What is Anti-Aging Dentistry?

Anti-aging dentistry is a response to an externally focused society.

There are clear expectations of outward appearance that are the basis of some people’s evaluations of other people. “A survey for USA Today by Philips Sonicare found that 47% of respondents chose a great smile as the feature that most attracted them.” Another survey found that 76% of respondents based their first impression of someone on their smile.

Our impression of others may be primarily determined by whether or not that person is smiling. After all, a smile is a universal sign of friendliness anddental face lift small- paid - shutterstock 1842685117 approachability. A smile welcomes people into our circle of trust.

We also live in a society that values youth. One need only consider the number of facelifts and Botox treatments performed each year. It is a small step to concerns for our teeth and our smiles.

Anti-aging dentistry is one approach to dental care that is quickly gaining momentum.  The approach combines the usual dental goals with cosmetic goals. There are several types of “levels” of anti-aging dentistry.

What happens to our face and mouth as we age?

Our bodies experience many changes as we grow older. Today we are living 10, 20, even 30 years longer than our grandparents’ generation lived. But what changes affect our faces and our mouth/teeth?

  • The skin loses elastin and collagen with age
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Tooth erosion
  • Gums recede
  • Teeth shift
  • Bone mass loss
  • Outdated dental work must be replaced
  • Wearing of teeth due to erosion
  • Wrinkles develop
  • Lips lose some fullness
  • We lose some cheek fullness and support, causing a hollow look
  • Tooth loss
  • Teeth become shorter
  • Our faces get shorter
  • Bite deterioration
  • Eroded teeth cause the chin to shrink
  • Airway passages constrict
  • There is less room in the mouth for our tongues
  • We have less saliva, which opens the door to a number of dental problems

In response to all of these changes, dental work is becoming the new anti-aging procedure. But what does that mean?

The Mechanics of Anti-Aging Dentistry

Getting anti-aging dental work can be more effective than Botox, making you look years younger without extensive downtime.

Anti-aging dentistry comes under a range of designations. The meaning of the process it designates may depend upon the dentist you choose.

A Smile Lift changes the position of teeth and their spacing to better support your upper lip. Various repairs to thLe teeth can eliminate teeth grinding, balance the features of the face, restore a youthful appearance of the teeth (whiter, consistent size) with veneers, crowns, bonding, fillings, dental implants, and whitening.

This type of dental work is about only the mouth/smile. The jawline is unchanged, the bite often remains unchanged, the profile and the chin remain the same.

Face Lift Dentistry is used by some dentists with special training to define a group of procedures that accomplish a number of goals and result in a “face lift.” One dentist described the process as “improv[ing] patient’s health by physically balancing the jaw position with the TMJ. It is a comprehensive approach that is safer and more predictable because there is no surgery, no braces or aligners, and no drilling down healthy teeth. It doesn’t just optimize your smile, it optimizes your entire face.”

By lengthening the teeth with veneers, you

  • Eliminate the sagging or double chin
  • Lift your cheeks
  • Eliminate the hollowed cheek look
  • Fill out wrinkles and fine lines
  • Improve the lips

Replacing missing teeth can

  • Preserve facial bone structure
  • Restore a healthy and functional smile
  • Keep surrounding teeth in place
  • Boost confidence

If you or a loved one are interested in anti-aging dentistry, we encourage you to schedule a conversation with us (or with your dentist). You might be surprised to see what can be accomplished with anti-aging dental procedures. 

Dental Drill Appreciation Day

I know that a dental drill is not something that you want to celebrate. But today is dental drill sm- paid - shutterstock 685746085DentalDrillAppreciationDay. When you think about the use of a dental drill, you might find that it is something to celebrate.

Dental drills are tools that are used to protect teeth by performing a number of procedures and functions.

They are used to prepare teeth for fillings, by removing existing decay, making sure the filling is successful and lasts a long time. Dental drills are also used with teeth that require crowns or other restorations. These teeth need to be precisely shaped so the cap (crown) fits well and doesn’t pop off or allow bacteria to enter the tooth.  The drill may also be used to remove old crowns and fillings that need replacing.

