Who doesn’t dream about having a celebrity smile? Whether it’s uneven, spaced, overlapping or discoloured teeth that you’d like to see disappear from your photos altogether, you may feel better knowing that not only did A-list celebrities share the same problems, but they’re often solved in one or two dental visits.
Dentist-to-the-stars Dr Tam makes sure the smiles of personalities such as Guy Sebastian, Underbelly’s Hugo Johnstone-Burt and Miss Universe finalist Carissa Walford light up TV screens nationally. As principal of Smile by Design, Dr Tam explains that many people don’t realise a quick and simple procedure can completely change the dynamics of a smile.
“Advanced technologies are now making cosmetic dentistry as easy as popping out to the hairdresser for a new look,” he says. “Around half of my patients approach me thinking they need major modifications when in fact solutions such as whitening and fixing an uneven gum line can be carried out in less than 45 minutes with astonishing results.”
Dr Tam’s simple solutions to 5 common smile problems:
Problem: Chipped or spaced teeth
Who else?: 50 Cent, Tom Cruise and Victoria Beckham
Solution: Tooth-coloured bonded fillings
Visits: 1 or 2
Lasts for: 3+ years upwards; porcelain will last 15+ years
Expect to pay: From $250 upwards
Unsightly dark fillings are a thing of the past, says Dr Tam. Made from either dental ceramic or composite resin, tooth-coloured bonded fillings are long lasting and create a more natural smile. “This affordable option is a conservative approach to the restoration of teeth. Not only can it easily cover gaps and chips, it can also be used to fill new cavities. Most of us don’t realise dark fillings can easily be replaced to provide a more natural look – and with today’s technology there may be no need to extend or drill into the healthy tooth structure.”
Problem Gummy smile or uneven gum line
Who else?: Miley Cyrus, Ben Affleck and Demi Moore
Solution: Gum lift
Expect to pay: From $350 upwards
Dr Tam says gums are numbed and then with a precision instrument, the dentist will trim to alter the shape and size of the tooth area, improving the mouth’s overall balance and appearance. “Teeth are completely numb during this short procedure so the patient never feels any pain. It takes less than an hour and is a fast and effective way to take a smile from average to outstanding. No surprise it’s a popular option in celebrity land,” says Dr Tam.
Problem Discoloured or stained teeth
Who else?: Tom Cruise and Victoria Beckham
Solution: In chair teeth whitening
Lasts for: Approximately 2 years pending diet and other factors
Expect to pay: From $450 upwards
A formulated teeth whitening gel is applied to teeth and activated by a UV lamp. Depending on the shade of the teeth and the desired shade, the tooth whitening gel may be reapplied one or two times in the same appointment, with each session lasting approximately 30 minutes. “Teeth whitening can brighten your smile by up to 12 shades in a single 45-minute appointment,” said Dr Tam. “It can also last up to two years depending on what option you choose. A colour boost with tooth whitening gel every so often will help to lift your smile. Advances such as cutting-edge activation lamps now significantly reduce sensitivity in teeth during the procedure, while enhancing results.
Who else?: George Clooney and Celine Dion
Solution: Porcelain veneers
Lasts for: 15 years plus
Expect to pay: From $1100 upwards
A dental veneer procedure is relatively painless and may be completed without an anesthetic, Dr Tam says. A wafer-thin shell of porcelain is fused to the façade of the teeth to create a totally streamlined smile. “Many are intimidated by veneers as they believe that the majority of their natural tooth will be drilled away. The reality is that, depending on the case, less than 0.5 mm is shaved off the natural tooth, the same thickness of the veneer. The porcelain makes this a very natural-looking option,” says Dr Tam.
Problem Squint or overlapping teeth
Who else?: Cheryl Cole, Katherine Heigl and Justin Bieber
Visits: Approximately every 6-8 weeks over 6-18 months
Expect to pay: From $4,500 upwards
“Many adults are still unaware that there is an option for straightening teeth beyond their teens. An invisible brace is an affordable, painless and hassle-free option that provides the same results as conventional braces. A very popular choice among celebrities,” said Dr Tam. These clear braces consist of a series of clear, custom-moulded aligners made using 3D computer imaging software. Each set of aligners is replaced every couple of weeks, with each new set moving your teeth a little more until they have straightened to the final correct position.
For more quick dentistry tips visit www.cosmeticdentistaustralia.com.au
Would you consider having cosmetic dentistry?