The Dental Face Lift is a unique, patient-centered, restorative, and bite reconstructive treatment that only requires dental restorations. The process requires no facial surgery, no stitches, and no cosmetic procedures such as Botox, Restylane, or Collagen. There is minimal to no grinding on the natural teeth and the Dental Face Lift procedure is often completed in as little as two visits.
Dr. Sam Muslin, a Santa Monica cosmetic dentist, has developed a system of assessing and treating facial dimension issues that go beyond traditional cosmetic dentistry. Conventional cosmetic dentistry focuses on issues that improve the smile, such as tooth whitening or bleaching with products such as Zoom, BriteSmile or Crest Whitening Strips and perhaps by placing some Porcelain Veneers or Lumineers on the upper teeth. Facial elements such as thin lips, a short lower face, facial wrinkles and lower jaw or TMJ issues seemingly escape the awareness of many general practice dentists. These issues are vital in the treatment of the Dental Face Lift. The patient’s unique soft tissue facial characteristics are enhanced naturally by supporting the soft tissue with the hard tissue, i.e. the teeth.
The most important aspect of Face Lift Dentistry is the geometrical, functional and three-dimensional analysis of the entire face. Not only is the smile treated but the entire face. People smile about 2% of the time, while the other 98% the lips have flattened, the faces have collapsed or sunk in, there are facial lines or wrinkles and we look older than we should, especially if we are over 50. Many of our facial weaknesses become more obvious as we grow older. We can be improving these areas by using the teeth for additional facial support.
Patients are surprised when a live motion camera system is used which allows them to observe themselves from all angles talking in front of a television monitor. Most patients did not know how they looked while speaking. During the 98% of the time when they are not smiling, patients were surprised to see how their teeth look. Some patients had porcelain veneers placed by previous dentist and were unhappy with the results. Patients with crooked lower teeth are surprised to see how visible those teeth are during a normal conversation.
The goal is to treat the face, the bite and the health of the entire body by maximizing the potential of the teeth to support faces, lips and cheeks. The patient’s face can be lengthened which will remove years off of the facial appearance. Facial wrinkles are smoothed out and the lips naturally appear thicker. By reconstructing the patient’s bite with Face Lift Dentistry, the patient goes way beyond just a smile makeover, which conventional cosmetic dentistry attempts to treat.
Some people have had a deep over-bite their entire life that contributes to a short lower face while other patients develop a short lower face from years of grinding and the wearing down of their teeth. Because the process is gradual, many people are not aware that they grind and that they are wearing down. The face looks its age because of the loss of tooth support and the flattening of their bite. Some 30-year-old patients have a 50-year-old looking face because of a deep over-bite but some 50-year-old patients look far younger because they had Face Lift Dentistry!
Aging and tooth wear is a normal process and the loss of vertical dimension of a patient’s face is the result. The face collapses along with the wear on the teeth. The life expectancy of our population has increased to nearly 100 years of age. Over time, the bite is typically flattened with wear resulting in teeth that further date faces.
Short dark yellow teeth with old fillings and crowns that do not match make us look old. The Dental Face Lift replaces all of the old crowns and fillings in just a couple of visits. The facial height and support that we lost over the years can be restored with bite reconstruction. The treatment can be completed in as few as two visits. No facial surgery or stitches, and most patients go back to work the very next day. The dentist has to be very efficient and quick with the delivery of care and be highly organized.
One of the latest dental technologies is super dental bonding that lets the dentists completely rebuild a patient’s bite, support their face and permanently whiten their teeth without grinding down their natural teeth. Non-Invasive dentistry evolves to this higher standard when the ceramist and dentist team is highly skilled.
The patient is healthier when all of the old mismatched crowns and fillings are replaced. Conflicting metals and decaying tooth structures are replaced with biologically compatible porcelain materials. Decay is removed for maximum health and the bite is rebuilt. Cusps are worn down and facial height is lost. Rebuilding the bite restores the cusp tips for better chewing and facial height to restore a more youthful face. The dentist’s skill and knowledge are the most critical element in Face Lift Dentistry. Advanced training combined with artistic ability is a necessity. All of the three dimensional components, technical elements and functional components such as speech and chewing must be dynamically balanced and biologically harmonized.
Dr. Sam Muslin is a Master of the Academy of General Dentistry and has been awarded by the International College of Dentists. He has been practicing cosmetic dentistry in Santa Monica for almost 30 years. Dental Face Lift and Face Lift Dentistry are registered trademarks of Dr. Sam Muslin.