Dental drills are strong, made from materials like tungsten carbide and diamonds.

Dental drills have come a long way from their earliest forms. Some evidence suggests that the earliest drills were “bow drills.” The first mechanical drills operated at about 15 rpm. In about1864, a British dentist invented a “clockwork” drill. This was faster than previous versions, but it was very noisy. In 1868, George F Green invented a pneumatic drill powered by a pedal-operated bellows.  In 1871, James Morrison introduced a pedal-powered bur drill. In 1875, Green created the first battery-powered drill.

It was not until about 1914 that drills could operate at about 3,000 rpm. The air turbine drill was developed during the 1950s and 1960s. Modern drills operate at up to 800,000 rpm, and are able to operate at several slower speeds. As drill speeds increased, they produced heat. Drills were then designed to cool with air or water to protect the tooth. Some modern drills also offer an internal light source to allow dentists a better view of the work area.

Dental lasers and air abrasion are newer technologies that may eventually replace the dental drill for many tasks. Today they are used only for specific procedures.

Although the noise of the drill still bothers many people, a look back at the history of the dental drill should make us appreciate the modern drill and understand its value to modern dentistry.

Early Childhood Caries and Child’s Age at Initial Dental Exam

When taken for their first dental exam, more than 20% of children need treatment to restore teeth damaged by early childhood caries (cavities). Iflittle girl wi ice cream cone  pain - paid - shutterstock 1888874980 EarlyChildhoodCaries is not treated, it can cause pain and damage to the teeth that affects eating, drinking, and sleeping. The progression of the condition causes more caries and increased need for treatment with each year the child’s first dental visit is delayed.

Dental professionals recommend that all children have their first dental visit after the emergence of their first tooth. Yet most children have reached the age of 3.6 years before their first dental visit. The study included children between the ages of 6 months and 6 years. Of the children aged 2 – 5, 21.4% had caries and 8.8% of them had untreated caries.

Findings: Compared to children first seen at age 1 year, children seen for the first time at age 3 were more than twice as likely to need treatment for caries. At age 4, the likelihood of needing treatment is 4x that of children seen at age 1.

Recommendations: The dental community, primary care physicians, and pediatricians can be more alert for the emergence of the first tooth. The parents should be informed and educated on recommendations for dental hygiene and dental care. If needed, assistance may be provided to those who need to find a dentist.  


Warning Signs of Oral Cancer

Warning Signs of Oral Cancer

Your Dental First Aid Kit

Where is your dental first aid kit? Does everyone in your family know where to find it? Do you even have a dental first aid kit?  Because anyone can sustain a dental injury or emergency at any time, your kit needs to be accessible to everyone in your family. The kit should contain the items you need to deal with a minor dental issue or to manage a serious injury or problem until you see your dentist.  dental first aid kit - paid - Depositphotos 159122586 s-2019

Storing Your Dental First Aid Kit

A dental first aid kit might be stored beside a regular first aid kit. Another kit might be needed in a vehicle or with sports equipment. Having a dental first aid kit and knowing what to do in an emergency could save a tooth.

Contents of a Dental First Aid Kit

The basic items you need in a kit can be supplemented with items needed for special issues (like braces). Here is a list of the basics:

  •   Medical gloves (to prevent spreading bacteria)
  •   Sugar-free gum (to stimulate saliva production or manage dry mouth)
  •  Gauze pads
  •  ChapStick or other lip moisturizer
  •  Ice Pack (to reduce swelling of the face)
  •  Dental mirror (to see the back of the mouth)
  •   Acetaminophen or other over-the-counter pain reliever
  •   Dental floss (to remove something lodged between teeth)
  •   Dental wax (to prevent irritation by braces or a broken tooth)
  •   Denture adhesive (to hold a tooth or crown in place until you see a dentist)
  •   Salt (to make a salt-water rinse)
  •   A small cup (to mix saltwater)
  •   A small container for a knocked-out tooth or a broken denture
  •   Emergency contact information for your dentist
  •   A simple overview of what to do for dental emergencies

Hopefully, you will never need a dental first aid kit. A kit with the items listed should help you to deal with an emergency in your family until you see your dentist. 


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