We’ll all get older and wiser. Research has shown that one significant visual indicator of age is the condition of one’s smile. Many studies have been conducted, using portraits of smiling and non-smiling people, to ascertain their age. “Short front teeth” were often attributed to aging, with the person’s age overestimated by 9.5-10.5 years, depending on gender. Sometimes, these teeth weren’t structurally much shorter, but the upper lip sagging made them appear so. Missing teeth always caused evaluators to add at least 10 years to their estimate, perhaps because this causes increased skin wrinkles. “Discolored” teeth, either from old or stained fillings also added ten years. The evaluation that most surprised me was the profile pictures. People were judged as younger when their upper lips appeared fuller. As a dentist, I make this evaluation all the time. I was just surprised that people without dental training would notice!
For those considering esthetic techniques to erase the signs of aging, I urge you to investigate the impact of cosmetic dental procedures as part of the solution. I enjoy this aspect of my practice, because erasing the embarrassment behind one’s smile always gives them more confidence and a “can do” attitude about life. They often start dressing differently. I’ve had several of these patients begin a successful second career, after retiring from their original profession, rather than linger around the house. I love breaking the stereotype of Old and Worn Out!
Contact Winterset Dental today to find out which treatment is right for you.