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Friday, September 12, 2008

Priceless Smile

Personal Weather Report - Sunny after two days of intermittent showers.

Writing Activity - Read in my genre for fun and research. Prepped for a blog guest's interview.


My daughter's heard me say that countless times as I trained my camera on her, ready to capture every aspect of her childhood for posterity. She learned to strike a pose at an early age, but the smile didn't always come as easily.

Was she camera shy? No. Since she's been the subject of my photos for seventeen years, she's used to her scrapbooking mom snapping seemingly endless shots. Her hesitation stemmed from the fact that her smile wasn't pretty like the other kids.

Now, how can a proud mom say such a thing? Because it's true. When my daughter was five, like many children that age, she lost her first teeth, creating a cute little gap on the bottom. I awaited the eruption of her first permanent teeth, eager to see those ruffly ridges I find so adorable.

But they weren't there!

Her first two teeth appeared looking like yellowish pieces of chalk. A quick trip to the dentist and then the pediatric specialist revealed the cause. She has a condition called enamel hypopleasia, meaning there is little to no enamel on her permanent teeth. The dentist said it's like a house being built but not painted, thus rendering it susceptible to damage, or in her case, decay.

Fast forward twelve years. Once all of her permanent teeth had erupted, we embarked on the necessary solution to her problem. She has to have crowns on all of her teeth. Yup! Every one of the twenty-eight. (Her wisdom teeth were pulled a couple of years ago.)

First she endured two gum surgeries and a minor amount of orthodontia. With that behind us, it was time to begin work on the crowns. This past Wednesday she was in the prosthodontist's chair for six and a half hours straight getting temporary crowns on all of her upper teeth. Dr. Herlin K. Dyal and her assistants at the Prosthodontic Dental Group in Sacramento, California took wonderful care of my daughter, but the experience was traumatic and painful.

The results, though, are worth it. Not only will she have no further worry about her teeth eroding as they had been, but she's going to end up with Kate Hudson's smile. Dr. Dyal had my daughter choose, and a beautiful copy of Kate's is the goal. She'll get it, too, because Dr. Dyal does exceptional work.

We're still months and several appointments from done, but we can see results now. When our daughter gave us a weak smile after getting home Wednesday, my husband and I shook our heads in wonder, tears threatening to spill down both our faces. Her smile is beautiful. And this is with just the upper temporary crowns in place. We can only imagine how fantastic the final result will be.

We knew for twelve years we faced this mouth reconstruction, so we did our best to prepare, gathering information and saving money (the equivalent of two years at a state college). But even with our preparation, we didn't know how we'd been taken from agony to joy. It tears my husband and me up to watch what our daughter's going through, but all she has to do now is flash those new pearly whites at us, and we rejoice. She has a priceless smile.


Theresa Ragan said...

Oh, your daughter's teeth are absolutely beautiful!!! She definitely has a Kate Hudson smile! Well worth the money. Give her a hug and hugs to all of you for going through such an ordeal. So happy for all of you. She looks great! And I'm so proud of you and your husband for doing that for her. It's going to be a life changer. Brought tears to my eyes, too.

Anne Barton said...

Hi, Keli!

I'm so sorry your daughter had to endure the long and difficult procedure. But what amazing results! Please tell her that her smile is absolutely GORGEOUS -- a perfect match for her personality!

If I could, I'd order Kate Hudson's smile too. If there was a package deal and I could get Kate's body as well, that'd be even better. :)

Hope you both have recuperated and are able to enjoy your weekend!

- Anne

Amber said...

Hi this is amber, Dr. Dyal's assistant. What an inspiration you can be to families and children going through this, I couldn't imagine having two of my own. It brought tears to my eyes as well.
I always think beauty is within, Adriana is such a smart and beautiful person, now it can just all beam through her smile.
Take care until next time! It's all so worth it :) ~amber jones~