When a cosmetic dentist is tasked with overhauling a person’s smile, there are many important elements to evaluate. “You have to design a smile that is perfect for the individual. You must consider the shape of the person’s face — the complexion, hair and eye color, and even the personality,” says Lowenberg. Connelly adds that if you don’t take every aspect of a person — including her personality — into account, you can end up with the wrong look.
Hilary Duff learned that lesson after she chipped her tooth on a microphone and got her first set of veneers in 2005, says Connelly. The early veneers were simply too big for the size and shape of her head, and she took some heat in the tabloids because of it. “But she got a second set of veneers [in 2008] that corrected the problem,” says Connelly. Both the length of her incisors and her smile width were significantly reduced to create to a more natural shape and size for Duff’s smile and face. “And her smile is great now,” says Connelly.
Teeth whitening has become a major cultural obsession, but one of the concerns that people often have about bleaching their teeth is overdoing the whiteness and creating a garish, megawatt smile. For example, Golub-Evans says that patient Hugh Jackman expressed his concern that whitening his teeth might detract from the rugged look he’s known for. With a professional treatment, the level of whiteness is something that can be controlled by a skilled dentist. “For Jackman, we monitored the process carefully with lower dosages to ensure that his natural teeth were light but still looked real,” says Golub-Evans. People who are bleaching their teeth with over-the-counter whitening products can gradually monitor their own levels of whiteness, since these products have a lower concentration of whitening ingredients than dental office products. The OTC products do work; they just take longer to achieve the same intensity of whiteness as professional products.