Chris Eubank is a happy man. And when he smiles, he reveals an even set of gleaming new teeth, for which he has just paid a cool £30,000.

‘I wish I’d had it done 11 years ago when I retired from boxing,’ says the 43-year-old former world champion. ‘My lisp has gone. Now I just have a little whistle sound.’

Indeed, his trademark ‘interdental’ lisp caused by the tongue tucking through the gap in the front of his teeth has vanished.

Chris Eubank

Grinning with confidence: Chris Eubank feels he has a more ‘manly’ smile after 18 veneers, two crowns, a bridge and implants

Who knows what bullying he experienced as a result of growing up on the mean streets of Hackney and Peckham with a speech impediment, but as an adult, despite his prowess in the ring, it made him a constant figure of fun.

That his extensive dental work has produced a new sound – whistling – seems not to faze him. But without the lisp, does he feel he’s lost part of his identity?

‘Not at all. I’m exactly the same person,’ he says firmly. ‘And it wasn’t about losing my lisp – a gap in the teeth certainly makes for humour – it was about having a more acceptable smile.’

His smile was obviously something that bothered him, although to the casual eye Chris had a strong-looking set of teeth.

‘When there’s a fault in your mouth, people’s eyes go straight to it,’ he says.

‘Do my new teeth make me feel more confident? I’ve always been seen as one of the most confident people around but they give me confidence in a different way. They make me feel sexy.

‘The whistle is sexy. It sounds as if someone is tickling you in the tummy. I was always very aware of my teeth and conscious of looking one’s best.’

Today, Chris is dressed as immaculately as ever and sitting in the Table restaurant of Brighton’s myHotel, where he has been living for the past ten months.

He was declared bankrupt, owing HM Revenue & Customs £1.3million in 2005 – he paid it off a year later – and was subsequently divorced by his wife of 15 years, Karron, the mother of his four children.

There is a romantic reason behind Chris’s dramatic personal makeover, he says. He wants to win her back.

‘I hope it’s working,’ he says. ‘I can’t fault Karron for what happened. The only person at fault was myself. I was nonchalant and younger. I should have held on to her.

‘She’s irreplaceable and I hope the teeth may help to win her back, as they are part of a new me.’

Intriguingly, Karron has just moved back to Brighton and Hove after a short time in the nearby village of Rottingdean. She is believed to be single and sees Chris regularly concerning their children – Christopher, 20, Sebastian, 18, Emily, 15, and Joe, 12.

Chris’s extensive cosmetic work has taken more than three months to complete.

‘I was giving an after-dinner speech at a charity event in Marbella and I praised the teeth of a Chelsea footballer and it just so happened his dentist was also there,’ says Chris.

‘I found him passionate about his work and decided to visit his practice in Ireland to see what he could do for me.’

Chris Eubank

Mind the gap: Chris Eubank pictured before the dental work that removed the famous space between his front teeth

The man in question was Dr Barry Buckley, of Dental Options, in Clane, County Kildare, the charming dentist who has become a favourite of many celebrities because of his cutting-edge cosmetic work.

Most of them, unlike Chris, would rather no one knew what they have had done, although two Chelsea footballers and ‘a few TV presenters’ have been among his clients.

In 2006, after nine years setting up three surgeries in the UK, he moved back to Ireland and started investing in the latest technology, working with the da Vinci Dental Studios in California from which he orders his veneers and crowns, and the Procera laboratory in Sweden which provides the substructure for the bridgework – the all-white zirconia (a metallic mineral) replacing the old-style metalwork. This is sent to California where the porcelain is added and styled.

‘It was one of the biggest jobs we have done,’ says Dr Buckley. ‘Chris has had two implants, a six-unit bridge, two crowns and 18 veneers. He has a big smile and is a perfectionist so he wanted every tooth worked on.’

Despite Chris not having a ‘bad set of teeth’, Dr Buckley says many of them were chipped and worn and two were missing, as a result of his years in the ring. The aim was to regain ‘the vitality of his youth, with a brighter, whiter smile’.

