Rejuvenating a worn smile with dental crowns.

The "before" picture of this digital smile makeover shows a smile that's often typical of someone in the later decades of their life.

This person was 65 years old at the time this picture was taken. It's a photo of former President George W. Bush's smile.

Case issues and concerns:

When you look at these teeth you immediately notice:

  • Some wear has taken place.
  • The teeth seem dark.

Tooth wear.

Tooth wear is a common effect that develops over time. The degree to which it takes place will be amplified if the person has a bruxing habit (tooth clenching and grinding).

People often brux in response to stress, which is something you would expect a President to experience.

With this case, you'll notice that the President's two center teeth are slightly shorter than what's typically considered to be ideal. Usually these two teeth (the central incisors) are just about as long as the eyeteeth. And when they aren't, a smile looses some of its "youthfulness."

Tooth staining.

Tooth darkening is also something that accompanies age. It's typically the cumulative effect of repeated exposure to chromogenic agents such as coffee, tea, colas or tobacco products.

  • Teeth that show age-related wear and darkening.
    Teeth that show age-related wear and darkening. Teeth that show age-related wear and darkening.
  • After dental crown placement and whitening treatments.
    After dental crown placement and whitening treatments. After dental crown placement and whitening treatments.
 

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Treatment solutions:

What's it going to take to give the President a more pleasing and youthful smile? Not all that much really. Here are some straightforward steps that could be used to rejuvenate the smile of a lot of people in is age group.

1) Lightening the teeth to an age-appropriate color.

This makeover should start with some basic teeth whitening treatments. Some type of at-home teeth whitening method might be used or, if that technique isn't compatible with the President's lifestyle, his teeth could be professionally whitened in his dentist's office.

The idea here isn't to whiten his teeth so much that they look like they belong to a teenager. When we look at a relatively older person, we expect to see a smile that has faded a little bit. Teeth that are too bright simply won't look natural for a senior's smile.

In regard to the overall treatment plan, the President's tooth whitening needs to be performed first. Natural teeth respond to the whitening process, not dental crowns. The new tooth color has to be established before any new restorations are placed.

2) Rebuilding the worn center teeth using crowns.

After the lightening is completed, all that's left to do is to lengthen his center two teeth a little and straighten out the biting edges of the teeth on either side of them (the lateral incisors).

With the two center teeth, it seems that dental crowns would make a good choice. All of the wear is right on the biting edges of these teeth. The strength that dental crowns offer is probably needed.

For the lateral incisors, most likely placing a minor amount of tooth bonding can accomplish the minor cosmetic changes that we have illustrated.

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