By the time the permanent porcelain veneers were placed, my confidence had already skyrocketed – I was smiling with teeth in photos again and taking selfies. Amazingly, my teeth looked like they had always been this way – they were perfectly sized to fit my facial features and white but not too white. When I came in for my “after” pictures, Dr. Andi-Jean Miro who had seen me throughout the process noticed my red lipstick and matching sweater and commented that many patients suddenly start making bolder choices after undergoing their transformations.
And even though the look was a subtle change for the better, internally, it was a big transformation that spilled over into other areas of my life. With my newfound increased confidence, I was quicker to talk to people I didn’t know, more eager to seek out new opportunities.
Looking back at Lena Dunham’s article, I love the fact that she decided to celebrate the differences in her appearance instead of bowing to the pressure from her publicists and the internet to conform. I’m not a public figure, so I don’t have the same public scrutiny of my appearance that she endures, but I totally related to the conundrum of whether to change something about yourself that makes you unique or to accept it and even celebrate it.
For her, keeping her quirky smile was the right decision, but I’m so glad that I altered mine. With just four veneers on my top front teeth, my whole demeanor changed and my confidence now shines through. And while the process of getting the work done was long and sometimes uncomfortable, I actually looked forward to it, knowing that I was lucky to be getting the chance to improve an aspect of myself I wasn’t happy with.
Fixing my teeth wasn’t something I did for anyone else – it was for me, and the external change led to an internal one. Almost four years since getting them done, my new smile is now normal to me, but the transformation I underwent still feels extraordinary.