First Impressions Last

Winning smiles highlight new beginnings.

Saturday, May 19, 2018 was an extraordinary day for Debbie Sawyer. That’s the day she said, I do to her new husband, James Sawyer. It was also the culmination of months of planning and effort. That effort included the restoration of Debbie’s deteriorated smile, just in time for the wedding photos.

Dr. Clark Brown of Implant Dentistry of Florida in Melbourne made Debbie Beavan all-porcelain crowns and a fixed bridge and fit Laurent Moriniere with a fixed bridge and a dental implant with crown.

“I love my smile now. It looks amazing.” – Debbie

“I didn’t like the way my teeth looked, and they were going bad,” admits Debbie, a Florida native and stay-at-home mom. “They were crooked and yellow. I was embarrassed to smile, and I never showed my teeth when I did.”

Debbie knew she needed to see a dentist to get the smile she wanted, but getting Debbie to actually go to the dentist wasn’t going to be easy. Due to a bad experience in her past, she had developed a fear and distrust of dentists.

“I wanted to show a big smile on my wedding,” shares Debbie. “But I was a little nervous about going to the dentist because a previous dentist hurt me and messed up my teeth, and I ended up with infections. It was James who finally convinced me to go to see his dentist.”

James, a house painter by trade, once painted the home of Clark F. Brown, Jr., DDS.
Not long thereafter, James became a patient of Dr. Brown, who along with William S. Vaughn, DMD, provides a full range of dental services at Implant Dentistry of Florida in Melbourne.

Dr. Brown and Dr. Vaughn perform cosmetic and general dentistry as well as all phases of dental implant surgery and smile restoration, and James, who has been a patient of theirs for ten years, was confident they were the right dentists for Debbie.

“I told her the whole staff at the practice is amazing,” James says. “I told her, They’ll make you feel comfortable and will treat you like you’re a part of the family. After that, she agreed to make an appointment.”

“In Debbie’s case, a number of her top front teeth had been filled, probably several times,” describes Dr. Brown. “In many cases, as in Debbie’s, it starts as a small filling, then that fails and the dentist puts in a larger filling, and this process gets repeated. Generally, the larger the fillings, the more unsightly and susceptible to staining they become. Once the teeth are mostly filling, the next step is to remove the old fillings and replace them with crowns.

“Debbie also had a cracked root that caused an abscess to develop. With a cracked root, there’s not much we can do other than extract the tooth. We also did some bone grafting where the tooth was removed to prevent the bone from collapsing and looking sunken. The graft maintains a normal contour of the jaw and gumline, so a bridge can sit naturally against it.”

“When I met Dr. Brown, I thought he was very knowledgeable, and I felt I could trust him,” relates Debbie. “He recommended crowns on a few teeth and then the bridge, and he explained why he suggested that. It made sense to me that instead of getting the bad teeth pulled one at a time, it was smarter to take them out all at once, then place the bridge.”

Saved by Serendipity

Laurent Moriniere is a native of Martinique in the French Caribbean. He relocated to the United States in 1981 and settled first in West Palm Beach. After eight years, he moved to Key Largo, where he owned an Arby’s® restaurant. Eventually, he sold the restaurant and dabbled in residential construction.

In 2001, Laurent made a home on Merritt Island. Now retired, he finally had a chance to concentrate on his own needs, and he really needed to find a dentist for what had become a shabby smile.

Dr. Clark Brown of Implant Dentistry of Florida in Melbourne made Debbie Beavan all-porcelain crowns and a fixed bridge and fit Laurent Moriniere with a fixed bridge and a dental implant with crown.

“The finished bridge is excellent… everything is perfect.” – Laurent

“About four years ago, I was having problems with my two front teeth,” he confides. “They were very bad. They were loose, and the bone underneath was infected. I was having trouble chewing because I was afraid I’d break my teeth. They were almost ready to go as it was because the bone was so rotten.

“With my teeth in that condition, I avoided eating meat. I ate a lot of fish and soft vegetables. I didn’t have any pain, but I was embarrassed by my smile. I sometimes put my hand in front of my mouth to cover my teeth.”

