Thanks to a long list of celebrities, social media and new at-home teeth-whitening kits, the number of people opting to perfect their smile has skyrocketed. Recently, however, I’ve noticed that more and more people are deciding to take a subtler approach when it comes to their teeth. The over-the-top bright white permagrin is a thing of the past and in its place, smiles are starting to look a little more natural – finally! As more low-key clients, like myself, have begun experimenting, new techniques have been developed to meet our needs, ensuring your teeth are in perfect harmony with your facial proportions so you don’t leave the dentist with a horse-like grin.
So after a year of having Invisalign braces and several years of stress grinding my teeth down to what looked like small pegs – thanks, big sis, for that analogy – I still wasn’t happy with my smile, and with my nuptials fast approaching I wanted to make sure I had the perfect teeth to show off on the happiest day of my life, so I decided to investigate.
I had accepted a long time ago that I wasn’t one of the lucky ones born with a Hollywood smile, and always presumed veneers – thin wafers of porcelain permanently bonded to the teeth to mask their colour, shape, or positioning in the mouth – were the answer, but was always terrified of going to the dentist. Well, that was before meeting Greek-born Dr. Sophia, from Euromed Clinic Center Dubai, who holds a Masters of Science in Lasers in Dentistry, and is a qualified implantologist with 15 years’ experience. Her warm greeting and friendly smile instantly put me at ease.
“We’re presenting the new face of dentistry – a more human, and more artistic approach. As some would say, more emotional dentistry,”
Sitting down with Dr. Sophia was like a breath of fresh air, and my dreaded dentist nightmares evaporated in a flash – especially after I explained my first fear, “I don’t want to have my teeth filed down to a small nub. I’ve lost sleep worrying that one of my veneers would pop off, leaving me with no teeth left underneath.” Dr. Sophia assured me how dentistry had changed over the years and that peg-like filed-down prep work for veneers was a thing of the past. “We’re presenting the new face of dentistry – a more human, and more artistic approach. As some would say, more emotional dentistry,” she assured me. Ninety-nine per cent of the time, you don’t need to shave away more than half of a millimetre from the surface of the teeth (think thinner than your fingernail). However, lucky enough for me, we didn’t need to shave anything away. After thoroughly discussing what I didn’t like about my teeth and what I hoped for from my new smile, we decided to opt for non-preparation veneers.
Of course, every case is different. You can’t come in with a picture of Julia Roberts and ask for her iconic smile because what works for her face won’t necessarily work for yours. “Each veneer is specifically designed to suit your face shape and size,” Dr. Sophia explains while photographing me and taking videos of me talking so she can see how my lips move over my teeth. Next, she describes how she is going to create a mock-up of my new smile and how the new technique of Digital Smile Design has made this achievable.
"You will have the chance to make sure that the designed smile accurately fits your face, as well as be given the opportunity to give your brand new smile a spin.”
Changing the face of dentistry, Digital Smile Design is a new approach that allows you to visualise natural-looking teeth that are in line with your face shape before any of the fitting process begins, effectively allowing you to test drive your new teeth before committing to the treatment. Dr. Sophia explains, “It uses advanced software, and the classic beauty guidelines of Leonardo da Vinci to suggest teeth shapes that we can then perfect over several in-depth consultations. You will have the chance to make sure that the designed smile accurately fits your face, as well as be given the opportunity to give your brand new smile a spin.”
The chance to raise concerns or make changes before any work begins is a valuable benefit of DSD, and after a paste was applied to my teeth and left to set I was showing off a wax version of my new smile, which I could test drive for the next few days. I couldn’t believe it was me looking back in the mirror. Not only did my smile look different but my whole face lit up – it was like a happier version of myself staring back at me. A week later, after a few minor changes, Dr. Sophia showed me my new customised teeth, and half an hour later they were permanently bonded on top of my own teeth without filing, drilling or any pain, restoring my teeth and resulting in the perfect smile for my wedding day.
Dr. Sophia has the ability to really change the way we feel about ourselves. Considering how important smiles are when it comes to first impressions, there really is no better gift than to be given the chance to smile like you mean it.
• Dr. Sophia is available at Euromed Clinic Dubai, euromedclinicdubai.com
Photos: Supplied, Manolo Merelles and Thanos Asfis