4146 Carmichael Road, Suite A
Montgomery, AL 36106
Yaritza Wright D.D.S. DMD P.C
4601 Whitesburg Dr #202
Huntsville, AL, 35802
Price-Denton Huttula Endo
1140 Eagletree Ln Se # 100
Huntsville, AL, 35801
Todd Reeves D.D.S. DMD P.C
111 Village St
Birmingham, AL, 35242
202 Inverness Center Dr # 202
Birmingham, AL, 35242-7635
Everyone, even your dentist, knows that when we age, we see certain changes in our face (for example, wrinkled skin, less skin tone, shrunken appearance). The soft tissue in the lower one-third of the face is supported by the teeth and jawbone, and gives support to your smile. As we age, we lose support to our smile and we begin to appear older.
Anatomically, the face is divided into thirds: the upper, middle and lower one-third. The space between your nose and your chin is referred to as the lower one-third. The teeth support the vertical height of your lower face, and more specifically the back teeth support your lower face.
Most dentists agree that minimal and gradual wearing away of the top enamel of the teeth is considered normal during the lifespan of a patient. However, excessive wear on the top surfaces of the teeth can result in abscessed teeth, an irregular bite, decreased chewing capacity and esthetic disharmony. Patients with these types of problems often require extensive restorative cosmetic dentistry treatment.
Although the prevalence of tooth wear, or attrition, is not known, it is thought to be very common in adults over the age of 40. The wearing of the top surfaces of the teeth is most often attributed to attrition, which is the wearing away of one tooth surface by another tooth surface. Attrition is the result of bruxism, or the involuntary grinding of the teeth against each other.
Attrition can be the result of one or a combination of problems such as:
Depending on the severity of the tooth wear, teeth may be broken, shortened and unattractive. Having worn teeth can result in jaw joint pain (TMJ), a decreased ability to chew and a sunken appearance to the lower face. All of these results can make a person appear more wrinkled and older.
Generally, the worn teeth will have to have new fillings placed or redone. When severe wear occurs in the mouth, a dental crown or multiple crowns may be the only solution.
Yes, tooth wear can be prevented, but only if you make regular visits to the dentist. If detected early enough, your dentist may prescribe a plastic night guard to protect your teeth, much like an athletic mouth guard.
By Benjamin O. Watkins, III, DDS
Do you have a weakened, discolored or broken tooth, or teeth, you wish could be improved without having them reduced in size and replaced with dental crowns? Until quite recently, a crown was your only alternative. But not any more. Now that tooth or teeth can be saved and looking fabulous with elegant, life-like porcelain veneers.
Dental veneers are less expensive than crowns, easier on the patient, and relatively quick to place. You could call them "instant orthodontics."
And forget about those thick, heavy, "clunky" tooth veneers of five to ten years ago. Today's dental veneers are ultra-thin and very light, bonded to just the front of the tooth. Cosmetically and technologically speaking, there's no comparison. You have to see them to believe them.
This type of cosmetic dentistry is an inexpensive, simple way to hide a multitude of "Smile Sins." It is easy to improve the look and translucence of teeth stained by early tetracycline use, or years of coffee and tea stains. A minor chip or irregularity can be corrected in a flash with a veneer. No pain, no strain, nothing but the perfect tooth restoration you've always wanted.
Misshapen or overlapping front teeth? By removing just a tiny fraction of enamel and placing tooth veneers, your front teeth can be contoured or straightened. Best of all, a single office visit to a cosmetic dental professional usually does the trick.
The prosthodontics procedures available today are high-tech and versatile. Call your cosmetic dentist for a consultation, and see if a dental makeover can give you a whole new smile!