Dr Buckley can provide patients with 36 options of teeth from his ‘smile book’ which offers teeth in different shades of white and varying lengths and thickness.

On the first visit, Dr Buckley makes an assessment of what is required using photographic imaging to superimpose the teeth on the patient – like working with a high-tech Photofit.

‘We decided on the length, the colour and shape of each tooth,’ says Dr Buckley. ‘Then, after sprinkling some light dust on the teeth, the new Lava chairside scanner uses a digital camera to create an imprint of the mouth in 3-D by taking multiple images from outside the mouth, without me having to actually enter the mouth or take physical imprints.

‘This is great because many people used to find the process of having a lump of clay in the mouth to bite down on to make an impression very uncomfortable.

‘The images are then emailed to California, where porcelain veneers are made. This technology takes away the guesswork. Before, when we had to take a mould of the mouth, there was room for human error or for the mould to shrink slightly. Sometimes veneers were not an exact fit as a result, but with this new method we are getting perfect results.’

Having agreed on what work would be done, Chris was told the treatment would take up to ten sessions over three months.

Chris Eubank and ex-wife Karron, pictured in 2000 before they split

Lost love: Chris Eubank and ex-wife Karron, pictured in 2000 before they split

To make sure Chris was happy with his new teeth, Dr Buckley gave him a ‘trial smile’. Using the 3-D impression-of the mouth, the teeth are left untouched underneath temporary veneers and crowns which are secured on to the teeth with adhesive – a process that takes about an hour. This allows patients to see if they like the look and checks whether their speech has altered.

‘Dental work won’t correct a lisp but it can change it,’ says Dr Buckley. ‘Chris was used to having a bridge in his mouth for 20 years after losing two teeth in the ring. And with the gap at the front of his teeth, his lisp made a certain sound. Chris doesn’t lisp any more but has a different sound. He calls it a whistle.’

Having spent a week with his ‘trial smile’, Chris returned to Ireland to fine-tune the work, deciding to lengthen some of the teeth so that they felt comfortable and making others more bulbous to give a ‘more manly’ shape. The changes were then sent to California, where the adjustments to the porcelain were made.

‘I didn’t want them too big or too small,’ says Chris. ‘I didn’t want that Hollywood in-your-face look. They had to be subtle.’

To eliminate the gap, Dr Buckley filed down the front two incisors either side of it and put full crowns on these to support the pontic, or false, tooth between. A larger version of this, a six-unit bridge, was used to replace the teeth Chris had lost in the ring – a neighbouring incisor and canine on the front right.

The bridge is made from six pieces. Two pontic teeth are held together with two crowns either side of the double gap. This combination is then cemented to the abutment teeth – those that surround them.

For the veneers, 0.5mm was shaved off the front of each tooth, with a porcelain veneer of the same thickness attached with adhesive.

‘Veneers are very thin shells that are made to measure and can change the colour, size and alignment of the teeth’s appearance,’ says Dr Buckley.

‘They are held in place by an adhesive similar to superglue. A crown is used to completely cover a weakened, damaged or cracked tooth above the gum and to protect it.’

The implants involved drilling titanium pegs into the roots of two molar teeth at the back of Chris’s mouth to provide an anchor for a new false tooth. They were then left for six to eight weeks to allow the bone to fuse with the metal.

The metal has a biocompatible surface that fuses well with the bone and so anchors it into the jaw. Once they had fused, the crowns were fitted. Dr Buckley says implants such as these can now last for ever.

‘With the new technology, we can now offer a lifetime guarantee on the completed work,’ he says.

Spruce up your pearly whites

Cosmetic dental surgery in the UK has exploded in the past decade  –  for while the health of the nation’s teeth has improved, many people are still in search of the perfect smile. Here are a few of the many treatments on offer…

Veneer: A thin layer of porcelain fixed with a bonding adhesive over the front surface of a tooth after a small amount of enamel is removed.

