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At TC Smiles, we appreciate and understand that a dentist’s role in no longer confined to just the contents of the mouth. The face is incredibly complex and a part of improving aesthetics and confidence is understanding what can be enhanced with minimal intervention. Our team will listen to your treatment objectives and advise you on the best possible route, making sure you are fully knowledgeable of what’s involved, costs and what to expect post treatment.
What causes wrinkles
Wrinkle is an umbrella term for what could be a crease, a ridge or a fold in the skin. This is a natural part of the aging process which we as society have been trying to delay for years whether it be by avoiding certain things, changing our diets or now various treatment modalities.
Aging is inevitable and with it comes the natural consequences. The skin will as such get thinner, lose some of its elasticity and it will become drier and less capable of regeneration; leading to wrinkles as we know it. Due to the nature of skin and the result of aging, its ability to bounce back into positon is hampered and as such natural movements that we have been making all our lives will start to have a superficial effect on how the skin appears.
The skin is comprised of 3 layers, epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous fat, all of which sit on top of muscle. Its objectives are to provide a waterproof barrier to the outside environment protecting us from microbes and the elements, regulate body temperature and provide sensation to stimuli such as heat and pressure.
The skin architecture is comprised of keratin, collagen, elastin, fat, blood vessels, water, nerves, hair follicles, melanocytes and glands. As we age the balance of the above components and the structure that keeps it all together starts to wane, leading to wrinkle formation.
Factors Which Lead To Skin Aging
Exposure to UV sunlight
UV light, whether natural or artificial is detrimental to the health and longevity of skin. It is problematic because it breaks down the collagen and elastin in the skin which are used to prop the skin up and give it its required elasticity.
Approximately 60% of an adults body is water. Dehydration will have a detrimental effect on the whole body but in the case of the skin, cause it to lose some of that volume that water molecules help provide.
Regular smoking reduces the blood supply to the skin, which in turn impairs blood flow. This is detrimental because it limits the oxygen and reduces the important nutrients your skin constantly needs to stay healthy, elastic and vibrant.
The job of our experienced clinicians is to determine what specifically is causing wrinkles and how to best treat it both in the short and long term.
The discipline of facial injectables can be subcategorised into anti wrinkle therapy and cosmetic dermal fillers.
Anti Wrinkle Therapy
Everyone has heard of Botox, but they might not realise that it’s a specific brand name for a product using the naturally occurring Botulinum Toxin. This is a prescribed drug and as such can only be administered by trained professionals. At TC Smiles we use a very popular brand called Dysport that works in almost exactly the same manner. Botulinum Toxin type A works by relaxing hyperdynamic muscles, it is not permanent and does wear off in time.
We use our facial muscles all the time, whether we like to or not (i.e. frowning). The skin that sits on top of the muscles as such moves every time the muscle moves. As previously discussed, aging causes the skin to lose its elasticity and the constant moving of the muscle and skin above it will start to form a wrinkle where the muscle contracts.
Wrinkles caused by excess muscle contractions are easily resolved with Botulinum Toxin which essentially paralyses this hyperdynamic muscle and thus allows the skin over it to flatten out and not be overused in movements. This will reduce the wrinkle and give you a more youthful appearance. It is not permanent and has a life span ranging from anywhere between 4-6 months.
The commonly occurring places where hyperdynamic muscles can be found and easily resolved by anti wrinle injections are the frown lines, forehead lines and the crows feet (outside of the eyes)
Cosmetic Dermal Fillers
Where anti wrinkle injections work on the muscle itself to loosen the folds in the skin, dermal fillers work by propping up the lost volume of skin. As we age, the collagen and elastin in the skin diminishes giving the skin a thinner more sagging appearance. At TC Smiles we use the Juvederm range of products to help fill the dermal layer of skin up and not only reduce the wrinkles, but give the face more volume.
Dermal fillers consist of a gel like matrix containing substances naturally found in the skin but are lost due to aging; these include hyaloronic acid, collagen and fat. By identifying the areas of concern and using micro injections, we can essentially plump up the skin and give it a more youthful appearance. This is a great way to look younger without going through invasive treatments or going under the knife. The use of hyaluronic acid helps to act as a scaffold through which the skin volume can prop up by attracting water and collagen and depositing it in specific places. As dermal fillers contain naturally occurring products found in the skin, they are not permanent and will be broken down overtime. The lifespan of the product depends on the desired location and how plump or full you want the area to be.
To learn about dermal fillers and their uses, consult a member of our team who would be happy to help.