Your insider guide to cosmetic dentistry

...by Harley Street cosmetic dentist Dr Stanley Kay

Cosmetic dentistry

What’s the difference between a regular dentist and a cosmetic dentist?


A cosmetic dentist should be a dentist with particular interest and capability in aesthetics (how your teeth and smile look), but should be a capable and understand all restorative procedures you would get at any dentist.

When would it be worth a bride considering a visit to a cosmetic dentist?

As early as possible in the run-up to her wedding, just in case a procedure is time consuming eg bleaching needs to be done before veneers or crowns are made and this can all take time.

What’s the best everyday care a bride can take of her smile in the run-up to her wedding?

Keep your teeth as clean as possible – ideally see  a hygienist at a good dental practice, and avoid kickboxing!

What sort of teeth whitening measures could a bride take herself in the
run-up to her wedding?

Tooth pastes and “across the counter” home bleaching packs will achieve very little. A good electric tooth brush, reducing or ideally stopping red wine, smoking, coffee, tea, and currys, will help teeth to stay whiter.

What sort of teeth whitening measures could a cosmetic dentist offer?

Firstly to see a hygienist so that the teeth and gums are as clean and healthy as you can get them. Bleaching in the surgery will give a immediate effect, home bleaching with custom made trays will take longer but is the most controlled way to bleach your teeth, root canal treated teeth bleaching can be applied inside the individual teeth.

If a bride finally decided the wedding and her wedding pics were a great reason to explore more drastic measures she’d avoided up to now, how far in advance would she need to be starting her appointments?

If she was considering orthodontics closing spaces or reducing overcrowding the time could run into many months. Chips, closing or reducing gaps can be done quickly often in a week or two.

• In a last-minute run-up to the wedding what would your advice be to a bride who wanted to make the best of the smile she’s got now?

See the hygienist as soon as possible may be in-surgery bleaching can be undertaken.

How would someone go about finding a properly qualified and insured cosmetic dentist in their local area?

The best way to find anyone is by recommendation, all dentist are insured, however the level of treatment the insurers might expect could vary, you might be lucky to find the same level of competence in the Outer Hebrides as Harley Street, but you never know.

What should they expect at their consultation?

To be made comfortable and feel comfortable and confident in the dentist, to see photos of what can be achieved and discuss with honesty what you can and can’t hope to achieve given your own specific dental issues. Unless what you agree is necessary is  straightforward you should expect ( if you wish to proceed) to have an impression taken of your teeth for study models, so that at the next visit you can see how your teeth are now in a 3D model, and how they can be after treatment.


Dr Stanley Kay is Principal of the Harley Street Dental Clinic in London on 0207 486 1059