One of the first places that gives away our age is our face - not surprising since this is the first thing people see and it is quite susceptible to wrinkling and loss of volume. Traditionally, a surgical facelift was needed to restore a youthful visage however, new technology has made minimally invasive and even non-surgical options such as BOTOX, facial fillers and different fractional laser resurfacing easily available to postpone any costly necessary surgeries. Unfortunately, many of these treatments offer but a temporary respite from the signs of aging but a new innovative procedure is now available to permanently address wrinkling and loss of volume without surgery.
"Many of our patients are concerned about how their face is aging, which could manifest as wrinkles around the mouth, on the neck and chin. Their upper lip appears to be thinning out as they're getting older and their lower lip does not seem to be in the right place anymore," describes Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist Dr. Kourosh Maddahi, "What is actually happening is the support and foundation that their teeth offered is now moving as they age, resulting in a sunken look and wrinkles around the mouth."
At present, Dr. Maddahi explains that typical treatment of wrinkles and hollowness due to aging has mainly been external and in most cases, temporary. These treatments include BOTOX or facial fillers to address wrinkles and loss of volume in the cheek area and lips and according to Dr. Maddahi, do not treat the underlying condition which is the shift in the arch of the upper and lower teeth in the mouth. His revolutionary procedure offers patients a permanent solution in which stronger support from the teeth will diminish the appearance of wrinkles and make lips appear.
Placement of the upper and lower arch of the teeth inside the mouth can affect how external fat and skin can look. "Because the lip is actually sitting on top of the teeth, if there isn't a proper arch, it would affect how the lips look on the outside. If someone's lips look too thin, it is most likely due to teeth being too far in the jaw."
To correct the upper and lower arch so external signs of aging are less visible, he uses a combination of dental crowns and veneers to address the problem from the inside out. By strategically changing the arch of teeth in a patient's mouth by adding crowns and veneers, not only is the appearance of teeth improved, the dentist can improve a patient's facial structure as well address wrinkles and lack of volume.
Dr. Maddahi explains that as we age, the upper and lower arches begin to bunch so that the front teeth become crooked. As these teeth become more crooked, the arches begin to narrow - particularly in the front where the lower lip rests. The upper lip begins to appear sunken in and thinner and when older patients smile, the teeth are crowded, crooked and appear pointy. Previously, the only way to correct this was orthodontic treatment to straighten out the teeth with braces that would have to be worn for two years and a retainer for the rest of the patient's life.
Since most patients don't want to wear braces as an adult (or as an adolescent, for that matter), the use of crowns and veneers have become extremely popular. However, Dr. Maddahi stresses the importance of seeking a cosmetic dentist that does not just look at the aesthetics of making a smile beautiful but to take into consideration how that smile can compliment and improve other facial features and structure.
As Dr. Maddahi explains the Dental Facial Rejuvenation is not extremely time consuming nor painful. "After the initial consultation, let's say for a patient that has a narrow arch, we numb the area where we will be placing the crowns and veneers. It takes approximately 2 hours to do 10 of the upper teeth, which is what we refer to as the patient's smile line," describes Dr. Maddahi, "Patients return after 1-2 weeks and we cement the veneers on in about one and half hours - leading to a better arch, better smile, better lip and cheek support."
Dr. Maddahi has collaborated with many facial plastic surgeons for all-inclusive makeovers and there have been several cases in which the plastic surgeon's preoperative plan will change as a result of what he has done with the patient's teeth, often resulting in less work needed from the plastic surgeon or more symmetrical results.
"When patients are seeking a facelift to get rid of a sunken look, one side may be more sunken than the other," states Dr. Maddahi, "And no matter how many times you do plastic surgery, the results are still going to be asymmetrical because the teeth in the mouth are supporting the cheeks. So when we fix the teeth and make the mouth as symmetrical as possible, the overall external facelift results yield much better and balanced results."