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SOMETHING TO SMILE ABOUT

Whether you’re thinking of wedding photos, holiday snaps or simply your selfies, a perfect smile could be on your wish-list.

However, for dentists, perfection may no longer involve creating super white, square, straight veneers – the Hollywood smile.

Instead, says Dr Sam Jethwa – cosmetic dentist at Bespoke Smile and a Director of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry – minimally invasive dentistry is becoming popular.

“Clients are very aware of how damaging old fashioned and badly placed veneers and crowns can be,” says Dr Jethwa. “They want to achieve a beautiful smile without drilling their teeth down to stumps which causes pain and sensitivity – and speeds up the need to redo the treatment.”

Sam says that porcelain veneers that are thin enough to be bonded directly to the teeth enamel can last for 10-20 years on average.

Among other minimally invasive treatments are cosmetic ceramic braces, invisible aligners and teeth whitening. “These can also resolve common aesthetic problems,” says Sam. He advises caution, however if you’re considering composite bonding – a white filling material used on chips and discolouration. It is weaker than natural teeth enamel. “It can be quick and cheap,” says Sam. “But, we are seeing the after effects in our clinics: staining, chipping, and wearing down.”

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