1. DR NEIL COUNIHAN / METAMORPHOSIS ORTHODONTICS
Counihan is a force of nature. When he’s not darting around his shiny, Parson Green clinic (the great and the good of Fulham pitch up – kids, parents, grandparents too) you’ll find the thrill-seeking orthodontist motorcycling around Mexico, and making heroic expeditions to the South Pole in the name of the Borne Foundation (a charity that funds research into premature birth). Back on home turf, his passion is making smiles look standout: perhaps by means of his signature, Damon-style braces (they use ‘sliding’ brackets which encourage teeth to shuffle gently into position without awful, crank-them-tighter wires). Or the near-invisible Invisalign (great for tinier tweaks). His secret skill is deciphering your muffled attempts at conversation whilst he prods around in your mouth – but it’s the straight-as-you-like smiles that he produces that’ll have you recommending him to everyone that you know.
2. ASIF CHATOO / THE LONDON LINGUAL ORTHODONTIC CLINIC
He might be a highly skilled teeth-straightener with a peerless reputation (he regularly lectures at Harvard and trains other leading orthodontists) – but in person, Chatoo feels more like a family dentist. Yes, he’s a fan of Invisalign, but when teeth are in need of a more seismic shift, his lingual braces can’t be beaten (fitted to the backs of teeth, the tiny brackets are utterly undetectable). Sure, they might take a little longer than the traditional train-track-style contraptions of your youth – and there are no colourful elastic bands to perk up your grimace while they’re on (sorry about that) – but they’re a cunning option if you’re hoping to slip under the radar…
3. DR ARTI SHAH / A&G DENTISTRY
Shah is the Invisalign queen, responsible for the sudden rash of North West London’s Hollywood smiles. She’s all about straightening that Brit bite – so if like many Midults, floss is your best friend, you haven’t eaten quinoa for years and lie awake at night worrying about chia seeds, then Shah is your woman. Passionate about her job but also an actual human with a sense of humour, she is fighting snaggle fang one aligner at a time, taking you through the process with intelligence and clarity. Yes, it’s a bit of a marathon – and people will take the mickey out of your braces mercilessly – but from Shah you will get plenty of encouragement and check-ups. And they will all be laughing on the other side of their faces *mwahahahaha*
4. DR MARK HUGHES / HARLEY STREET DENTAL GROUP
A friendly giant of a man, Hughes is highly-regarded for cosmetic dentistry (he trained in America, natch, and was one of the first to use Invisalign back in the UK). He set up Harley Street Dental Studio in 2004 – a clinic so clean you could perform open heart surgery on the countertops – where he sees a steady stream of Londoners and their reluctant teenagers. When it comes to Invisalign, he won’t be rushed – in fact, the constant tweaking of moulds can be painstaking (and a little grating). Work complete, he might suggest a blitz of whitening or gently smoothing ragged edges – and because you trust him, you’ll do as he says. Then the compliments start flowing: you look well, have you been on holiday, done something to your hair? This is the power of good teeth…
5. DR ATTILA KAMAN / SMILE SAVERS HUNGARY
Dr Attila Kaman is a bit of a thing, with BDE (Big Dentist Energy). He’s a pilot who likes to fly himself around his dentist empire – which stretches across Europe where his namesake once marauded. His clinic in Budapest is a high-tech, high-octane, super-centre of smile nirvana – dental tourism is huge now and Smile Savers Hungary is the place to go in the capital for quality at half the price (although he has a centre in London too). It’s all in the little details – an antibiotic before anything even happens. A proper hygiene session so you start sparkly. The labelled packets of painkillers. His implant technique is to go big and quick so you’ve barely registered the drilling (oof) and it’s done. The aftercare is exceptional too. Implant utopia.
6. ANDREW DAWOOD / DAWOOD & TANNER
Dawood is the man that helps develop much of the dental equipment used today – which explains his geeky love of technology (spot the 007-esque laboratory in the basement of his Wimpole Street townhouse-come-clinic). Calm and unflappable, he’s renowned for reducing the time spent labouring over fiddly implant surgery from days to hours (moulds are taken and crowns produced in the in-house lab). Even the most chasm-like gaps can be remedied with his Trefoil device (a rotating titanium bracket which is fixed to the lower jaw before implants are fitted). Not forgetting his wife and business partner Susan, a skilled prosthetic dentist with an enviable taste in interiors (spot the Mae West lip sofa in her room). You’ll leave with a brand-new smile and an urgent desire to redecorate.
7. DR SAMEER PATEL / ELLEVEN DENTAL
Technical wizardry aside, Patel is one of the nicest people you’ll meet (helpful, if the sight of a drill brings you to break out in a cold sweat). His dental domain runs from Henley-on-Thames (the cosy Blandy House) to Harley Street (technically Devonshire Place, in the terrifically elegant Elleven Dental), where he excels at minimally-invasive aesthetics (whitening, bonding and Invisalign – proven techniques without the ouch-factor). But what really tickles him are veneers, which he matches flawlessly, turning gappy grins, chipped incisors and even teeth damaged through sporting traumas into ‘perfectly imperfect’ smiles (Emma Watson and David Gandy are both testament to his genius). When he’s not finessing teeth, you’ll find him on the cricket pitch (he plays for the MCC at Lord’s).
