In Hollywood, a smile is your greatest asset and world-renowned cosmetic dentist, Laurence Rikfin, DDS whose Beverly Hills practice sees an abundance of Hollywood stars on a daily basis, discusses with Aesthetic Insider Radio the secrets behind the brightest of smiles. Sometimes even the person with perfect teeth might need a little extra something to make them camera ready, while for others it may take cosmetic treatments such as veneers or other smile brightening procedures to make them picture perfect. In this interview, Dr. Rifkin shares his secrets to keeping those pearly whites look as bright and fresh as possible, regardless of age. To learn more about Dr. Rifkin, visit www.drlaurencerifkin.com
What is it that draws us to a person with a great “Hollywood” smile?
I believe that there are great smiles and horrible Hollywood smiles. What draws us to a great smile, call it Hollywood or not, is the beauty and harmony with the face and the cleanliness of the mouth. When you have a great smile, you want to smile more and you have a sense of friendliness and approachability which makes you more attractive. A great smile is bright, fresh, natural, healthy, and compels the owner to smile and show off their teeth. The smile has to fit your face, look like you, be undetectable, and appear as if they grew in your mouth and you were blessed with beautiful aesthetic teeth, lips, and gum tissue. We gravitate towards happy people that show off their teeth. Actors are constantly engaging with the audiences and fellow actors, which motivates us to focus on their mouth because it is a major communication tool for actors. A great smile supports all of that. If it’s fresh, healthy, and natural looking that is the best Hollywood smile.
How can a person achieve a Hollywood smile?
A Hollywood smile is a natural smile. Developing a Hollywood smile begins when you are young. As a child, a parent should take their child to an orthodontist or pediatric dentist, to make sure that they are developing properly, straitening crooked teeth, and adequately maintaining the health of their teeth by brushing and flossing correctly, giving them a lifetime of a benefit of not only of health and function, but also a beautiful smile. If you are in the adult stage of your life, then smiles can be improved by analyzing the imperfections in the teeth themselves. For example, if the teeth are stained, we can do simple procedures such as teeth whitening. If their teeth are slightly chipped or crooked, we can do some minor orthodontics or direct bonding with some resin filling materials which can solve many minor blemishes. If you have more significant problems such as severely crooked teeth, than orthodontics is an option. If there is a combination of problems, we can address those with veneers and crowns; we do our best to be conservative and minimally invasive, and try to utilize porcelain which looks incredibly tooth like and natural when done properly. Achieving a beautiful smile begins early on in life and it should be continued and maintained throughout your lifetime.
If a person has good health, well maintained teeth and overall OK teeth, what else can be done to make their smile brighter and more charming?
There are several types of treatment that can help improve the smile. The smile is not only the teeth, but also the gum tissue, the lips, and the surrounding skin. Gum tissue can be corrected if it is out of alignment. Additionally, Botox and fillers can absolutely change the shape of the frame around the teeth, in order to create better harmony that fits the facial features.
What were the specific needs of Scheana’s smile from Vander Pump Rules?
Scheana fractured a couple of teeth in her front part of her mouth and with the severity of the fracture and loss of teeth, we had to perform emergency care to create a beautiful looking smile during a longer term process which she actually lost one tooth. The entire process took almost year, but during that time she always looked “picture perfect” even though she had some underlying treatment, to fix the front teeth and replace a missing tooth.
How popular are veneers and can you explain the process.
Veneers are one of the most amazing cosmetic treatments that has been innovated in dentistry; in the right artistic hands it can absolutely be transformative and create a beautiful natural smile. Veneers are cosmetically one of the best solutions for patients because they can solve a multitude of problems including: crooked teeth, teeth that are too narrow, gaps that need to be closed, and teeth that are too short or discolored. Veneers artistically should be built-in layers with different types of porcelain that appear natural and similar to a real tooth which has enamel and dentin. The step by step process that I use to create this is first a photographic and three dimensional analysis of a smile. We assess what our goals are and what the patient ultimately wishes. I then create models in wax and sculpt the teeth to the right dimension, shape, and form for that particular patient’s mouth. From the wax sculpture, we make perfect Provisionals, and we give them a test run in the patient’s mouth and cover the teeth. We analyze the shape of the design from the wax to the Provisionals acrylic which appears similar to real veneers, and if the patient is pleased with them, we duplicate it and improve them with the final ceramic restorations.
How popular is teeth whitening and how safe is it?
Teeth whitening is widely popular especially in-office because it creates a rapid improvement in the color of the tooth by eliminating the stain, it’s an extremely safe process. At home application could potentially be a problem for patients who are pregnant because a patient might swallow the bleaching gel and we are unsure of the effect it might have on the unborn child. The only negative potential side effect of teeth whitening is minor throbbing or temporary sensitivity in some patients for 24 to 48 hours following the procedure. Additionally, if you have active decay or broken teeth it is best to refrain from whitening those teeth until the teeth are corrected and protected from the bleaching gel. Other considerations that should be evaluated when considering teeth whitening is if you already have a filling, crown, or veneer in the front part of your mouth that would show, and if you bleach the surrounding teeth, the color of the porcelain or the bonding resin won’t whiten, which will result in a mismatch of color in the front part of the mouth.
Are there any simple things a person with good teeth can do to improve their smile?
One of the most foundational things that can keep the gum tissue healthy and the teeth less stained would be seeing your dentist and dental hygienist on a regular basis for a dental exam and cleaning, at minimum twice a year. Also, being diligent about at home brushing and flossing and making sure those oral hygiene techniques are up to par keep the bacteria away that causes decay, which is unattractive. Even slightly crooked teeth can be extremely attractive, just keep them fresh and healthy. We love to see people that are happy and smiling no matter what the condition of their teeth, smiling always makes you more attractive. It all comes from the inside out and the outside in, and my recommendations to improve a smile are to see your dentist and hygienist regularly and consider the minimal dental cosmetic enhancement treatments which can all truly transform the aesthetics of a smile.
To listen to Dr. Laurence Rifkin’s interview at Aesthetic Insider™ Radio, CLICK HERE!
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