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Europeans, including people in Offaly, catching up with Americans' love of perfect teeth

There has been a rapid increase in the number of people seeking that Hollywood smile

Express Reporter

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Europeans, including people in Offaly, catching up with Americans' love of perfect teeth

Europeans, including people in Offaly, catching up with Americans' love of perfect teeth

There's nothing quite like a million-dollar smile, and it seems more of us on this side of the Atlantic are determined to have the kind of gleaming Hollywood teeth that Americans have long been famous for. It turns out we're going to dentists in our droves, not just for necessary procedures such as fillings and extractions — but also for cosmetic dentistry that will give us winning smiles.

In fact, cosmetic dentistry is becoming so popular in this part of the world that more people are opting to have it instead of popular non-surgical procedures such as banishing their wrinkles with the help of injectables like Botox and dermal fillers, according to the results of a new survey for doctor-booking and advice site RealSelf. Now, it seems, the focus is more on people’s teeth than other parts of their body as they lust after that perfect smile.

And, unsurprisingly, it turns out that most of us are just not happy with the way we look and would leap at the chance to have a body part "fixed". A total of 76% of those who took part in the survey said they would like to change something about their body or face — the figure for this sentiment is around 80% in the US — but in this part of the world we're now more inclined to take action and do something, compared to our cousins in America who might just be thinking about it.

'Smile Envy'

Perhaps it's down to social media sites like Instagram that many of us scroll endlessly through, looking at all those perfect people with their amazing bodies and gleaming teeth. It can lead to what some observers are calling "smile envy", as we want to look like that too. But with a growing number of procedures for cosmetic dentistry in Ireland now available, it's a simple as making an appointment with your local dentist to get a complete dental makeover.

Most respondents to the survey said the improvement they were after was teeth whitening or veneers, with 43% saying they'd love to have it done so that their teeth sparkled — the figure for those wanting this done in the US was 36%, the survey found. The chief reason for people undergoing cosmetic dentistry in Ireland and elsewhere in Europe is to improve self-esteem and confidence, followed by a desire to look as good as they feel and then to combat ageing and look younger.

The survey found that people who want to improve the look of their teeth generally have an important event coming up, such as a wedding or big birthday. But equally, when people are starting a new chapter in their lives — like when they're starting over after a divorce and perhaps dating again, or they find themselves with a new job or career — they often feel like giving themselves a total makeover to refresh their look and feel vibrant again.

Cosmetic Dentistry Is Offaly Good

Dr James Hiney, head of The James Clinic dental practices, which has clinics in Ferbane, Enfield and Mullingar, says he's seeing a marked rise in the number of people wanting cosmetic treatments, and that he has a range of cutting-edge procedures to meet the demand and give patients the kind of teeth they've always dreamed of.  

"People naturally want to look their best," he said, "and now that we've caught up with the Americans in terms of cosmetic dentistry and making it widely available and affordable, there's no reason why anyone can't have great teeth. Many people are coming to our Ferbane and other clinics expressly wanting to have teeth whitening, crowns and veneers."

The practice — one of the leading places to get cosmetic dentistry in Ireland, due to Dr Hiney's extensive training at Trinity College Dublin and in the US, Switzerland, Sweden and UK — offers patients interest-free payment plans for some of its treatments. Dr Hiney's clinics employ the latest technology, including CEREC, which uses a camera and machine to take 3D images of teeth and instantly create crowns or veneers, meaning there's no need to bite down on impression material and go through a lengthy process — teeth can now be made over in just a day.

It seems we could soon be a county — and country — with looks you can really take a bite out of.