How Can I Keep a Youthful Looking Smile as I Age?

How Can I Keep a Youthful Looking Smile as I Age?

cosmetic dentistry CharlottesvilleLike the rest of our bodies, our teeth can shows signs of aging, too. Beyond just normal yellowing and staining, some patients’ teeth become worn down with time and require extraction due to disease or damage. To help our patients maintain a youthful appearance and a functioning smile, our oral surgeon offers dental implants. Considered a restorative and cosmetic dentistry procedure, dental implants support the oral health system and provide a more comfortable, natural-looking alternative to other types of prosthetic teeth.

How Tooth Loss Affects Appearance and Oral Function

Losing teeth is incredibly distressing because it has negative psychological and cosmetic effects on a patient’s appearance. Additionally, losing teeth greatly affects oral function. As a rule of thumb, losing a tooth normally increases a patient’s risk for more lost teeth. This is because teeth tend to collapse or shift into empty tooth sockets since they lack support. With missing teeth, a patient’s face can appear sunken in, which can add years to one’s appearance. Changes in the shape of the jaw line caused by bone atrophy—another side effect of tooth loss—will also make a patient appear much older than they should.

Beyond the physical and psychological effects of missing teeth, patients will encounter difficulty eating food and properly enunciating words. Some patients, because their diets are limited, may suffer with malnutrition. For these reasons, it is important for those with missing teeth to act quickly to restore their smiles and their oral health.

How Dental Implants Improve Appearance and Quality of Life

Unlike common prosthetics such as dentures, dental implants are not removed. Instead, they are embedded into the jawbone and are treated like natural teeth. This means that patients can brush, floss, and eat as they normally would once the implantation process is complete. Dental implants possess two major components; the first is a titanium post that will replace a lost tooth’s roots. The post is surgically placed in the jawbone. Once the patient has healed, a permanent crown is attached to the implant to complete the missing tooth structure. The implant’s post and crown will allow patients to enjoy healthy oral function and the appearance of a complete smile.

To learn more about cosmetic dentistry and dental implants, call us today at 434-295-0911 to schedule a consultation.