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LA Smile Makeover for California Girl by Brighter Image Lab

Brighter Image Lab gives California Girl an LA Smile Makeover

Watch Brighter Image Lab transform a California girl’s image by giving her an LA Smile Makeover. She couldn’t afford any other options, and even had to borrow money to come meet us. After meeting with her, we knew we had to help her regain her confidence and restore her life.

Katarina’s Story

I have lived with depression. I try to make myself feel better by dressing up and putting on makeup and just doing things like my hair. Everything that I can possibly do to make myself gain a little bit more confidence throughout the day, but no matter how much effort I put into every morning or what I do I’m just never fully living the life I want to live because of my teeth.

And a lot of people don’t realize how important your smile is to have like a healthier, happier life, and I can’t have that. I was really praying and hoping that I will be getting veneers. I would be so happy.

An LA Smile Makeover That Almost Wasn’t

This is an LA smile makeover that almost didn’t happen. It came together at the very last minute. So last minute it was going to require us staying up till 1:30 to finish this job. We were going to have to be back at the airport at 4:00 a.m. So, we hope that you’ll forgive the fact that in this blog everybody looks a little tired.

It’s pretty hard on our team. I also want you to know is just how hard blogging really is, but I think you’ll see results were well worth it. In fact I would do it all over again under the same circumstances, even if I had to stay up all night. Let’s see what you think?

Fitting An LA Smile Makeover In

We had some meetings in California, and so we thought we would just try to get an LA smile makeover in. And this little girl that we’re going to meet with, she just seems to be very, very, very excited. I can’t wait to show you. You’ll see some of her pictures from her.

I think she’s just got married to a guy that’s a Marine and she’s got a smile that’s been holding her back. I think she’s trying to do some acting and some dancing, and she just seems to be a pretty strong spirited little person and so hope it works out.

New Brighter Image Lab Infusion Trays

Today, I am actually bleaching my teeth with our new trays, and I got up this morning and didn’t have time to worry about it so I decided that I’m just going to bleach them on the way to the airport. So let’s see what it looks like? I know it looks weird, it feels really good already.

Katarina Discovers Brighter Image Lab

I was on Youtube one day and I saw the advertisement of Brighter Image Lab, and at that moment I was like, you know I’m going to click on this and see where it takes me. I believe having a new smile will open up a lot of doors for me.

When I heard back from you I was super excited! I really thought that I was in a dream and I was going to wake up in the morning and this wasn’t going to be real, but it is real, and I’m here right now and I can’t believe it!

That’s going to come in handy in a minute.

The Key to All of Her Dreams

You know what this feels like? this feels like somebody just gave me like the key to all of my dreams.

I’ve only known you for a few minutes we never met each other before me and it’s hard for me to ask this but you really don’t smile?

No.

And you’re this little girl that’s just natural smiling person? I hate that. What happened?

The Dentist Messed Up Her Smile, Then Charged Her To Fix It

I got two frontal crowns that that didn’t really match my natural teeth, so I was super self conscious about that. And when I went back to the dentist office they gave my parents the estimate and they said, I’m sorry we can’t afford that, it’s too expensive.

Someone said that since you’re out here you want to do like dancing or acting or something?

I wanted to pursue that, yeah.

It’s just holding you back that you can’t freaking smile.

It is for sure, yeah.

A Smile Is Not A Luxury

The bad thing is that a smile for you is not in luxury. It’s a tool, You need it to be you.

First of all, very appreciative for your dad getting you here today.

Thank you, I appreciate it too.

Katarina Gets Her LA Smile Makeover

And we’ll hope that it works, so without talking too much let’s just get you some new dental veneers what do you say?

I’m so nervous!

This is the smallest version I’ve got.

Okay I have a really small mouth and I’m…

This right here is a smaller version. Hold on one second I’ve got to do one more thing right quick I tell people I would start wearing gloves when I handle stuff.

It was everything we could do to cover the existing spacing and add some height. So if you can, we wish you luck. You’re just going to place it in your mouth like a retainer.

