As a leading expert in cosmetic, restorative and implantation surgery, Dr. Hugh Flax, a dentist and Sandy Springs resident, can immediately recognize what those in his profession call a “Chiclet smile.”
According to Flax, that is the way to describe a patient’s smile where their teeth have had so much porcelain put in by a dentist that does not specialize in such cosmetic dentistry or is not trained for it.
“The patent’s teeth just do not look natural,” said the owner of Flax Dental in Sandy Springs.
As a result of him seeing so many patients with mishandled cosmetic surgeries done by regular dentists not trained in this type of procedure, Flax has written his first book, “A Smile is Always in Style: How to Look Great and Feel Amazing.”
According to a news release about the book, it provides an insider expert’s guide to cosmetic dentistry. Flax said he wrote the book for individuals who want or need some degree of dental surgery but mistakenly return to their regular dentist to have this work performed instead of seeing a certified cosmetic, restorative or implantation dental surgeon like him.
“I have always been a believer in helping the patient, but, unfortunately, there are patients who would call their regular dentist to do cosmetic or reconstructive work without doing their research,” he said. “That practice reminds me of impulse buying for something as important as one’s smile.”
Flax said he believes in philanthropy as he donates his time and resources to American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry’s Give Back a Smile program for survivors of domestic violence, as well as the United Way and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
There have been countless times in his practice that Flax has done “extreme makeovers,” where he would have to redo the attempted cosmetic work on patients who have gone to their regular dentist or another dentist not trained in cosmetic surgery to do the work.
“Patients would come in very upset with how their makeover looked after a trip to a regular dentist for cosmetic surgery,” Flax said. “Some patients think that if they do not like what another dentist has done regarding a makeover procedure, it would be like getting a bad haircut. If they didn’t like it, it would grow back, but that is not the case.”
Edi Sprouse, business manager at Flax’s office, echoed those sentiments.
“It is a shame these patients did not get it done correctly the first time,” said Sprouse, who has worked for Flax for 17 years. “Over the years, I have watched Dr. Flax pay such great attention to detail that other dentists might not even know is important.”
She said Flax has “spent an incredible amount of time over his career in learning about how to make his dental surgery work last a very long time.”
According to the release, Flax is one of a few hundred dental professionals who are nationally accredited by the academy, the highest level of accreditation in cosmetic dentistry in the world. He has lectured and authored articles in Europe, Japan, Canada and the U.S. on laser utilization, smile design and advanced restorative techniques to enhance the skills of dental teams worldwide.
In addition to the personal enjoyment he receives from writing, Flax said he wrote the book to help individuals who may be confused about the choices available to them for this makeover work.
“There has been such a revolution in dental care,” he said. “I added information in the book about overall wellness as well, because to look great, you have to feel great. You can’t enjoy your makeover look if you are not healthy.”