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A beautiful wedding is planned down to the smallest detail, from the perfect color scheme to the flower girl’s basket. Surrounded by loved ones, the bride takes center stage and, of course, wants to look her very best on the happiest day of her life. Exquisite bridal gowns and lovely veils are best set off by stunning smiles, and many brides-to-be are turning to aesthetic dentistry to make a radiant smile a reality. Standing beside her daughter the whole way through, a mother of the bride often finds an enhanced smile gives her an extra boost of confidence and joy, too. Join us as we talk to a mother-daughter duo who invested in a Smile Makeover from Koch Aesthetic Dentistry for the big day.

Newly married Paula DiBenedetto says dental hygiene was always of great importance to her. From a young age, she admired the dazzlingly white smiles of celebrities and has worked hard to maintain her teeth, including flossing three times daily and regular whitening. Although she says she had no glaring problems, she had “a little crookedness” in her smile that bothered her, especially when she looked back at old photos.

Paula and her husband on their wedding day

Paula DiBenedetto is one of many brides who opted for a Smile Makeover from the experts at Koch Aesthetic Dentistry.

Paula’s mother Paulette, on the other hand, wanted a whiter smile as she stood next to her youngest daughter. “I wanted my teeth to look as good as Paula’s,” she tells us. “The day was so special for her as she married the love of her life, and I wanted to do whatever she wanted — for her and for myself — to make the day fun and beautiful.”

Both women agree that the experience with Koch was amazing, from the initial consultation to the finished results. “It was not a stressful part of the wedding planning,” Paula says. “In fact, it was like going to the spa — fun and relaxing.”

That spa feeling is by design; Koch Aesthetic Dentistry is locally known as “The Dental Spa.” Paulette credits the soothing music, decor, kind staff, and overall ambiance — not to mention the demeanor of owner and dental surgeon Dr. Paul Koch. “He makes you feel relaxed and comfortable,” she says. “The entire staff is knowledgeable, and we felt very informed and prepared for our treatments.”

At Koch Aesthetic Dentistry, an initial consultation starts with a very thorough discussion about a person’s ideal smile. “We want to really understand what a person is concerned about, and typically want to know if they had a magic wand and could change things, what would the results be?” Dr. Koch tells us. The discussion is followed up with professional-level photography and a review of the images to focus on problem areas.

Paula undergoing her Smile Makeover at Koch Aesthetic Dentistry

From the office atmosphere to the staff’s knowledge, Paula and Paulette agree that their experience at Koch Aesthetic Dentistry made them feel well-prepared for their Smile Makeovers. Image: Koch Aesthetic Dentistry

In order for smiles to be beautiful, they must also be healthy, so a Smile Makeover begins with a complete exam designed to identify both healthy areas as well as problematic ones. Dr. Koch explains that once he has a complete picture of existing conditions, appearance, and goals for treatment, he can utilize the many procedures and treatments in his arsenal to make agreed-upon changes. The list of options is quite extensive and includes:

  • Veneers
  • Crowns
  • Laser gum recontouring
  • Invisalign and similar clear aligner systems
  • Dental implants
  • Bridges
  • Plastic gum surgery
  • Orthodontics
  • Botox
  • Dermal fillers

Paulette’s whitening treatments took 14 days, but she says she could tell a difference after just four. By the day of the wedding, her smile was as lovely as her daughter’s. Paula opted for a clear aligner system to give her more confidence for her photos. She discussed whitening with Dr. Koch; he told her it wasn’t necessary because her great hygiene habits had given her a great color. With a straighter smile, she felt much more relaxed and had lots of fun taking photos.

The bride and groom chose not to have a “first look” prior to the ceremony, so the first time the pair saw each other was as Paula walked down the aisle. Elegant greenery and white flowers, enhanced by the slate blue of the bridesmaids’ dresses, made a stunning backdrop for the moment. “I’ll never forget the look on Paula’s face,” Paulette says. “She was beaming and looked so beautiful. It was the wedding she had dreamed of, and she had the time of her life.”

Paula and Paulette on Paula's wedding day

After undergoing their Smile Makeovers, both Paulette and Paula felt confident in their smiles and were able to relax and fully enjoy the wedding.

Mother-daughter duos come to him most often for weddings, Dr. Koch says. The second most common occasion occurs when a mother brings in her daughter to make a change. When moms see the positive impact on their child’s self-esteem and the self-care that goes into a healthy smile, they become interested in taking their health and the brilliance of their own smile up a notch, too.

“Some of the most heart-breaking emotions that we encounter almost every day are embarrassment and shame,” Dr. Koch says of his practice. “Embarrassment is related to a condition, and shame says, ‘It’s my fault!’” These feelings have a far-reaching effect on a person’s relationships with loved ones, friendships, and level of success. Reversing the impact of such negative feelings is critically important to his job, Dr. Koch adds.

Another extremely important aspect of aesthetic dentistry is overall wellness — good oral health is key to maintaining a healthy body. “When we are able to help someone improve their health, happiness, and self-esteem in tangible ways, they are able to impact the world in so many others. For Paula and Paulette, for instance, “How much more can a beautiful bride (and her mother) enjoy one of the most important days of their lives if they are totally unencumbered by areas of self-criticism or uneasiness around a particular characteristic of their smile?” he asks.

Paula smiling on her wedding day after a Smile Makeover

The final result — a beautiful smile for a beautiful bride!

If you are considering enhancing your smile for a big event or “just because,” Dr. Koch offers some advice:

  • Start early! More goes into creating a beautiful new smile than most people realize, from the planning stages to finalizing your gorgeous new look.
  • Evaluate the experiences and results of others, either through photos and reviews or personal conversations.
  • Learn about the people behind the scenes, like the ceramist who designs and makes the final veneers. Ask about the experience level, and choose a team that does smile design on a daily or weekly basis, rather than occasionally.
  • Put together a sample portfolio or Pinterest board to help you communicate your desires to the professionals involved.
  • Approach your smile enhancement like any significant investment with careful evaluation, questioning, and references — your results will be well worth the time invested!

Koch Aesthetic Dentistry is located at 2311 Highland Avenue, Suite 323, Birmingham, AL 35205. For more information or to book a consultation or appointment, call (205) 933-0323 or visit kochaesthetics.com.

This article is sponsored by Koch Aesthetic Dentistry. All photography by Defining Moments Media unless otherwise noted.

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