I’m going to hold this up for you.

Ok. I’m nervous.

Katarina’s Smile Is Transformed

(whispered) They look really pretty.

Really?

Hold on we’ve got to see. Here we go, let’s see what we’ve got.

Oh my God!! They look great!

They do look great.

I can’t even tell…that’s not me!

Wow! That’s not me, that can’t be me!

I’m going to try to hold it up so we can see the light. we did good.

I think it looks great!

This is a full smile. It’s a full smile like you haven’t let your smile out in a long time unless it’s just when no one’s around.

Yeah its’ just so awesome I can’t stop looking at myself in the mirror I’m like oh that’s not me I can’t believe this is me.

No Fear With Her LA Smile Makeover

You’re not afraid to sing or audition? You’re not afraid to go…

No.

So we’re good! We did good I just didn’t want to let you down. I just I didn’t finish tooling that thing until almost midnight last night and our plane was at 4.

I appreciate that so much.

Yeah so we just heard about it and so it was kind of glad you got back with me. I think you can go anywhere and smile I’m going to pause for a minute because I want you to see what I see. It’s just hard for me to believe this is not your everyday you.

I know I’m staring way too much.

It’s okay.

They look amazing.

I can’t stop smiling because this is like like seven years worth of smiling that I need to catch up on.

No Longer Embarrassed With An LA Smile Makeover

With this kind of smile what I’m hoping you can do is go I am no longer embarrassed so when you’re around your family you don’t smile.

No.

They always see you cover up yeah and people know it’s because she’s got a part of her smile she just doesn’t like, that she’s not proud of…

Yeah

I think we got rid of that smile today.

I think we did too!

You have to be in shock!

I am, this feels like a dream.

Looking Forward To Tomorrow

What do you think it’ll do tomorrow for you?

Tomorrow I think I’m going to check for it on the side table to make sure this wasn’t a dream, and then continue on my day and just walk around outside and just start smiling at all my neighbors like, Hey! How’s it going?

Just get back to being in the world.

Yeah.

Call some people, and just make some things work. I will tell you they fit you absolutely amazing.

Yeah they fit perfect!

Helping Others To Choose An LA Smile Makeover

I think you’re going to help a few other people make a decision who are on the fence going I don’t believe that that works. We always try to select people that we whole heartedly believe their smile’s waiting for them. You know like like that person if you give that they’re gone, they’re the energizer bunny I think.

You know what happened I don’t need to tell you I’m just going to tell you the truth. I was getting up there last night and I was slamming stuff around and being a jerk.

Uh huh.

Jill Saves The LA Smile Makeover

And going if we’re going to do this I want to do it right. I don’t really have time if it’s not right I’m not doing so I’m like guys this is feeling bad I’m not doing it. And a little girl came to me and she said I just got the follow-up text in this little girl thinks that you might change her life and be an answered prayer and if I have to polish it and stay here until you get back up here and give it back to you I’ll stay.

Ah…

That if you’re going to fight me over it, and she said you’re not leaving dude.

Her name’s Jill, and she said you stay or I stay, and she gets off at midnight, and I said well if you’ll stay with me until I get this done so I don’t have to lock up myself. But it worked but I have a little girl my offices that said I’m not going to read the hopes of that message that she sent about her heart being that strong her truly trying to fight her way into something is better.

Better Things In Store

I think you’re going to be good things with your smile and I think it was well done. If there’s anything more than we can do for you please let us know.

I think you guys did the absolute maximum you guys could do plus more if it’s possible, because this is absolutely amazing. I’m going to be walking out this door with a new smile and so ready to conquer the world and walk out the door and smile every day and not be so self conscience anymore. You guys are all like little angels in a workshop making dreams happen. That’s how I see it!

