Top Menu

Join Our Newsletter

Would you like to receive our monthly electronic newsletter, filled with great information about our newest issue, articles and news?  Click here to sign up!

Subscribe Today

Would you like Fresh Vancouver Magazine delivered right to your doorstep for the next year?  Don't wait - click here to ORDER NOW for just $29.95!

Modern Dentistry & Healthy Living: From Treatment to Transformation
Written by Dr. Kelvin Mah   

A story of personal transformation through dentistry

When describing the extraordinary benefits of modern dentistry to new and prospective patients, I find it helpful to highlight the difference between treatment and transformation.

That’s because in the past, dentistry was very much about the treatment end of things. That is, dentists focused on what needed to be done – whether that was a crown, a filling, a bridge, etc. To be frank, I can completely understand why so many patients “tuned out” of these kinds of discussions and found them pretty uninspiring. After all, there isn’t much to get excited about when your dentist is explaining how a cavity is filled, or showing you photos of what your gums look like from the inside!

Today, things are very different – and profoundly better! That’s because modern dentistry goes beyond the treatment end of things, and skilled artisan dentists can emphasize its transformative impact. That is, we can highlight for our patients the incredible lifestyle benefits that patients can look forward to after they leave the dentist’s chair – benefits that go far beyond improved oral health, and embrace everything from self-esteem to career success, to improved relationships and more. In this light, you could say that modern dentistry is a catalyst for positive change that takes smiles and lives to the next level.

The Next Level for Nick

Speaking of taking lives to the next level, allow me to introduce you to my patient, Nick. Nick’s body of work (no pun intended!) is similar to mine in many ways, because while I aim to transform lives through modern dentistry, he focuses on transforming lives as a professional BCRPA Certified Personal Trainer.

As Nick explained to me when we first met, a brilliant smile in the fitness industry goes a long way towards making the right impression and standing out from the crowd – which is quite important given that a growing number of his clients are starting to enter competitions, and want an elite personal trainer who has impeccable health on every level. Furthermore, while he’s a truly modest and grounded person, Nick is aware that his clients look up to him as a role model who has achieved an enviable level of health, fitness, well being, inner strength and overall physical appearance. A big part of that complete picture is having a dazzling white smile – and that’s the piece Nick was searching for.

And as it turns out, Nick’s search was a lengthy one. As a professional with high standards, he wasn’t willing to settle for just any dentist to help transform his smile, nor would he give a second look to the drugstore whitening products that he compared to the calorie-filled and additive laden “protein bars” that, unfortunately, are found everywhere in the fitness world, and are often worse for health than chocolate bars! For Nick, a commitment to health is also a commitment to being informed and carefully choosing customized products and services that align with his healthy lifestyle and high expectations.

Fortunately, Nick’s search brought him to me and Smile City Square Dental. At our first meeting, I spent quality time getting to know Nick as a person, and learning about his concerns, goals and aspirations. He said that he wanted a whiter, brighter and more confidence-inspiring smile that would impress his clients and improve his quality of life. He also mentioned that he wanted to see results rapidly, because of his very busy schedule and a slate of upcoming competitions. And most important, he wanted a solution that would look natural and enhance his overall bodybuilder physique and skin tone – and not look fake or phony.

“In many ways, how I look is my brand,” Nick told me. “If my smile looks artificial, then my clients – consciously or unconsciously – will take that into consideration, and may choose another trainer.” Taking all of this into consideration, and noting that Nick had areas of sensitivity in his gums and an uneven lustre across his visible teeth, I presented him with a variety of options, and carefully explained the benefits and process of each one. Not surprisingly, Nick selected the solution that I also felt was the best one for him: Zoom! in-office whitening.

Zooming to Results

teeth before

With Zoom!, Nick would benefit from rapid whitening in just an hour, which was ideal given his very busy schedule. Plus, I could carefully adjust the placement of the whitening mix to bring his teeth to a consistent lustre, and harmonize the brightness with his overall skin tone and features so that it would look natural. And on the sensitivity front, I could selectively shield sensitive areas with protective gel and prevent any pain or discomfort.

teeth after

Now that he was informed, inspired and ready to take his smile to the next level, Nick scheduled his appointment. After customizing the setup and protocol to match Nick’s unique needs and sensitivity, I carefully calibrated the exposure time, performed the Zoom! in-office whitening treatment, and an hour later the transformation was complete! Or rather, I could say that Nick’s transformation was just beginning – because, as you can see from Nick’s photos and read in the following words, his transformative journey towards a better smile and a better life is just getting started!

photo Nick Cosgrove

“Having my teeth whitened allows me to feel more confident in myself and my teaching skills while interacting with clients. Not having to worry about my teeth being white allows me to put all of my focus and energy towards each individual client throughout each training session. As a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer, I understand the importance of working with a qualified professional when it comes to health and well-being. After having my teeth whitened by Dr. Mah, I wouldn’t change a thing. To receive the best results you need to work with the best professionals – and that’s exactly what Dr. Mah is: the very best. Thank you Dr. Mah! You’ve improved my quality of life and I couldn’t be happier.”

Nick Cosgrove, President, Forever Fit

To these kind words, all I can respond with is: Thank you, Nick, for giving me the opportunity to help you experience the wonderful benefits of modern dentistry. As a renowned health and fitness leader, you’re an inspiration to everyone who wants to benefit from the connection between oral health, an attractive smile, and a better life. Enjoy your dazzlingly white, custom-made and natural-looking Smile City Square Dental smile!

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


More articles by this author

Something Old, Something New, A Perfect Smile From Me to YouSomething Old, Something New, A Perfect Smile From Me to You
Picture it—it’s your big day. The day you’ve spent...
How to Actually Accomplish Your Goals This YearHow to Actually Accomplish Your Goals This Year
I always feel a sense of renewal during the spring...