Confidence Enhancement

All-porcelain crowns restore smiles for a fresh, new look.

Taylor Modic, 25, was in second grade when disaster happened. She and a friend were on the playground during recess in Taylor’s hometown of Overland Park, Kansas. The friends spotted the slides and headed straight for them. Taylor’s friend went down first, then Taylor followed, but her ride ended in catastrophe.

Dr. Stephen Lester of Park Avenue Dentistry in Edgewater treated Taylor Modic and Ron Marinello with all-porcelain crowns.

A new, all-porcelain crown gave Taylor the shining smile she always wanted.

“The slide had a metal bar on it, and as I went down after my friend, my face hit that bar,” she recalls. “My front left tooth got chipped, and my dentist had to put a crown on it, which worked okay at first. Over the next few years, the crown came off a couple of times, and my dentist in Kansas had to replace it. He always did a good job of matching the new one
to my other teeth.”

Unfortunately, the failing crown was just the first in a long line of issues Taylor would experience with that front tooth. As Taylor got older, the condition of the tooth and the crown progressively deteriorated, as did Taylor’s self-confidence.

“When I was fourteen, I got an abscess in my gums, and the tooth that was injured started to discolor,” she shares. “Because of the abscess, my dentist did a root canal, and after that, my tooth really started to darken.”

As the discoloration in Taylor’s tooth deepened, she became more self-conscious of her appearance. It affected the way she presented herself to the world.

“I tried not to smile with my mouth open because I didn’t want anyone to see my tooth,” she says. “When I decided to move to Florida, I made up my mind to get my smile restored. I said, I’m going to a new town; I’m going to get my tooth fixed.”

When Taylor arrived in New Smyrna Beach, she began looking at dental providers in the area. Finding one she could trust was not an easy task because Taylor had a longstanding fear of dentists.

She got lucky when a friend recommended Stephen P. Lester, DDS, of Park Avenue Dentistry in Edgewater. With encouragement from her friends, Taylor made an appointment with Dr. Lester for a routine checkup.

“I hated the dentist,” reports Taylor. “I don’t know if my fear was because going to the dentist was something I just hated to do, or if it came from the trauma when I hit my tooth as a kid. I just knew the dentist’s office wasn’t a fun place to go.

“But Dr. Lester was so sweet and soft-spoken. The first time I met him for a checkup, he introduced himself and walked me through the appointment step by step. He explained everything and made me more comfortable. He was gentle
and understanding.”

Once Taylor was at ease with Dr. Lester, she asked him what could be done to correct the discoloration in her front tooth and crown. He recommended replacing the old crown with a new one made of a stronger, more aesthetically pleasing material.

“What Dr. Lester recommended was a new, all-porcelain crown for my front tooth,” confirms Taylor. “He took off the crown my old dentist put on and made multiple molds to make sure the new crown had the right tooth shape.

Dr. Stephen Lester of Park Avenue Dentistry in Edgewater treated Taylor Modic and Ron Marinello with all-porcelain crowns.

Taylor Modic Before & After

“He also used an outside party to be certain we had the right match so there wasn’t any discoloration with my other teeth. He took so many extra steps to make sure the crown turned out right. It was amazing.”

Multiple Magic

Like Taylor, retired Wooster, Massachusetts firefighter Ron Marinello wasn’t happy with his smile. The Florida snowbird has always been very self-conscious about the appearance of his teeth, which had caused him concern since his youth.

“Even as a kid, I didn’t have very nice teeth,” he relates. “I realized then they were bad and was always very aware of how they looked. Over the years, I went to the dentist many times for routine maintenance and repair of my teeth, but I never thought of doing anything drastic to change their appearance.

“Yet, I was always very conscious of my bad teeth and smile. There weren’t any pictures of me with an earnest smile because I just didn’t want to show my teeth. People noticed that about my smile, and it was an issue for me, especially in relationships. Not having a good smile was something that was always on my mind.”

During the past 15 years, Ron did get some restorative dental work done. He even had crowns placed on several teeth, which made him feel that he was doing something to improve his situation. Unfortunately, the crowns he had placed didn’t really improve his smile.