8. DR UCHENNA OKOYE / LONDON SMILING
Chances are, you’ve seen Dr Uchenna before (she shot to fame after her role in Channel 4’s 10 Years Younger). But even those who have been hiding under a rock can’t fail to be blown away by the fizzy, fast-talking cosmetic dentist. She has the most incredible teeth (note to self: start flossing fastidiously) – and she’s hell-bent on getting yours to look the same. Her Smile Makeover is a tidy solution: two or maybe three appointments (she has clinics on Harley Street, Goodge Street and Gloucester Road) where face shape, skin tone and even the length of teeth are assessed, before a militant treatment plan is drawn up. Her way with veneers not only returns smiles to blinding brilliance, but it also restores confidence. Pretty soon you’ll be flashing them at anyone who asks.
9. DR GREG AUDI / THE LONDON CENTRE FOR IMPLANT & AESTHETIC DENTISTRY
Dr Audi, who runs a second clinic on Avenue Foch in Paris, is reassuringly old-school. The twinkly-eyed dentist believes in ‘restoring’ rather than ‘replacing’ (in other words, he goes to the ends of the earth to keep your own teeth rooted firmly in place). And he’s a firm believer in tried-and-tested equipment – so you won’t find him jumping on the bandwagon of the latest miracle-promising gadgetry without having scrutinised it for AT LEAST several years. But his skill with a drill is nothing but speedy – composite fillings, crowns and bridges are done swiftly, and with care – and his charming Gallic vowels help (and mean that explanations of even the grittiest procedures sound less gruesome).
10. SHANON PATEL / DAWOOD & TANNER
Patel has a no-nonsense approach to keeping your teeth in good nick. Yes, the endodontist (a specialist in dental pulp) is pleasant and professional and scrupulous about check-ups – but it’s his exhaustive investigative work that makes him a veritable tooth-saving superhero. He won’t rest until he’s found the source of unexplained pain or sensitivity, and works tirelessly to fix misbehaving mouths to full function. Fillings are used to patch up cavities; crowns are the next step when teeth begin to weaken. He even manages to make light work of heftier jobs like root canals, thanks to his use of CBCT (Cone Beam Computed Tomography – a high-tech means of assessing and plotting treatment). We are in awe.
11. DR RICHARD MARQUES / WIMPOLE STREET DENTAL
When it comes to whitening, Marques (probably the suavest man in all of dentistry) has your back (no wonder Rita Ora has him on speed dial). Slip into a reclining chair and he’ll paint teeth there and then with a supercharged Philips Zoom whitening solution (the brightening effects kick in as you doze horizontally). At the same time, he’ll take moulds for the zingy at-home solution that you’ll do five nights running, and he’ll chat away enthusiastically as he goes. He’ll dial it up or down, depending on whether you want near-nuclear levels of whiteness or something subtler. Then he’ll send you packing with his tasty-flavoured strawberry, mint or charcoal (yes, really) toothpaste. No wonder they call him the Kings of Smiles…
12. DR RICHARD FIELD / QUEEN SQUARE DENTAL CLINIC
Getting married? Getting divorced? Rekindling an old flame? Make teeth whitening your priority. Dr Richard Field not only has a lovely Scottish accent (it makes for a hypnotic experience in the chair) but he’s a pedant for detail. Nailing the perfect shade of bright is his mission (enough to lift the face, but without making them look artificial – no blinding LA smiles here, please) and he uses a clever at-home system called Enlighten (unlike some solutions, it doesn’t hurt a jot). Slide into the chair and he’ll take the moulds – then pop back a few weeks later to collect the plastic whitening trays. You’ll dispense the accompanying whitening solution, via a handy ‘syringe’, into the trays each night: three weeks later, you’ll find it near-impossible not to grin at yourself in reflective surfaces.
13. CHRISTINE TANG / METAMORPHOSIS ORTHODONTICS
Petite and perennially charming, Christine is a pro when it comes to the art of scraping and polishing. There are no lectures on flossing, or tutting as she inspects your gums and buffs teeth with a brightening, citrus-flavoured paste. In fact, she’s positively apologetic as she (gently, carefully) prods around with sharp instruments, and pushes little ‘chimney-sweep’ dental brushes between your molars. And despite her OCD approach to flossing, the whole experience is so thoroughly relaxing that you’ll probably nod off behind the yellow-tinted glasses. When you come to, there’s a non-disgusting swill of mouthwash, a chirpy reminder to come back in six months, and a squeaky-clean smile. Basically, the dream.
