The tooth whitening revolution has coincided with surgeries becoming much friendlier places.

White teeth. Who would have thought they could have created such a furore? There was a time when a visit to the dentist consisted of an agony of anticipation, a dreary waiting room where you could hear drilling and grating noises before progressing to the dentist’s chair. Even if you were lucky enough to get away without any fillings, you were left with a distinctly bad taste in your mouth.

But that was before the Americans came, showing off their gleaming, glossy smiles. Cosmetic densitry has been popular in America for many years. Changing teeth – the look, the colour, or the number – can change the entire appearance.

Actors in particular were quick to embrace leaps in denistry, recognising that better teeth mean bigger smiles, which in turn can lead to better parts and more money.

And if that is good enough for Hollywood stars then it surely is good enough for those people who work in the City.

British dentists have been quick to follow the American example. Zaki Zakaan believes in the holistic approach – that there is more to mouth care than just shuffling along to the dentist every so often and working out whether you brush your teeth often enough.

During January Kanaan could hardly keep pace with demand for BriteSmile treatments. The whitening technology, which costs £495, is so advanced patients can be in and out of surgery in just over an hour.

The treatment consists of a bleaching agent that is applied to the teeth before a blue light is shone into the mouth.

This activates the gel and whitens the teeth. The process is repeated three times within an hour to achieve the ultimate white smile.

Of course, as Kanaan points out, nobody’s teeth whiten in exactly the same way. Some people may emerge with brilliant white teeth, others may find theirs are not as white.

Diet affects the colour of teeth – so if you drink lots of coffee and red wine, and smoke, before you have teeth whitened they are likely to whiten to a different shade compared with someone who did not eat or drink things that stain.

Similarly, if you drink coffee or red wine after the process the teeth are likely to return to their original colour over time.

If you look after your teeth and use BriteSmile whitening agents, the bright white colour can be long-lasting. Even with no maintenance the effect wil last two years.

Zaki Kanaan – like many of his contemporaries – has taken the dental experience to a whole new level: the surgeries are friendly, welcoming and you can ask questions (many) without feeling intimidated.

Best of all, nothing is impossible these days. If you want veneers, you can get them. If you need an invisible brace to move your teeth to perfect straightness, you can have one.

And if you want to get white teeth in your lunch hour, that is no problem.

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