I hated my teeth. I hated the colour of the two front ones and, despite whitening, they refused to budge from a nasty shade of beige. I had Zoom! whitening done twice and had used assorted home kits, all to no avail.
And, to make matters worse, the teeth beside my front ones decided to move backwards. So in photo they were so shaded they also looked brown. The publication of my book, the Beaut.ie Guide To Gorgeous, was nigh, and with that would come the associated promotion and photographs. How on earth could I do all that with my beige teeth?
So when Dr Darren Cromey was recommended to me as the dentist who could give me a teeth makeover, and has done so successfully with many others, I hurried off to see him. After taking photos of my gnashers and studying them he made his expert pronouncement.
"You'll need four veneers, plus whitening to bring the rest of the teeth up to match."
I was really surprised; I'd thought I'd need a whole mouthful of porcelain. But apparently changing four teeth is all it usually takes to completely change the look of someone's smile.
"We'll use a home whitening kit that will brighten up your teeth to the best colour you can achieve naturally. Then we'll match that with veneers on the two front teeth that won't change with whitening. "
"Now, any questions?" he asked.
"Yes" I quavered. "I won't end up with a mouth like Simon Cowell, will I?"
Darren sprang from his chair to whip a photo of Cowell from a cupboard. "No way!" he said. "I keep this here to show patients what can go wrong if they go too white."
Simon Cowell has veneers which are so blindingly white and brick-like that they're more like a porcelain bathroom suite than anything nature intended. I was reassured that mine would look as natural as possible, with Darren rating Ronan Keating and David Bowie as having veneers to emulate.
By the time of my next visit, I had been faithfully using my dentist-grade teeth-whitening kit and it was time to fit my temporary veneers. The surface of the teeth were prepared for the temporaries.
All the drilling and filing and putting on of new teeth surfaces involved no pain whatsoever. It's a bit uncomfortable, but that's the worst of it.
There were a few weeks where I lived with the temporary veneers, to make sure my bite was correct and that I was happy with the shape and colour that the teeth would be. When I returned to the dentist chair I had the veneers fitted -- it does mean getting the temporaries removed and a bit more drilling and filing but, trust me, it doesn't hurt.
After it was all done, I had a good look in the mirror: gone were the teeth I hated so much and in their place were white, even gnashers.
The front four teeth now look normal, so normal that no one has noticed them. I've been asked did I change my hair colour, did I get hair extensions, have I lose weight or am I wearing new make-up.
People know there's something different -- and better -- but they don't know what it is straight away. And that's testament to how natural the veneers look.
To say that I'm happy with the finished result is an understatement. The veneers are perfect: they look like normal teeth, only whiter, brighter, straighter. I've gone from hating my smile to wanting to flash it at every opportunity.
It does take a bit of time (six weeks in my case) and quite a few trips to the dentist but I would give the whole process a huge thumbs up. If you're unhappy with your smile you become fixated on it and it gives you so much confidence when it is put right.
I would definitely recommend it. The job on my teeth is fantastic. You'll probably need less done than you think, so do go for a initial consult -- I was amazed at the difference four veneers made.
Four veneers and deep whitening cost €3,800