As we age, our bodies age with us and our smiles are no exception. While many people only see wrinkles as a visual representation of age, the appearance of our smile is another major indication of age. Unfortunately this means that cosmetic imperfections in our smile can make us look older than we actually are.
One of the biggest indications of age shown in our smile is having one or more missing teeth. Missing teeth are often associated with old age and multiple missing teeth can add years to one’s physical appearance. Another indication of age is teeth that are significantly damaged or decayed. Gum recession and gum disease can also make us look older than we are, as well as making our teeth look larger than they actually are. Finally, the color of your teeth can also play a role in how old you look.
The good news is that just as your worn natural teeth can make you look older, getting dental implants can make you look younger. Curious as to how this works? Here are just some of the ways that dental implants can make you look younger:
Fills in Gaps
Gaps left behind by one or more missing teeth can instantly make you look older than you actually are. Not only that, but gaps in the mouth can cause the surrounding teeth to shift in position or even grow too long. Over time this can lead to a crooked bite that affects the visual aesthetics and function of your smile. Placing dental implants to replace missing teeth fills in the gaps with an aesthetically pleasing restoration and maintains the proper position of the surrounding teeth in order to prevent future problems.
Preserves Facial Structure
Another benefit of using dental implants to replace missing teeth is that dental implants are able to preserve facial structure. This is because dental implants are placed into the jawbone to act as artificial roots. When you bite or chew, the dental implant transfers the force of that action to the jawbone. In order for the body to maintain the necessary amount of bonemass in the jawbone, this stimulation is needed. Without this stimulation, the body will eventually absorb bone from the jawbone and distribute it to other parts of the body. Over time, this causes the jawbone to deteriorate and the facial structure to change. Having dental implants placed prevents this from happening and preserves your natural facial structure.
Brightens Your Smile
As we age, our tooth enamel will inevitably wear down and become thinner. When this happens, the yellow-colored dentin layer begins to show through and no amount of brushing can change this. Unfortunately, this also means that yellowish teeth are a sign of aging. However, the prosthetics used in coordination with dental implants are usually made of stain resistant materials like porcelain. They can also be fabricated to be a beautiful natural white color that will instantly brighten your smile and make you look younger.
Remodels Your Smile
When you consider how much you use your teeth to bite or grind up food, it comes as no surprise that they would wear down as you age. In some cases your teeth may have even developed cracks or chips as a result of activities like bruxism, accidents, or biting into something too hard. Regardless of how your teeth became worn, cracked, or chipped, when the damage is severe or is threatening your oral health, sometimes the best decision is to have the affected tooth extracted and replaced with a dental implant. Replacing severely damaged or worn teeth with dental implants not only improves the look of your teeth, but it restores their function as well.
Irfan Atcha, DDS, DICOI, DADIA at New Teeth Chicago Dental in Chicago, Illinois is a board-certified general dentist and a nationally recognized expert in dental implants, cosmetic dentistry, and sedation dentistry.