Like millions, who were born in the 1950s, Dr. Alston received the antibiotic tetracycline as a kid. At that time, physicians did not know that this new antibiotic could severely darken permanent teeth and was irreversible. A whole generation of kids grew up wondering why their teeth were dark, gray, striped, or yellow. The social stigma and social awkwardness that tetracycline discoloration caused, was often severe.
“I always wanted to have white teeth, but back in ‘the day’ there was nothing that could be done… there was no bleaching… there was no cosmetic dentistry… and for most middle-class families, crowns/caps were not even an option," says Dr. Alston. Then, as ‘boys will be boys’, there were contact sports, no teeth guards, and lots of cracked teeth and nerve damage. I couldn’t tell you how many times my front teeth were loosened due to some craziness!
During high school, my dark teeth bugged me some, but I didn’t pay all that much attention to them, and heck, lots of my classmates had dark teeth too…we all went to the same local doctor! He unknowingly ruined the smiles of many of us. After high school and four years of college, then eight years of medical school, I was just too busy to worry much about the appearance of my smile. However, it did bug me some…especially when it came to dating.
I took note as dental bleaching came out in the 80’s. I tried bleaching my teeth, but the results were minimal. My dentist at the time, tried to bleach out the front tooth that had darkened even more due to a root canal, but even the power bleach did little to help. When I visited with Jeff, he showed me several photos of patients that also had tetracycline staining that he’d given awesome smiles to. He’d worked with his dental laboratory and perfected a technique to place thin porcelain veneer coverings onto the outer surface of the teeth. The results were just incredible, so as soon as my schedule cleared, I moved forward with cosmetic dental treatment.
I was shocked that he could do my entire smile in just two quick visits spaced about a week apart. When I got back to the clinic the day that Dr. Garner placed my veneers, my staff was waiting, and they were so impressed. One of my nurses actually commented that I had always been a handsome man, but now I was even better looking!
In Their Words
I'm extremely proud to smile now, and even though I've never really lacked confidence, I feel even more confident when I'm talking to my patients or giving a speech. An attractive smile really goes a long way. I couldn't be more pleased with my smile.
Dr. Alston - North Little Rock, Arkansas