PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF AND TELL US ABOUT YOUR EDUCATION.
My name is Heba Ammar, I am a conservative cosmetic dentist.
Cosmetic dentistry is a field of dentistry that offers tooth-colored solutions to fix or repair any defect or decay that happens to human teeth.
I have a post graduate diploma in the three main branches of dentistry which are fixed prosthodontics, endodontics, and operative dentistry. Basically, these represent crown and bridges, root canal treatment and tooth filling.
I also have another postgraduate two-years diploma in “Conservative Dentistry” which focuses on the art and science behind conserving any, even 0.01, of natural tooth structure while delivering the strongest support for the restorations we make.
“And this is basically what I do in my everyday practice now. I insist on remaining a conservative dentist who saves teeth while offering tooth colored or cosmetic solutions.”
The solutions I offer make it difficult to distinguish restoration from the natural tooth.
WHY DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN DENTISTRY? MORE SPECIFICALLY, WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO WORK IN THE COSMETICS FIELD?
My father is a physician, and he raised us programmed to be physicians like himself. So, I studied hard to get high scores to join medical school. But fate played its role when I had a complete mental shut down in the calculus exam. Suddenly, I had a blank mind, and I couldn’t go any further answering any question! This situation resulted in losing the extra marks necessary for joining medical school, and I ended up in dentistry.
In the beginning I didn’t think of myself as a dentist because I had always dreamed of being a doctor. Soon, I realized dentistry was the perfect fit! I was able to sculpt and prepare teeth better than average of my colleagues, and I was satisfied to see myself among highest scores in the practical exams.
I got involved in cosmetic dentistry long ago with the evolution with modern ceramics more than 25 years ago.
I love the idea of making new smiles and adding more beauty every day. Being able to put smiles on people’s faces because I am changing how they feel about themselves is my passion. These meanings attracted me to cosmetic dentistry!
I have always dedicated my career time to deliver decent dentistry even after I became a cosmetic dentist. In other words, when patients come to my practice, I immediately start putting treatment plans to fix their teeth, rather than distracting their attention towards solely cosmetic procedures in shorter periods of time like bleaching, veneers, or bonding. I used to postpone offering those services until after finishing treatment for the decay or defects they have.
COULD YOU SHARE A SPECIFIC PATIENT CASE THAT HAD AN IMPACT ON HOW YOU PRACTICE DENTISTRY?
In the beginning of my career, I used to treat with freehand bonding (which means using bonded composites to anterior teeth). This procedure doesn’t involve cutting in tooth structure. So, it was compatible with my conservative dentistry that I specialized in.
Then, for some time, porcelain veneers were very popular, and patients came to me asking for them. So, I did quite a few of those.
After some time, my 21-year-old niece visited my practice asking me to replace her bonding with porcelain veneers. I then found myself convincing her NOT to do that. She’s like my daughter, and this was my honest advice to her. I said to her nothing on earth deserves to cut through your teeth enamel. This is a very precious structure that you will never be able to replace again! Veneers could end up with crowns on healthy teeth, so you’d be losing more tooth structure amongst other issues.
Ultimately, we ended up deciding to go for no-prep veneers, and I felt bad about this afterwards because I realized that I work with double standard. This became an ethical issue for me internally.
I decided to quit doing preparation on sound teeth solely for cosmetic purposes. Five years of refusing purely cosmetic procedures has not increased my bank account but it’s very rewarding still. It’s not always easy, but its comfortable and relaxing.
I have never crowned full mouth! Full mouth crowning is 28 crowns on all teeth and is a treatment option I have never offered to my patients because I haven’t met a case that medically mandates that option.
Patients often come to me asking for a remake to their defective veneers or bad full mouth crowns. So, I’m happy to help them with that piece of decent dentistry.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN THE NEXT 10 YEARS?
In 10 years, I see myself having influence on dentists worldwide. I hope to endorse my philosophy of fixing in hopes of delivering ethical, decent dentistry. Especially in the field of implant dentistry In implant dentistry, a treatment plan is the major factor affecting the long-term success of a proposed option offered to patients, especially if they are completely edentulous. I have hopes that my podcast would cover this part.
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