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!

Resolve to Have a Beautiful Smile in 2013
Written by Dr. Kelvin Mah   

photo of SherryAs we flip open a new calendar and greet 2013, I’m reminded that this is the season for transformative possibilities, as folks across Vancouver and around the world forge their New Year’s resolutions. I’m also inspired to smile with pride and gratitude as I reflect upon my countless patients who have discovered that one of the easiest, quickest and (here’s the best part!) most “willpower-free” ways to achieve a permanent, positive lifestyle change is through a smile makeover. Just ask Sherry!

Sherry, a successful management professional with an engaging personality and an active social life, came to visit me for general oral care. Of course, as I do with all of my valued patients, I engaged Sherry as a person with dreams and goals – not merely as a patient with dental needs and wants. And through that enriching communication process, I learned that Sherry’s confidence and self-esteem had been negatively affected by her dental issues. Essentially, like so many of us, how she felt about herself was reflected in the image that she projected to the world; and in that image, she couldn’t help but see an imperfect smile.

As you can imagine, the joyful energy that underlies everything I do surged into overdrive as I began talking with Sherry about the transformative possibilities of modern dentistry. After reviewing some of the cases that Sherry was familiar with (she’s a regular Fresh Vancouver reader!), we talked about my approach to smile makeovers, which are specifically designed to be affordable, non-invasive, and either completely painless or, at the very least, pleasantly comfortable. And, of course, we discussed the profound, inestimable value of transforming Sherry’s smile, both in terms of how it would make her feel, and how it would impact and influence those around her at work, at home, with friends – wherever her dynamic lifestyle would take her.

photo of teeth beforeEquipped with accurate information, a practical plan, and a trusted expert to handle things every step of the way both clinically and esthetically, Sherry found it easy to decide that a smile makeover was the right, smart step for her. We started with a thorough examination, which included models and photographs. Models are an important part of my work, because the design of a smile must take into account each patient’s unique bite. Photographs are also vital, as they help me communicate fine esthetic-related details. I noted that Sherry was missing two adult teeth near the front, and had retained one baby tooth. Minor work was done when she was a child, and while this helped in terms of functionality and bite, the overall appearance was less than ideal. Also, there was some obvious chipping and wear on her front teeth, along with a dark appearance around some older dental work.

photo of teeth afterI began with a customized whitening program to brighten Sherry’s entire smile. I then reshaped her gum line around specific teeth, which gave her a more harmonious and youthful appearance. Lastly, I prepared her teeth for two bridges and porcelain veneers, using ultra-modern materials that allow me to create wonderful solutions as conservatively as possible. From beginning to end, Sherry's smile makeover was completed in a few appointments. The final result was spectacular, and while I’d love to discuss (at length!) how delighted I am to this day with the outcome, Sherry’s own words speak much louder than mine ever could:

“I’m extremely happy with my new smile, and I really like looking at the result in the mirror and in photographs. I also feel that my smile is broader and has improved my appearance in a subtle way, so that while people around me can sense that something has improved, they don’t know exactly what – and I like that! To be frank, before the smile makeover, I was starting to feel my age, and Dr. Mah helped change that anxiety into a feeling of confidence and happiness. Often in life, we invest in other people, but we neglect to take care of ourselves. My smile makeover was an investment in myself, and the rewards and payoff are so much bigger than I ever imagined. It’s hard to explain, but I didn’t realize how much my old smile was bothering me until it was gone!”

This is an inspiring smile story about a special patient. Yet more than that, it’s a testament to the transformative possibilities of modern dentistry, and to my lifelong commitment to changing lives for the better – one smile at a time. That’s a resolution I’ll never grow tired of making. In fact, you might say it’s always New Year’s Day at Smile City Square Dental!

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...