"Bone loss, a natural result of ageing, can make the face look sunken and tired."
Dentistry Can Improve More Than Just Your Smile
Cosmetic dentistry now extends beyond tooth whitening, bridges, crowns and veneers. With the technology available today, your cosmetic dentist or dental specialist can literally give you a surgery free “facelift”.
Posted: 19 December 11
By Louisa McKay
Although we rarely think of dentistry and cosmetic surgery as being related, each has its role in improving facial harmony. For this reason, it makes sense to establish how your cosmetic dentist can enhance your appearance, especially in the lower face.
Technological advances in cosmetic and other dental specialities can help achieve a more pleasing profile, jaw line and facial shape. For example, it is now possible to get fuller lips through dentistry. The jaw line can be made stronger and in better proportion to the rest of the face. Protrusion of the chin and sunken cheeks can also be corrected.
With a carefully considered treatment plan, these new procedures can lead to a refreshed appearance and an enhanced smile. They are also a great option for people who are not considered good candidates for cosmetic surgery for various reasons or are reluctant to undergo other cosmetic enhancement treatments.
Some common issues
Bone loss, a natural result of ageing, can make the face look sunken and tired. Factors such as tooth loss can also change a person’s appearance significantly. It is natural, for instance, to develop sunken cheeks after losing teeth. When back teeth are lost, other teeth can lean towards the empty space or splay out due to lack of support. This undesirable tooth movement is called a posterior bite collapse and can cause significant changes to the mouth. The corners of the mouth (where the top lip joins the bottom) can become chapped or cracked, causing a condition called angular cheilitis. Replacing decayed or missing teeth with implants will then support the other teeth and the muscles and skin around the mouth.
Cosmetic practitioners sometimes call a lack of definition around the lower face a loss of ‘vertical dimension’. This is a common look for postmenopausal women and those who have diabetes or other systemic diseases. There are a number of ways that this can be corrected either through cosmetic dentistry or other non-surgical cosmetic enhancement procedures.
Understanding your options
Cosmetically, the alignment of the teeth as well as the position of the bite is important. An under or overbite can make a person look older than their years and sometimes give them an angry appearance due to short or worn down teeth. Issues such as these can be corrected with braces, Invisalign, veneers or a combination of other treatments.
Prosthodontists are dentists whose speciality is replacing or repairing teeth. They can advise you about dentures or dental implants. A periodontist is a gum specialist who can advise you on issues such as excessive gum tissue with a procedure called crown lengthening. An orthodontist can work with you to get the right proportion of teeth and gums.
These are only a few of the procedures available for enhancing your appearance and improving your smile. Your general or cosmetic dentist can guide you in finding a suitable practitioner and in deciding upon the procedure that best suits you.