Meet the doctor who is teaching the UAE to smile with confidence
Sometimes, just sometimes, every moment spent at the dentist's can feel like eternity. However, if you are at Dr Apa's clinic at Umm Suqeim, you might just find yourself smiling - despite the pain and the prospect of spending USD50,000 (Dh183,650). What may help is the knowledge that he is the reason why Hollywood A-listers such as Chloë Sevigny, Lea Michele and Uma Thurman flaunt their pearly whites. Closer home, beauty blogger Huda Kattan, too, has given him her vote of confidence, calling him "my favourite dentist in the world".
The New York-based celebrity aesthetic dentist has been commanding a following globally for a while now. In 2008, he started visiting Dubai to attend to high-profile clients, including the royal family of Dubai, which led him to start a clinic here two years ago. Soon, positive word-of-mouth helped him acquire a bigger clientele and today, it is safe to say, Dr Apa's dental treatments tread the line between dentistry and fine art.
Dispelling any preconceived notion that you may have about the nature of his work, he says, "I am not the dentist you come to for regular check-ups or clean-ups. We work on smile makeovers." In the world of cosmetology, smile makeover is a glossy term ascribed to dental procedures that are done to enhance your smile. Apart from this, Dr Apa is also known for Facial Aesthetic Design, which is a process that changes your facial appearance apart from giving you a more youthful look because, as he says, "it's not hands that give away your real age, but your teeth".
One of the most sought-after procedures at Dr Apa's clinic are veneers (thin, white shells that are meant to cover the front surface of your teeth to enhance your look). At the clinic, Dr Apa's in-house team prepares these veneers - with each piece taking about 36 hours to make - in a laboratory that is housed within the premises.
While affordability is often a cause of concern when it comes to seeking cosmetic treatments, especially in dental care, what has helped the brand at large is the fact that it has been able to diversify and reach out to masses through their products that are available in the market. ApaBeauty, a range of simple, effective dental care and beauty products, is priced at Dh95 and above, and is available at Bloomingdale's, Harvey Nichols and the Dollhouse Dubai. "I want everyone to think of looking after their teeth as an extension of their beauty regimen. When that happens, people will take really good care of their teeth," he says.
The beauty ritual for the skin is cleanse, tone and moisturise. What about teeth? Brush, rinse, floss and gel, says Dr Apa. The products in Apa Beauty have been curated to cater to this ritual, even though he has deliberately stayed away from creating a floss as he believes that the quality that American brand Glide provides cannot be surpassed easily. The mouth rinse is chemical-free, which means it is gentler and does not leave you with a tingling sensation. The toothpaste, on the other hand, uses hydroxylapatite instead of fluoride since the former is known to be more effective when it comes to mineralising the teeth. But the coolest product in the range has to be the toothbrush, which has an automatic timer to ensure you spend exactly two minutes brushing your teeth. Hence, no running away. Since whitening seems to be the latest fad, there is Apa White Duo that helps give your teeth sheen and bears results that, according to Apa, are equivalent to professional treatment.
These are big promises to make, but going by the celebrity clientele he commands, it would seem the doctor is a man of his word. It is said that nothing you wear is more important than your smile. Dr Apa surely has many reasons to agree.