F.A.C.E.S. by Dr. V

Dental Facelift: How can fixing your smile affect your entire face?

F.A.C.E.S. is a holistic approach to restoring smiles taking into account the patient's entire face—it entails attention to MICRO smile details within the scope of a more MACRO vision of the overall facial aesthetic we are trying to achieve.

F. Facelift It is often overlooked that the smile is a central link to the beauty and function of the entire face. It is often possible through strategic or full mouth placement of porcelain restorations to optimize the features of the face. By filling in negative space that has been created in the mouth over time such as what we call the “buccal corrider” (the areas between the molars and the cheek) we can add soft tissue support and give the cheeks and lips that bit of extra “lift” they need. Also with age and sometimes TMJ disorders, patients have worn down a significant amount of tooth structure. Restoring this tooth structure that has been lost with custom veneer/inlay restorations can restore the vertical height of face. This can help wrinkles appear smoother and the lower third of the face fuller. This is a way in which a non-surgical mini facelift (sometimes called a smile lift, dental facelift, or facelift dentistry) can be performed dentally. The teeth are really the framework of support for the lower third of the face.

A. Anti-aging As we age, we lose tooth structure in both the vertical and horizontal direction. This causes the lower third of the face to lose volume and collapse. Lose of vertical dimension in the lower third of the faces is a tell-tale sign of aging. Not only are the proportions of the face now what is considered “youthful” but support for the cheeks and lips has been compromised potentiating wrinkling and sagging. Custom porcelain restorations that are specifically planned and designed for ones face can help restore tooth volume that has been lost and the face to its original proportions. Through the custom porcelain restorations placed, the smile is widened and the lips are lifted. This can have a huge anti-aging benefit either alone or in conjunction with other cosmetic procedures such as fillers. If a patient is considering something like a facelift, remember to take into account your smile. It will only enhance the results and gives a more cohesive youthful appearance. Back to the perioral area, it should be mentioned that as we age the upper lip becomes longer and droops. This causes less “tooth display”, or the amount of tooth showing when both at rest and smiling. Solutions for this can be procedures such as “lip lifts” performed in conjunction with a plastic surgeon.

C. Cosmetic With cosmetic we refer to what makes the actual teeth look good-- the microaesthetics of the smile and teeth. The color, surface finish, translucency of edges (for a more natural look), thickness, shape and form. This also refers to the specifics of the gum tissue and how it relates to the tooth. There are many options here based on patient preference.

E. Esthetics Esthetics more specifically refers to the concept of dentofacial esthetics. This is the perceived harmony between the smile, eyes, lips, and other features of the face. It also includes jaw position, profile, and bite. Facial beauty is typically determined by proportion, symmetry, and placement of features. While uniqueness should be celebrated and encouraged, there are certain facial proportions deemed aesthetically pleasing to the eye—a “golden ratio” or “the beauty equation” that has been studied. For instance, the face is one and a half times as long as it is wide and it is equally divided in thirds from forehead to eye, from eye to tip of nose, and from tip of nose to chin. While it is impossible to reach perfection, it is believed the closer we are to these proportions, the more in harmony the face is. Designing the smile with all these things in mind is key. It is important that the smile fits into the individual proportions of a patients face. Perfection is not necessary but a beautiful “flow” of features is important when restoring or enhancing the smile.

S. Smiles Some studies show that the smile and mouth can account for up tot 60% of facial aesthetics and beauty. By restoring the smile with custom made porcelain restorations and in many cases replacing tooth structure and volume that has been lost we can achieve a mini smile facelift with incredible anti-aging effects and facial rejuvenation.