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From One 'Trep To Another: Dr. Apa Wants To Help You Make A Great Impression

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

“Dubai is fairly new to wealth and economic growth, with that comes the desire for luxury items. You’ve seen in Dubai how they have gotten every major designer, restaurant, jeweler etc. to carry their lines or open to service the growing demand for it. Good cosmetic dentistry falls into that category as well. Ten years ago, most who could afford it would probably tell you they would travel to obtain those services. I’ve been coming to Dubai for the past eight years and [I’ve] seen the growing demand for more and more people wanting these services, wanting to fit it into their daily routines and not necessarily wanting to travel for it,” explains Dr. Michael Apa, discussing why he has decided to do business in the Middle East.

As a New York-based entrepreneur newly bringing his enterprise to the UAE, he’s no stranger to boardroom pressures. The U.S.-accredited dentist built his client base and portfolio before exploring his entrepreneurial aspirations, and he is now a known commentator on aesthetic and restorative dentistry. In addition to Dr. Apa’s reputation as a dental authority, he’s also credited with having established the first undergraduate aesthetics program at the New York University (NYU) College of Dentistry. With all this under his belt, it’s pretty safe to say that Dr. Apa knows a thing or two about making a good first impression, and how a healthy smile can impact your business on a daily basis... by helping you come across as confident and capable.

Research indicates that perceived attractiveness and exuding confidence position you advantageously in negotiations, so an investment in dental health and wellness pays for itself. “A healthy smile says a lot about how you take care of yourself inside and out. Having great style, being fit, attractive, and having a great smile are all part of creating that successful first impression. I believe that it partially has to do with how you are being perceived, but also how confidently you carry yourself when you’re feeling good about the way you look.” 

As a medical professional, how do you define a healthy smile?

“Visually a healthy smile is white and pink...85% white [to] 15% pink. From the general public’s view, they think of healthy teeth as white teeth -it’s not always the case- and pink gums as healthy gums are also not always the case. I say 85/15 because in an ‘aesthetically healthy’ smile, you show a little gum. In health, we think of pink and the rest, for teeth, in health we think of white. Gums can overpower a smile when someone has a ‘gummy smile’, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s unhealthy, or they may have pigmented gums, dark spots, which also aren’t unhealthy. Teeth can be stained from antibiotics or genetics, also doesn’t mean they’re unhealthy. It’s more the public perception of what is aesthetically pleasing as healthy.”

In your opinion, what are the implications of a great, healthy smile on doing business?

“There’s an obvious component of self confidence and how you carry yourself when you’re feeling confident, but from other people’s perspective, there is a component of health and beauty. People will gravitate towards those who present well- whether it’s having a great style, a great look, or a great smile. It makes a difference in creating and building relationships.”

What options does your business offer for dental enhancements?

“We are a full service clinic with a strong accent on cosmetics, so implants, gum surgeries, crowns, veneers, porcelain fillings, whitening etc., but we emphasize looking at the mouth as a whole understanding why the problems are occurring and coming up with a treatment plan that addresses the cause and the fix. Most typically we can do this with veneers, crowns or Invisalign; or a combination. Every patient is different and is treated that way."