Artistic Impressions
With advancements in technology and an artist’s eye for proportion, Dr. Lindsey Marshall creates naturally beautiful crowns and veneers
by Sharon A. Shaw

Beauty may be subjective, yet every trained artist knows there are rules of proportion one should follow to create something naturally pleasing. Lindsey Marshall, D.M.D., is familiar with these rules—she is both a trained artist and dentist—specializing in naturally beautiful crowns and porcelain veneers.

“A lot goes into how we create the smile patients want,” she says. “We review photos of them when they were young or photos of others whose smile they like or our catalog of smiles to select size, shape and color. I use many different equations to determine the color, shape and size including the height-to-width ratio. … Your teeth have to be in proportion with your face and your smile.”

Marshall, a native of Wayne, earned her bachelor’s degree at Trinity College and her doctorate from Harvard School of Dental Medicine before pursuing post-graduate education at the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, the premier institute for cosmetic dentistry, where she learned the latest techniques.

“I like that [cosmetic dentistry] offers a combination of science and art,” she says. “I have a strong art background—I minored in studio arts—and I think that lends itself to the cosmetic aspect. That is the art of it.”

Crowns and veneers can help to address cosmetic issues such as stained or chipped teeth and minor alignment issues. They can also be used for dental restoration. “Sometimes [patients] have had work done that has deteriorated over the years and they want their smiles to be perfect again,” Dr. Marshall says. “Whether they have to have it done or it’s purely cosmetic, they want someone who focuses on cosmetics.”

“Perfect” means different things to different people, though. A glaringly white mouthful of uniformly square teeth is not in most patients’ best interest. “People say to me they don’t want ‘Bugs Bunny’ or ‘horse teeth,’” she says. “[Veneers] have to fit into your face and your smile. … I think people who come to me realize there are options, they come to me because they don’t want Chiclets.”

The improvements that result from having veneers and crowns done can be impressive. “We did veneers on a man who was referred by his best friend,” Dr. Marshall shares. “After the treatment was completed, his friend said that he went from looking like George Washington to looking like George Clooney.”

The process of choosing the correct color and proportion starts with a personal consultation from Dr. Marshall. “The first visit is not that complicated,” she explains. “We discuss the cost, number of visits needed and timeframe. The second visit is more diagnostic. This is when we design the smile and take initial impressions. The lab uses these to fabricate a ‘wax-up.’ This serves as a guide when creating the veneers. At the third visit we place temporary veneers.  We temporize you to see how final veneers will look. This allows you to talk and eat with them in place and to see your significant other or any others who might help you make the decision.  You have a week to make any changes; otherwise, at the fourth visit, we try the porcelain veneers and bond them in place.  If changes are needed we send them back for work in the lab.”

Dr. Marshall calls the porcelain used for these veneers and crowns one of the greatest advancements in her field, allowing technicians to create beautiful, natural teeth uniquely designed for the patient. “As part of training in Las Vegas, we did training with the ceramicist,” she says. “Since we trained together we work well.” Her advanced understanding of this process helps her to recommend the size, shape, color and fit that will work best with each patient’s smile.

Dr. Marshall’s talent is backed by her extensive training and knowledge but also supported by the advanced technologies her office uses. The CEREC CAD/CAM system, allows for optical impressions to be taken. The ability to take measurements from a photo eliminates the mess of impressions in many cases. “It allows us to do crowns in one visit,” Marshall says. “It is great for people who are busy. … This is where the field is going. Soon we will be able to do it all in the office.”

Of course her office is staffed by other highly trained, competent and friendly team members. “We have a small but efficient team,” she says. This includes the treatment coordinator, Katie; Veronica, an expanded function dental assistant; and hygienists Emily and Andrea, all of whom also trained at the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies.

Their skill set is not limited to cosmetics either. “We also offer general dentistry,” Marshall says. “My office has all the latest technology. …Patients say to me, ‘Wow your office is so nice,’ and it’s not just pretty. We have TVs in the rooms with headphones to drown out sound, and we offer sedation.”

Lorraine Cavalier is one of the patients Dr. Marshall has impressed. The 66-year-old Devon resident has been a patient of hers for more than six years. “I grew up in a time with no fluoride,” she says. “I have been to more dentists than you can count; but Dr. Marshall has far exceeded all of them.” This admiration is a family affair too—Cavalier’s daughter is also a patient of Dr. Marshall’s even though receiving a checkup every six months requires her to visit from New Zealand. “Her staff is well-trained and well-suited to working with her. I have never seen her not smiling.” Cavalier first came to Dr. Marshall for preservation work, but has become a general dentistry patient. … She has kept my dental work, my mouth and my general health in top-notch shape.”

Good oral hygiene is critical not only for one’s appearance, but also for their health. Dr. Marshall shares the story of a patient who was seeking comprehensive care after a long time of being away from the dentist.  “When I looked around and saw the extent of his periodontal and dental disease, I asked him about his health and referred him for an evaluation,” she says. It turns out the man had cardiac disease and diabetes.  “He called back to tell me that I saved his life, so that was a powerful statement about how the mouth is a window to the body.”

In the end, though, it is more than the newest equipment and advanced training that patients appreciate. Patients choose Dr. Marshall and her staff because of the comfort they provide. “One of the biggest compliments we get is that [the care] was really painless, from the numbing through the entire process,” she says. Having a gentle touch, it seems, may be their greatest attribute.

Lindsey Marshall, D.M.D.
602 Times Building
Suburban Square
Ardmore, PA 19003