Our smiles are the first things people notice, and cosmetic dentist, Dr. Sherri Worth knows how to make sure yours makes a good impression. Based in Newport Beach, California, Dr. Worth specializes in porcelain veneers, crowns and bridges, implants, and reconstructive dentistry in her state-of-the-art dental facility, fusing the latest in technology and equipment. Celebs have discovered Dr. Worth, but she believes that everyone should have beautiful Hollywood smile.
Tell us a little about your history and why you chose dentistry?
I was always handicapped by my bad teeth as a child. In fact, many women are born with teeth missing, as I was, and it obviously affects your self-esteem as a child and teenager. It was the first thing people noticed and it inspired me to study dentistry. There I learned that cosmetic dentistry isn’t just about vanity, it is also about your overall health as well. My experience motivated me to create attractive and perfect smiles—I just love when my patients leave my office excited about their beautiful new teeth. I even did my own veneers because I wanted them to be perfect and knew only I could do them just right.
As a woman, did you experience difficulty as you worked your way up the professional ladder?
In some ways, yes, because it is a bit of a Men’s Club with dentists and doctors, but I believe I used it to my advantage because it made me different. Not being an older male dentist helped people to relate to me, and I’ve tried to use it less as a handicap and more as a positive asset in my field as a family and cosmetic dentist.
What are your tips for maintaining healthy gums and teeth?
One important note is that, although it might seem logical to brush after each and every meal, this is not necessary. The length of time spent brushing or flossing is just as important as frequency is. If a period of five to ten minutes would be allocated daily to brushing and flossing, one such session would just be enough. As most people do not spend that much time cleaning their teeth, the best it is to brush and floss two times a day—the session before going to bed being the most important of all. Sleeping with food debris trapped in-between teeth turns the the mouth into a playground for bacteria to thrive and multiply.
Flossing is something else that many people seem to get perplexed about. It is not enough to place the dental floss into the space between two teeth and then just pull it through. Dental floss should be placed against the side of each tooth and it should be then slid from the top edge down under the gum line, otherwise bits of plaque will be missed.
One final quick note regards checkups and cleaning visits to the dentist; this should happen at least every half a year in the case of healthy people. If you have gum disease for example, the situation changes, especially if potentially gum aggravating factors are present. The best you can do is to ask your dentist (the person who knows your teeth best) for the ideal time of your next visit.
Are porcelain veneers permanent? How long do they last and what should a patient expect to pay?
Permanent veneers can last from 10–20 years. After that time, it is usally good to have them redone. Veneers can cost anywhere from $1,500 per tooth onward, but that is a good starting point when interviewing cosmetic dentists.
How has cosmetic dentistry changed in the last 10 years?
Wow – by leaps and bounds! From implants and veneers to the tools that help make the experience less painful and more efficient, things have changed tremendously. The materials used to make veneers have become so much stronger as well. The techniques also have come a huge way, meaning that we have a much more conservative preparation of teeth, of how to restore them, and how to save them. Periodontal disease, which includes gum diseases like gingivitis, and hygiene issues have become so much more predominant, so cosmetic dentistry isn’t just vanity-related anymore; it really helps us keep our teeth much longer, and people are taking notice of that and understanding it now.