“Some of those crowns were not really visible,” he admits. “They were not in the front and didn’t make a difference in my appearance, so I realized I had to have more extensive work done. Finally, I decided that at seventy-one years old, I’d lived with my bad teeth long enough. I resolved to make myself feel better and have some dental work done.

Dr. Stephen Lester of Park Avenue Dentistry in Edgewater treated Taylor Modic and Ron Marinello with all-porcelain crowns.

Ron Marinello

“When I came to Florida, I asked a few people who’ve lived here a while to recommend a dentist. Dr. Lester’s name came up several times. My next-door neighbor also spoke highly of him, so I introduced myself to him. When we met, he went into detail about my options, and I agreed to have considerable dental work done by Dr. Lester.”

“Ron had almost all of his natural teeth, but they were somewhat unattractive,” observes Dr. Lester. “When he smiled, his teeth were different shapes, lengths and colors and in different positions. The crowns he had were different opacities and lucencies as well. His goal was to improve the appearance of his smile.”

Dr. Lester recommended replacing the old crowns and creating new crowns for Ron’s upper front and side teeth, and Ron agreed. To restore Ron’s smile, the dentist made all-porcelain crowns. Ron was on board through the entire process.

“People asked me why I would do all this work at this time in my life,” comments Ron. “I told them I made the decision because I wanted to feel good about myself and my smile.

“At first, I was concerned about how uncomfortable it might be having so much work done at one time, but it turned out to not be a big deal. It wasn’t anywhere near as involved as I thought it would.”

All-Porcelain Pros

The crowns Dr. Lester created for Taylor and Ron are made from zirconia, which is a durable type of porcelain. This all-porcelain material is stronger and more natural looking than the materials used previously to make crowns and other dental restorations. It provides longer-lasting and more aesthetic results.

“Traditional crowns are typically created using a metal foundation with porcelain baked over top of it,” notes Dr. Lester. “They’re called porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. These restorations are generally quite strong, but because there’s just a layer of porcelain, there’s a risk of chipping off the porcelain and exposing the metal underneath.

“Zirconia, however, is a modern, twenty-first-century, space-age material that’s extremely strong and resists breaking, chipping and wear.”

The metal foundation leads to other disadvantages to porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns as well. For one, the metal becomes visible after a few years of gum recession.

“After about five years, when people’s gums start receding, the edge of the metal starts showing,” elaborates Dr. Lester. “It looks like a black line near the gumline, and most people find it unattractive.

“If the restoration is all porcelain, that will never happen. There will still be gum recession; that’s a part of aging. However, the porcelain is tooth-colored, so when the gums recede, there’s no metal to show through. It will simply appear that a little more of the tooth is exposed. With all-porcelain crowns, people no longer have to worry about dark lines.”

Another drawback to porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns is that the metal foundation does not allow for the reflection of light like a natural tooth. As a result, the crowned teeth can appear different from the other teeth in the mouth, even if the colors match.

“Because of the metal underneath, light cannot completely pass through the crowned teeth, as it does with natural teeth,” explains Dr. Lester. “So, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns generally have a different appearance. They have a tendency to look a little opaque or a little flat. It can be more noticeable with a crown between two natural teeth.

Dr. Stephen Lester of Park Avenue Dentistry in Edgewater treated Taylor Modic and Ron Marinello with all-porcelain crowns.

Ron Marinello Before & After

“With all-porcelain crowns, the light can penetrate all the way through. This way, the teeth with the restorations have a tendency to look much more like real teeth.”

Wise Discernment

Dr. Lester is educated in all facets of dentistry and able to provide most specialty procedures in his office, making Park Avenue Dentistry a one-stop shop for dental services. Dr. Lester invests in education, so his patients won’t need to travel from dentist to dentist for specialty services.

There are occasions when Dr. Lester refers a patient to a local specialist if it’s in the patient’s best interest. Dr. Lester has a cadre of hand-picked specialists he relies on when needed. The dentist uses his years of expertise to discern when a referral is best for the patient’s care. For Taylor, the dentist brought in a specialist to match the color of her new crown to her surrounding teeth.

