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Nylon, June/July 2000
White Supremacy: Heathly or Sinister? The American Smile Just Keeps Getting Brighter.
"The only trouble is that people see celebrity smiles in magazines without realizing that flash cameras and printing methods make their teeth appear whiter than they are in reality," explains New York dentist Steven Butensky. His reputation for incredibly realistic aesthetic dental work, the kind that improves a smile without making it look too perfect, attracts clients from far and wide - one woman flies in from Paris on the Concorde, and photographer Peter Beard treks back from Africa for checkups - to get their pearlies doctored. Butensky talks about his attention to detail when making "porcelain laminate veneers" with the same excitement fashion editors reserve for petit mains beadwork on couture clothes. "I can make fake hairline fractures and mix two or three shades so that you get that all-important transparency," he enthuses. "I can change the color, the shape, and the position of teeth, but, because I'm into conservative removal (in other words, he won't tinker too much with healthy teeth) and acceptable natural shades, there's always a compromise. That way, a smile remains individual and unique." Ah, indivdiual and unique. For Butensky, it means carefully sculpted ridges and grooves that mimic those on a nin-year-old whose adult teeth have just come in.