Esthetic dentistry expert offers tips to make your patients look younger

By Irwin Smigel, DDS

Our teeth are the foundation of our face. If the teeth are too short, leaning in, or not supporting the lower face, nasolabial lines form, the lip corners droop, and the lips lose contour as cheekbones sag, leaving a tired and aged appearance. Did you ever notice how older people have a very short distance between their noses and chin? It’s because their smile has lost structural support.

Esthetic dentistry is a practical way to create illusions to improve your appearance and to enhance a patient’s smile and facial characteristics. Essentially modern dentistry is like a nonsurgical facelift that can reshape and take years off the face simply by adjusting teeth. By taking the entire face into consideration and shaping each individual tooth with dental procedures such as bonding or applying crowns or veneers, esthetic dentists are able to build out the teeth to restore the face to its ideal proportions without surgery or filler injections. This can change a patient’s appearance for the long term.

Changing the size and shape of the teeth can create a softer, more youthful appearance. When you lengthen the teeth, your patients immediately look younger. By building out the back teeth, we create a “cheekbone effect” and facial symmetry that restores facial contours. Nasolabial lines will soften, the smile broadens, and the lips plump. The blood supply to this area is activated, which causes the surrounding muscles to tighten and the face becomes even more firm. Gently tapered, rounded teeth create a more feminine appearance, whereas straight edges can appear more masculine. Proportion is key. A smile that symmetrically frames the lips and is balanced with the rest of the facial features gives a natural and youthful appearance.

A significant difference in this treatment vs. others is that I prefer that the patients stand, so I can see them as the world sees them. A prone position alters the face and does not reflect reality. This method takes the entire face into consideration and allows for greater customized shaping of each individual tooth to achieve the maximum cosmetic benefit for the patient. The rewards of esthetic dentistry are perhaps the most dramatic in the profession. The results are there for all to see — a beautiful smile, a new confidence, and a more youthful appearance.

Dr. Irwin Smigel, NYC cosmetic dentist, is known worldwide as the Father of Aesthetic Dentistry. He is the founder and current president of the American Society for Dental Aesthetics, and the creator and international spokesperson for Supersmile, a clinically proven collection of premium whitening, breath-freshening, and cavity-fighting formulations designed to deliver effective oral care at home. Dr. Smigel was officially recognized in June 2009 by the National Museum of Dentistry, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, in a permanent installation called The Smile Experience, an exhibit that pays homage to his contributions to the field. He has major A-List celebrities coming in and out of his Manhattan office every day and is the personal cosmetic dentist for Kelly Ripa, Adam Sandler, Sarah Silverman, Jimmy Fallon, and Kristen Bell, to name a few.

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