Lumineers: An ultra-thin type of veneer, dubbed ‘contact lenses for teeth’ as they are so sheer. Made from special patented cerinate porcelain, they can be placed over existing crown and bridge work. The natural tooth structure is left intact with little, if any, shaving of teeth needed. Good for gaps and worn down or discoloured teeth.

Pontic: An artificial tooth on a fixed partial denture.

Crown: An artificial top made from porcelain and metal that is coloured and shaped to match your own teeth. Used for teeth that need strengthening after breaking, weakened by fillings or after root canal treatment.

Bridge: An artificial tooth (or teeth) made of porcelain bonded to precious metal, then cemented to existing teeth to fill a gap.

Implant: A cylinder-shaped substitute for a root of a missing tooth. Usually made from titanium, it is positioned with a screw thread to secure into place. The aim is for the implant to anchor the new tooth.

Gum contouring: Laser treatment that trims away any excessive gum on teeth. 

Having splashed out more than £30,000 on his sparkling set of teeth, Chris is ready to start a new chapter in his life as a businessman.

He is preparing to return to the limelight after turning his back on the world of celebrity – he appeared in the first Celebrity Big Brother and in the TV reality series At Home With The Eubanks – by taking what he refers to as a four-year sabbatical after his divorce.

During that time he travelled the world, staying with friends in places such as Dubai but is now back in his home town of Brighton, staying in the boutique hotel opposite the city’s new library because, ironically, he says he doesn’t want any baggage at the moment.

‘I’m starting a partnership with David Lloyd to create a chain of Chris Eubank Slim Gyms,’ says the former middleweight and super-middleweight world champion.

His boxing career spanned 52 fights, of which he won 45, including the fearsome ‘wars’ with Nigel Benn that captured the nation in the early Nineties and his tragic, brutal encounter with Michael Watson in 1991, which left the challenger in a coma for 40 days and brain-damaged.

‘I’ve developed a “lipomachine”,’ he says of his new invention, which, should it be proved to work, would be revolutionary.

‘You wear it as a shirt or shorts and it breaks down and loosens fat as you train, leaving the body as sweat.

‘It also relieves water retention and helps detoxify the body. You lose four pounds more during a workout wearing it than you normally would,’ claims the slimline keep-fit fanatic who doesn’t drink alcohol or smoke.

His own daily routine is to go to the gym every morning for a session – which is considerably down from the punishing schedule he followed from the age of 16 to 29 when he ran seven-and-a-half miles every day and spent all his time in the gym, totally focused on boxing.

As well as the Slim Gyms, Chris is opening a boxing gym in South-East London and says he has finally realised the things he is most passionate about are ‘health, boxing and the effect boxing can have on youngsters’.

‘If you learn to box inside the ring – the code of honour and the art of fighting – you won’t fight outside of it,’ he says. ‘You learn respect and simple courtesies such as calling your elders sir and mister.

‘It’s so easy for kids to pick up a knife or a gun. They have so much energy but nowhere to release it. Gyms teach you how to be clever and streetwise in a good way, as well as to be fit.’

He should know, having been raised in a poor working-class family and expelled from a succession of schools before finally being put in a young offender institution after a series of petty crimes and drug use.

‘Boxing saved me from a life of crime and now I can be a role model for youngsters who want to get fit and healthy and stay out of trouble.’

Chris is pushing for Government backing for his boxing gyms. ‘I have spoken to David Cameron about it. We need a Jamie Oliver-style campaign. There must be a major shift of emphasis and this is such a simple way of doing that.

‘It would be beneficial for local communities and I can also find young boxers who may be good enough to represent their country at the Olympics. I’m as excited about this as when I first started boxing.’

He is hoping his new ventures will be taken more seriously now he doesn’t have a lisp. But does he really think his new teeth will also help win back Karron?

‘I’m single and working on it,’ says Chris with his new winning, whistling smile. Over to you, Karron.


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