[Disclosure: I’m paying for my smile makeover, but have been given a discount by Dentistry on the Square, in exchange for honest coverage of the process.]
I‘ve had a couple of questions lately about how my smile makeover is going, so I figured it was time for a quick update, as I head into the final stage of my journey towards that perfect, Hollywood smile I’ve always wanted.
So, as some of you might recall, I started this process a few months ago, with gum contouring, and since then, I’ve mostly been concentrating on whitening my bottom teeth, in a bid to get them as bright as possible, before I have veneers fitted on the uppers. I’ll be writing a full review of the Enlighten tooth whitening system I’ve been using soon: for now, all I’ll say is that this part of the makeover was super-important because, for me, the whole point of this procedure was to get super-white, super-shiny teeth. Love Island teeth. OK, maybe not Jack-from-Love-Island teeth, but still: you get what I mean, right? I mean, I can’t be the only person who watched that episode of Friends where Ross gets his teeth whitened, and thought, “Well, sure, he took it a bit far, but still, I wonder what he used? Because I’d totally be up for trying that?”
On second, thoughts, maybe don’t answer that…
I wanted very, very white teeth, is what I’m saying. Or, at least, I thought I did.
Here’s the thing, though: I’m sitting writing this post with the whitest, straightest teeth ever. (Er, as the OWNER of the whitest, straightest teeth ever, I mean: I’m ACTUALLY writing the post with my hands, obviously – let’s not get carried away here.) They are, however, temporary teeth: a set of veneers fitted by my dentist for a very short period of time, both to cover up the horrors that were revealed when my existing veneers were removed, and to let me see what the finished result of the smile makeover will be, before I actually commit to it. I’m now onto my second set of these, and it’s been a complete revelation, and probably the most important part of the entire process, really.
Now, when I first approached Dentistry on the Square about the work I wanted to have done, I told them I wasn’t worried about “road testing” my new smile, for want of a better phrase. I wanted to have temporary veneers to cover my natural teeth while the final porcelain veneers were being made up (I haven’t seen my peg tooth in years now, and that suits me just fine, because I never want to have to see it again, basically…), but that was it: I had no further use for them, because I knew EXACTLY what I wanted from my new smile, and nothing was going to change my mind. Honestly, if it had been up to me, I’d have had the lab just make up the final porcelain veneers right then and there, and not given it a second thought.
Which would’ve been really, really stupid of me, wouldn’t it?
The thing is, though, a lesser dentist would probably have just gone ahead with that plan. I mean, this is the fourth time I’ve had veneers fitted after all (Yes, really…), and on the other three occasions, that’s exactly what’s happened. Which is possibly why I was never totally happy with the finished result, really. Luckily, though, this time I went with Dentistry on the Square: and they are not the kind of dentists who’re going to let you pick out veneers the same way you’d pick out a new pair of socks, say, and then fit them without giving you time to think about it. No, as Jamie explained to me, it’s one thing to know what you want your new smile to look like in your head, but another altogether to know what it’ll look like in your mouth. A lot of the time, you really need to see the finished result before it actually IS the finished result: i.e. you need to try out temporary veneers for a week or two so you can see what your teeth are ACTUALLY going to look like, and whether or not they’re what you really want. Or, in my case, you have to try out TWO sets of temporary veneers. Yes.
I had the first set (shown above) fitted in the middle of January, in a two-hour long procedure which involved first of all removing my existing dental work, and then creating a mold from which Jamie made the temporary veneers right then and there. These were then fitted on top of my own teeth and glued in place: for the first few hours, I felt a bit like I was wearing a brace on my top teeth (And, of course, I was slurring my words again due to the anaesthetic…), but by the time I woke up the next morning, I was barely aware of them. I say barely aware – although Jamie had made the temps as secure as possible, they ARE designed to be temporary, so they’re not fitted in the same way as their porcelain counterparts will be, which means you do have to be a little more careful with them than you would with porcelains. So I haven’t been eating many apples, say, or sticky toffees, and I’ve also been avoiding things like red wine, because the material the temps are made from are a little more likely to stain.
(I’ve still been drinking coffee, though, because there’s only so much a girl can sacrifice in the name of beauty, right? Happy to report, though, that the coffee doesn’t seem to have made any difference, which was a big relief to me to because I once had two temporary veneers which turned bright orange and then promptly fell out: so THAT was fun. )
That first set of temps were on for two weeks, which gave me plenty of time to see how I felt about them once I’d lived with them for a while. In this case, I was happy with the shape, but felt the colour wasn’t quite blinding enough. Jamie, meanwhile, identified a couple of small changes he wanted to make to the shape, so, last week I headed back to Dentistry on the Square to have the first set removed and a new set of temps fitted. Again, it was a fairly lengthy appointment (Which felt much shorter thanks to those fantastic DVD goggles the practice provides: you basically just lie there and watch TV while your smile is transformed…), and I’m guessing some people might question why it’s even necessary: if I’d identified the things I wanted to change, after all, why not just go straight to fitting the final veneers?
Here’s the thing, though: not only was that second set of temps necessary, I’d say they were absolutely ESSENTIAL. Because, guys? They were TOO WHITE. And, honestly, those are words I never thought I’d type. Before I started this process, I didn’t even believe there WAS such as thing as “too white” when it comes to teeth, but I have learned my lesson – and while I do still want the finished teeth to look white – even bleached white – I’ve come to understand the importance of them also looking natural: which, as strange as it might sound to those of you who have never envied Ross Geller’s teeth, is something that probably wouldn’t have really sunk in for me had I not gone through two sets of temps.
So! That’s where we’re at: and if you’re wondering why I haven’t included a photo of the second set of temps, it’s because I don’t want to spoil the final reveal of the porcelain veneers – which, all being well, should be being fitted this time next week.
(Oh, and also because I’m currently recovering from my fourth heavy cold of the winter, and trust me, you do NOT want to see a close-up of my face right now…)
Wish me luck…