It's hard not to notice our national obsession with whiter teeth. Toothpaste manufacturers are pushing whiteners, pastes, gels, peroxide tubes and strips. Television news anchors flash otherworldly smiles. Businesspeople close the deal with a grin and a handshake.
For those who have suffered for years with chipped or broken teeth, gaps or other embarrassing dental problems, there's good news. At his practice in Rocky River, dentist Anthony J. Heibili offers a variety of aesthetic and functional solutions that may change your life for the better.
"Since the program 'Extreme Makeovers' appeared on ABC, more and more people are aware of the benefits of smile makeovers and whole-mouth rejuvenation," Heibili says. "Porcelain-laminate veneers can help anyone feel younger, boost their confidence and transform the appearance of their face."
Heibili should know. He and the dentist featured on ABC's "Extreme Makeovers" program both trained at the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies. Heibili and several of his team members, who have taken patients to the institute for their smile makeovers, continue to attend courses there two to three times a year. Heibili is considered to have achieved a level of expertise shared with only 1 percent of all dentists in the United States and Canada.
"LVI teaches us how to create smiles that suit the individual patient's needs," he explains. "I have been fortunate to have been trained by some of the best in the profession." Prior to attending LVI, Heibili took classes from Dr. Larry Rosenthal, a Manhattan dentist who takes credit for the smiles of numerous Hollywood stars and models.
How does one achieve that dazzling smile? Heibili suggests Brite Smile, a professional tooth-whitening system that uses state-of-the-art technology in whitening, a combination of a gel and blue light. He says the process achieves results up to nine shades lighter in less than two hours. It has been proven safe and lasts approximately two yearsswith proper oral hygiene. Patients can even apply a product at home that increases the longevity of the process.
What's the next step? Porcelain veneers. A porcelain veneer is simply a ceramic shell that bonds directly to the front surface of the tooth and is customized in size, shape and shade. In addition to changing the color of teeth, porcelain veneers can repair chips or breaks, worn or missing teeth and gummy smiles. Veneers can also straighten crooked or overlapping teeth, acting as instant orthodontics vs. waiting two to three years for results with traditional braces. A new smile is born instantly.
But the options don't end there. For those whose problems go beyond aesthetics, Heibili suggests neuromuscular dentistry or whole-mouth rejuvenation. The nonsurgical procedure uses the relaxed position of the muscles of the head and neck to place the jaw in an optimal physiological position. The procedure not only stops teeth grinding, but may also eliminate headaches and migraines, sinus and ear problems, neck and back discomfort, snoring and sleep apnea. In addition to bridges, veneers and crowns, Heibili offers implants and precision-fit, natural-looking and -feeling partial and full dentures.
"We offer five-star personal service by providing state-of-the-art technology, massage chairs, movie glasses, aromatherapy and hot towels," he says. "It's much different than the traditional dental office."
Heibili says some of his patients refused to smile before they visited. He adds that watching the confidence of such people blossom after undergoing smile makeovers has been a great treat.
"I recall one patient in particular who had a smile makeover, lost weight and became a new person," Heibili says. "I love these cases because they are a pleasure for me and my dental team. They give us a great sense of reward."
12:00 AM EST
April 1, 2004