While we're often made to believe that celebs are otherworldly perfect creatures designed to make us feel lousy, the reality is quite different —and expensive! From the magic of Photoshop to stylists and full-on glam squads, stars have an arsenal of help to make them look effortlessly put-together — right down to their pearly Hollywood whites. That's right, even their teeth have had an overhaul! Hey, the proof is in the pictures (thank you, before-and-after photos). Let's take Victoria Beckham and Hilary Duff, for starters. We tapped NYC cosmetic dentist Dr. Nicholas Toscano (manhattanperiodontist.com) for the 411 on these superstar smiles. Here's what the kind doc had to say.
What are veneers?
A veneer is a porcelain facing that goes over the front of the tooth after it has been reduced by a millimeter or so. Depending where you are in the U.S. or in the world, the price of veneers can range from $1,000 per tooth to upward of $3,000 per tooth. The costs are based on who is doing them and what lab they are using. Some dentists use very basic labs that produce very basic veneers. Higher-end dentists often use labs that apply a bit more artistry in developing the veneer, and that costs more money.
Why do celebrities opt for veneers?
Veneers are a great way to make a person's smile look perfect in a very short amount of time. You can resolve color and teeth that are broken down and crooked all in one fell swoop. Unlike orthodontic treatment, veneers can be completed start-to-finish within a week. Celebrities often choose veneers over braces because not only do they not want the silver brackets of braces, which are highly visible, they often cannot spend two or three years on orthodontic treatment. Many of my celebrity patients feel that doing so will hinder their career.
From Victoria Beckham's before-and-after photos, what does it look like she had done to her teeth?
It looks like Victoria has had Invisalign treatment to straighten her teeth, a gum lift to increase the size of the teeth and a full set of veneers. Her teeth were visibly crooked in her before picture, and she also shows a lot of gum and much smaller teeth. The absence of gum and longer teeth are evidence of a gum lift.
Yikes! What about Hilary Duff?
Hilary is known in the industry for having really bad veneers in the past. She appears to have gone through several sets: The first one gave the impression of very horse-like teeth and is a good example of veneers gone awry — and it's a great example of why it's so important to ensure that you're seeing the right dentist or dental specialist (patients should do a lot of research, ask to see their dentist's credentials, before and after pictures, and how many cases they've had done). Hilary's latest set of veneers finally gets it right because they are slender and perfect for her face. Her teeth were also very yellow, and her smile looked very gummy, leading me to believe that in addition to having several sets of veneers, Hilary also had bleaching and a gum lift.