In the News
Smile, It’s Dr. Apa!
The art of recapturing facial aesthetics
-April Daniels Hussar
The first clue that I wasn’t in just any ordinary dentist’s office … Molten Brown liquid soap in the beautifully lit bathroom. I know life is a little different on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, but Dr. Apa’s office – where the hygienists offer blankets, lip salve (rose or strawberry?), and a choice of videos to watch whilst becoming beautiful (I chose to have my own little Sex and the City marathon, obviously) – is a world of its own.
And then, of course, there’s Dr. Apa himself, a man dedicated to the age-old pursuit of symmetry and beauty. People travel to NYC from all over the county for a chance to have Dr. Apa transform not just their smiles, but the aesthetics of their entire faces.
Beautifying just your teeth – whether whitening them or undergoing a much more involved procedure (like veneers for example) – can all on its own take years off your face.
Of course this is no secret in Hollywood, where the quest for straight white teeth can lead stars and starlets alike down a scary path to Chiclet-white Chucky choppers (yes Jessica Simpson and Ryan Seacrest, I’m talking to you). Rest assured, the very notion of “chiclet” is dismissed by Dr. Apa with an airy wave of his hand. “We’re so far beyond that,” he states.
Speaking of celebrity teeth – these lucky A-listers get the Dr. Apa stamp of approval: Halle Berry (with her “classic, short, fat and voluptuous teeth” – even her teeth are sexy!), Jessica Alba, and – to my surprise – Naomi Watts. I’ve always loved her kind of crooked, sexy smile, and Dr. Apa agrees: “I like natural teeth,” he assured me.
However – toothy Julia Roberts and her crony George Clooney both need to get their teeth fixed, stat, according to the good doctor.
How Does He Work?
Without going into too many technical details, Dr. Apa looks not just at teeth in that proverbial vacuum (which, unfortunately, has long been the practice with cosmetic dentists), but rather at the face as a whole. Did you know that most people’s faces are asymmetrical? Well, did you know that by working with your teeth, this asymmetry can be adjusted? Not surprisingly, Dr. Apa often consults with plastic surgeons and dermatologists, for patients who are really looking to turn back the clock. But what was surprising to find out is that he recommends starting with dentistry, and then evaluating if any further treatments are needed.
After looking through pages and pages of before and after photos, I was struck with how much better the “afters” looked, but how hard it often was to pinpoint exactly why. Some were more obvious than others (drastically crooked teeth become straight, yellow stains disappear), but overall the effect was subtle, natural, and just more beautiful.
At Home Whiteners
Of course, no matter what the state of the economy, we can’t all afford cosmetic dentistry. At-home whiteners are a great solution. Dr. Apa says, “I am always asked about ‘at-home whiteners’. Everyone wants a younger smile that looks like it did in his or her prom pictures. BUT before using ANY at-home remedies, I always recommend that patients see a dentist to make sure that they are HEALTHY and have no underlying medical issues. There are two ingredients that whiten teeth: carbamide peroxide & hydrogen peroxide. Any products from pharmacies with these two ingredients work. The higher the percentage, the faster they whiten and the less you need to use them. Over-the-counter whiteners can be as effective as dentally prescribed whiteners; you just have to use them for a longer period of time.”
It finally came – the moment I’d been looking forward to and dreading.
“Ok, Dr. Apa, how about me?” I said, blushing and cringing inwardly, cursing myself for not wearing that stupid rainbow retainer longer …
Here’s what he told me – that my teeth have beautiful translucency (“I bet you say that to all the girls,” I joked. His reply: “I don’t.”); that he can tell I have Eastern European heritage because of the way my incisors jut out a little past my two front teeth (I do!); and that I could use a whitening (I got one). Plus – he’d recommend having my crooked front tooth reined back in (See! I knew I should have worn that retainer!), because it’s “just going to get worse.” Well, crumb. I’ll just console myself with my beautiful translucency, and my whiter teeth (thanks to my Zoom session / SATC marathon).