Baby boomers were born in the years between 1946 and 1964. By that time, they were about 76.4 million in the United States and made up almost 40 percent of the nation’s population. Baby boomers grew up at a time of great social change. They are therefore used to innovation and often demonstrate a remarkable degree of environmental awareness. These attributes also typify youth in general. Hence, a baby boomer who preserves them into older age, will display a youthfulness that is characterized by many things, such as a positive outlook on life, cheerfulness, a great sense of humor, an active life style, and of course a healthy and youthful body. Dictionaries define "youthfulness" as youthful enthusiasm and having the appearance, freshness, and vigor of youth.
A positive outlook on life naturally includes the desire to age gracefully and in good health. Hence, cosmetic dentistry has received much interest of this particular age group. While it only addresses the appearance of teeth, making them healthy and appear unworn, it significantly contributes to a youthful and healthy smile.
In this example, you can see the effect that youthful teeth may have on "appearance, freshness, and vigor of youth." You can probably imagine that a more comprehensive analysis of the functional relationships of upper and lower teeth, maxilla and mandible were necessary to develop a three-dimensional profile of the "rejuvenated" teeth.
Youthful aesthetics cannot be attained without the establishment of functional harmony and balance within the masticatory system. The treatment of cases such as this one always begins with the verification and assurance of a fully seated mandibular joint. This "home" position will help ascertain that changes to the height of teeth will be tolerated by the patient. While this is an advanced topic that has been cause of a never-ending debate among general and cosmetic dentists about where the mandible should be when rehabilitating an "aged" dentition, it will be outlined on a separate page in an easily understandable format for patients who would like to understand the mechanics and holistic aspects of smile design.
Once the functional and aesthetic foundation is established, such as jaw position, envelope of function, incisal-edge position, and it's relation to the dynamics of a smile, inherent aesthetic elements are developed. This is where the patient has a variety of choices. Most of my patients desire a playful smile that is characterized by incical translucencies, mammellon development, and a progression of incisal embrasures. Please do not worry, we will discuss these cosmetic dental terms in more detail on a separate page of this website.