Because a smile is more than teeth

Over the past couple of decades, the term “smile makeover” has become common among dentists, who use it to describe a wide range of procedures designed to enhance the appearance of our teeth. We consider tooth whitening, veneers, dental bonding, gum contouring and reshaping, and other cosmetic corrections to be an investment in our appearance and self-confidence. In fact, The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry reports that more than 99 percent of all American adults believe that a smile is an important asset in social situations.

Dr. Sarah Winter, who owns and operates Sarah Winter Dental in La Jolla, has taken things one step further. “Although the teeth take center stage in a smile makeover, every detail of a patient’s bone structure, skin tone, and facial features should be carefully considered,” Sarah says. “I have always been fascinated by the structure of the face, as a whole.” A few years ago, she began investigating ways that her office could further enhance her patient’s smiles—beyond dentistry. After conducting a good deal of research and attending conferences on the subject, Sarah launched a medical spa within her office space. She partnered with a physician to serve as the spa’s medical director and hired a nurse practitioner to administer treatments.


“With a background in obstetrics, our nurse practitioner, Annie Navarra, has an amazing amount of empathy and a gentle touch,” Sarah says. “The human face is not symmetrical and it’s not our goal to achieve perfect symmetry,” Sarah says. “But we can achieve a more balanced appearance in the lips, vertical lip lines, and facial jowls with the use of dermal fillers and Botox.” Other services include IPL laser facials, laser hair removal, skin rejuvenation, skin tightening, and Vitamin B12 injections.

Because the timing of routine dental hygiene visits and cosmetic treatments is often every three to six months, many patients can get everything done at once. “It makes sense to take care of your whole smile at the dentist’s office,” Sarah says. “We may be one of the first, but I think this is the direction cosmetic dentistry is headed.”

For more information, call Dr. Sarah at Sarah Winter Dental, 858.454.1500.