Just like fashion, dentistry has trends that come and go. Veneers are out and minimally invasive orthodontics are in, says Dr Maysoon Abdelmajeed, clinical director of the new Just White Dental Clinic practice in Dubai Marina, who can create a perfectly straight smile in just six months thanks to new technology from the United States.
Braces are still regarded as the best way to straighten a smile, but can you really get the same results in a quarter of the traditional time?
Yes, we’re the first UAE clinic to offer Six Month Smiles or short-term orthodontics. It’s targeted at adults and it helps straighten teeth faster, unlike traditional orthodontics, which would take two to three years. It’s also minimally invasive. It basically consists of a fixed brace of brackets and wires on the outside of the teeth – in clear materials – so everything blends well with the tooth colour.
Another option patients love is to straighten front teeth quickly and safely – it is called the Inman Aligner. It’s a removable appliance made of two clear plastic bows. Metal springs gradually move the teeth into the ideal position and you wear the aligners all the time, but remove to eat, drink and clean the teeth. They work on average in six to 16 weeks. There’s also what we call lingual braces, which are hidden behind the teeth and are popular with athletes, actors and models.
Who requests these straightening services in your practice?
Western professionals, mostly in their late 20s or 30s.
Has the stigma of adult braces all but disappeared?
I think it has become more acceptable and there’s a lot of celebs who have worn them, such as Holly Willoughby, Emma Watson, Isla Fisher and Tom Cruise. Patients are becoming more educated, more aware of what actually happens to their teeth with crowns and veneers. Their teeth are not being restored, they are being cut into. Veneers won’t last forever, they could fall off, discolour and as we grow older our gums recede, exposing the dental work more.
So, many are stepping away from that and looking for more conservative options like going to orthodontics instead. It’s better for their pocket and also their teeth.
How painful are the faster braces?
There’s always a bit of discomfort that comes from the pressure of moving teeth but nothing that would require you to reach for painkillers.
Back to basics: how often people should come to see their dentist?
It depends on their decay risk or whether they have gum disease or not. On average, I’d say every six months. For children at high risk, every couple of months, so that we can apply fluoride, strengthen the teeth and lessen the risk of decay.
There’s been some debate internationally about whether adding fluoride to water systems is a good or bad thing. What’s your view?
I think it’s good. I know a lot of people don’t like it and would rather control it themselves but fluoride is good for your teeth, 100 per cent. Naturally, however, if you take too much it can cause fluorosis and produce white spots on your teeth.
To book an appointment at JWDC, Unit 8, Al Fattan Tower, JBR, Dubai, call 04 399 8440 or visit www.justwhitedental.com. Six Month Smiles start from Dh9,500. The Inman Aligner treatment starts from Dh8,950 and prices for lingual braces are available upon request