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The Return of the Big Smile

By Andrea Stuart | Photo by Manny Espinoza

“My smile is big. I am a smiley person,” says Karen, a prominent horse surgeon and expert in her field. When she lost her four upper front teeth after an accident she was horrified.

Originally fitted with temporary teeth, which were not made well and were uncomfortable, Karen often went without them. Speaking and eating is difficult without front teeth but the temporary teeth made speaking and eating even more unpleasant.

Additionally, she was new to the community, working as an FEI (Fédération Équestre Internationale) veterinarian, and in the process of starting a nonprofit organization, Fort Ord Equine Foundation. Her job as a veterinary specialist requires her to give speeches and attend conferences. As a result, she was constantly explaining what happened to her teeth. It was time for a permanent solution.

In January of 2020, Karen sought treatment from Linda Martin, DDS at Vista Robles Dental Group in Monterey. Dr. Martin and Karen became fast friends as they bonded over family, horses, and an appreciation for community service. Although the process of restoring Karen’s smile would require multiple appointments, she knew she was in good hands with Dr. Martin and Dr. Martin’s husband, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

The process of creating teeth for someone requires an artist’s eye to work with the curvature and tone of the face, an aptitude for mathematics to create teeth that are the proper size and proportions, and an architect’s mind to bring it all together. Dr. Martin takes the time to treat her patients holistically. Learning what makes them smile allows her to apply a personal touch when making their smile unique.

Since her procedure Karen’s big smiles have returned, for which she is so thankful. Dr. Martin was inspired by Karen’s positive attitude throughout the dental process. And she was so happy to share a passion for horses and education that she joined the board of directors of Fort Ord Equine Foundation, where the two women work together every week, teaching children animal science, horsemanship, and the history behind it.

To learn more about Vista Robles Dental Group, visit


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