An Elegant Solution
While ageing is inevitable, looking your age isn’t necessarily a given. The range of options available to those wanting to maintain a youthful appearance seems to increase by the day, but there is one solution that consistently helps men and women combat the signs of ageing: dentistry.
“As you get older you may experience gum recession or other dental problems which can be very ageing in terms of overall appearance. Alternatively, crowns and veneers that are old, discoloured or simply don’t fit properly can affect a person’s whole appearance” comments James Green.
For patients who haven’t had veneer or crown work, tooth whitening is the most simple and effective way of changing the colour of your teeth and brightening up their appearance without removing or damaging any of the tooth surface. “We take an impression of the teeth and make a tray which patients wear for a short amount of time each day or overnight until they are happy with the colour. This is a great way of reducing staining on the tooth surface which may have been caused by food and drinks such as tea, coffee and red wine, or by smoking. Calculus or tartar can also affect the colour of teeth, while some people may have staining under the tooth surface caused by antibiotics or tiny cracks in the teeth which take up stains.”
Another reason for the discoloured appearance of teeth can simply be that the old metal fillings are showing through the tooth enamel, making the tooth appear grey and dark. These fillings can be replaced with new white fillings, which can have a real impact on a patient’s appearance by brightening up their smile. Similarly, replacing old, dull, opaque veneers and crowns with those of a more natural, translucent colour can dramatically improve the overall facial aesthetic by adding a more lifelike vitality and freshness to the teeth.
With regard to shape, there are two classic problems. Firstly, over time the teeth can start to show signs of wear and they become short, with flat, blunt edges. Alternatively, gum disease can cause the gums to recede, making the tooth appear longer. “For patients suffering these problems, improvements can be made with a variety of techniques, some of which involve veneers, crowns or other specialist gum treatments,” comments James Green. “The old adage of looking ‘long in the tooth’ is really based on historical fact, as gum disease used to be a chronic problem before we all started taking proper care of our teeth,” he adds. “But the advanced techniques in modern dentistry mean that we can address the problems associated with ageing and while we can’t turn back the clock of time completely, we can certainly help patients retain a more youthful appearance.”