NEIL SILVER is hoping tooth whitening will help him avoid a mid-life crisis and here he shares his experience of the treatment at Dental Living.
Having spent the majority of my career as a sports journalist, I regard myself as a trained observer, but these days you don’t have to be eagle-eyed to notice that every time you turn on the television, or look in a glossy magazine, you are dazzled by celebrities with gleaming white teeth fit for a toothpaste advert.
I was brought up to believe it is important to look nice and therefore I take pride in my appearance, so I think those dazzling smile are rather nice – in fact, I am a little envious.
As we get older, we sometimes have to work a little bit harder to achieve that, and I must admit that when I turned 50 back in November it was a milestone I did not exactly relish. I wasn’t having a mid-life crisis, but one of the things I decided I wanted to do in a bid to cheer myself up was to have my teeth whitened – surely it would be safer and far cheaper than having an affair!
Again, thanks to my journalistic training, I like to know every last detail when I am subjecting my body to a new medical procedure, but that was no problem as I am fortunate that my dentist Wasim Fazel is not only very approachable, but he gives it to you straight.
Let’s get one thing out of the way before we start. The best white teeth have not been achieved by simple tooth whitening.
Celebrities such as Simon Cowell and Julia Roberts have had their teeth treated with veneers – a thin layer of porcelain made to fit over the front surface of a tooth, a bit like having false fingernails.
Of course, Wasim and the guys at Dental Living could offer me such a transformation. The only problem is, I don’t have the £12,000 it costs to have the treatment done – small change to the likes of Mr Cowell or Ms Roberts.
So I opted for the more common – and economical – version of tooth whitening, which is carried out using special industry- safe chemicals and costs just £385.
It is also important to point out that if you are considering tooth whitening, you must have it done by a professional. You can probably get it done cheaper at your local beauty parlour, but would you want to risk having your gums burnt, which is one of the common dangers if the procedure is carried out by someone who does not know their molars from their manicures.
I am a bit of a sceptical person – you won’t get me believing in UFOs unless the aliens whisk me away for afternoon tea and a chat – so I appreciated Wasim telling me there were no guarantees and that everyone’s teeth respond differently. I decided to go ahead nonetheless as I believe in positive thinking.
This is a work in progress, and I want to share my experience with you, as I do not yet know how it will turn out – I am living in hope.
The first step was painless (as is the whole process, actually). Two weeks ago, Wasim simply took an impression of my upper and lower teeth so that plastic moulds could be created.
I returned to the surgery yesterday and was given my two moulds and a box containing ten syringes full of the tooth whitening product.
The moulds must be worn for a minimum of four hours so each night, before going to bed, I must inject a little bit of solution into each tooth slot on the mould and then wear the moulds overnight (there is no harm in wearing them for longer than four hours).
I was worried that the moulds would feel uncomfortable and prevent me from getting a good night’s sleep, or that the solution would taste awful. But I was pleasantly surprised this morning to find that I woke up feeling fine and there were no ill effects at all.
This is only day one, and I am not due to see Wasim for a fortnight, but I am excited by the thought that in just a couple of weeks my teeth could become a few shades whiter. As you will see, photographs are being taken at regular intervals so that we can monitor my progress.
Stay with me on this journey to see if tooth whitening works for me, as I also tell it like it is, and I will update you in one week. They say a smile costs nothing, and hopefully this treatment will be putting a brighter, whiter smile on my face.
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