Chicago dentist's work to be featured on Oprah

July 25, 2002
After being found on the Web, Chicago's Dr. Jennifer Moran finds herself preparing for her television debut

Are you still looking for further proof that a Web site may help your dental business and/or career? Dr. Jennifer Moran of Water Tower Dental Care in downtown Chicago knows a good Web site has made a difference for her. After all, it's one of the reasons The Oprah Winfrey Show gave her a call.

A journey that started with an Internet search by the Oprah show's producers will end on Monday, July 29 with the airing of a show dedicated to cosmetic makeovers. Among the featured guests is Dr. Moran, who will perform a smile makeover on her front desk manager to close a diastema.

"We got a call from Oprah's producers out of the blue one day who said they had found our Internet site ( and they were looking for a Chicago dentist to do a smile makeover for the show," Dr. Moran recalled. "We had a staff member whose diastema case would be good for television, and we traded phone calls to confirm we would do the case."

Once Dr. Moran was confirmed as the dentist to be featured on the show, Oprah's producers gave her their timetable. It was a good timetable for TV, but a bad one for dentistry.

"They called on a Tuesday and said they wanted to come by and tape the segment that same day and be finished by Thursday. That's when I had to explain it would take more time than that," Dr. Moran said. "We rushed to get the case done in four days for the show. We were bonding veneers from 4 to 7 in the evening, but we were all willing to jump through hoops to be on the show."

Dr. Moran credits Minnesota's Westlund Dental Studio and Chicago's Advanced Dental Studio for going "above and beyond" to make the timetable work. She also credits part of the success to Ivoclar Vivadent's Empress veneers.

"People from Westlund actually flew in to help us. Both of the labs did a lot of good work very fast to make the deadline," Dr. Moran said. "I used Empress in this case because I love to work with it. All of the anteriors in my office are done with Empress."

Of course, it wasn't just the timetable that made this case different for Dr. Moran. Having the show's cameras follow her every move in the operatory was a different experience as well.

"It was a little strange because they were wanting me to talk and look at the camera rather than the patient," Dr. Moran said. "They also wanted me to take my loupes off because they didn't think they looked that good on television."

The diastema case was actually one of three performed by Dr. Moran. The other two (a whitening/bonding case, and the replacement of anterior gold crowns with Empress veneers) did not make the show's final taping because of time constraints.

Despite all of the rushes and changes, Dr. Moran enjoyed the experience and believes it will be a boost for dentistry.

"I think this could be the start of a wonderful phenomenon for dental professionals," Dr. Moran explained. "So many people watch Oprah, and this show will really put cosmetic dentistry into a patient-friendly category. Some people see cosmetic dentistry as medical or plastic surgery, but the show is putting it in a category similar to having your hair or nails done. When our front-desk manager comes out smiling, you'll hear all of the oohs and ahs. People are going to see this show, think about veneers, and wonder if they should have the procedure done as well. I think a lot of people will call their dentist after the show and ask if he or she does porcelain veneers. When a book is on Oprah, it seems to go to the New York Times best-seller list. This is an international show, and I think a lot of people will look at dentistry differently after it airs."

And what about the experience of being on the show and meeting Oprah?

"I was surprised how small the studio was," Dr. Moran admitted. "I always had the vision that Oprah was very serious, but she came over and introduced herself to me, shook my hand, and looked me in the eye. She was great."

And would Dr. Moran go through it all again if Oprah called?

"I'd do it again in a heartbeat," Dr. Moran smiled.

The Oprah Winfrey Show featuring Dr. Moran and her smile makeover is scheduled to air on Monday, July 29. Please check your local listings to find the time and channel for Oprah in your area.

For more information on Dr. Moran or Water Tower Dental Care, log on to or call (312) 787-2131.