Cosmetic surgery is a very popular specialty of medicine that has been growing steadily for decades. Youth is associated with vitality and beauty. For many of us, aging is not an easy thing to do and we seek out help to keep us looking and feeling younger and more vibrant. When seeking out cosmetic surgery, many often overlook the role our teeth play in our appearance. As we age, our teeth become darker, get worn down, and may even change alignment. This can create not only cosmetic issues but functional ones as well. These functional issues can lead to Temperomandibular Joint (TMJ) issues, headaches, and muscle pain.
How Can My Dentist Make Me Look Younger?
As our teeth wear down over our lifetimes, it can result in a shorter looking face, longer looking teeth, and stained teeth. The resulting appearance may make some of us look like we are aging prematurely. The breakdown can be caused by tooth erosion (high acid wear), attrition (flattening and fracturing due to grinding, clenching, and other oral habits), and abrasion (overly aggresive brushing), recession (loss of gum tissue making teeth appear longer) . The length and shape of our faces and teeth, as well as the position of the jaw are determined by the teeth, skeletal bones, and a person’s bite. So, when a person’s teeth wear down it will give the appearance of a shorter face. Discomfort and pain are also often associated with wearing down of teeth and gums, as they become more sensitive, prone to increased fractures, and to development of TMJ and headache pain.
Your dentist can give you the ability to change all of this, allowing the patient to look more youthful while correcting dental issues. The patients oral hygiene must be good and the mouth should be in a healthy state before any work can be completed. This should include control of periodontal disease, removal of any loose teeth, addressing gum loss issues, ascertaining desired whiteness, and correcting dangerous oral habits, . Great care must be taken while returning someone to their proper tooth height (vertical dimension) as it can create even more TMJ and headache issues if not done properly.
Some of the procedures involved in making you look younger include:
-Porcelain Crowns. This type of crown will give the cosmetic appearance most patients are longing for but also give the strength and stability to open one’s bite . One type of strong porcelain which is used where teeth grinding has been a problem is a Bruxzir crown. When utilized properly, a patient will begin to see an immediate improvement in their bite and in the cosmetic appearance in the skin around the face as wrinkles will lessen.
-Porcelain Veneers. A staple of cosmetic dentistry but used in conjunction with porcelain crowns to lengthen and restore the length of front teeth. Porcelain veneers are less invasive and more conservative than porcelain crowns. For teeth that do not require a full coverage crown, porcelain veneers can adequately lengthen and reshape, and change the color of your smile.
-Orthodontics. Limited or full orthodontics may be necessary to remove any bite issues that can cause undue stress or trauma to the teeth before new restorations are placed.
-Dental Bonding. Used to restore any teeth that have been damaged by tooth decay, staining or slight wear. Dental bonding is a cosmetically pleasing option that will look very natural when completed.
-Facial Asymmetry – In many of us, the muscles of the face may be asymmetrical leading to an imbalanced look to the face. Botox can restore that symmetry by balancing the facial muscles. Eyebrow lift, or depression of the brow can be enhanced with properly placed botox.
-Gummy Smile – This is shown as a smile that shows too much gum tissue. This usually is the result of the lip rising too high when smiling. Injecting Botox into the upper lip weakens the retractor muscles of the upper lip so that it won’t raise as high and your smile will seem better-balanced.
-Crown Lengthening. A surgical process to expose more tooth structure so that there is enough room to properly place a crown. This is often necessary in severe grinding cases.
-Gum and Bone Grafting and Recontouring. Lost bone and gum tissue can often times be grafted to help regrow them. They can also be reshaped surgically to be healthier, easier to work with, and more cosmetically appealing.
-Teeth Whitening. Many of our worn teeth are also dark and discolored. The color you desire to reach may require a dental whitening process, or simply a whiter color bonding restoration or a whiter colored porcelain restoration.
Cosmetic dentistry will change not only how your teeth function but how you feel about yourself. Many dentists often overlook the relationship between our teeth and our bite. If the bite is not in alignment, your teeth and face will never look and feel their best.