Los Angeles, CA is not the only city we do LA Smile Makeovers like these in. We also have clients in areas like: Pasadena, CA, Santa Monica, CA, San Diego, CA, Las Vegas, CA, Phoenix, AZ, Flagstaff, AZ, Reno, NV, Albuquerque, NM, Tucson, AZ, El Paso, TX, San Jose, CA, San Francisco, CA, Sacramento, CA, Santa Fe, NM, Las Cruces, NM, Fresno, CA, Bakersfield, CA, Henderson, NV, St. George, UT, Riverside, CA, Anaheim, CA, Ogden, UT, Logan, UT, Grand Junction, CO, Pueblo, CO, and Las Cruces, NM

Is the Creative Diagnosis by a Texas Dentist really a ripoff?

My household’s level of confidence in dentistry is at an all-time low due to creative diagnosis. About six months ago, my Texas dentist informed me that my “bunny teeth” were likely getting in the way of my professional success, a problem he could correct with a (pricey) cosmetic procedure.

If I let him fix my teeth, he told me, he was sure I would start “dressing better.” A few months later, my husband scheduled a basic cleaning with a new Texas Dentist.

Once they had him in the chair and looked at his teeth, they informed him that the regular cleaning wouldn’t do at all: He would need to reschedule for an $800 deep cleaning. Creative diagnosis? No thanks. I’d rather go to Tijuana to get dental veneers.

We were convinced we must look like suckers—until I came across an op-ed in ADANews, the official publication of the American Dental Association. The article, by longtime pediatric dentist Jeffrey Camm, described a disturbing trend he called creative diagnosis — the peddling of unnecessary treatments.

The Mystery of Creative Diagnostics by Dentists

William van Dyk, a Northern California dentist of 41 years, saw Camm’s op-ed and wrote in: “I especially love the patients that come in for second opinions after the previous dentist found multiple thousands of dollars in necessary treatment where nothing had been found six months earlier. And, when we look, there is nothing to diagnose.”

“In recent years, I have been seeing more and more creative diagnosis,” Camm told me when I called him at his practice in Washington state. A Texas dentist, he said, might think, “‘Well, the dental insurance covers this crown, so I’m not hurting this patient, so why don’t I just do it?’ That’s the absolutely wrong approach.”

Poking around, I found plenty of services catering to Texas dentists hoping to increase their incomes. One lecturer at a privately operated seminar called The Profitable Dentist ($389) aimed to help “dentists to reignite their passion for dentistry while increasing their profit and time away from the office.”

Is the ADA Perpetuating Creative Diagnosing?

Even the ADA’s 2014 annual conference offered tips for maximizing revenue: “Taking time to help our patients want what we know they need,” notes one session description, “can drive the economic and reward engine of our practice.” Could this be the source of creative diagnosis?

Do you think you’ve been the victim of “creative diagnosis” from any of these dentists?

Name

Website

Phone

Address

Rodolfo “Rudy” G. Ramos Jr., D.D.S., P.C.http://www.rudyramosdds.com/

(713) 973-9591

9545 Katy Freeway, Ste. 125, Houston, Texas, 77024
Steven Austin, D.D.S.http://drsteveaustin.com

(806) 358-7646

2815 South Georgia, Amarillo, Texas, 79109
Tamela L. Gough, D.D.S., M.S.http://www.allenkidsdentist.com/

(972) 727-0737

201 N Alma Dr Ste 100, Allen, Texas, 75013
James W. Chancellor, D.D.S.

(210) 653-4410

4952 Windsor Hill, Suite 201, San Antonio, Texas, 78239
D. Bradley Dean, D.D.S.http://www.ntxpa.com/

(972) 964-2900

3900 American Drive, Suite 101, Plano , Texas, 75075
Christie Leedy, D.D.Shttp://www.abilenedental.com/

(325) 692-3344

5309 Buffalo Gap Rd, Abilene, Texas, 79606
Kirby Bunel Jr., D.D.S.http://www.texarkanacosmeticdentistry.com/

(903) 794-3331

1701 Moores Lane, Texarkana, Texas, 75503
Dr. Mark Peppard, DDShttp://www.pepdds.com/

(512) 835-9557

4005 Spicewood Springs Road, Building C, Ste 500, Austin, Texas, 78759
Dr. Jennifer Bonehttp://hillcountrydentalassociates.com/

