Something new has recently descended on Jumeirah and is set to change the way we view not only the dentist’s chair but also our smiles forever.
Dr. Michael Apa, the internationally celebrated American cosmetic dentist that Catherine Zeta Jones and Lea Michelle trust with their teeth launched his first UAE based clinic in March of this year and has been fixing the appearances of Dubai based residents ever since.
With more than 10 years experience in the aesthetic dentistry industry, Dr. Apa is the dental expert you’ll want to have on speed dial. Renowned for his bespoke approach to the perfect set of teeth, Dr. Apa prides himself in designing an overall sense of harmony to the face by tailor-making each person’s smile.
It all sounded more than a little fascinating so I decided to take myself (and my smile) down to Apa Aesthetic to see what all the fuss was about.
Apa Aesthetic isn’t like any other dental surgery you will have been to before, for starters it’s enormous. Encompassing some 5,000 square feet the clinic is so futuristic in its design you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in a luxury spa. It is also the only centre of its kind in the region to feature an onsite lab making for better precision and timings when having cosmetic dentistry work done. That in itself is enough to generate piece of mind.
Walking into Apa Aesthetic you are filled with an overall sense of calm, which I am told by one of the very glamorous receptionists is exactly the point. From the opulent chandelier style lights hanging from the impossibly high ceilings to the tranquil water feature, Apa Aesthetic prides itself on being an oasis of calm, a welcome change to stuffy waiting rooms and nerve-inducing posters on gum disease hanging from the wall. The lavish centre has six practice and surgery rooms and manages to respect clients privacy by also having a special VIP room which is available to treat patients confidentially should they so wish. This is Dubai after all.
I was here to meet Beverley Watson, a highly skilled dental nurse and hygienist with over 20 years experience in both the Middle East and London, so I knew I was in good hands. Beverley is passionate about oral hygiene and I was there to have my teeth cleaned and polished to perfection. My previous apprehension about displaying my tea-stained teeth in all their glory (I just can’t resist a cuppa or a glass of red wine) soon diminished as Beverley sat me down for a chat. Her personable nature and willingness to discuss both her experience and my teeth in detail instantly put me at ease, in fact I was rather looking forward to getting into the chair and settling down for half an hour watching The Real Housewives of Orange County through headphones on the plasma TV that was strategically hanging from the ceiling above the chair. Hate the noise of a dentist’s drill or that awful scraping sound that we reluctantly tolerate? Apa Aesthetic realise this and have gone to great lengths to achieve their patient’s comfort. I was sold. Plus if my smile could look half as good as Beverley’s gleaming pearly whites I would pretty much succumb to any amount of local anesthetic.
Before we began, I decided to ask Beverley some all important questions:
Q: What advice would you give to anyone who is apprehensive about visiting a dentist?
The most important thing is to feel trust and feel safe with your Dentist/ Dental Hygienist and know that you ultimately are in control. If you want to stop and have a breather to Know that you can raise your hand and your Clinician will stop!
Q: How important is dental hygiene and why do you think so many people overlook this? Is it a lack of education on the subject?
The Cleanliness of your mouth is super important it has a direct effect on our general health. If the eyes are the window to our soul then the Mouth is a window to our body. If your gums are bleeding this can be an indication that your general health is suffering. By visiting a Dental Hygienist between every 3-6 months they can treat and prevent your Oral condition from worsening.
Also your teeth feel so clean after. I compare it to having a Turkish Hamam but for the mouth. Make a visit to a Hygienist be part of your beauty routine and it’s like a double wammy! You get a great clean feeling with health benefits.
Regarding the Education of the role of a Dental Hygienist in maintaining and motivating Oral and general health, yes I believe there is a serious lack in this area, people still don’t really know how important visiting a Dental Hygienist can be and how great they will feel after.
Q: What impact can a perfectly formed smile have on not only your physical appearance but also the way you feel?
I love this question. I have witnessed so many transformations not only in a persons appearance but more importantly their whole being. When you see them after they appear to be more confident, smiling openly and are generally carefree, where as before they may have covered their smile when they laughed, never openly smile in photos and were generally withdrawn due to lack of confidence all from being conscious of their smile.
Q:Why did you decide to join Apa Aesthetics?
I have been a fan of Dr Apa’s work for many years. We have shared many patients over the past 7 years in a previous clinic but the thought of working and leaning from him exclusively, well I jumped at the chance. At Apa Aesthetic I believe we have achieved the perfect balance of innovation and excitement with the ultimate in patient Comfort and Care. At the end of the day the Patient is THE most important aspect of the whole experience
Q: What is the main problem you see with teeth in the UAE?
FAKE FAKE FAKE!!! Too Big, Too White. People are bombarded daily by plastic, opaque, uniform, bright white teeth so People feel this is the look they want and need to achieve.
Here at Apa Aesthetic our mission is to redefine this idea of beauty. So people know it is possible to create an enhanced version of themselves with stunning results where people will think you were born with this beauty, rather than you bought this beauty.
After our frank and honest conversation I was fully confident in trusting Beverley with my teeth so she got to work on my smile and cleaned, polished and scrubbed them into shiny versions of their former selves. The whole experience was painless and at all times I felt that I was the one in control of when to take a break or how much pressure was put on, something I hadn’t before experienced in the dentist’s chair before. I was told that I was a terrible teeth grinder, something that again no other dentist had ever picked up on, in fact it turns out I was chomping away at my own enamel on my bottom teeth during the night so vigorously that I was actually affecting my overall bite, health and tooth discolouration.
Dr David Montalvo was drafted in to take a look at my teeth and I was told that my overbite was causing all sorts of problems yet could be relieved somewhat by wearing a mouth guard at night or having dental surgery. Both dentists were more than willing to answer my continuous inquisitive questions and aid me in decision-making about the future of my smile.
Apa Aesthetic also uses internationally advanced technologies including 3D imprint scans taken of patients that can be directly sent to the clinic in New York when Dr.Apa is travelling to personally analyze and provide his incomparable advice.
I was also subject to one of these technological advances. Informed that my teeth were a fraction too small and the proportion of gum on show was affecting the overall symmetry and harmony of my smile (harsh but true), I was once again reclined and a white mould was applied over my teeth in order to show me the result of a full top row of veneers and how this would revolutionize my overall appearance. Slightly skeptical I politely accepted and decided to see what my smile would look like should I decide to go down the path of this type of commitment. I am not ashamed to admit I was slightly taken aback by the results. Small temporary veneers that had taken less than 5 minutes to create by liquid moulding were placed over the top of my natural teeth to make them more rounded and slightly more enlarged, looking in the mirror and at the before and after photos that were taken I was quite frankly astounded at the results, my entire face had changed just by the action of a couple of millimetres more tooth. My smile was wider, appeared whiter and my lips slightly more prominent which improved my overall profile. I have to hand it to Apa Aesthetic they know their dentistry.
Deciding not to opt for a full mouth of veneers just yet I happily left the clinic confident that if I ever should change my mind I know exactly where I would come to do so. I now also believe I have finally found a dentist and clinic in the region that I can not only trust with my teeth but I can actually look forward to visiting.
Apa Aesthetic and Cosmetic Centre LLC
Al Thanya Street
P.O. Box 213487
Umm Suqueim 2