The next thing that affects us as we lose teeth is basically a direct result of the physical changes, is aesthetic, cosmetic changes, so what happens cosmetically? What happens aesthetically?
Lack of Teeth Results in Aged Appearance
Number one I’ve mentioned a few times already about bite collapse, and that’s what happens. We lose our back teeth. We lose the stops that stop our jaw from closing, so our jaw closes more than it should and this dimension closes, so it changes how the face looks visually. It changes how it functions, so literally our chin and nose start getting closer together. It does make us look older. You look at anybody who looks old, you do the measurements. You’ll probably find that this dimension has been decreased. Our lips become much thinner.
The lips and the mouth here is supported by the teeth. If these teeth are lost, if our bite closes up, then our lips become quite thin and as you’re going to see in some of the clinical slides it almost looks like the person doesn’t have any pink border of the lips. Our facial lines, although we all get them as we get older, if our face scrunches up then these become exaggerated, so simply by restoring a person’s bite, by correcting the vertical dimension, we can soften some of those features and of course we change the proportions as well, so inevitably it makes us look younger. And lastly—another thing that can happen as we close up, and this part of the face closes up, sometimes we get jowls where literally our chin can kind of curl underneath, and you’re going to see this in a couple of slides as well.
Dental Implant Patient—Difficulty with Dentures
This is Cecile. She’d been missing teeth for well over 25 years. She has full upper and lower dentures and she’s having difficulty with them. She’s having difficulty chewing with them and of course, she’s also now concerned about the aesthetics. I asked her to close together and I took a picture, and if you take a look she looks very unhappy. It looks like she’s frowning. In fact she’s not, but if you take a look at the lines here there are very deep lines here. In the corner of the mouth the lip is turned, and almost looks like the nose is touching the upper lip. I ask her to smile and you take a look and you can’t even see teeth.
If you look really closely, if you can zoom in on your computer, you can just barely see some teeth there, but look at the difference you see here when we put some teeth in there. That gives proper lip support, proper face support, and look at the change in the lines of the face, look at the change in how much of the pink of the lips are showing, and how much support is here in the upper lip, so that’s a huge change. And all we’ve done is put some teeth where they belong, not only for function, but also for aesthetics, and also for facial support.
Some other close ups here showing the same thing. What happens when our face starts to collapse? Look at the lower lip. It almost disappears. In the corner of the mouth you can’t see the lower part of the lip and these lines are exaggerated, and the next one is even more exaggerated. Now this is what happens when the teeth are out. This person’s teeth have been taken out. This whole part of the face has just collapsed inwards. Looking at a profile view, same thing, take a look at the upper lip. It’s very flat in this picture. You can barely see any pink of the lips, it’s very, very thin, and even the chin is becoming more pronounced as this whole part of the face starts to flatten back.
Next couple of pictures I’m going to show you are not patients of ours but they’re so dramatic I felt they’d be valuable for you to see. We have a book in our office. It’s written by a dentist in the United States. His name’s Charles Babbush and his book is called, “A Consumer’s Guide to Dental Implant”. This shows how dramatic and how traumatic tooth loss can be especially in the end stages. It shows how much facial collapse can occur. Take a look at this picture and then next take a look at the picture showing how the face changes and metamorphosizes when you do have proper facial support for our teeth, lips, and so on. And this next picture is very dramatic. It almost looks photo-shopped. It shows how much this part of the face can really fall in and collapse. The difference between one picture and the next is with teeth in place and with teeth out.
Lastly, this last picture here shows the difference that will occur when you have not only teeth but you also have implants. Implants can provide even better support than dentures for several reasons. One is the teeth can be put where they need to be for proper lip support, and facial support, and function, and speech, as opposed to where they need to be to make the dentures stable and without going into long detail there is a difference, and it’s a difference in this picture to the next. There’s been no other changes, been no other cosmetic surgery or anything like that, but just take a look at the difference in the person’s face. The wrinkles, the face support when you go from having no teeth or poor fitting teeth, to having some implants in place and proper teeth and smile. It totally changes everything.