Here’s a reposted book review I originally wrote in 2011 for Epinions. com. Hope you enjoy it, as/is!
I guess I can thank our recent return to watching television for introducing me to former cosmetic dentist Michael Zuk’s 2010 book, Confessions of a Former Cosmetic Dentist. It was sort of a “one thing leads to another” thing. I was watching Extreme Home Makeover and remembered that there used to be an Extreme Makeover show dedicated making over peoples’ appearances. I looked it up on imdb.com and someone mentioned Zuk’s tell all book about cosmetic dentistry. I went to Amazon, noticed the reviews were pretty positive, and decided to download Confessions of a Former Cosmetic Dentist to my Kindle.
What’s this book all about?
Back in the 1990s, Michael Zuk was bitten by the cosmetic dentistry bug. He bought into the highly motivational speeches he heard about how cosmetic dentists can change peoples’ lives for the better by giving them beautiful smiles. So Michael Zuk became a cosmetic dentist and eventually added orthodontics to his practice. He got into the business of overhauling smiles by giving his patients veneers, replacing enamel with porcelain, and bleaching teeth into brilliant whiteness.
Somewhere along the way, Dr. Zuk lost his enthusiasm for cosmetic dentistry. He started to notice how some of his overly aggressive colleagues were ruining their clients’ teeth with veneers. He also noticed that cosmetic dentists were raking in a lot of cash for procedures that might eventually ruin a client’s perfectly serviceable, but not quite camera ready, teeth.
Dr. Zuk also discusses orthodontic treatments and offers his opinions on some of the newer treatments that are available, such as Invisalign. A lot of clients are attracted to so-called high speed braces, even if the treatment won’t make that much of a difference. Dr. Zuk explains why clients need to be more informed about their options and the potential risks that can come from cosmetic dentistry.
I think Dr. Zuk has written a very interesting and useful book for the general public, especially those who might be tempted to undergo a cosmetic dentistry makeover. Dr. Zuk is brutally honest about the effect some of the more popular procedures, especially bleaching and veneers, might have on a person’s teeth. He seems particularly against veneers, which are apparently especially damaging to some people. It seems a lot of cosmetic dentists sugar coat what actually happens to natural teeth when they undergo cosmetic restorations. Clients may be left with a big bill and teeth that eventually fall apart. I was pretty shocked when Dr. Zuk wrote that he’d sooner trust a good family dentist rather than a cosmetic dentist. He seems to think the cosmetic dentistry industry is all about money and, in fact, often comes across as quite cynical. On the other hand, some of his comments are pretty funny, too. I actually laughed out loud a couple of times.
One thing I noticed about this book is that it seems to be somewhat poorly edited. I don’t know if it’s because of the Kindle, but in many instances throughout the book, there was no spacing between words. So I ended up reading several sentences thatlookedlikethis. It got to be pretty annoying. Another thing that might be off putting to some readers, particularly if they are in the dental profession, is Zuk’s rather pessimistic attitude. He makes a lot of comments about how cosmetic dentists are only in the business to fatten their wallets. He claims that cosmetic dentists are constantly fixated on other people’s smiles, looking for ways they could be improved at a pretty penny.
I am lucky enough to have pretty good teeth, so I have never been attracted to the idea of getting cosmetic dental treatment. Nevertheless, I did learn a lot from Confessions of a Former Cosmetic Dentist and would recommend it to anyone, especially those who might be thinking about taking the cosmetic dentistry plunge. I do wish the book were better edited, especially for the Kindle. ETA in 2022: It looks like this book is no longer available on Kindle, anyway.
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