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Modern Dentistry: Hearts, Minds and Potential
Written by Dr. Kelvin Mah   

Your smile reveals more than your teeth!

Modern DentistryOne of the most remarkable benefits of modern dentistry – and I’m not just talking about how my Smile City Square practice waiting room is nicer than many first class lounges – is that it’s not just about teeth. It’s about people. Allow me to elaborate.

When I sit down with my patients and consult with them on their needs, I’m not just thinking about their teeth and how I can “fix” them. Rather, I’m paying careful attention to their lifestyle needs, goals and dreams. Indeed, that’s why discussions with my patients always start with the questions:

  • How you feel about yourself and your smile?
  • What do you want to feel when you smile?
  • How would you like to be perceived by others?

As you can see, these questions don’t focus on specific dental treatment options, or specific problems that patients want to solve; that comes later. What’s more important is for me to identify my patient’s hidden potential, and then use my trained eye, artistic skill, and the best tools and technologies that modern dentistry has to offer to release that potential. Truly, my job is never just about “fixing teeth.” It’s about taking smiles – and lives – to the next level, and treating the hearts and minds of my valued patients.

Of course, it goes without saying that I require no convincing of what modern dentistry and a skilled, artisan dentist with advanced equipment can do. It’s something that I have the joy of seeing and experiencing every day in my practice. However, there are still many people out there who aren’t familiar with the wonders of modern dentistry, and aren’t aware of how it can release their potential to live a happier, more successful life. Until recently, Kirk was one of those people.

Your Smile Reveals More than Your Teeth!

Kirk was (and still is, of course!) a handsome, successful, athletic man who, by all accounts, seemed to have an abundance of self-confidence about his appearance. As it turned out, that was partly true. But not completely.

The complete truth was that Kirk – who was by no means vain, self-obsessed or unusually fixated with his appearance – was nevertheless insecure about his smile, and had been for a long time. This was something that I immediately perceived upon meeting him, through his body language, persona and answers to my “how do you feel about your smile” questions.

Modern DentistryTechnically speaking, Kirk’s upper front teeth caught the light in an unflattering angle, and the shape and geometry of the tooth surface combined with the ragged finish of the bottom of the teeth gave him a flawed smile. But, technicalities aside, looking at Kirk as an artist would consider the potential of a blank canvas, my assessment was that his teeth didn’t reflect his true character and inner light. Frankly, his smile was holding him back. And it was my job to free him from that limitation, and help him take his smile, and his life, to the next level.

Through further consultation with Kirk, it became clear that he wanted to transform his smile in a subtle but powerful way. He wanted something simple, yet profound. After exploring various options and looking at high resolution photos on the monitor, we decided on what I call a "Mini Smile Makeover," consisting of bonding and sculpting his teeth. This is different than a more intensive, clinically involved treatment (such as porcelain veneers), and was the ideal way to achieve the perfect, natural look that Kirk wanted.

A Personalized Transformation

And so Kirk’s transformative Mini Smile Makeover began. First, I contoured areas of his excessive tooth structure to correct length issues and areas that were bulky or flared. Then, I added material to correct areas that were deficient, such as the gap between his front teeth, and the edges that looked worn. Finally, I made corrections to really personalize Kirk’s smile. This was, without a doubt, the most critical step – and one that is often overlooked by other dentists during smile makeovers. Indeed, I believe that a great smile consists of more than just meeting generic parameters. Each smile has its own personality – one that reflects the person to whom it belongs. And since Kirk didn’t have a generic personality, neither should his smile.

Modern DentistryAfter the treatment – which was comfortable and fast – Kirk sparkled like a diamond (as the photos accompanying this article reveal!). He said that his new smile was like having a weight lifted off of his shoulders. And that was just the start.

It wasn’t long before professional and personal opportunities came knocking at Kirk’s door. His colleagues treated him with a new respect, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that his popularity with opposite sex skyrocketed. And all because of a Mini Smile Makeover, which was completed in one visit!

Modern DentistryIndeed, Kirk’s story is an inspiring illustration of how a person’s smile is connected to their head and heart – it’s not just about teeth and gums. It also shows how a beautiful smile consists of many individual elements coming together in a harmonious way. And of course, it’s also a story of how patients can connect with a modern artisan dentist to realize, unleash and express their unfulfilled potential. Because ultimately, that’s what modern dentistry is all about. Just ask Kirk!

Dr. Kelvin Mah -

Dr Kelvin P Mah is driven to "enrich lives, one smile at a time." He believes in helping people – not merely treating problems – and takes a dedicated, personal interest in the health, wellness and happiness of each individual patient. His award-winning Smile City Square Dental practice reflects an organic and zen-like atmosphere of warmth and relaxation. He is also a graduate of UBC's prestigious Dental School and is an instructor with the Frontier Institute, which offers postgraduate programs in advanced cosmetic dentistry. Learn more about Dr Mah and discover the transformative possibilities of modern artisan dentistry at, and visit Smile City Square Dental on Facebook at


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