Sarah Joan Ross goes under the dentist’s drill for a made-to-measure smile.

I have a great smile. This is not something you’d normally hear me say. In fact, three weeks ago I’d never have discussed my teeth with anyone, lest attempt a full-on smiley selfie.

Even though it’s been said I have a good sense of humour, a deep proper belly laugh is something you’d never see me do in front of the camera. All my pictures look the same – a slight tilt of my head with mouth firmly closed shut. I try to radiate warmth from my eyes instead of my teeth.

I was born and bred in the deepest, darkest depths of England, where it could be said the dentistry was not particularly progressive. You see I was sporting some very wonky uppers with two crooked fangs a la True Blood. During my teenage years my vampire-esque canines were considered somewhat cute. And the popularity of Dracula movies even made them appealing at times. A quirkiness that I tried to believe was individual and charming.

However, by my thirties my gnashers were looking more worn by the day, especially after a few dental disasters. A hockey stick injury left me with a tooth in a lovely shade of ‘Griege’ – very cool as a nail polish hue, but not so much in your mouth. A brief stint rock climbing saw me chipping a large chunk out of the front tooth – this was repaired with a badly matched filling. One of the teeth even had a pin holding it together! My smile was definitely more Frankenstein than fabulous.

I did dabble with braces, but the time frame was infuriating. On occasion my lip would become intertwined with the medieval-looking vice, and I would have to dash to the ladies to release the skin. Surely dentistry had come a long way since train tracks and mouth ulcers? Yes, it had, but I didn’t realise this until I accepted a meeting with a visiting dentist in Dubai.

I curiously walked into the appointment with Dr Apa, on one of his visits to Dr Michaels on Al Wasl Road. Let’s just say he opened my eyes to what really could be done inside my mouth. The miracles of modern dentistry!

You see this guy, who resembles Michael Bublé and has the eye and artistry of Botticelli, is a genius when it comes to creating a perfect smile for you.

Dr Apa creates the perfect set of teeth while you’re sat in the chair. He moulds the shape and position, looks at your gum lines, and the symmetry of your visage. His equally talented lab technician, Jason J Kim, based in NYC, works his magic by layering up the ceramic, ensuring each tooth absorbs and reflects light, like natural tooth enamel.

It takes on average16 days in the lab to create your new smile, with eight technicians custom-fitting and taking into account chewing pattern, shape and colour blending.

I spent exactly three hours and 45 minutes in the chair. During the whole time Dr Apa was on the same wavelength. I wanted to keep an element of my fangs (they are definitely part of my DNA) and completely steer clear of the over-sized, glow-in-the-dark tombstones sported by some celebrities. He stuck to my brief entirely – creating a smile that looks natural and very ‘me’. If I were on social media right now, my post would read #DrApatoothGod, #whydidn’tIdothisearlier, #happyteeth! Somebody pass me a camera – I’m finally ready for my teeth-and-all selfie.


The small steps before I could finally say ‘Cheese’


Clockwise from the top: My final smile; having a chat with lab ceramist Jason J Kim and Dr Apa;  measurements and moulds are taken – it tastes like blueberry skittles; the X-rays; Dr Apa and Jason J Kim


Clockwise from top: Two weeks later and I’m back in the chair having the permanent teeth fitted. There was some sensitivity but it only lasted a few days; the end results; Dr Apa reassures me he doesn’t shave teeth down to cricket stumps

Dr Apa will be visiting Dubai from 26th – 28th April, 2014. For more information call Jackie (001) 212 794 9600 or you can request an appointment at rosenthalapa.com. Dr Apa takes residence at Dr Michaels, drmichaels.com