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Talking teeth with dental superstar Dr Rhona Eskander

We hear why people have become obsessed with their smile, and the trends and technology set to change the face of oral care

Dental superstar, EV Expert and Co Founder of PARLA oral care, Dr Rhona Eskander, takes time out to talk to us about our relationship with our teeth, trends and technology...

"Since the pandemic hit, more people have been preoccupied with their 'Zoom face' and the way their teeth look – staring at a screen has left many confronting their appearance. People started to prioritise their teeth when dentists were inaccessible at the beginning of the pandemic; they recognised the value of healthcare when they couldn’t get in. I have seen a 40 per cent increase in the last year.

"Furthermore, less money spent on clothes and holidays means people are investing in the smile they always dreamed of. Teeth that aren’t well aligned and discoloured, people are also complaining about sore, bleeding gums.

"With the obsession of healthy diet regimes, more acidic foods such as lemon water are being consumed and can wreak havoc on the teeth. As such, more and more people are complaining of tooth wear and lost enamel. This has led to more enquiries for veneers and bonding."

Natural teeth trends 

"We are moving away from large white veneers towards a more natural smile. It’s really crucial you know what your dentist is good at – a dentist who is brilliant at root canal may not be interested in aesthetics. Ask to see before and after pictures or check for a portfolio online.

"A beautiful, natural restoration does not only rely on the dentist but a talented ceramist. They are the ones who fabricate the veneers. I create ultra thin, very natural veneers with my technician Simon Caxton, who replicates nature by placing translucencies in the teeth, texture and different colour gradients.

"Natural teeth are not flat and lifeless; a good way to assess whether a dentist is suited to you is to ask for a wax up – a try before you buy diagnostic model of the potential future teeth. This is a good indication of the artistic ability of the dentist and technician. This blueprint will be used for the final veneers.

"Don’t be afraid to ask your dentist questions. Who is your technician? What type of ceramic do you use? Do you create mock ups? What are their qualifications? There’s no such thing as a specialist in cosmetic dentistry but look for those who have a special interest. Also look at before and afters, reviews and recommendations too.

"I would avoid going for discount deals: something has got to give when prices are low. For example, when I prepare teeth for veneers it takes me three hours or more, my technician charges premium prices for his work and the actual fitting takes three hours minimum. Furthermore, the cost of materials to place and cement is on the high end. If prices are very low it is probably too good to be true.

"There are excellent dentists all over the world, however quick smile makeovers without any aftercare should be approached with caution. It’s very difficult to plan a case and execute by seeing a patient for 24 hours. Aftercare is crucial and flying back to have remedial work can be challenging. It’s also important to note that any cosmetic work should be checked every three months or more."

At home technology 

"My biggest tip at home is to use an electric toothbrush twice a day for two minutes with a fluoride based toothpaste or toothpaste tablet. Waterpik water flossers are also fab: they use a water irrigation system to clean underneath the gum line."  

Product innovations

"I am one of the proud founders of PÄRLA toothpaste tabs; this is eco friendly toothpaste in the form of a tablet. Recently we created PÄRLA PRO, the first toothpaste tablet in the world to contain hydroxyapatite, vitamin E and vitamin B12. Hydroxyapatite forms the building blocks of enamel, and when placed in toothpaste can create high gloss whitening, as well as help fight sensitivity.

"Moreover, the mouth has incredible absorbent properties and placing vitamins here means they are delivered through the bloodstream much more efficiently and effectively. It works in a similar way to sublingual sprays."

Rhona Eskander, dentist

In her final year at Leeds University in 2010, Rhona won the Best Case Presentation for her complex restorative case,...

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