(830) 257-3000

710 Hill Country Dr #1, Kerrville, Texas, 78028
Dr. Donna Miller, DDShttp://creekwooddentalarts.com/

(254) 772-3632

7911 Woodway Drive, Waco, Texas, 76712
Dr. Ronald Rheahttp://www.dentistsattcv.com/rhea.html

(713) 467-3458

791 Town & Country Blvd Suite 222, Houston, Texas, 77024
Dr. Craig Armstrong, DDShttp://www.craigarmstrongdds.com/

(832) 251-1234

10370 Richmond Avenue, Suite 780, Houston, Texas, 77042

Upselling in dentistry isn’t a new phenomenon, but it’s having a moment. One reason: Texas Dental school tuition—and debt—has doubled since the ’90s.

Is High Debt Causing Creative Diagnosis by a Texas Dentist?

According to the American Dental Education Association, students who graduated in 1996 were in the hole $112,000 (in 2013 dollars), on average, while 2013 grads were a whopping $215,000 in debt—28 percent were on the hook for $300,000 or more.

By contrast, the average med school grad owed $170,000. ADEA executive director Richard Valachovic explained that one reason dental schools have jacked up tuitions is the rising costs of technology for student labs.

In any case, a generation ago, newly hatched Texas dentists would join established practices as modestly paid associates, with the promise of eventually becoming partners. But these days, with dentists retiring later, there’s less turnover in private practice tempting new dentists to forgo dental care and engage in creative diagnosis.

Are Dental Chains Asking Dentists to Diagnose Creatively?

Instead, more and more young dentists are taking jobs with chains, many of which set revenue quotas for practitioners. This has created some legal backlash: In 2012, for example, 11 patients sued (PDF) a 450-office chain called Aspen Dental, claiming that its model turns dentists into salespeople.

Some corporate dentists appear to have crossed the line into fraud. In 2010, Small Smiles, a venture-capital-owned chain with offices in 20 states, was ordered to refund $24 million to the government after an investigation found that its dentists had been performing unnecessary extractions, fillings, and root canals on children covered by Medicaid. Could these corporations be the reason behind creative diagnosis?

A new lawsuit alleges that some toddlers it treated underwent as many as 14 procedures—often under restraint and without anesthesia. (The group was banned from Medicaid this year.) Several other pediatric dentistry chains have been sued as a result of similar allegations.

Advice for Creative Diagnostic Attempts by Your Dentist

So how can you spot creative diagnosis when you go for your next cleaning? First, beware of specials: That laser dentistry and whitening package may be a ploy to get you in the door so the practice can upsell you on more-profitable procedures.

Van Dyk also advises caution if your Texas dentist insists on replacing old fillings or recommends crowns instead of fillings. And look out for excessive X-rays: The ADA says healthy patients need a full set (14 to 22) every two years at the most.

If your Texas dentist recommends a special “cone-beam” X-ray, get a second opinion. Along with a 3-D picture of your mouth, it delivers radiation up to 18X that of a traditional dental X-ray.

Radiation experts worry that some Texas dentists are substituting FDA approved cone-beam scanners for a standard X-ray.

Dealing with Creative Diagnosis in Pediatrics by a Texas Dentist

Finally, when it comes to children’s dentists, make sure to find a board-certified pediatric specialist. Not all dentists that cater to children have special training.

The practitioners I spoke to were quick to add that even dubious-sounding treatments are in some cases medically necessary, and not necessarily creative diagnosis.

In conclusion, if your gut says your dentist is going overboard on treatment, get a second opinion. “Will you have to pay a little more for another consult?” Camm asks. “Sure. But it could end up saving you a whole lot more in the long run.”

Curated from Is Your Dentist Ripping You Off? | Mother Jones