Grin like a star

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New York Daily News – http://www.nydailynews.comYou can grinlike a star! BY TANYANIKA SAMUELSDAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER Thursday, March 24th, 2005 For the dentally challenged, flashing a dazzling Julia Roberts or Tom Cruise smile can be a snap, thanks to the latest in tooth technology. Snap-on teeth – with celebrity-inspired choppers – are fast becoming a popular way to get that coveted smile without waiting out braces or dropping thousands on caps, some dentists say. “It gives patients an opportunity to see how one could enhance their smile at very little cost,” said Larry Addleson, president of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. The plastic teeth slide over a patient’s own teeth like a glove and snap into place. The wearer simply puts them in or removes them with a gentle push or tug. New York dentist Jeff Golub-Evans offers his patients a variety of celebrity-inspired looks such as “The Halle” or “The Gwyneth” for women, and the “Denzel” or “George” for men. “A good smile is now a fashion accessory,” he said. Golub-Evans, who first started making prosthetic teeth for theatrical performances, has been fitting his patients with perfect pearly whites for about two years now. His says his patients include celebrities as well as brides-to-be and those wanting to test drive a new smile before committing to a more permanent procedure. Manhattan dentist Marc Liechtung is another of the few dentists nationwide who offer the prosthetics, which cost $1,000 to $1,500 per set. He has been fitting his patients with the snap-on teeth for about three months. “The whole idea is to give people the confidence to go out and smile,” Liechtung said. He does about 10 consultations per day, but not everyone automatically qualifies. He does not recommend them for people with gum disease or severe tooth decay. “This is solely cosmetic,” Liechtung said. “It’s not meant to replace bridgework or the need for a filling.” Dental experts said the prosthetics could last for years with limited usage and careful cleaning. Wearers can eat with them, but it is recommended that they eat only softer foods, like yogurt or mashed potatoes. For patients like Jennifer Vasquez, such a restriction is a minor detail. She wanted a picture-perfect smile for her Aug. 28 wedding but didn’t want to drop thousands on pricey dental work. “They’re very comfortable,” she said of her new teeth. “It feels just like you’re wearing a retainer and no one can tell. They don’t look like Halloween teeth.”

A totally misrepresented applianceThis appliance works like a bruxism appliance. When the patient first puts it in, assuming that it was constructed at a quality dental lab, it will snap into place and stay in fairly well. However after you use it for a while, it will loosen up and can come out with the apple that you bite into or even brake in half when biting into a piece of bread. To top that off having a yogurt for dinner on your wedding night or have the aforementioned happen can present a embarrassing situation. In addition, since the shell teeth cover the originals they must be larger than what the patient has. This may present a little dilemma when you choose the “Gwyneth or Halle Smile” if your teeth are of the same size or are slightly larger. To complicate the situation even further, this type of appliance will only work for patients that do not have many curvatures on their teeth eliminating the most of us. However the positive feature to this appliance is that it will bring many new patients into the dentist’s office that may be talked into more expensive procedures. Since the dentist sends out these resin appliances to be constructed at a dental lab, he must pay the laboratory approximately $100.00 for doing all the work.A little humor that I thought you may appreciate.Arvid SaunaitisFormer dental lab owner630-910-6520 [email protected]