Facial Collapse – Cosmetic Dentistry
The reason that this person is not smiling is because she doesn’t have natural teeth. She is missing every single tooth in her mouth. In those days, extracting teeth was a more predictable solution because they did not have the restorative materials available today.
Her lips are caved in because she doesn’t have facial support form her teeth. Teeth actually support the lips and the cheeks. When they are missing, the person cannot smile because the only thing you would see is gums. Many photos of the old west era contain people not smiling.
She looks older than she really is because she doesn’t have dentures to replace her missing teeth. Dentures are made much better today and if implants are used to hold the denture stable, the denture teeth chew and feel like natural teeth. The greatest advancement for denture wearers is implants. The implants are surgically placed in the jaw bone and have a snap built into the denture. Instead of using a denture cream or denture adhesive, implants can secure the denture teeth with a mechanical snap. The denture creams loose their grip over a few hours but the implants and snaps last all day. They actually last for years.
Today she could have a full upper and lower denture with implants to give retention or if she had enough jaw bone, she could have teeth that stay in all the time with an implant for every tooth. She would not get cavities but would still have to brush, floss and water pik nightly and in the morning. Her dental hygiene would need to be consistent.
Non-Surgical Mouth Reconstruction and Facelift Dentistry, Santa Monica, CA