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Your smile is often the first thing people will notice about you, having crooked, yellowing or damaged teeth can be detrimental to confidence, affecting how we talk, eat and share emotion, but can also affect your general health and wellbeing. Dental Artistry in Newmarket is working hard to restore confidence in their customers smiles by restoring healthy smiles and lifelong oral health. The boutique dentist has a beautiful relaxing setting, free client car parking and offering the latest technology to help you achieve your perfect smile. We talk to Dr. Sara Stockham, one of the Principal Dentist's at Dental Artistry, about getting those pearly whites sparkly, straight and healthy, giving you the confidence to show off your unfiltered smile.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you love about Dentistry
I’m Sara, one of the owners and principal Dentists at Dental Artistry. I grew up in Sydney then moved to Adelaide to study, where I lived for almost nine years before relocating to Auckland. I love food, travel, animals, listening to podcasts and going to the beach. I find people fascinating, so enjoy getting to know my patients and having a good yarn.
I’ve been athletic, creative and determined for as long as I can remember. My passion for health, nutrition and holistic care has sculpted the way I practice dentistry, especially the way dentistry can affect general health and growth; and vice versa. This guided my special interests towards cosmetic dentistry and airway focused orthodontics.
Often, restoring a healthy and beautiful smile through cosmetic dentistry may also require, or benefit from tooth movement. I have completed a Diploma and Masters degree in Orthodontics and provide Invisalign and orthodontics to all ages. I like to view the function and aesthetics of the smile as more than just the teeth and mouth. I also have a special interest in anti-wrinkle injections, fillers, and anti-ageing procedures.
What brings you to New Zealand and how you found your passion for Dentistry
I have worked in the dental profession for over 20 years, starting as a dental assistant, where I found my passion for teeth. I then completed a Bachelor of Oral Health before graduating a Bachelor of Dental Surgery with Honours.
Dr Sheng Zhang is my business partner at Dental Artistry. We have known each other for many years, having completed both degrees together. I moved to New Zealand for the practice. I could not be happier that I did, or prouder of what Dr Sheng and I have created!
What is the first step to getting a smile makeover?
The best thing would be to book a consultation with me online or to call our fabulous patient co-ordinators Daniel and Chantelle.
At this appointment, we discuss your concerns and desires, and the options that may be available to get you there. We take a series of photographs and any radiographs required to create a customised treatment plan.
I follow the principle of restoring health and function, in which beauty and aesthetics is the cherry on top and will have the best chance of success and longevity.
Often a treatment plan may involve myself, Dr Sheng and associates working together to provide the best outcome. I always say that we must start with the end in mind, which means creating the best environment for an optimal result.
All of these options, as well as the sequence of appointments and the associated costs are presented. We also offer interest free payment plans so that treatment is achievable for all.
How can crowded or mis-aligned teeth effect our health, how we eat or how our jaw moves? Can this deteriorate further overtime?
To answer this we have to take a step even further back, to the development of the jaw and ensuring enough space for the teeth in the first place.
For this reason, I do a lot of early intervention orthodontics such as expansion appliances to remove the need for tooth extraction with teenage or adult orthodontics.
Patients with protruding upper teeth, for example, may be more at risk of trauma to those teeth. Patients with a deep bite tend to wear the teeth down significantly. A heavy bite or grinding can increase the risk of cracked teeth.
Despite all of this, the most rewarding outcome of any tooth movement for me is the huge improvement in self-confidence and pride that a new smile brings. I know it sounds cliché but it truly can be life- changing!
People can find visiting the dentist a bit scary – Do the treatments hurt?
We understand why it may feel a little daunting or scary to visit the dentist. That is why, when designing Dental Artistry, making our patients feel comfortable and at ease was paramount from the moment you walk through the door. We have a warm and welcoming patient lounge. We used curved lines and natural tones throughout the practice.
Our staff are genuinely so friendly and comforting. They share our knowledge and passion for the profession. We pride ourselves on making patients feel at home and understanding individual needs to ensure patients feel respected and comfortable.
Some patients may have had a past experience that has heightened their anxiety at the dentist. It’s really important to me to build rapport with patients, and I find if a patient can trust you, then they are a lot more comfortable. It is always our goal to ensure that treatment is pain free!
I also treat a lot of children who are naturally more scared and the approach is the same. Start slow, with just desensitisation or an exam and build up to more complex treatment. The way parents discuss the dentist at home and prepare their children also makes a big difference.
The Netflix on the ceiling with noise cancelling headphones is a great distraction! We provide gentle local anaesthesia and offer intravenous sedation for patients who require it.
I also tend to have a little banter or give commentary during the appointment. This often helps patients (especially the kiddo's) know what to expect, which helps a lot.