Whilst wrinkles, sagging jawlines and hair colour are often the most common signs of ageing, your smile can have a huge impact on your appearance and poor dental health can increase your perceived age. In fact, research has shown that a better smile can make people look at least five years younger.
So, what steps can we take to turn back the clock on our smile?
In the past, veneers were one of the most popular go-to treatments for an instant smile transformation. Whilst veneers are certainly still popular, people are opting for more natural and less invasive techniques that are proving to be just as effective at ‘pimping your smile’.
So, what are veneers? A veneer is a layer of material placed over a tooth to improve the aesthetics of a smile (rather like a false nail). However, the long-term impact on your teeth can be irreversible. These recent pictures of model Ashely Graham, whose veneer recently fell off, show the extent of invasive ‘tooth reduction’ (when the teeth are ‘filed down’) which has taken place in order to fit her veneers.
Leading cosmetic dentist Dr MJ Rowland-Warmann from Smileworks in Liverpool says:
“Whilst there is no doubt that veneers are a cosmetically effective way to instantly transform the appearance of a smile, we mustn’t underestimate the invasive nature of the treatment and the irreversible tooth intervention required, which exposes the teeth to the risk of nerve damage. As soon as you start drilling into a tooth, its life expectancy is reduced.”
However, thanks to the advances in dentistry, veneers aren’t the only option to achieve smile perfection. In fact, similar results can be achieved using a three-step process of straightening, whitening and composite bonding - all far less invasive than veneers, but just as effective.
According to Dr MJ, “Results using composite bonding can be just as good as ceramic veneers and they are much easier to repair if damaged. In addition, bonding is less invasive as there is no need for drilling or reduction(filing). Bonding is much more cost effective that veneers, making it a more popular choice.”
Dr MJ goes on: “In order to achieve the ultimate anti-aging dental make-over, I would start by addressing the realignment of the bite by using clear aligners like Invisalign. Whilst Invisalign might take longer, it’s a much better long-term solution for your oral health and is much less invasive. You’re using your own teeth so the results are much more natural. Straight teeth are youthful in their appearance so this is a vital part of the anti-ageing process.”
“Then, once your teeth are straight, to achieve that ultimate youthful smile, I would whiten them by fitting tailor made tooth trays and giving patients two weeks of whitening gel to use at home.”
Dr MJ continues: “The final step of the treatment journey would be to apply composite bonding to fix any imperfections in the teeth, for example if some teeth are shorter, have chips or are a different shape from others. Bonding is the application of composite resin to the surface of the tooth to smooth out irregularities. It’s a simple, inexpensive cosmetic dental procedure that is usually completed in a single visit. “
You can read Dr MJ's blog on composite veneers here: https://www.smileworksliverpool.co.uk/blog/composite-veneers/
Meet the Expert
Dr MJ Rowland Warmann is a dentist and aesthetician Dr MJ is the founder of Smileworks, Liverpool. She been recognised by the organisation Save Face as an MSc qualified aesthetician.