Mary Ann Wanted to Show Off Her Actress Face
Mary Ann lived alone in a retirement community when she first came to our practice. She’d been an actress back in the day and still dressed up, with nails painted, to come to her appointments. Still vivacious as ever, the whole office loved to see her.
Mary Ann had worn caps (sometimes called “crowns”) on her front teeth for years, and she flashed a smile often. Her bone support was excellent. At a recent exam, she asked if I could change the color of her caps by painting them. She wanted to take years off of her age! She also wanted them “longer” because her lip line was lower than her original smile, so not as much of her teeth showed. That phenomenon is typical as people age.
Balancing The Color
I absolutely love cases like these. You see, I need to balance the color of her facial tones with the color of each cap, and the shape of the teeth to the natural interdigitation of her “bite” (no, she isn’t going to bite ME!) when she closes. If I create super-white teeth, they will look unusual on an elderly face, and she won’t like this. They will look “false”. If I create super-long teeth, it may affect her speech or place too much downward pressure on her lower front teeth. Hence, the term “the art of dentistry”.
Once designed and ready to be cemented in place, I decided to use temporary cement. This gave Mary a chance to speak and chew with her now longer teeth, for a few days. Then I cemented it permanently. Several community retirees noticed and they are now my patients.