A Beaming Transformation

Regain your ‘best accessory’ with a beautiful new smile.

With the leaves on the trees turning all shades of red, orange and yellow, an autumn afternoon in Norwood, Massachusetts, is a site to behold. For a beach lover like Karen Tenaglia, however, the Boston suburb leaves a little to be desired.

Karen Tenaglia in her garden.

Karen Tenaglia

It’s no wonder then that in 1997, after raising her three children, Karen followed in the footsteps of her father and her sister, and purchased a winter home in Florida that allows her to live the carefree beach life she long dreamed of.

“Massachusetts beaches are really nice, but Florida beaches are beautiful,” the Pompano Beach resident exclaims. “And the water is so much warmer. The water up north is cold, usually about 65 or 70 degrees. In Florida, it’s always pleasantly warm. I just love it.”

As do her son and two daughters. They’re scattered throughout Massachusetts, a couple raising families of their own, but they often fly to Florida for visits with their mother, who typically heads to Florida every October.

The spread of the coronavirus may force Karen to alter her annual plan this year, but she followed it a year ago as usual, and it resulted in a dramatic cosmetic change that was largely inspired by her sister.

“My sister told me before I came to see her that she was having some dental work done,” Karen explains. “I didn’t know the extent of it or anything like that, but I couldn’t believe it when I got there and saw her. She looked 15 years younger. She had this beautiful new smile and her face was filled out. Her teeth were just beautiful.

“I had been toying with the idea of doing something like that myself, and when I saw her I said, I’ve got to have the number of the dentist who did this work for you.

Beauty and Function

The dentist who restored her sister’s smile is Stephen G. Blank, DDS, who practices cosmetic and functional dentistry in Port St. Lucie.

“Your smile is your best accessory,” Dr. Blank explains. “That is the underlying assumption driving all our efforts. With that as our goal, we carefully design a plan that corrects any underlying issues so that the beautiful smiles we create will last.”

Karen first saw Dr. Blank last October for what Dr. Blank refers to as a smile design visit. During an initial consultation with a patient such as Karen, Dr. Blank conducts a thorough examination, discusses the patient’s wishes and prepares a treatment plan.

“Setting up a well-designed treatment plan is always the first step in creating a beautiful new smile,” Dr. Blank explains. “It’s the treatment plan that makes that new smile possible and gives it the beauty and functionality that are so critical to patient satisfaction.

“When setting up the treatment plan for Karen, we started by taking a full series of photographs and a digital scan of her teeth. We then decided how long her front teeth should be and whether we needed to change the position of any of them.

“We also discuss the coloring of the teeth, whether the patient wants a subtle change or wants the teeth to really pop. Karen wanted people to know she’d had some work done. She wanted to look good.”

To obtain Karen’s desired appearance, Dr. Blank started by removing several old crowns. Then, using a diagnostic model as his guide, he prepared 12 bottom teeth and 11 upper teeth for new crowns by reshaping the teeth.

The preparation of the lower teeth was done in a single visit during which Karen’s lower teeth were also fit with temporary crowns. Two weeks later, during one visit, Karen received her permanent lower crowns and had her upper teeth prepared for new crowns.

Karen, who was also fit with temporary upper crowns during that visit, was scheduled to receive her permanent upper crowns two weeks later. Because of the coronavirus, however, she was forced to wait more than two months.

A Winning Team

In addition to giving Karen the smile she wanted, Dr. Blank also improved the functionality of her bite.

“When Karen first came to see me, she had some issues with her right-side molars,” Dr. Blank explains. “Those molars were contacting first, and then she would shift her jaw a bit to the right after she closed her mouth. One of our goals was to even that out, which we did. We also did some bridge work where she was missing a tooth, so she didn’t get all single crowns. We even replaced some old implant dentistry, so everything got modernized.”

The transformation has left Karen beaming. She has a brighter, more beautiful smile that is as comfortable as it is aesthetically pleasing. And it was all done in four appointments.
“I couldn’t believe all of that work could be done in just four visits,” she said. “I thought that was great because, let’s face it, no one really wants to go to the dentist. But that’s not how I felt about seeing Dr. Blank.

“My entire experience with Dr. Blank was so positive that I have only wonderful things to say about him and his staff.” – Karen

“He is the kindest, gentlest man. I don’t like needles, but with Dr. Blank, I never knew he put a needle in my mouth. That’s how gentle he is. My entire experience with Dr. Blank was so positive that I have only wonderful things to say about him and his staff. The girls that work there are very kind and happy to see you. Along with Dr. Blank, they make a great team. They really complement each other, and the office is spotless. It’s so clean and comfortable. And Dr. Blank is so patient.

“He fit me with a snore guard as well, and I know I was kind of a pain in the neck during the fitting because he has to make sure it fits just right, but he took his time with that and I really appreciated it.

“He’s confident in himself and with the work he’s doing, and I like that. It really is a pleasure to be under his care. I was fortunate to have learned about Dr. Blank through my sister, and I’m happy to recommend him to anyone.”

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    • Stephen G. Blank, DDS office

      Stephen G. Blank, DDS, is a 1982 graduate of Northwestern University Dental School in Chicago. He has since completed intensive continuing education studies. Dr. Blank has studied temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders under Mark Piper, MD, D... Read More

    • Stephen G. Blank, DDS

      Stephen G. Blank, DDS, is a 1982 graduate of Northwestern University Dental School in Chicago. He has since completed intensive continuing education studies. Dr. Blank has studied TMJ under Mark Piper, MD, DMD, at the Piper Education and Resea... Read More