Joey Essex
Joey Essex from The Only Way Is Essex. Picture by Darren Millar

The Only Way is Essex star Joey Essex has just had veneers and teeth-whitening treatment: could you benefit from a similar dental makeover?

Fans of ITV reality soap The Only Way is Essex might well have noticed that the show has a little extra sparkle these days – two of the programme’s stars have had cosmetic dental treatment and a third seems set to follow.

Just before Christmas 2011 Joey Essex proudly announced that he had had veneers fitted and his teeth whitened. Alongside tweets such as “Can’t believe the size of my bed, man!” and “my radiators are so hot!” the self-proclaimed King of Essex posted this statement:

“Thanks to @hospitalgroupuk for my new Reem smile! :))))))” (Translation: thanks to The Hospital Group UK for my new hot and gorgeous smile! I’m very happy with it).

Shortly after the procedure, the self-proclaimed King of Essex happened to be photographed as he left his house in Essex early one morning. The celebrity was sporting a sparkling new smile as the photo was taken. He was also wearing a ‘onesie’ (all-in one pyjamas) with the words ‘Joey Essex’ on the back – perhaps so he can remember his name.

The cost of cosmetic dental treatment

The Daily Mail put the total price of the cosmetic dental procedure at £4,395. Putney dentist Ethicare offers veneers at the same price-per-tooth as Hospital Group (£450) and offers a combination of Zoom ‘in-office’ whitening and home-whitening for £450 to £550 (compared to Hospital Group’s £650 for ‘chair-side whitening’).

The pros and cons of veneers

So what do you get for your money? Ethicare offers cosmetic porcelain veneers which bond to the front surface of teeth. Dr. Glafcos Tombolis, who runs Ethicare with his wife Claudia, said: “They are still cosmetically the best and most predictable way of creating a perfect-looking smile. They are especially helpful for patients whose teeth are misshapen, crooked and discoloured.”

Alternatives to veneers

However, the dentist does believe that other options should be considered before veneers as this treatment often involves the harmful removal of tooth structure when they are fitted. He advises that alternative treatment such as Invisalign clear braces and Inman Aligner should be considered first.

Chloe Sims

Joey Essex is not the only star of TOWIE who is flaunting a sparkling new smile around the nightclubs, shopping malls and greyhound tracks of Essex at the moment; colleague Chloe Sims had her teeth whitened and veneers fitted in September.

She tweeted: “Really looking forward to getting my teeth finished, loving the top veneers and can’t wait for the bottom ones.”

Ms Sims apparently overcame a fear of the dentist to have the procedures; she has revealed in interviews how she had an overbite caused by sucking her thumb until the age of 16 but was too petrified of the dentist to get things fixed.

Responding to a question about how the veneers had changed her appearance, the 29-year-old tweeted: “There (sic) just as biG! And really really white! Love them! Perfect teeth.”

Was Chloe right to be nervous of having veneers fitted? Dr. Tombolis of Ethicare said: “Some patients don’t even need a local anaesthetic before having veneers fitted but we appreciate that some people are more nervous in the dentist’s chair than others are – we always try and make customers as comfortable as possible before we begin. In terms of time it can take about three hours to fit veneers to all the upper teeth. We allow patients as many breaks as they need during a long session as we realise it’s a long time to sit in the chair!”

The expert also points out that it is more common to have veneers fitted to the upper teeth than to the lower teeth. Veneers on the lower teeth can be more disruptive to tooth tissue and structure.

James Argent

Ms Sims’ decision to have her smile enhanced inspired TOWIE colleague James Argent to meet with a cosmetic dentist in November 2011.

‘Arg’ later invited his Twitter followers to give him further advice; tweeting: “Do I need my teeth done guys? And how white should I go, Brentwood or Hollywood? Lol (laugh out loud)? Who thinks gaps in teeth are sexy? I’m so confused, big decisions!”

Dr. Tombolis advises James that if he is weighing up whether to choose between home-whitening and whitening in-the-surgery, he should note that home whitening gets your teeth whiter and offers longer-lasting results.

He added: “And if you really want to get your teeth as white as possible then it’s best to have a combination of home and dentist’s chair whitening. In-office whitening at a dental practice can act as a ‘multiplier’ – making home whitening even more effective and vice-versa.”

Argent should also bear in mind that cosmetic veneers normally have a lifespan of about ten years – if he opts to have them fitted they could well last longer than The Only Way of Essex does.

And they do look – as Joey Essex would say – ‘reem’!

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