“I don’t like my teeth when I smile”

It’s a comment I hear all the time doing the job I do and I have to admit I’m guilty of making the same comment about my smile too! The rest of the world chuckles at us in the UK for our love/hate relationship with our teeth and I’ve always wondered why as a nation we don’t do anything about it.

I was chatting to a friend of mine who is also a model and has one of the best smiles I’ve seen and of course perfect teeth. I was bemoaning my teeth, when she let me into a little secret; she has a permanent retainer fitted! It’s hidden behind her teeth so no one can see it but it’s there and it keeps her teeth in place and gives her a perfect smile. I had no idea and of course why would I? Dentistry has come a long, long way since I had braces fitted when I was an awkward teenager. I remember my orthodontist in Cirencester, an absolutely lovely man, who over a period of several years fixed my teeth for me.  However back then when you’d finished your course of treatment you only had to wear your retainer at night for a further six months before discarding it. How thinking has rightly changed! Teeth move and therefore need attention to keep them in place.

I went to meet Sarah Farrier; Smile Designer and Implant Surgeon at Arden House Dental and Cosmetic Clinic in Cheltenham to have a chat about what could be done in the interests of both my smile and so that I could help answer the question when my clients ask me.

Sarah and the team at Arden House understand that by improving your smile it can give you back your confidence. Those Hollywood A listers after all have no trouble smiling with confidence and showing off their fabulous teeth!  And did you know that you can quite often have a ‘trial smile’ with a process called Digital Smile Design or DSD as its known which means at Arden House you can see what you’d look like after treatment and make a decision based on this.

Well this intrigued me and we got chatting about everything from DSD to Facial Aesthetics that is also offered at Arden House in a safe environment and by highly regulated and highly qualified experienced practitioners. I had no idea that there were so many options available having given up on my teeth years ago thinking that was just the way they would be. And so I decided on a course of treatment; more of that later…

But let’s take a few steps back. Before I committed to anything I wanted to know exactly who Arden House are and what makes them different to anyone else on the high street. I don’t know about you but the dental practices I have been to over the past five years despite being private practices have been none too impressive.  Dull and ‘clinical’ waiting areas with well thumbed and tatty copies of magazines and periodicals, reminiscent of a doctor’s waiting room. It all felt very much like a chore, and I certainly didn’t feel inspired to do anything about my teeth as a result. I knew that Arden House has always had an excellent reputation as a leading private practice in Cheltenham but what I hadn’t anticipated was how different it was and how different it would make me feel. The ‘waiting room’ is not a waiting room in the traditional sense. It’s light and airy and big, with plush sofas, Nespresso coffee machines, on trend colour schemes, and overlooking a courtyard garden. It reminded me of going to a high end spa retreat and thinking about it why shouldn’t this be the case? Dental treatment has the aim of keeping your teeth and gums healthy and with the added bonus of a gorgeous smile. A spa does exactly the same for your skin and general well being, it makes sense that we should expect similar from a dental practice and expect an environment that mirrors these expectations. Arden House is certainly setting the bar extremely high!


So lovely premises – tick, somewhere I actually want to be – tick, a lovely team – tick. But what makes someone want to do this for a job and more importantly pour their heart and soul in to building a business like this. Sarah explained to me that she thinks of dentistry in aesthetic terms. Explaining that there are of course treatments that Arden House can provide which are not clinically required ie are cosmetic only, however the best practice and most commonly referred to mantra of the Team is “health before beauty” as you would rightly and reassuringly expect. These can run hand in hand, but often the first thing to do is achieve a healthy mouth where any cosmetic work will look its best and be well maintained. This to me was very reassuring that as a client my wellbeing came first and foremost.

What I hadn’t realised before I started chatting to Sarah was that cosmetic dentistry covers a huge range of treatments, from a simple repair of a fractured tooth to a complete digital smile makeover. Fundamentally it’s about making a better version of you, giving clients the confidence to smile and feel good about themselves.  Sarah and her Team work with you to create bespoke plans just for you and working with what you already have i.e. the preservation of existing tooth tissue. Asking Sarah to explain this to me, in a nutshell it means that due to the popularity of adult orthodontics and bonded tooth coloured materials, she is able to create beautiful smiles without always having to cut away otherwise healthy tooth tissue. Another tick in the box!

Your smile is such a personal thing and I don’t know about you but I have to feel comfortable with the person I’m talking to about this subject and have a trust in them as I would with a doctor. At Arden House I think I have finally found my dental home! I knew before I walked in the door that from a professional and technical perspective that they would be able to do anything I needed and wanted, however it was because Sarah and the team made me feel so welcome that I felt confident to go ahead with a treatment that I never had the nerve to do before. There’s a real empathy and understanding, an attention to detail and client need rather than just the bottom line. And what’s very clear is that the Team genuinely enjoy being there. I know it’s a dental surgery but they really do smile!
And as Sarah says “a brighter life is one with smiles”. I love that! So as my first foray into the world of dental cosmetics I have been measured up and provided with the products for a course of teeth whitening. I’ll let you know how I get on in my next blog post…

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