Dr Sam Thandar reveals age reversing dental make-over tips for patient’s over 60.
Chips and cracks and yellowing, these are some of the “inconvenient tooths” we have to look forward to post-menopause. Fortunately there’s good news. Unlike expensive and invasive nipping and tucking procedures to age-proof our skin, it’s quite easy to turn back the clock on our ageing smiles.
Simply follow these easy steps:
Colour can be improved to some extent by a normal, regular oral hygiene appointment – especially if there’s a lot of stains and external discoloration present. One should also consider teeth whitening. Whitening your teeth is somewhat like colouring your hair in my opinion. Firstly, a tooth that has become discoloured due to a thick underlying dentin layer (yet still has enamel in excess of one-to-one and a half millimetres present) generally responds well to teeth whitening procedures.
This can result in an improvement in three to four shades, or four to five grades (whichever you prefer as your assessment criteria). However, teeth with a thinner enamel network respond less favourably to teeth whitening procedures, in terms of aesthetic end result and patient perception of improvement in colour. So before embarking on a teeth whitening procedure, let your dental professional advise you if you are an ideal candidate.
On the upside, teeth whitening is relatively non-invasive and can be performed within an hour or two – and in a single appointment with instant results
If the overall texture and shape of the enamel are compromised (as well as the overall aesthetic appearance of the tooth or teeth), then teeth whitening alone will not do the trick. One would then have to look towards ceramic veneers to restore the lost enamel. This will result in an improvement in the overall aesthetics and enamel texture and tone. There are various ways and techniques present when doing veneers.
In general, a dental veneer can be done completely non-invasively by just bonding onto the existing enamel (also called prepless veneers, as there is no preparation or removal of the existing enamel). Or alternatively, utilizing a more progressive removal of the existing enamel and replacing it with a new synthetic enamel like material. One can imagine that the choice of synthetic enamel-like ceramic materials available today is pretty extensive.
Furthermore, these veneers can either be performed in a single appointment using CADCAM technology, or two to three appointments using conventional techniques.
Then there are cases where the loss of enamel and dental tissue has a simultaneous effect on the surrounding soft tissue in the lower third of the face. Regaining the lost vertical height in this region of the face can often be achieved by using techniques to replace lost enamel with dental veneers or ceramic on-lays.
This re-establishes the lost vertical dimension, and can also improve the soft tissue tone. These situations also benefit from dermal fillers and botulinum injections in specific areas of the facial tissues, together with aesthetic techniques that aim at improving the quality of collagen. Such techniques range from chemical peels to Fraxel laser treatments aimed at facial rejuvenation.