Adele, 54

Laser gum therapy, Zoom! whitening, crowns/veneers

PERFORMED BY: Dr. Arun Narang, B. Sc., DDS

*Patient name has been changed

Elevate: What prompted you to have these procedures done?
ADELE: "I looked at myself in the mirror one morning and was shocked to see that I didn't look as young as I felt. I started dealing with the parts of myself that I wasn't pleased with – so, using makeup for skin issues, undergarments for body flaws – but I couldn't do anything about my teeth, which I'd always been very conscious about. Whenever I would smile I'd hide my upper teeth with my upper lip, and photos always looked like mug shots because of it. One day I decided that I'd had enough."

Elevate: How did you choose your doctor?
ADELE: "I went online and did some research on dentists in Oakville, Ont. I knew I needed a cosmetic dentist for the work I wanted done, so when I narrowed my search, Dr. Narang's name popped up. His office had been voted one of the best dental practices in Oakville, so I wanted to meet him. I booked a consultation, and right away I was won over by his warm, friendly, professional demeanor."

Elevate: What were the procedures like?
ADELE: "They were a lot less painful and time consuming than I expected. I had a lot of fillings in my molars that needed to be changed from silver to white – they were starting to break down and were turning my teeth grey – and I needed laser gum therapy around my front teeth. I also had four top, front teeth that required ceramic crowns and wanted my teeth whitening to boot. Instead of waiting the months and months I was anticipating, the treatments were fast. For example, I went in one day with a mouthful of silver, and within two days they'd been all changed to white fillings . And the pain wasn't anything more than you'd get with a normal trip to the dentist for a filling."

Elevate:How have these changes impacted your life?
ADELE: "Because I like my teeth now, I want to take care of them more than ever before. I don't ever miss a night of brushing, I bought a Water Pik for my gums, and I love hearing from friends and acquaintances that they see a difference in my appearance. They don't necessarily know I've made changes to my smile. I haven't made my undergoing dental treatments public knowledge, but they notice that I'm smiling more and seem more happier."

Ask the Doctor

Dr. Arun Narang, B. Sc., DDS
Smile By Design, Mississauga & Oakville Dental Arts, Oakville, Ont.

Elevate: Why were these specific procedures recommended?
DR. NARANG: "Adele came in wanting to discuss the Zoom! whitening system, but when she expressed interest in a cosmetic overhaul to get her smile looking symmetrical, we had her come back for a full workup that included impressions, photos and X–rays. I presented her with the proposed treatment plan that included restoration and amalgam–free fillings to her back molars, laser gum therapy to correct a gummy smile she was self–conscious about and four ceramic crowns for her front upper teeth, one of which had an old crown that totally mismatched the adjacent tooth and was misaligning her smile. "

Elevate: Who's a good candidate for these procedures?
DR. NARANG: "Every person and every mouth is different, but when it comes to whitening, restorations and even laser therapy, there's so much to offer today in regards to tools and skills that I don't believe there's anyone out there who wouldn't be a good candidate for some dental improvement."

Elevate: Are there any risks to be aware of?
DR. NARANG: "Every procedure has inherent risks, but most are minor. Whitening patients often notice sensitivity, but only for a day or two. Laser therapy patients may notice a small amount of discomfort, but it's short–lived, and those undergoing crown or veneer procedures may experience nerve issues, but X–rays often pinpoint any potential problems, which are discussed before treatment starts."

Elevate: What is the average cost of these procedures?
DR. NARANG: "Zoom! whitening ranges between $299 and $699, laser gum therapy starts at $375, and the cost for crowns or veneers is approximately $1000 (and up) per tooth."