“Matching the two upper front teeth is the hardest match there is,” informs Dr. Lester. “To get the best match for Taylor, I brought in the artistic expertise of the skilled cosmetic technician from the commercial lab we use. She actually came to the office to perform her matching routine to be sure she got Taylor’s color just right.”

As with Taylor, Dr. Lester depended on the expertise of his highly qualified dental lab to mill Ron’s crowns. Because there were multiple restorations needed, it was more practical to have Ron’s crowns made by the lab through its efficient, two-day process than to use Dr. Lester’s in-office E4D crown-making equipment.

“If we used our E4D machine to create Ron’s crowns, it would take much too long,” clarifies Dr. Lester. “One crown takes two hours to design and mill, and Ron needed nine crowns. It was just more sensible in Ron’s case to complete his smile restoration process in two steps using the lab. This way, he got multiple all-porcelain crowns that are strong and beautiful.”

Mom-Approved

The crowns color-matched and milled by Dr. Lester’s chosen dental lab for Taylor and Ron were designed specifically for them by Dr. Lester. Both patients are very pleased with the outcomes of the dentist’s treatments.

“My results are amazing,” raves Taylor. “There’s no discoloration, and my tooth is gorgeous. My mom hadn’t seen me for a while because she lives in Kansas, but she came to visit me last week. She said, Taylor, your tooth looks so beautiful.”

Dr. Stephen Lester of Park Avenue Dentistry in Edgewater treated Taylor Modic and Ron Marinello with all-porcelain crowns.

“My results are amazing. There’s no discoloration, and my tooth is gorgeous.” – Taylor

“I’m very happy with my results,” enthuses Ron. “The crowns Dr. Lester created for me absolutely look and feel natural. I like that about them. I’ve seen people and it’s so obvious their crowns are not their real teeth.

“Mine are better shaped, better fitted. There’s nothing crooked. My crowns are all in the right positions, just like somebody who just happens to have nice-looking natural teeth. That’s what I’ve got now.

“I just returned to Massachusetts, and I have yet to meet with most of my family,” continues Ron. “I haven’t told anyone up here about the work I’ve had done. I’m looking forward to socializing with my family and friends to see if anybody says anything about my new smile.”

Taylor and Ron also agree that their new crowns have improved their smiles and their self-confidence.

“My new crown makes me feel so much more confident,” confirms Taylor. “Looking through old pictures of me, my tooth was just disgusting. I think your teeth are the image of your face and the first thing people see. Now, my tooth is nothing I’m self-conscious about anymore. It’s really great, and it feels great also.

“Now, I have a better smile. When I smile, my mouth is open. I don’t mind people seeing my teeth now.”

Ron feels better about his smile as well, which gives him more confidence. He believes his treatment at Park Avenue Dentistry was an absolute success, and he plans to keep his new crowns for a very long time.

“You always hear the expression, You can’t take it with you,” he states. “I kiddingly say to myself, I will take my teeth with me. It’s a joke, but it’s kind of true. In the meantime, the most important thing is that I feel good about myself and am more confident.”

For Taylor, the treatment she received from Dr. Lester and his staff at Park Avenue Dentistry had another positive effect on her. It helped her with the longstanding problem she had with going to the dentist.

Dr. Lester took away my fear of dentists,” she reports. “He was funny. He kept the situation lighthearted, and he was very kind. During my appointments, he helped me keep my mind off anything I was worried about. He was always checking to make sure everything was okay with me.

“Dr. Lester did a great job with that. They all did – his entire staff. Every person I dealt with was very kind, gentle and amazing.”

Ron liked the treatment he received from Dr. Lester as well. He and Taylor are happy to refer him to others in need of dental care.

“I’m very happy with Dr. Lester,” says Ron. “He’s a gentleman who leaves no questions or doubts. If people ask me about my experience, I recommend Dr. Lester and his staff.”

“I absolutely recommend Dr. Lester and Park Avenue Dentistry,” agrees Taylor. “I’ve already tried to get some of my friends who don’t even need dental work to get their checkups there. I told them to go to Dr. Lester because he’s really a cool guy.”

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