Jennifer’s Zirconia Bridge Story

Jennifer showed up at Dr. Chal’s office with a problem – she was getting married in a few weeks and she was embarrassed to smile. In fact, she had been embarrassed to smile for her entire life.

Here are two “after” photographs. Examine them carefully—the full face and the closeup. There are two false teeth. Can you tell which ones are false?
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Do you give up? Don’t feel bad. Dr. Arthur Chal has shown this to a number of cosmetic dentists, including a roomful of candidates for accreditation in cosmetic dentistry, and none of them could pick out the false tooth, or actually, the two false teeth. To find out which teeth aren’t real, keep reading.

Here are the “before” photographs:


In the place of her normal adult canine teeth she had baby teeth. They were dark and too small, and they tipped inward, making them appear even darker than they were. The x-rays below show the problem:

Jennifer-xray12Her permanent canines were impacted in the roof of her mouth. The baby canines were still in her mouth, but they were deteriorating, and the roots had resorbed considerably. She had been to other dentists who had suggested various solutions, all of which were complicated and time-consuming. She chose to have Dr. Chal treat her with a much simpler, yet highly specialized approach.

First, he removed the baby canines with an atraumatic removal technique. Then he designed bridgework to attach to the teeth on the sides of the missing teeth. There would be false teeth in the place of these baby canines, and he would use the highly specialized ovate pontic technique, which would make the false teeth appear as if they were actually growing out of the gums.

Jennifer-protoFew dentists are familiar with this technique. One thing that makes it more difficult is that the laboratory technician making the bridge also needs to be specially trained, and very few laboratory technicians are familiar with it. Dr. Chal is fortunate to have a master ceramist, Rick Durkee, CDT, right in his office. He was able to shape and craft the bridgework and together they achieved the stunning results below.

After her first bridge appointment, Jennifer left the office with a prototype bridge in place, replacing the missing baby canine teeth. Notice the photographs on the left and below. You can see that her smile already looks amazingly better.

Jennifer-proto-2These prototype bridges protect the teeth while the zirconia bridges are being made by the ceramist, but they also give Jennifer a chance to make sure that the color and shape of the bridgework is what she wants. They are so real and so esthetic that Dr. Chal has made them for media personalities who have worn them on television and in film and no one could tell they weren’t natural teeth.

Six weeks after her first appointment, the zirconium bridges were inserted. Notice in the photographs below how impossible it is to tell which are the false teeth. Not only do the bridges look absolutely natural to the casual observer, but even expert cosmetic dentists have been unable to tell which teeth are the false teeth. In one of his lectures, Dr. Chal showed the photographs to a roomful of candidates for accreditation in cosmetic dentistry, and no one was able to pick out the false teeth.
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After the wedding, she told Dr. Chal, “I used to think my fiancé had a good-looking smile, but looking at our wedding pictures now, my new smile is even better than his!”


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