More than a million followers on Instagram have made Elmar Babaev, the founder of the "Dr. Elmar Smile Laboratory", famous as a star doctor. On his social network page, case studies from working practice alternate with photographs of the doctor in the company of patients, including many stars, public figures, and politicians. Babaev himself, unlike most doctors, never thought that dentistry was his vocation. He has come a long way from rejection and difficulty to the realization that he likes to make people's smiles beautiful. Today he discusses what innovative methods of working with a smile are and what to be guided by when choosing the optimal tactics for correcting bite and teeth.
How did you get into the profession?
All thanks to mom. She insisted that I should become a doctor. My grandfather was a famous neurosurgeon. Mom really wanted me to follow in his footsteps.
I did not dare to connect my life with neurosurgery. But he agreed to a compromise: he began to study as a dentist in Baku, then continued his studies in Kiev, for the sake of residency moved to Moscow. There were moments when I wanted to give up everything. Medical University seemed like hell to me - I had to study 24/7, but I still tried to cover everything to the maximum. It was hard to imagine that you would have to translate the theoretical knowledge gained into practice. This is a colossal responsibility.
When did the tipping point occur?
During my residency in Moscow, I ended up at the Department of Maxillofacial Surgery. And there I saw many successful doctors: work for them was not a routine. We can say that each of them had their own handwriting, their own style. I was impressed with how these people approached the treatment of patients. There was excitement, philosophy. At the same time, after working for 8-10 hours, sometimes without a break, these heroes could easily change into a Yves Saint Laurent or Kiton costume and go to the theater or to a family dinner. The work fueled an interest in life.
For the first time, I felt that a dentist, just like a talented tailor or watchmaker, not only endlessly solves pressing problems, but in fact also creates and helps to create an image, gives a person the confidence that is so important in the modern world. It was then that I became motivated, I began to achieve results in my work. I started my journey in an ordinary state clinic - believe me, this is a great school: the opportunity to work with several thousand people, often with really difficult cases. I did everything from therapy to prosthetics. He did not complain, but eagerly absorbed valuable experience. Of course, word of mouth started working very quickly. The patients liked my approach.
At some point, I felt the strength to start free swimming. He began working in a commercial clinic on Voikovskaya, and then rented his office. Soon the office was not enough, and I realized that it was time to start my own business.
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What was the most important aspect of your future clinic?
It shouldn't have looked like a hospital. Therefore, we tried to create a space that tunes in to the right wave of joint creativity. If people come to have their teeth treated as if they were in hard labor, then it is difficult to expect a high level of motivation from them. We all get a little nervous when there are white hospital walls around. And our reception area is more like a lobby bar at a hotel, where you can listen to music, read something interesting or have a cup of coffee while waiting.
What technologies do you use in your clinic?
It was very important for me not only to do the work with high quality, but also to use the best advanced materials and technologies, because it is no coincidence that we are called "Laboratory of smiles". Therefore, the diagnosis begins with an innovative digital examination of the entire dentition using first-class equipment imported from the USA. We take a targeted X-ray, orthopantomogram (circular scan of the oral cavity), use the latest MSCT apparatus and a 3D scanner instead of outdated impression materials.
One of the first dentists in Moscow, I began to create the so-called Hollywood smile. First we took a cast, then sent it to the United States. The wait for finished veneers lasted more than a month. Their manufacture was a complex, time-consuming and costly process. Fortunately, now we can totally transform a smile in a short time, without leaving the clinic.
Another innovation that we were one of the first to introduce is work with aligners, special mouth guards for bite correction. In our clinic they got the name "Elminers" (in honor of me). We make them ourselves, our mouthguards are analogous to American aligners. In terms of cost, they are almost the same as braces. So now you can make a choice based not on price, but on medical indications and personal preferences.
And yet, aligners have clear advantages over braces. First of all, they align the dentition and correct the bite, while remaining invisible to others. Aligners are made of transparent polymer materials and look aesthetically pleasing. Mouthguards do not hurt or affect diction. They can be removed during the day - during meals or important events.
Plus, bite treatment with aligners takes place in a much shorter time than treatment with braces. An important advantage is the ability to fully predict the result: we immediately create a 3D model of the smile, and the patient knows how he will look after wearing the Elminer aligners. Many stars of Russian show business have already undergone a course of treatment with me with the help of elmainers and eliminated the curvature of the teeth imperceptibly to others.
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Do people come to you with serious problems?
Often. But I love hard cases. The visiting card of the clinic is total rehabilitation of a smile of any complexity. Patients with various curvatures, chips, missing teeth and other problems come to us. After a thorough examination, a consultation of specialists, creating a treatment plan, diagnostics, we take on a comprehensive treatment. You can not deal with teeth if there are contraindications or other health problems. Of course, I explain to all patients that there is no aesthetics without dental health. Before placing veneers, we tidy up the bite and eliminate caries.
They often come to me to replace old veneers. And it may be not only low-quality materials. Firstly, a few years ago there was a certain fashion for the color snow white, and now patients prefer a more natural smile color. Secondly, some specialists initially do not quite correctly plan their work, losing sight of any factors - the absence of some teeth, crowding, problems with the temporomandibular joint, etc. Sometimes patients do not follow the doctor's recommendations and do not observe oral hygiene - caries can occur where the tooth is not covered with a veneer.
What other trends have emerged in dentistry besides naturalness?
Ultra-thin ceramic veneers and lumineers are in trend now. As an experienced orthopedist, I prefer them. These are the thinnest plates made of extra durable, highly aesthetic all-ceramic material. Lumineers are a modern, improved type of veneers, less voluminous and does not require enamel pretreatment. The thickness of the veneer is about 0.5 mm, and the thickness of the lumineer is up to 0.3 mm. Both are indistinguishable from real teeth. But lumineers cannot be used for serious dental defects - they are almost transparent.
Today dentistry has become fully digitalized. No cats in a poke - you immediately know what result you will get in the end. The “test drive of a smile” service is very popular in our clinic. You can try on a future smile - not in a photograph, but using the 3D model that you see on yourself. This helps to avoid stress - often people hesitate whether a new shape and color will suit them. With a test drive, you can make adjustments in time and immediately understand what result you will get in the end.
Not everyone knows that many processes in the body depend on the bite. Tell us, what results does timely dental treatment help to achieve?
The correct bite is the key to a beautiful posture. Often the curvature of the spine occurs precisely because of the wrong position of the jaws. Although many people think the opposite.
The first signs of aging also appear faster in those people whose lower jaw is incorrectly positioned. Due to malocclusion, the oval "floats", nasolabial folds and double chin appear. Often people don't even associate these changes with their teeth. But after a visit to the “Laboratory of Smiles” and the selection of the optimal treatment tactics, patients see an amazing result: not only the smile is transformed, but also the face as a whole, nasolabial folds are eliminated, the face oval is extended, and wrinkles become less. Everyone experiences the transformation in their own way - someone with unrestrained laughter, someone with tears in their eyes, someone immediately wants to hug me. Emotions are probably the most pleasant thing I get from patients.