Beaming with Pride

Simple fix delivers wonderful new smile.

Vince Spano, 72, is a “lawn whisperer” of sorts. For more than 40 years, the Vietnam veteran has coaxed grass to grow by supplying it with the water essential for it to thrive. His roots in the business run deep.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Vince Spano

“I’m an irrigation contractor,” says Vince, the owner of Florida Irri-Gators in New Smyrna Beach. “I do commercial and residential irrigation system installations, remodels and maintenance. I install these systems for all types of landscaping purposes.”

As a young man, before he entered the US Army, Vince worked for several golf courses. He credits tending to fairways and greens for much of his education on lawn irrigation. He learned the rest in college, where he majored in mechanical engineering, which provided insight on the inner workings of irrigation systems.

“When I first got out of the service, I had an opportunity to work at a golf course for Jack Nicklaus, the professional golf legend,” Vince relates. “Since then, I’ve worked for quite a few courses in South Florida and for some prominent people, including pro golfer Greg Norman and President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago.

“I’ve been around irrigation and landscaping pretty much my entire life. In addition to working for many really good golf courses, I’ve also owned businesses on and off throughout the years. Today, I’ve got six employees working for me at Florida Irri-Gators, not including my wife and myself.”

Vince loves his work, but it wasn’t always evident by the look on his face. Since a sports mishap as a teen claimed one of his upper front teeth, Vince rarely smiled wide enough to be noticed.

“I played hockey in high school,” Vince elaborates. “We’ve all seen hockey players with no teeth. That was me. I got hit with a puck while playing hockey, and it knocked out one of my front teeth. I was self-conscious about that tooth for years.

“The crown that my dentist put in to replace the missing tooth never matched the rest of my teeth. Over the years, the color of my natural teeth changed, but that tooth always had a better color. I actually grew a moustache to cover my teeth and never smiled very wide because my other front teeth had a lot of fillings in them and needed work as well. With the way my teeth looked, I didn’t want to smile much at all.”

Before and after images courtesy of Park Avenue Dentistry.

Before and After

After living for years with an unsatisfying smile, Vince finally decided it was time to spruce up his appearance. He found inspiration for a smile makeover in the pages of a health care publication he picked up while waiting for a physician appointment.

Channeling Julia Roberts

“Every time I went to my doctor’s office, there were copies of Volusia Health Care News in the waiting room,” Vince states. “For four years, I read about Dr. Lester and Park Avenue Dentistry. When I realized they’re located just down the road from me in Edgewater, I decided to check them out.”

“When I first examined Vince, his smile was not great and needed refurbishing,” notes Stephen P. Lester, DDS, at Park Avenue Dentistry. “His upper teeth did not match up to one another, and his upper right eyetooth was too long compared to the other teeth in his mouth.

“Vince wanted to improve his appearance, and I assured him that we could make that happen relatively easily. After an evaluation, I determined that we could completely rejuvenate Vince’s smile by strategically placing four crowns on his upper front teeth.”

In certain cases, the smile rejuvenation process requires using extensive dental restorations, such as placing crowns or veneers on every tooth. But that approach isn’t always necessary to achieve excellent results, Dr. Lester points out.

“Many people who come to me for a smile makeover think that they need a mouthful of crowns to restore their smile,” Dr. Lester notes.

The treatment typically begins with patients looking in a mirror and counting the number of teeth they can see.

“On Julia Roberts, all 88 of her teeth are visible!” Dr. Lester exclaims, alluding to the actress known for her perfect smile. “But the average person shows eight to 10 teeth in their smile. In general, we need to crown or veneer only those eight to 10 teeth, depending on how the person smiles, to restore their smile.

“In Vince’s case, even though he shows eight to 10 teeth when he smiles, we were able to rejuvenate his smile with just four crowns on his upper front teeth.

Using those crowns along with some of his existing teeth that were in good shape, we achieved great results. Everything worked out perfectly for Vince.”

“At the time, I didn’t want to spend a million dollars to crown all my teeth on the top and on the bottom,” Vince shares. “So, Dr. Lester crowned four of my upper teeth. I had two good teeth next to those, so I ended up with six good teeth straight across the front. And my smile turned out really good. I look like a different person now.

“And Dr. Lester did all the crown work in two appointments. During the first appointment, he cleaned my teeth, measured them and started the treatment process. He gave me temporary crowns to wear until my final crowns were finished.

Photo courtesy of Park Avenue Dentistry.

To show off his rejuvenated smile, Vince shaved the moustache he wore for years.

“Two weeks later, the permanent crowns were ready. It took Dr. Lester about three hours to fit those in place. The whole operation took less than eight hours total, which I found amazing. I thought the process of restoring my smile would take a long time, but it was actually done in no time.”

“Whenever we restore a patient’s teeth, they begin to like their smile,” Dr. Lester reports. “After a few weeks, they start showing huge smiles, and they do not even realize that their smiles have changed.

“In those cases, the patient’s subconscious self says, This smile is good. We should show it off. And without even thinking about it, they train themselves to smile really big, and that makes them happy. That is exactly what happened with Vince. Now, he has a huge, beautiful smile that shows his restored teeth.”

A Smile He Loves

Once Dr. Lester placed Vince’s permanent crowns, the irrigation contractor shaved his moustache. He wants people to see his restored teeth and rejuvenated smile. He’s thrilled by how his new smile has positively affected his outlook on life.

“The crowns look great and very natural, so I’m really smiling now,” Vince enthuses. “I actually had to learn to show teeth in my smile because I never did before. I’m still learning how to smile differently. I’m training myself to raise my upper lip a little more so that my teeth are really visible.

“My new smile has really built up my confidence. I deal with people all the time with my business, especially in sales and maintenance. It’s reassuring to know that I don’t have bad teeth anymore. Even my wife has noticed a difference in me. She says, You’re smiling now.

Vince is amazed by how well his smile rejuvenation turned out by simply placing four crowns on his upper front teeth. He credits his excellent results to Dr. Lester’s skill in designing and creating the crowns.

“The four new crowns and my two other teeth all look alike now,” Vince reports. “Combined, they create the appearance of six good teeth. And Dr. Lester created the crowns in such a way that people can’t tell the difference between my two natural teeth and the crowns he put in. They really look good.

“I love my new smile. I think it’s great.”

Print This Article