March 20, 2013

Can Dentistry Make You Look 15 Years Younger?

Teeth show your age just as much as drooping muscles or sagging skin.  Even if you get regular dental care and keep your teeth white, you might want to consider other dental enhancements.  Age-related changes can dim your smile and even change your facial structure, making you look far older than your age.

What are some of the conditions in your mouth that can age you?  Decades of chewing or tooth-grinding or clenching can wear down the upper and lower teeth.  As the teeth get shorter, the distance between the chin and nose also shortens, resulting in a shorter face that makes you look older. 

The solution for worn teeth is veneers or crowns that restore natural tooth shapes and dimensions.  Veneers are ultrathin pieces of porcelain that, when attached to the surfaces of existing teeth, become extremely strong.  A crown goes over the entire tooth and is a better choice if your teeth are structurally weak because of fillings, root canal, etc.  Sometimes increasing the length of only the upper teeth can create a dramatic improvement.  Crowns and veneers can last at least 10 to 15 years and often longer.

Missing teeth can also age you.  People often don’t realize that the shape of the face partly is determined by the teeth.  This is particularly true in the cheek areas because the muscles are supported by the side teeth.  If you have one or more missing teeth, your cheeks can cave inward and create an older, drawn appearance.  Even one missing tooth can cause a “sunken” appearance if you have a small, narrow face.  It will be less apparent if you have a large, broad face.

A dental implant is ideal to replace a missing tooth, as long as the underlying bone is healthy and enough to hold the implant.  The dentist places a titanium cylinder in the dental bone.  This cylinder replaces the missing tooth root.  After the implant becomes part of your jawbone, a connector called an abutment is attached to the implant and then a crown is placed on the abutment.  Dental implants typically last just as long as your natural teeth, and in many cases, even longer.

We’ll continue exploring how dentistry can make you look younger in our next blog.  In the meantime, please visit www.TavorminaDentistry.com for other dental information.

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