14. JO KENNEDY / THE SPARKLE FAIRY
Jo Kennedy’s alter-ego is the Sparkle Fairy: a brilliantly convenient, can’t-believe-we-didn’t-think-of-it-first service that brings Harley Street-standard treatments right into your home. With 15 years of deep-dental cleaning under her belt, Jo is the go-to girl for routine hygiene appointments and whitening (she also does children). Book an appointment and she’ll pitch up at your door, morning or night, with all the gear (fold-up dental chair, all manner of buffing, shine-making tools and great spools of floss). She sets to work, and fast; delivering gleaming gnashers in double-quick time. Once she’s done, she’ll zip away in her shiny Sparkle Fairy van: no mess, no fuss, leaving a spick-and-span household in her wake.
FOR WISDOM TEETH
15. DR KARIM HUSSAIN / THE LONDON CLINIC
Dr Hussain is a superb all-rounder: a qualified doctor and dentist, he’s trained in plastic, general, emergency and even orthopaedic surgery. But for matters of the mouth, the oral and maxillofacial surgeon can’t be beaten. He works from the gleaming London Clinic, as well as the Cromwell and Parkside in Wimbledon, where he oversees all manner of wisdom-tooth-related emergencies, from impacted molars (teeth that are barely breaking the surface) to the ones that erupt at irregular angles (causing all sorts of pain and drama). Extractions – under local or general, depending on how many teeth are to be removed, and the gnarliness of their roots – are efficient and fuss-free, and Hussain has a soothing bedside manner (helped by some of the nicest nurses we’ve come across).
16. PIET HAERS / THE PORTLAND HOSPITAL
When wisdom teeth get serious, it’s time for the big guns: a.k.a dental demi-God Piet Haers. The Belgian oral and maxillofacial surgeon doesn’t beat around the bush: instead, he’s matter-of-fact in his diagnosis, and for good reason. Because left untreated, wisdom teeth can disrupt the complex network of nerves in the jaw, causing all sorts of problems, from paralysis to loss of teeth. It’s terrifying stuff, but the kind and diminutive Haers is who you want in your corner when shit gets real. His surgeries (often done under general) are lengthy, as he works carefully and diligently to extract threatening ‘third-molars’. (When he’s not wrestling with wisdom teeth he’s performing even more complex surgeries to correct cleft lips and palate deformities.) Wisdom tooth aftercare is via Whatsapp (he’s a huge emoji fan). When you get the red wine glass, you know you’re in the clear…
17. ANDREW HARRIS / NO 8 PARTNERSHIP
Jovial and good-natured, Harris is a periodontist, which means that he concerns himself with your gums and the bony structures supporting them. His work runs the gamut from receding gums (he applies grafts meticulously, to conceal exposed roots) to ‘crown lengthening’ (where crowns are used to lengthen the teeth and improve gummy smiles) to gum reshaping (to make smiles look more symmetrical). But it’s not all eye-watering stuff: gum disease is big on his radar, and he’s full of advice to prevent it (like regular check-ups, twice-daily mouth-washing and flossing, flossing, flossing). Conveniently, he’s located just off Sloane Square, in a terrifically smart consulting room just a hop, skip and jump from Peter Jones. Which is rather reassuring too.
18. DR EVDOKIA CHASIOTI / TEN DENTAL
Gorgeous, Greek-born Chasioti is a breath of fresh air in dentistry. Wildly talented (with the paperwork to prove it) the American-trained periodontist works from a lovely, light-filled room of Ten Dental in Clapham. But don’t be fooled by her nappy-valley location: when it comes to treating gum-related issues, there’s no safer pair of hands. Surgical procedures such as gum grafting and bone-regenerating treatment are her bread and butter; and she’s many a dentist’s first port of call when it comes to treating peri-implant disease (a gum-related infection of an implant). She was also the first in the UK to master the non-invasive Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique (it tidies up recessing gums without the need for scalpels and stitches – and greatly reduces pain and bleeding). Sign us up!
FOR SOMETHING EXTRA…
19. DR THU-LINH ALLAIN NGUYEN / OMNIYA
Gorgeous, French, porcelain-skinned Thu-Linh is a total babe. The straight-talking dentist does it all: bridges, veneers, fillings (for adults as well as their wriggling offspring). But she also has a special interest in aesthetic medicine, particularly dermal fillers, which she uses to shape and refine the lips. In fact, she’s as adept with a cannula (the blunt-tipped needle used to administer filler) as she is with a needle full of local anaesthetic. And while a jab of the latter will leave you feeling rubbery-lipped and numb until it wears off, the former can be used make the lip-line crisper, and to add subtle volume when things have started to go thin. Gleaming teeth (and a shapelier mouth) await.
20. DR NINA BAL / DEVONSHIRE STREET, W1 & THURLOE PLACE, SW7
She might be a bonafide cosmetic doctor, renowned for delivering a dazzling smile through her Smile Design programme (a bespoke combo of Invisalign, veneers and maybe whitening), but Spanish-born Dr Bal is also known for her Botox. Her stealthy needlework can treat all the usual things (like crows’ feet and frown lines) but she also uses it practically. For instance, injecting the masseter – the large muscle in the jaw – can bring palpable relief from migraines and jaw ache when nightly teeth-grinding or anxiety has taken its toll. What’s more, reducing the muscular activity can shrink the masseter, helping to slim a wide lower-face. Genius.
By Francesca White @francesca__white