I know what you’re thinking, punk. You’re thinking “did he give me two carpules of anesthetic or only one?” Now to tell you the truth I forgot myself in all this excitement. But being this is a Kavo electric high speed, the most powerful high speed drill in the world and will blow your enamel clean off, you’ve gotta ask yourself a question: “Did I pick the right dentist?” Well, did ya, punk?
Nope… I didn’t go all “Dirty-Harry” on some sociopathic perp. My day just got made… as a dentist!
A few days ago, a 13 year old girl who was brought to my office after her mom searched the entire county for a dentist to re-do the cosmetic bonding on her teeth. The daughter had completed orthodontic treatment. She has congenitally missing laterals. The canines are now in the lateral position. She has one retained deciduous canine. The other has been replaced with a Maryland bridge for now.
She had gone to another dentist for some “cosmetic bonding” to make the canines look more like laterals. The young girl (we’ll call her “Mary”) and her mother were not happy with the result. Reportedly, the treating dentist dismissed their concerns with, “No. It’s good.” And, that was that. The daughter has been crying every day. Mom did a Google search and looked at dentists across the entire county. She picked my office because she liked the photos of cases I had posted.
Mom brought Mary in for a consult. I asked Mary what she wanted changed. She felt the laterals were too short. We did a composite mock-up, and she loved it.
So, I suggested we make an appointment to do the bonding. In the process of just making conversation, I asked Mary if she had already done her class photos. She answered, “Tomorrow.” Aw, crap! I glanced at my schedule. She was the last patient of the day, but there was more dentistry than day left. You want to do it today? Right now? Her face lit up, “YES!” And, so we did… and stayed a little late.
This was a tough case, as is every “lateralization of the canines” case. I flattened the facial contours before adding composite to the incisal areas. I faded the composite gingivally on the facial. It is FAR from “ideal.” They’re simply too wide, for one thing. But, it’s what we have to work with for now. In the future, when she gets implants, we can narrow the “laterals” to give a better “golden proportion.”
Today I got a thank you card from the girl with her inscription: “Thank you for everything. You are the reason for my beautiful smile!” – Mary
Enclosed with the card was a letter from her mom:
What a wonderful group of people you are. Words can’t describe the wonderful experience Mary and I had in your office. Jo-Ann is the warmest person I think I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. She is definitely the person you want greeting your patients when they walk through the door.
Dr. Mike, you are a true artist with the patience of a saint. Your superb bedside manner is the best I have ever seen. Mary has not stopped talking about how awesome her new dentist is. I have noticed a huge boost in her self-esteem since we left your office, and for that I am forever grateful. You have a wonderful philosophy and treat every patient as an individual with their own personal needs and wants. You really took the time to make Mary feel comfortable and important by asking her what SHE wanted and how SHE wanted her teeth to look. She never once felt scared or intimidated.
I can’t forget about Sandy! You are truly blessed to have such a wonderful woman working by your side. She has such a gentle way about her that makes you feel 100% at ease. She has an eye for perfection and does so without being overbearing. I can honestly say your office is one of a kind. I am grateful that my search led us to your practice. I will never forget what you have done for my daughter. I get to see her beautiful smile that she looks forward to showing off each and every day.
This is what it’s really all about, my fellow Dental Warriors! To be able to have such an impact on someone’s life through our work is pretty incredible.
Update: The Maryland bridge pictured above had to be replaced. Click on the link to see what we did: Changing Lives Again.