Aging Face Fixed with Cosmetic Dentistry
Q: I enjoyed your column last week on tips for doing facelifts and veneer/cosmetic work. I notice the corners of my mouth are turning downward and getting deeper creases. Can fixing my teeth help this before I go the filler and plastic surgery route?
A: Could you believe I actually had a patient many, many years ago come in for a consultation for porcelain veneers and leave the office “insulted” because “I criticized her teeth?” What the heck?! She wrote on her medical history: Reason for visit: “hate my smile.”
Now, I don’t say a word and just hand patients a mirror and ask: “What would YOU like to change about your smile.” Then I “ask permission” if I may constructively critique their smile. Ok, I was young and stupid back then; now I am just old and ……
Most definitely many aging facial characteristics can be solved via cosmetic and implant dentistry. There is nothing more age-inducing than “posterior bite collapse”: patients who have either worn down their back molars from years of grinding or have not promptly replaced missing teeth over the years with implants. This makes the facial bones shrink and forces the jaws to over-close, increasing wrinkles, deepening lines and protruding the chin forward like Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies. (Millennials, Google here.)
By opening the bite with taller back crowns over natural teeth or implants, we can correct this.
Bite collapse and facial atrophy often drape the lips and cheeks over the fronts of the teeth, making you look toothless. (Insert Waffle House waitress reference here.) Veneers can add length and build out the sides of your newly widened smile for a hot young look.
Severe tooth anomalies such as a Class II, Division II malocclusion, or what is known as a “rabbit or rat bite”, will make your lips thin to the point of being invisible. These bites can be corrected with orthodontics and veneers. My folks could not afford the braces for all of us, leaving me with this issue. I had veneers done 20 years ago which corrected the problem in two visits. So can you! Check out our veneer gallery page on our website.
Dr. Mitchell Josephs practices Implant, Cosmetic and General Dentistry with an emphasis on implants, porcelain veneers, and complex crown and bridge treatment. He is on staff at JFK Medical Center and is a Faculty Advisory Board member at McGill University’s Faculty of Dentistry. He completed his residency at Manhattan’s Beth Israel Medical Center and Mt. Sinai Hospital.