Restoring a Smile of Confidence


dr stephanie rodriguez-kevin clem-ziba samaniKevin struggled with broken teeth and gaps all his life, hurting his self-confidence along the way. At age 45, when he lost and swallowed a previously repaired tooth, Kevin was referred to Manos de Cristo by a friend. He didn’t have a dentist, was in between jobs, and had no dental insurance.

Kevin’s dental issues began early in his life. When he was 14-years-old, his front left incisor was sheared off with the root exposed while he and his buddy were roughhousing. Kevin’s tooth was rebuilt but because of the trauma, the root eventually abscessed, and he developed a major infection. “I had to have a root canal on the tooth, with the dead root ultimately removed,” Kevin said.

That chipped tooth would bother him for the next thirty years. While he still managed to save the tooth, it eroded over time. “I could tell the tooth was getting shorter and shorter, it wasn’t dramatic, but it was enough, it felt funny, and it was becoming somewhat noticeable,” he said. Kevin’s other teeth started to grow away from the injured tooth, causing gaps in his front teeth. “I not only had that odd, eroded tooth, but now I had the gaps on either side to make it all the more prominent, which was just wonderful,” he joked.

When he lost the repaired front tooth, which somehow became a hors d’oeuvre at a holiday party, his smile disappeared too and he suffered from a lack of self-confidence. A friend of his spoke very highly of Manos de Cristo’s Dental Center. Kevin went to see what, if anything could be done for his dental needs. He initially came in to have only some essential work done, but received much more than he could have imagined.

Kevin said he had been reluctant to get the gaps filled in the last 30 plus years because he didn’t know what to expect, and he was sure he could not afford the care. “I was expecting that a dentist would be grinding down the other teeth in order to build them back out again, and that would be too expensive. I didn’t realize that you could actually bond to the enamel as it was standing,” he said.

According to Dr. Stephanie Rodriguez, Kevin’s dentist at the Manos de Cristo Dental Center, the ideal treatment plan would have been expensive orthodontic work. Money was still a determining factor in his treatment plan, so Dr. Rodriguez took that into consideration. First she evaluated his smile, and then took before and after molds of his teeth. Once Kevin saw the cast of what his teeth could potentially look like, and he realized that Manos was an affordable dental center, he was eager to have the work done. Dr. Rodriguez closed the spaces and fixed the broken tooth by adding composite veneers – essentially a tooth-colored filling.

It has been four years and the composites are still holding up wonderfully. “Because of the gaps in my teeth, I’d always been self-conscious about my smile, but after Dr. Rodriquez’s work, you know, I have no problems at all at this point. And that’s why I’m here, I’m so grateful for the affordable treatment,” Kevin said.

The quality of work here is just top rate. Plus, the dental staff is friendly, very caring and professional. I was provided with the treatment that I needed and I felt like I wasn’t sold more than that, Kevin said.

All of these years, he thought dental work was more cost than it was worth, but with Manos’ affordable dental services, he has rebuilt his confidence, dignity and improved his overall health.

Click here more information about the Manos de Cristo Dental Center.