A decent haircut, some flattering clothes and a bit of cosmetic and dental work – as TVNZ’s 10 Years Younger in 10 Days recently illustrated, sometimes that’s all it takes to shave years off your age.
The 2020 version of the original 10 Years Younger screened on TV One last month, giving viewers a glimpse into the immeasurable benefits of non-surgical procedures. Dr Allen Baker – cosmetic dentist at Lumino’s Pearl Dental Centre – knows better than most that treatments like these can do wonders not just for people’s appearance, but also their confidence and sense of wellbeing.
“You can do remarkable things with dentistry, it’s a real gift,” says Allen, who starred in 30 episodes of the original series over a decade ago, transforming participants’ smiles with veneers, crowns and other bang-for-buck dental procedures.
“Pearl Dental Centre was pretty much built from that show. After it originally screened the demand for veneers and cosmetic dentistry skyrocketed. People suddenly saw dentistry from a different viewpoint – before that, I think a lot of people didn’t realise what could be done.”
Veneers still make up a big chunk of Allen’s business and are ideal for treating people with misaligned teeth, gaps and discolouration.
“Some people really don’t want to go through orthodontics and extractions, and sometimes orthodontics are not the best way. Veneers only take a couple of weeks to complete and the results can be transformational.”
Implants are also increasingly popular.
“Dental implants are a well-established treatment option for missing teeth and can be used to support crowns replacing single teeth, bridges that restore a larger span of missing teeth, or even dentures. They have a very good success rate.”
Crowns, fillings and other standard dental procedures fill the rest of each week for the well-known Remuera dentist, who in addition to finding television fame, was instrumental in opening the country’s first-ever emergency dental surgery back in the 80s.
“Some things have changed a lot since my early days in the industry. A lot of the work we do is computer generated now which has had a big impact on improving quality and improving the success rate in our profession.”
But while technology has enabled many advancements, some aspects of dentistry remain unchanged. A great smile has always had the power to light up a room and strong healthy teeth will never go out of fashion.
“It’s good to see 10 Years Younger back on TV. It shows people the possibilities in a very human way. It helps them realise that although appearance dentistry is a commitment in time and cost, it is an incredibly worthwhile investment. Your teeth are your front window – they can transform not just how you look but also your mental wellbeing.”