It was one thing to admit he needed a good dentist to repair his teeth and restore his smile, but Laurent also had to acknowledge he didn’t have the slightest idea where to turn to have the work done. Then, serendipity stepped in, and he found a resolution to his problem.

“I was at the eye doctor, and I saw a copy of Brevard Health Care News,” Laurent recounts. “There was an article in it about Dr. Brown and dental implants. It was a very good article, so I went to see him.”

During Laurent’s first appointment at Implant Dentistry of Florida, Dr. Brown thoroughly examined Laurent’s mouth and took x-rays. After his evaluation, the dentist developed a complete treatment plan.

“Laurent’s two front teeth were affected by gum disease, and there was a great deal of root surface showing,” observes Dr. Brown. “The teeth were also a bit unsightly and needed to come out. I suggested an all-porcelain bridge, secured by his natural teeth, to replace the extracted teeth.”

“Dr. Brown told me he had to pull the two front teeth and another tooth on the left side of my jaw,” recalls Laurent. “He said he would make a bridge for my front teeth and place a dental implant in the other tooth space.

“During a forty-five-minute meeting, Dr. Brown explained exactly what he was going to do and what my mouth would look like with the bridge. I was satisfied with what he said, so we started the process the next week.”

Ultimate Aesthetics

The bridges Dr. Brown created for Debbie and Laurent are all porcelain, which provides ultimate aesthetics. The porcelain material used to make the bridges, as well as other restorations, at Implant Dentistry of Florida is superior to the material used by most dental laboratories, notes Dr. Brown.

“In the past, we used porcelain-fused-to-metal or porcelain-fused-to-gold restorations,” reports Dr. Brown. “With these, the underlying structure was metal, and porcelain was baked over the top of it. However, if there was any gum recession, the metal would become exposed as a little black line along the gumline where the porcelain thinned.

“The material we use today is called e.Max®, which is extremely strong and completely tooth colored. Laboratory-made porcelain restorations can sometimes chip and show the metal underneath. The e.Max all-porcelain restorations we create in our practice are three times stronger than the typical porcelain restorations, so they’re more chip resistant.

“Further, because the e.Max material is tooth colored, if there is gum recession, it simply looks like more of the tooth is showing.”

Dr. Clark Brown of Implant Dentistry of Florida in Melbourne made Debbie Beavan all-porcelain crowns and a fixed bridge and fit Laurent Moriniere with a fixed bridge and a dental implant with crown.

Debbie Before

Implant Dentistry of Florida has the most advanced in-office computerized system for measuring, planning and creating the e.Max all-porcelain restorations. Typically, the restorations are made during a single dental visit.

“We have the latest software to design and mill the restorations, then do any shading or adjustments as necessary in one day,” confirms Dr. Brown. “Most of the time, patients are waiting and watching TV while the restorations are being created, but we do everything right here in the office. Patients come and go the same day with a new smile.”

Debbie was initially given a temporary bridge so she could speak and eat while the bone grafts healed. Once the healing was completed, she received her permanent bridge.

“We replaced her upper front teeth that had the large fillings with a combination of crowns and a fixed bridge,” notes Dr. Brown. “Because of the bone grafting we did first, the contour of her jaw was maintained, so her bridge looks very natural.

“We combined that work with a process to whiten the teeth around her bridge. Now, she has a nice shape and shade to her front teeth, and everything looks very natural. We were able to give her a nice, bright smile for her wedding.”

Dr. Brown placed a dental implant in the space left by the missing tooth on the left side of Laurent’s mouth. It wasn’t a front tooth, but it was still in his smile line. The dentist topped the implant with an all-porcelain crown made using the practice’s advanced technology.

“With implants, there is the screw-like body, which is surgically placed into the bone, then the abutment, which screws onto the implant, and then the crown that is cemented on top of the abutment,” explains Dr. Brown. “With our technology, we are able to make what’s called a TiBase, to improve the crown’s appearance.

