Most people who visit Dr. Mladen Kralj’s cosmetic dental offices often mistake them for art studios, whether it’s the warm, rustic loft design in the downtown Chicago West Loop practice, or the sleek, ultra-modern atmosphere at his South Loop location.
“Art and design are a part of everything we do,” Dr Kralj says. It’s natural then that Dr. Kralj’s canvas is his patients’ smiles. “I view the smile as a fundamental element of a person’s natural beauty. It’s a reflection of one’s spirit, or essence,” he says. “A smile that is not aesthetically pleasing can detract from a person’s overall appearance.” Working out of both Illinois offices, Dr. Kralj relies on porcelain veneers, metal-free restorations, Invisalign and Zoom! one hour teeth whitening to design naturally beautiful, symmetric and harmonious smiles.
Dr. Kralj’s boutique practice is all about one-on-one treatment, providing privacy as well as personalization. Only four to six patients get the doctor’s attention each day. “When a patient is here, we dedicate all of our time to that one patient only,” the doctor emphasizes. Listening is the key to satisfaction, according to Dr. Kralj, who offers complimentary, no obligation consultations, each lasting up to an hour. “I take the time to hear a person’s needs and desires,” he says. “Communication is essential during every step of treatment. It’s all about the client, not about me.”
A picture is definitely worth a thousand words; and by using aesthetic imaging during their consultation, the doctor can give patients a preview of what’s to come. “Showing them their potential new smile makes all the difference,” he says.
TEST DRIVE YOUR SMILE
To Dr. Kralj, wax models of a patient’s smile-to-be and the temporary veneers, are critical in guaranteeing that the end result is perfection. “Temporaries serve as the prototype to the final smile,” he explains. “If the patient is unhappy with the size, shape or design of their temporaries, we can make adjustments and relay that information to the lab ceramist before they create the final porcelain veneers.”
Aside from giving patients the look and feel of what they’ll ultimately be getting, including the smile style and color, temporaries can even help determine if their new smiles will affect their speech. “Phonetics can be tested out as well,” Dr. Kralj explains. “Whether patients can pronounce ‘s,’ ‘v’ and ‘f’ sounds, for example, depends on the length of the two central incisors, or two front teeth. If those teeth are too long or too short, speech can be affected, potentially inhibiting certain articulations. Temporaries help us make sure patients have proper pronunciation he adds.