Wayzata, Minnesota

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Theresa Spitzenberger came to Cross DentalCare for a complimentary cosmetic consultation in 1987, her teeth dark from tetracycline stains. "I had just moved to the Twin Cities and I found Dr. Austin's ad in the Yellow Pages. I was so scared of dentists!" But in moments, she felt right at home. Everything was explained so thoroughly that her concerns disappeared.

Since early childhood Theresa had endured play ground torment. "I got a lot of kidding and teasing about my teeth. It really made me feel bad." Consequently, Theresa developed habits to hide her teeth. "I was very self-conscious that I didn’t have a nice smile and I didn't smile very much," she explains. The shame surrounding her teeth lasted well into adulthood. "I didn't go back to my five year reunion because I was so embarrassed."

After meeting Dr. Carol Austin at Cross DentalCare Theresa quickly formed a striking impression of the doctor that has remained unchanged for six years. "Dr. Austin is the most highly talented professional I’ve ever come across. You couldn’t ask for a better dentist."

Theresa knew that if anyone could be trusted to make such an important change in her appearance, it was Dr. Austin. Two weeks later, just a few days before the Christmas holidays, Theresa gave herself an early present. In a one-session bonding treatment Cross DentalCare transformed eight of her front teeth into a smooth, white shapely smile. When Carol handed her a mirror, gone was the woman who had suffered childhood anguish. "I looked at the mirror and thought to myself, that isn’t me, is it? No way is that me!"

"The process was really painless," she says, "I just sat there listening to my stereo headphones. If only I’d known it was so easy!" And that was just the beginning, the bonding treatment "made a dream of mine possible." Theresa had always fantasized about becoming a model. But "it was unthinkable." After her visit to Cross DentalCare, Theresa picked up two modeling agency jobs and found herself booked for a photo-shoot in Hawaii.

With her confidence restored Theresa decided to reclaim something that she'd lost as a child. "I decided to go to my high school reunion. It was a big deal to me. I’d lost some weight, too." When Theresa arrived at her old school, displaying a dazzling, confident smile, her friends were astonished. Was this the "Theresa they knew? "I was voted the person that nobody recognized. They just couldn't believe it was me."

There have been other triumphs in Theresa’s life, the kind that makes Dr. Austin's work so rewarding. For instance, Theresa is now more likely to express her true self. "People know that I have a good time now because I let it show."

Every few months, the Cross DentalCare team celebrates another visit from one of their favorite patients. "I feel like I'm coming to visit my family," says Spitzenberger, "Everyone comes out, and wants to know how I’m doing, how I've been, and they're really friendly."

Dr. Austin has learned that the cosmetic dental services she provides can literally changes lives. This month, Theresa leaves for Honolulu, Hawaii. She’s taking her smile with her.

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