3013 N. West St.
Flagstaff, AZ 86004
Endodontics, Allen D.D.S.
6520 N 7th Ave # 7
Phoenix, AZ, 85013-1158
Northern Arizona Endodontics
1000 Willow Creek Rd # K
Prescott, AZ, 86301-1645
Beal, Frank H D.D.S.
12480 N Rancho Vistoso Bl #150
Oro Valley, AZ, 85755-1990
East Valley Endodontics
3048 E Baseline Rd # 111
Mesa, AZ, 85204-7287
The color, size, and shape of your teeth all have a profound impact on your appearance. While it is often the desire of people to improve the look of their smiles, it should be the goal of aesthetic dentistry, or cosmetic dentistry, to do this while still maintaining a "natural" appearance of the teeth. This often requires addressing one or all of the above-mentioned criteria. How is it that alterations in these three characteristics enhance your smile?
Tooth color is most commonly what people see first. As you get older, your teeth get darker. The reasons for this include normal changes that occur within the tooth and repeated insults from environmental conditions (coffee or tea stains, for example). Generally, then, darker teeth are associated with older age. The easiest way that cosmetic dentistry can correct this is by teeth bleaching. But this alone may not entirely create a natural-looking appearance.
Size and shape also are major factors that define the appearance of teeth. The most common cause of changing tooth size and shape over time is tooth wear; and the most common cause of wear is tooth-to-tooth contact, or grinding. Wear on the edges of the teeth can give the appearance of aging because you do not show as much of your teeth when you smile. Another factor that affects how much of your teeth show when you smile is the loss of skin tone as you age.
This loss of tone causes your face to sag, thereby showing less of your upper teeth and more of your lower teeth. The aesthetic dentistry treatment to enable more teeth to show when you smile will depend on the cause. If the cause is due to wear of the teeth, dental veneers or dental crowns can be used to regain the lost length and fill out the smile. On the other hand, this may not have a significant effect if the cause is due to the loss of skin tone associated with age. If this is the case, plastic surgery may be indicated as part of the treatment.
Wear on teeth also will make the edges of the front teeth very flat. As this occurs, the edges of the front teeth will form a straight line rather than the more youthful appearance when the two front teeth are slightly longer than the teeth next to them. Also, as they wear, the proportion of length to width will be altered. Teeth will start to appear more square in their shape rather than rectangular.
Basically, any treatment that counteracts the above-mentioned appearance changes has the ability to enhance the appearance of your teeth and smile. The aesthetic dentistry treatment can vary from teeth bleaching to dental crowns or dental veneers. Depending on the severity, other forms of treatment such as braces and gum surgery also may be indicated to enhance the appearance and function of your teeth. It is important to remember that all areas need to be addressed. If treatment for teeth that are worn and dark only involves teeth bleaching, the final result will be whiter teeth that are still worn and short. The teeth will not appear natural, as there will be a conflict between white teeth (youthful) and worn teeth (aged) that do not work together. Instead, it is necessary to correct the color, size, and shape to create a more natural appearance.
By Greggory Kinzer, DDS, MSD
Since the beginning of time, people have battled the effects of aging in order to look and feel younger. History has repeatedly shown us that people will journey to the far ends of the earth for ways to improve and maintain a youthful appearance - whether it is in search of the fountain of youth or to find plastic surgeons or cosmetic dentistry to surgically enhance their facial structures and smiles.
Plastic surgeons have been instrumental in making facelifts and other related procedures more common to the mainstream population. As a result, a paradigm shift has occurred in how we view ourselves as we get older. Cosmetic dentistry is now available to large numbers of people.
The shift has made the average person more knowledgeable of the link between lifestyle and appearance. Consequently, people are changing their habits, attitudes and preconceived perceptions of aging.
More than ever, people are more willing to dedicate the resources necessary to find the balance between their image, spirituality and life choices. In response to the shift in people's thought processes, the cosmetic dentistry community has developed newer and more predictable anti-aging techniques to slow the affect of aging on the human body.
With a large segment of the population reaching the significant milestone of 50, the increase in appearance-enhancement therapies will continue to rise significantly in coming years.
Everyone knows that if you want to cheat the aging process, the person you go to for help is a plastic surgeon. However, if you only consider a surgeon for help, you could leave out an integral part of the rejuvenation equation. Cosmetic dentistry must be included in your quest for a youthful appearance because you will not maximize the benefits of your anti-aging procedures without a smile analysis.
Your Smile Affects How Old You Look
Cosmetic dentistry procedures are like great paintings and sculptures. Your body is the canvas or clay, your face and bone structure are the frame, and at the center of the painting is your smile. In order to make masterpieces appear life-like, artisans must have an understanding of general anatomy and bone structure.
Equating those concepts to aging, you can say that your youthful appearance is as dependent upon how much support you have for your soft tissues. The old adage "Beauty is only skin deep" does not apply to plastic surgery and cosmetic dentistry. Time has a way of shrinking the underlying bone and teeth. If surgeons and cosmetic dentists do not restore what is lost, they will not be able to achieve a natural look.
Using cheek and chin implants in conjunction with facelifts are just some of the ways surgeons restore facial support and beauty. Cosmetic dentistry uses tooth whitening, bonding and porcelain veneers to create a more youthful smile.
By Benjamin O. Watkins, III, DDS, Cosmetic Dentist.