“Traditionally, the abutment is made of metal, so if there is gum recession, the metal can show and be somewhat unsightly. With the TiBase, we can make the abutment out of e.Max. Now, we have a tooth-colored abutment, and we eliminate those aesthetic problems that can occur over time.”

At Implant Dentistry of Florida, the dentists and the staff understand that first impressions are lasting impressions. People notice if someone greets them with a smile or a frown, or if the person is expressionless.

“Some people who have poor teeth are self-conscious about it and tend to not give a warm, friendly smile when they meet others,” asserts Dr. Brown. “Instead, they hide their teeth, which makes them appear unhappy.

“Every day, I see a difference in people who come in for smile restoration. When they first come in, they barely smile; but by the time they are finished with treatment, they have big, happy smiles. Those smiles are more inviting and make people feel better about them, and they feel better about themselves. Then, they make good first impressions that are memorable.”   

Restored Smiles

Debbie and Laurent are very happy with their results. Their new bridges are both aesthetically pleasing and fully functional, and they’re proud of their new teeth and restored smiles.

“The finished bridge is excellent,” Laurent raves. “The color of the teeth matches my lower teeth, and everything is perfect. Now, I have no problem smiling and showing my teeth.

Dr. Clark Brown of Implant Dentistry of Florida in Melbourne made Debbie Beavan all-porcelain crowns and a fixed bridge and fit Laurent Moriniere with a fixed bridge and a dental implant with crown.

Laurent Before

“I have no trouble chewing, either. I can eat good meat, hard breads, anything hard with no problem.”

Debbie is happy with the aesthetic improvement of her smile as well. She’s also grateful for the extra effort Dr. Brown took to be sure she was prepared for her special day.

“I love my smile now,” she marvels. “It looks amazing. In addition to my bridge, I did the whitening on my other teeth to match it. That was great. It didn’t hurt at all. I actually slept with the trays in and didn’t have any problem. My teeth are nice and white now.

“I wanted the work done before my wedding, and Dr. Brown was dedicated to making that happen. He squeezed me in between appointments so we could get this done in time. Thanks to Dr. Brown, I’m no longer embarrassed of my smile, and I showed a big smile on my wedding day.”

James agrees.

“Dr. Brown did amazing work for Debbie,” he says. “He went above and beyond the call of duty to get her ready for the wedding.”

The dental implant and crown Dr. Brown placed on Laurent’s left side are also functional and appealing. Laurent is so satisfied that he plans to have Dr. Brown place another implant in the space that will be left by a molar that now needs to be removed. Laurent also shares his good fortune with those around him.

“I’ve already recommended Dr. Brown to two or three of my friends,” he notes.

Debbie also recommends Implant Dentistry of Florida. And thanks to Dr. Brown, her anxiety about going to the dentist is gone. She says she really appreciated the treatment she received from the staff as well.

“Dr. Brown was actually really good with me,” she relates. “He was gentle, and he made me feel comfortable. I didn’t feel any pain with him. I wasn’t scared with him.

“And the staff is so friendly. I like them a lot. Just like James said they would, they make me feel very comfortable – like they’ve known me forever. They always worry about what I want and need.”

Laurent is also happy with Implant Dentistry of Florida. He has a special message for Dr. Brown.

“I congratulate him for all the great work he did for me,” says Laurent. “I am very, very pleased with Dr. Brown and Implant Dentistry of Florida for what they did for me!

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    • Implant Dentistry of Florida

      Dr. Clark Brown and his team at Implant Dentistry of Florida are committed to providing you with excellent dental care in a warm, comfortable setting. They provide the latest techniques in implant dentistry, cosmetic dentistry and general ... Read More

    • Clark F. Brown, Jr., DDS

      Clark F. Brown, Jr., DDS, is board certified by the American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego, and his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Geo... Read More

    • William S. Vaughn, DMD

      William S. Vaughn, DMD, earned his undergraduate degree from Kentucky Wesleyan College and his Master of Science degree in Oral Biology and Doctor of Oral Medicine degree from the University of Louisville. Dr. Vaughn has participated in c... Read More