The gaps between my upper front teeth didn’t concern me too much when I was younger but as I’ve grown older I’ve become more self-conscious about them. They started to become more prominent and made me look, quite literally, long in the tooth. I’ve been wanting to get them improved for quite a while now and assumed my best option was to get the worst offenders capped. However, as I knew this would be time consuming, painful and expensive I kept putting it off but I recently decided to bite the bullet and get it done.
This coincided with joining a new dental practice (The Kensington Dentist) and needing to get some other bits of work done so I asked my new dentist, Dr Eleni, to add caps to the list. However, she refused to do them for me as she she said filing down healthy teeth for cosmetic reasons would be unethical and that caps can cause a lot of problems generally. Her first recommendation was for me to have braces. I know a lot more adults are being fitted with braces these days and they’ve improved greatly in terms of comfort and how they look but it still wasn’t something I wanted to commit to. The other option was to have the gaps built up with composite fillings.
This is something I hadn’t heard of before and couldn’t imagine how it could look good but Dr Eleni showed me some before and after examples and I was very impressed. Basically, composite is added to the sides of the teeth and shaped to look like natural teeth. This is done without damaging your own teeth, it costs a fraction of the price of caps, and it’s quick and relatively painless to do.
Before undergoing the work I whitened my teeth over a few weeks using a custom made tray and bleach which I also got through The Kensington Dentist. The composite used to build up the gaps is colour matched to your teeth so I wanted mine as bright as possible (without looking like they’d glow in the dark). I’ve since had another custom tray made to fit the new shape of my teeth so I can maintain the colour by using the whitening system once a month or so.
The actual treatment itself was pretty much a breeze. It only took an hour and didn’t require any injections. For the most part I zoned out watching box sets on a VR headset. The worst part came towards the end when the composite was filed down to look like teeth but even this wasn’t too bad and didn’t last long.
I was (and still am) blown away by the finished results and it’s impossible to tell the difference between my original teeth and the filled in parts. Shaping the composite to look like natural teeth takes a huge amount of skill and it’s important to have the work done by an expert in cosmetic dentistry. Not only do I think Dr Eleni is a first rate dentist but she has a lovely manner and happily answered my many questions about the process (and my other dentistry issues) in person and over email.
Going forward I have to be careful about not using my front teeth to bite into anything too hard. However, if an edge of tooth does crack or break it’s very quick and relatively cheap to repair. As for the cost, each side of tooth that has composite added to it is £150 and I had this done seven times so I paid just over £1000. Considering that just one cap is £800 and I thought I’d need several I was more than happy to pay this..
The Kensington Dentist is a few minutes walk from the Notting Hill Gate tube station and can be reached on 0207 221 1689.
Here are the before and after pictures taken while I was in the dentist’s chair. I think that the ‘before’ image is quite flattering and my teeth actually looked worse in real life, especially when viewed from the side.
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