If you look around at advertisements here in Orange County, chances are you’ve seen people advertising cosmetic dentistry that can rejuvenate your face. You might have wondered how it works and whether it can really make you look younger. The answer is that yes, it can work, but you need to be careful about your expectations.

Rejuvenating the Face with Dentistry

The basic principle of this technique is that, as you age, you wear down your teeth. As your teeth get worn down, the space occupied by them shrinks, causing your bone structure to shrink. Combined with the effects of gravity and tissue changes, this leads to excess hanging skin in the face, jowls, and facial folds around the mouth area.

Wear on your teeth can also cause the resting position of your jaw to shift. It may tend to recede, which further contributes to a loss of definition of the jawline.

Does It Work?

There is definitely some truth to the principles here. Changes in your teeth, especially the loss of teeth and the resulting loss of jawbone volume, can definitely contribute to a loss of facial volume, which will then lead to a perception of “excess” skin, which will hang down or fold on the face.

Realistic Expectations

However, it’s important to be realistic about how much of a difference this can make. If you have lost teeth and are getting them replaced with

dental implants or with FOY Dentures®, The Denture Fountain of Youth®, the difference can be quite dramatic, but otherwise it’s best to make sure you limit your expectations.

The thickness of human enamel is no more than about a tenth of an inch, so unless you’ve worn away all the enamel on your teeth and more, you’re unlikely to have lost a really large amount of volume. (This is unusual among modern people, and, believe us, you’d know!) Losing some of the height from the peaks of your molars might also contribute to some lost volume, but, overall, we’re talking about a relatively small difference. Sometimes the way your teeth fit together can change, which can also cause a loss of volume in the facial area.

The best way to get a sense about how much of a difference you can expect is to go to the mirror. Put your jaw in a normal resting position, then move it around. See how much of a difference it makes. Also keep in mind that you’d have to hold your jaw in any potential position for a long time. Over-aggressive restoration of the teeth can force your jaw into an uncomfortable position and may lead to TMJ-related problems.

Other Ways Cosmetic Dentistry Makes You Look Younger

Cosmetic dentistry also helps your smile look younger in other ways. First, restoring the color of your teeth. Whiter teeth can make you look much, much younger. Teeth whitening can give some good results, but other people might need porcelain veneers to achieve a youthful color.

Porcelain veneers can also be used to restore the youthful proportions of your visible teeth. It’s the proportions, more than just the absolute size, of your teeth that convey a youthful impression. And it’s important to remember that older restorations, especially old black metal amalgam fillings, gold, or poorly matched ceramics, can be replaced to rejuvenate your smile.

Cosmetic dentistry can definitely make you look younger, but remember it’s always important to get a second opinion about what expectations are realistic for you and what level of treatments may be recommended for you.

If you want a second opinion on how to best rejuvenate your smile in Orange County, please call 949-238-6755 for an appointment with a cosmetic dentist at Rice Dentistry in Irvine.