After our recent visit to the newly launched Apa Aesthetics Dental & Cosmetics Centre in Jumeirah, we decided to have a chat with the man himself, Dr. Michael Apa on cosmetic dentistry.
Dr. Apa is a personable master of aesthetic dentistry having established the first undergraduate aestheics program at NYU (New York Univeristy College of Dentistry). Soon after his graduation, Michael Apa was lecturing about advances in cosmetic dentistry to dentists all around the world and he still, to this day regularly returns as a professor to the program he started at NYU. Directly out of dental school, Dr. Apa joined the top cosmetic dentistry office in New York. He continued to build his reputation by drawing high-profile clients and celebrities across the country and internationally and now in Dubai too.
His work continues to evolve the field of aestheic and restorative dentistry, advancing knowledge and challenging conventional expectations for the most natural smile possible.
Our expectations were high when talking to Dr. Apa only heightened by the visit to the beautifully designed practice itself.
So, Dr. Apa, you consider yourself to be an artist, do you think that dentistry is widely considered as an art form?
It’s a good question…whether it’s looked at as such is not as important as if people practice it as an art form. I think anytime you’re using your hands, you have to be detailed in a small space, therefore it becomes an art form, at least that’s how it is for me. But then there comes a real design aspect when creating a look for someone by understanding facial aesthetic of what is present and how you can change it with new teeth. Teeth, and how they support the lower third of the face are a critical component to overall facial beauty and harmony. One doesn’t exist without the other.
What is the main difference in clientele between NYC and Dubai?
Nothing really other than geography. At the core, all of my patients are looking for the same thing, a beautiful smile. Most who seek me are looking for a certain natural aesthetic. Maybe New Yorkers are a little more punctual for their appointments on a whole, but other than that not much!
You are debuting FAD (facial aesthetic design) which is a new approach to aesthetic dentistry. What does this mean for your clients?
It means that they can get their teeth done without looking artificial…cosmetic dentistry for a long time has been based solely on the parameters of the mouth. We base it on the static and dynamic facial aesthetic and are looking to make it enhanced in all aspects.
What inspired you to be a dental specialist?
It was a decision made at a young age. I knew I wanted to be in healthcare and for some reason dentistry was just always in my mind. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized how it was a perfect fit of science and art, both of which I was passionate about.
What effect in your opinion, does a smile have on your entire appearance?
A lot. To most, it’s the first thing you see when you meet someone. It has control over how your lips rest, how your mouth looks, takes part in defining your jawline and cheekbones…but most of all it can be the brightest part of your face. So it plays a large part.not to mention it is a window into how you take care of your body that people can see through, it represents both beauty and health.
More and more people are opting for cosmetic dentistry to improve their appearance largely driven by celebrity culture, how accessible is the perfect smile to the everyday person?
Very accessible. It all really starts with taking good care of what you were born with, but if things have progressed too far, there are options. Simple orthodontia, either traditional braces or clear braces, i.e. invisalign, can make a big difference in the overall appearance of your teeth. And if this isn’t your choice, veneers are practiced by many at all different prices. Just be aware of what you’re looking for and if it can be delivered. A good consultation with asking the right questions can go a long way, make sure you’re seeing the practitioners own work to be assured you like his/her aesthetic.
You’ve transformed the smiles of many celebrities over the years, what affect on their careers have you seen this have?
I think in general it’s always a positive that goes much deeper than just how someone looks. When someone is confident to smile, they will smile more, be more engaging and overall have a more positive lease on life. This goes for celebrities or anyone.
Who has been your favourite celebrity that you have worked with?
They are all special in their own way.
Whose smile would you most like to work on and why?
Tom Cruise. He’s an icon. He’s had so much done to his teeth and in my opinion they still haven’t gotten it right. I would love to help him out.
Apa aesthetic has recently opened in Dubai, why did you choose Dubai after New York for your next clinic?
I’ve been a visiting doctor in Dubai for the past 6 years and have really fallen in love with it. There is a real sense of excitement with the possibilities that exist there. I want to offer the same level of service that people travel to New York for in Dubai.
What is your approach to designing an overall smile?
It’s really a total approach to each patient. It’s about trying to know not only their facial contours, but also something about who they are as a person. Teeth carry a lot of personality and if done correctly can really add character. It’s about matching those together to get the most beautiful, natural harmonious result.
What can the residents of the UAE expect from Apa aesthetics and what makes it different from other clinics in the region?
The level of care, service and overall experience of going to see a dentist. We are re-defining the experience. You’ll just have to come visit to see what I mean.
What’s next for you after Dubai?
I’m launching a beauty line of products for the smile,some re-invented and some new to the market.
So there you have it, and as Dr. Apa says, you will just have to visit the clinic to find out for yourselves.