Academix- Dentist-November 2006-Issue 15
Cosmetic Dentistry: Creating the Hollywood smile
Hailing from Valencia, Venezuela, Dr. Soraya El Masri has been practicing dentistry in the United Arab Emirates for nearly 20 years. A general dentistry graduate from the University of Carabobo, in Valencia, she moved to Dubai over 17 years ago for a position in a dental clinic that was only supposed to last for two years.
owever, according to Dr. El Masri, “destiny” had other plans. With over a decade of experience in her field, she decided to set out on a new path, one on which she could offer “smile makeovers.”
What exactly is Cosmetic Dentistry? People seek cosmetic dentistry for a variety of reasons. Some want to look younger. Cosmetic dentistry is like a dental facelift, it can “reverse” the natural aging process of the teeth. A lot of people have unattractive teeth their whole lives and have always felt self-conscious about them. They rarely smile, which can often hide a softer side of their personality. Modern dentistry offers a wide variety of treatment options for people seeking to enhance their smile. The options range from porcelain veneers to braces, from gum lifting to whitening! In many cases such treatments are required to deliver the best results. In the 1920s and 30s, actors and other performers would often go to such lengths as having their teeth extracted and dentures (false teeth) made to improve their smile. Then came crowning or capping teeth by trimming all the surfaces on the enamel of the teeth structures. These radical procedures have given way to veneers, a far more conservative approach. Veneers are what give many Hollywood movie stars that dazzling smile we see on the silver screen!
Academix- Dentist-November 2006-Issue 15
Are clients generally referred to a cosmetic dentist or can they simply walk in to your clinic? Nowadays, people tend to come in for a consultation with a cosmetic dental surgeon, as they would for plastic and cosmetic surgery. Most clients are referred by people who have already had the treatment done, others come asking for a new smile and are quickly convinced after being shown before and after pictures of actual procedures. Others still come in and straightaway ask for a Hollywood smile. The field of cosmetic dentistry is constantly being updated and advanced by the preparation techniques and bonding that takes place at dental seminars, conventions, workshops, DVDs and Internet courses. I chose cosmetic dentistry as a career path because of my passion, patience, talent, fine taste and love of delivering the fine art and beauty of dentistry. Does your career leave time for motherhood? I would say it is quite hard to cope when you’re a full-time dentist. Luckily, a year ago I stopped my full-time duties to become a part-time cosmetic consultant, which is allowing me more time with my daughter. It is much easier for me now since I devote mornings to my patients and in the afternoon I look after my daughter’s studies and activities. This dedicated time with her has reflected in more bonding and stronger communication between us.
Cosmetic dentistry: What it’s all about
1. Whitening: a lightening of the teeth which brightens the face. Whitening can be done one of two ways: home whitening, which takes two weeks, and one-hour professional laser whitening. The latter is the most popular. 2 2. Veneers: thin porcelain covers placed over the teeth. They improve a wide variety of cosmetic dental problems. They can whiten stained or discolored teeth, close gaps between teeth, “correct” a crooked smile without the need for braces, repair chips and imperfections and create a more attractive or youthful smile. The procedure usually involves removing only a thin amount of the outmost layer of the front tooth, called enamel, to be later replaced by a thin layer of porcelain veneer (like a contact lens or a finger nail), which is crafted in the laboratory then bonded to the front of teeth in a whole solid body. This process doesn’t touch or affect the gum and improves the teeth’s appearance and strength! Veneers are very popular with many clients because they are a quick and easy solution for many people looking for the Hollywood smile. 3. Gum lifting: a technique that involves the removal or lifting of the gum to make the teeth appear longer and the gum-line even. This technique is ideal for those people who have excess gum covering their front teeth. An uneven gum-line makes the teeth appear short and unattractive. 4. Full porcelain crowns and bridges using the new metal-free technique, which when bonded gives more natural translucent looking teeth. This technique supersedes the old one, which used to tattoo the gum line due to the use of low gold quality under the porcelain crown.
One of Dr. Masri's patients: before and after the treatment of the upper jaw and teeth.
5. Porcelain inlays and onlays: fillings for big cavities in posterior teeth crafted in the laboratory and bonded in the clinic by the dentist in order to give full strength and beautiful look to the molars.