Get a Hollywood Smile in the UAE
Ahlan! finds the best dentist in Dubai
TRIED & TESTED
In the bid to be famous it seems dental work is almost as important as acting and singing lessons. Every celeb from Cheryl Cole to George Clooney has had their smile enhanced to ensure their teeth sparkle under the glare of the paparazzi flash bulbs. Veneers and whitening are the two treatments most commonly requested by the A-list. But what’s really involved? Does it hurt? And how much does it cost? To find out, Ahlan! went along to Apa Aesthetics, Dubai’s very own A-list clinic set up by Dr Apa himself, US dentist to stars such as Catherine Zeta Jones and Lea Michelle.
STEP 1: The Consultation
TIME: 1 hour
COST: At Apa, initial consultation costs are included in the fees for veneers if patients decide to have them, otherwise the cost is Dhs950
This is your chance to chat about your dream smile with your dentist. It’s important you’re able to communicate with your dentist easily and convey a clear idea of what you want to achieve. Think about what your issues are – tooth length, texture, straightness, damage and/or colour? Perhaps your teeth have been worn down and discoloured through general wear and tear as you’ve aged. In which case, it may help to bring a photo of your younger self (with teeth on display) if you want to turn back time by recreating your original smile. Or perhaps you want uber glamorous bright-white teeth like the ones you’ve admired on the red carpet. In which case, bringing pics of your favourite celebs may be a helpful talking point, allowing your dentist to explain what’s realistically achievable (and believable) with your current teeth, skin colouring and bone structure. At Apa, the emphasis is always on creating natural and healthy-looking smiles rather than glaringly obvious false teeth.
After a general check-up, radiographs (x-rays), photos and dental impressions are taken – none of this is painful, but your gag reflex will be tested as your mouth is filled with putty to create the molds.
STEP 2: Decision Time
TIME: Take as much time as you need to consider your options; a dental mock-up takes 30 minutes
COST: At Apa mock-ups during consultations are included in the overall cost
Don’t be blinded by the thought of shiny white teeth. Though applying veneers is considered a low-risk treatment, there are possible side effects (see box). Once fitted, there’s no going back. You will need to replace your veneers approximately every 10 to 20 years and incur the same costs each time, making this a huge financial commitment. Plus, you may not even like the final look. Before you take the leap, enquire about a mock-up.
Some dentists use three-dimensional computer image mock-ups to create an accurate representation of what your new teeth will look like; others, including the team at Apa, use impressions to create resin molds briefly applied to the teeth during a second consultation so you can actually ‘wear’ a likeness of your veneers before signing up for the real thing.
STEP 3: Fitting Provisional Veneers
TIME: 3-4 hours for application, to be worn for 10-14 days while final veneers are produced
COST: Included in the overall cost of veneers
You’ll receive an injection to numb the teeth and gums, the surface of your existing teeth will be filed down and an impression of them will be made to create a mold for your final veneers. Surprisingly, this isn’t as painful as it sounds – once the needles go in you shouldn’t feel a thing. At Apa, the treatment rooms have TVs in the ceiling showing all the latest films, so you can lie back and enjoy the movie!
Once the teeth are prepped, the provisional veneers will be fitted – you’ll wear these for 10 to 14 days while your final veneers are being created. Though they’re securely attached, they can fall out if not properly looked after – and, trust us, no one wants to see their stumps! During this time you’ll need to avoid all tough or chewy foods (no apples, steaks, bread, etc) and all foods that stain, such as curries and red fruit and veg, like beetroot. In fact, now would be a good time to cancel all dinner dates and develop a passion for mashed potato, vanilla ice cream and pale soup.
STEP 5: Fitting the Real Veneers
TIME: 3-4 hours
COST: Around Dhs9,400 per veneer depending on the case difficulty
It’s the big day! Under local anaesthetic your provisional veneers will be removed and the final veneers are put in place – in the simplest terms, it’s a bit like applying false nails. Discomfort levels are the same as with fitting provisional veneers. Once the dental cement is set and the veneers are in place, you get to see the final result!
STEP 6: Final Check-up and Adjustments
TIME: Approximately 30 minutes for check-up and adjustments; from 1 hour for whitening
COST: Check-up included in overall cost of veneers; whitening from Dhs4,000
After allowing a week or so for your teeth to settle, you’ll return to your dentist for a final check-up. You may feel rough edges of stray cement around your new teeth, which can be filed away, and if you experience discomfort in your bite, it can be adjusted slightly by filing down the veneers. Once this is done, the surrounding teeth can be whitened, if needed, to match the selected colour of your veneers. A bleaching solution is applied to the teeth, activated under a fluorescent light for a set duration depending on how white the teeth need to be and how long you can handle the sensation. You may feel sharp shooting pains in your gums.
People with highly sensitive teeth can opt for at-home whitening kits to complete the procedure in their own time if required.
Now you’re ready to take your new teeth home! Be aware, they will not only look different – they will feel different too. This will take some getting used to. You may need to adjust the way you eat slightly and unless you want to go through the whole procedure again sooner rather than later, your healthcare regime will have to be utterly fastidious. See brilliant Dental Hygienist Beverley Watson’s top tips (opposite) for a longer-lasting brighter smile.
INFO: Apa Aesthetics, Villa 3, Al Thanya Street, Umm Suqueim 2, Jumeirah, 04 321 6191, apaaesthetic.ae