The Dynamics of a Collapsing Bite
The dynamics of a collapsing bite, cumulative changes in occlusion and appearance of a smile that makes us appear older than our actual age are the same for everyone, as a general rule.
There are numerous factors however that have the unfortunate effect of accelerating the process however.
A simple, extreme example would be a person who chooses to keep getting extractions over a period of years, rather than obtaining treatment that would preserve any given tooth structure. Eventually, critical tooth structure support vanishes…. and we have a person with the ultimate case of non existent vertical dimension or tooth height. Everyone can visualize a toothless appearance.
Accelerated collapsing bites usually occur under circumstances that aren’t quite as obvious… which commonly leads people to seek treatment that does not have long lasting results. Read more about the common use of popular plastic surgery treatments and procedures for issues that are clearly “dental in origin.”
Lifestyle – Career Dynamics in Facelift Dentistry
As a group, many people with either very active lifestyles or involvement with business enterprises (executives) are commonly known to accumulate cosmetic and reconstructive dental issues that can become complex.
Busy work and social activities interfere with scheduling routine visits and making dental appointments. As time progresses, the failure to obtain the most routine treatment can actually accelerate the wear and tear process… which is normal.. but with more rapidity.
Meet Ken… a local active businessman who, like other successful business persons and entrepreneurs, just couldn’t seem to find the time for making routine office visits for routine dentistry.
Attractive, physically fit and having the energy level of a young man… Ken “felt” something was missing. Although he thought he had good teeth and a decent smile… he wanted more … a smile and teeth that represented more of how he felt… more youthful and energetic than his stated years.
As can be seen in the adjacent pre-treatment photo, Ken had nice looking teeth, overall. Nice brightness, no significant staining and the appearance of having a good set of teeth.
Looking more closely, however, it can be seen the certain normal and cumulative changes in occlusion are slowly causing a closing bite… or facial collapse.
The occlusal (biting surfaces) and incisal edges of both the upper and lower arch are uneven. Tooth chipping and uneven wear are beginning to appear, which further distorts the occlusal plane… whereby tooth destruction occurs at a faster pace.
Notice how certain anterior tooth structures on the lower (mandibular) jaw have been moved, further evidencing the changing bite.
Support structures critical for normal lip movement and lip positioning had started to change. As with all collapsing bites, Ken’s smile was just beginning to sink inwards, which would increase as his teeth continued to wear down.
Ken, too, was aware that showing a great smile full of teeth required opening his mouth more… a somewhat more conscious effort: one of the first signs of our attempts to overcome a process we are not yet aware of (aging – collapsing bite).
After completing thorough articulation studies and a tomography analysis, Ken was provided with a menu of treatments and procedures that would not only create a fully balanced smile with normalized occlusion but would have the net effect of re-establishing the lip support he once had and a longer face.
Executive Dentistry: Treatment of Choice
Ken was a quick study, readily understanding the physical properties of his jawbone relationships, tooth height and tooth distortions that were slowly creating an aged smile. Certain elements and positioning relationships needed to be corrected.
A total of over 4mm of tooth height and bite opening would be added that would have a corresponding effect on the length of Ken’s face. The opened bite would also change the tmj – tmd relationships which would also shift the lower jaw forward again…. in it’s normal, pre-aging position.
Ken, being the busy executive he has always been…. and typically with little time to spare, was not interested in long term dentistry that would require multiple, extended visits. He simply didn’t have the time.
Custom, bite reconstruction veneers were the treatment of choice. These veneer products are uniquely crafted to provide the occlusal adjustment properties of crowns and overlays but would avoid the extensive tooth preparation that is typically associated with new crowns.
Thin shell feldspathic veneers that have the no-prep qualities of a Nationally advertised brand of a no prep veneer yet possess the cosmetic qualities that are unsurpassed with feldspathic porcelain were created on a tooth by tooth basis, producing the aesthetic and functional results wanted by the patient.
Occlusal analysis, tomography studies, diagnostic waxup modeling and the patient’s trial use of temporary veneers (based on technical and cosmetic data generated from the waxups) required a time frame easily managed by the patient. Within 3 weeks, Ken had the functional, orthodontic and aesthetic results he was looking for.
The forced smile behavior was no longer required. Ken’s renewed ability to have spontaneous and natural smiles created, once again, normal lip movement, lip positioning and lower jaw positioning that made him look and feel years younger.
Questions and Answers: Dental Face Lift
Contact our office at (310) 829-6796 to arrange a personal consultation with Dr. Muslin to learn more about Face Lift Dentistry and the interesting process of changing the appearance of an aging or old, collapsed smile and facial appearance without popular plastic surgery treatments.
You can also send questions directly to Dr. Muslin via our on-line Ask The Dentist form. Dr. Muslin will respond to you directly.
Non-Surgical Mouth Reconstruction and Facelift Dentistry, Santa Monica, CA