Visit Your Dentist for a Facelift – Without the Knife
By Amy Hill
Published on May 29, 2007
Plastic surgeons are not the only professionals performing facelifts these days. Dentists are now using techniques that can improve your bite and smile while also taking years off your appearance. Indeed, the dental facelift has been touted by some as an effective non-surgical method of reducing the signs of facial aging, such as sagging skin and wrinkles.
As we age, our dental structures break down; worn and missing teeth contribute to a shrinking of the face from the nose to the chin, a receding jaw and chin, and a sunken appearance. By restoring dental structures and thereby lengthening the lower face, a dental facelift helps to smooth wrinkles and create a more pronounced jawline. This is accomplished through the use of dental appliances and other restorative dental treatments.
For years, dentists have used similar techniques to treat problems related to disorders of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Many patients who underwent TMJ treatment noticed that, in addition to improving such TMJ-related problems as migraines and neck and back pain, the treatment also improved their overall facial appearance.
Dr. Nick Mohindra, a London-based dentist who had previously treated patients with TMJ problems, is credited with creating a version of the dental facelift, called added dimension dentistry (ADD).
Added dimension dentistry utilizes a plastic “retainer” device, called an ADD Facial Rejuvenator, to strengthen the facial muscles, causing the jaw to rest in a higher position. Patients wear the ADD Facial Rejuvenator for several months until the muscles are strengthened and then have dental crowns placed on all of their teeth to permanently increase the height of the jaw, adding length to the lower face.
Other versions of the dental facelift focus on restoring worn teeth and replacing missing teeth to restore length to the lower face.
But improvement doesn’t stop at the lower face. Many patients report improvement to the entire face, including the eyes, cheeks, lips, and even the neck. It may even improve the appearance of the cheeks and chin enough to cause those seeking improvement in these areas to forego cheek or chin implants. Others claim that the dental facelift can make people look five to twenty years younger with improved facial symmetry and contour, as well as smoother skin.
The dental facelift can become quite expensive if a full reconstruction is required, and ADD typically requires a full set of crowns. However, when compared to the costs and risks associated with going under the knife for a traditional facelift, the dental facelift may prove to be an ideal non-surgical alternative for facial rejuvenation.