*This post follows a sponsored experience with Enamel Dental Clinic, Cape Town.
It was a cool morning in Cape Town and I was nervous. I am always nervous about going to the dentist. Especially if it is a dentist I have not been to before. Still, there I was, walking down the Mother City’s Somerset Road, en route to the De Waterkant Centre where I was due to meet the team at Enamel Dental Clinic.
I was welcomed by Prof Howard Gluckman, co-founder of the clinic, who explained the concept of their business to me prior to my appointment. His passion for his patients’ smiles is profound and with that comes a drive to teach and educate too. In fact, he says he would like to see the education side of things evolve into a private university soon, which I suspect is not so farfetched with him being a professor and all.
At Enamel, I soon learned that it’s all about constantly encompassing function, aesthetics and biology in the best possible way. All that while playing the role of some of the country’s most sought-after smile architects.
The treatment I was booked for was a teeth whitening treatment – one of the easier and non-invasive ways to enhance your smile and one that had me smiling much broader in a matter of two hours. I mean, if there is one thing that can instantly elevate your outfit, it’s your smile, right?
Enhancing your smile at Enamel Dental Clinic
A large part of what they do at Enamel is to enhance patients’ smiles – whether it is through teeth whitening, digital smile design, aesthetic bonding, porcelain veneers or gum recontouring. The difference between the before and after pictures is quite remarkable, to say the least.
I’ve been wanting to have my teeth whitened for some time now and while it’s been on my to-do list, it has been on the backburner for a while since I did not really know what to expect. Honestly, I also did not really make it a priority to find out. So, when I got invited to experience a teeth whitening at Enamel, I jumped at the opportunity.
One might think that whitening your teeth is a simple process, but I can confirm that, while it only takes about two hours, it’s not as simple as it seems. While it’s not very comfortable and could even be a little painful, Enamel’s efforts to make your experience as comfortable and relaxing as possible, is incredible.
What does teeth whitening entail?
After my chat with Prof Gluckman, I was led to the oral hygienist, Stephanie Kumalo’s room, where I took my place in the dentists’ chair. It was a state-of-the-art chair with all kinds of fancy accessories and impressive overhead lighting. The bonus of getting your teeth whitened at Enamel, is that you get immediate results since it’s done in a controlled environment.
Firstly, she inspected my gums to ensure that I didn’t suffer from gum disease as the teeth whitening procedure can aggravate the gum area. She also checked my overall oral health and for cavities – anything that might cause sensitivity. Finally, she covered my gums with gauze and kept my mouth open with a dental tool that prevented the bleach from moving onto more sensitive areas away from the teeth. She applied a high-concentrate bleach gel on my teeth, which had to be kept there for at least three fifteen-minute sessions. During those sessions, a special light was shone on my bleached teeth to activate the whitening agents.
The best part
In the end, Stephanie was able to lighten my teeth by two shades, and that while I was having my feet massaged. Okay – the process wasn’t all that comfortable, but where have you ever sat in a dentist’s chair and had your feet massaged by a machine that gently rolls over your ankles and feet? It certainly helped to take my mind off of the slight discomfort of the procedure.
The worst part
The worst part of the treatment was probably the pressure on my gums, which was rather sore toward the end. My gums were also very sensitive for at least four days after treatment. I was, however given post-treatment products to use to relieve the discomfort.
P.S. Do not go for a teeth whitening treatment when you are pregnant of lactating. The chemicals used to whiten your teeth may have adverse effects on your baby.
Maintaining that white smile
For someone who is a red wine lover and a coffeeholic, it’s quite difficult to keep my teeth snowy white. I had to stay away from any food and drink that has colourants for at least two days after the treatment. This includes coffee, Rooibos tea, curries and more.
The effect of the treatment and proper post-treatment maintenance was priceless, though. I felt like smiling at everyone. As the saying goes: “If you put a smile out there, you get a smile back,” and I certainly had reason to smile. And, a few days later, my teeth were even whiter than just after treatment.
Tooth tech at Enamel
Enamel’s technology is out of this world, with some of it being the only equipment of its kind in South Africa. Their 3-D intra-oral scanners and digital facial photos can simulate your cosmetic make-over with specially designed software. They can customise, design and plan your smile to your needs. In fact, they can show you a real-life demonstration of what your new smile would look like!
I never thought that technology could change one’s experience at the dentist, but at Enamel it certainly can. In addition to the above, they have a machine that can detect a cavity even before it forms, as well as digital painless anaesthesia, which replaces the painful injections of the past – the cause of many of our phobias of dentists.
At Enamel, it’s all about cosmetic dentistry, a personalised practice and a passion for people. In fact, this is where your new smile will overflow into unstoppable laughter. Bei Maejor said: “You should never regret something that made you smile.” Well, no regrets here after visiting Enamel, that’s for sure.