Square? Oval? Long laterals or short? Pointed canines or rounded? There are many choices that go into creating a beautiful smile.
The second appointment was his preparation appointment. Once the old enamel was removed and any lingering decay removed, an impression was taken of ST’s teeth, teeth and midline location. Provisional teeth were made from his original models that began to give ST the look and feel of his soon to be new porcelain teeth. They were lightly cemented in and off he went to experience life with a new smile.
The day arrived for his third appointment. This is always a try-in appointment and very often also a cement appointment. This is a very special and often emotional day. What people have been waiting for, often for their whole lives, is about to come true. As it did for ST. His provisionals were removed, his teeth cleaned, and his beautiful porcelain slivers placed gently on his teeth. “WOW!” we all said almost immediately – a home run for ST! There was so much excitement in the office. ST was moved to tears. We were moved to tears. ST was going home with his new smile and nothing was going to stop that today!!!
After the final piece of extra bonded cement was removed, and after we had gone over the new home care instructions ST needed to know and after his bite was thoroughly adjusted, checked and rechecked, ST got to walk around and practice smiling. You see after years of not smiling, it takes something to remember how to. It takes practice. And we could see that he was well on his way to mastering his new smile.
Two weeks later these photos were taken. You can almost feel the difference!
“My experience with Dr. Lerch and her team was fantastic. Every step of the way they were there to make me feel 110% comfortable and confident in my teeth and care. Thank you so much. I love my new smile!!!” – ST