Dating Again? These Cosmetic Dental Treatments Are Giving Seniors A Boost Of Confidence

The stats don’t lie — Canada has plenty of singles, and more than a handful of them are seniors.

But it isn’t just that they’re single. Seniors are living healthier, longer lives, and that means they’re not giving up on finding love and intimacy. 

MarketWatch research says that, by 2019, one in five people in the 55 to 64-year-old category had already tried using a dating app. In the 65+ range, that proportion was one in ten, and dating activity among older adults is only expected to go up in the coming years.

It all paints a pretty clear picture: seniors are single, ready to mingle — and like lovebirds at any age, they want to feel confident and look their best when they hit the market.

Enter: cosmetic dentistry.

Why are seniors looking at cosmetic treatments?

At any age, cosmetic dentistry is about making your smile look as good as possible. In that sense, it’s no different than investing in nutritional or cosmetic care.

But for older adults and seniors, especially, cosmetic dentistry matters a bit more. 

Why? It’s because a person’s teeth naturally receive plenty of wear and tear over the years, and aging only adds to that. The natural brightness of tooth enamel fades and there are more opportunities for small damage like chips and cracks to accumulate. 

That can make a person feel more self-conscious about their smile and less self-confident when it comes to their attractiveness, so they turn to cosmetic dentistry to fix the problem.

Which treatments are seniors choosing?

Seniors are typically looking for cosmetic treatments that help them correct imperfections and reverse some of the effects that aging can have on a smile. We've briefly covered 5 of the most popular options below.

Invisalign

Most people associate Invisalign with pre-teens and teenagers, so this might come as a surprise.

Practically, though, Invisalign makes a lot of sense for seniors. Here at Glen Dental Centre, we often find that older adults are interested in some of the newest Invisalign options as a “touch up” treatment.

They wore braces when they were younger, but - over time - their teeth gradually grew slightly out of alignment again. Invisalign gives them a quick and convenient way to bring their teeth back into their proper positions.

Porcelain or composite veneers

This is an especially popular option for seniors who want a cleaner, brighter-looking smile.

“Wait, in that case, shouldn’t they choose whitening?” 

If they were younger, yes, absolutely. The challenge is that, as teeth age, they naturally darken on the inside. At a certain point, even professional-strength whitening isn’t effective enough at restoring the level of brightness that most people are looking for.

Since veneers are secured onto a person’s tooth, there’s no chance of darkened enamel showing through and affecting the smile’s overall look.

Tooth-coloured fillings

For decades, amalgam - a metal alloy blend - was the dental industry’s material of choice when it came to fillings. Strong, durable, and non-reactive, it was the go-to choice for its purpose.

The keyword there, of course, is “was”. Over the years, people discovered a very noticeable downside to amalgam: the alloy would oxidize and turn black, creating visible dark spots in a smile.

If you have them, there’s no reason to panic — it’s a purely cosmetic issue, but it’s one that many older adults would prefer to address. 

By replacing their old amalgam fillings with new, tooth-colored composite resin fillings, they can smile without worrying about their date cringing at the sight of a bunch of dark spots.

Bridges and dental implants

Tooth loss. It’s the accomplice of aging and the enemy of older smiles everywhere, especially the ones that are on a mission to find love.

Sometimes it’s caused by aging, other times it’s by accident, but - either way - many seniors are no strangers to missing teeth.

At least until they get a bridge or dental implant, that is. 

The popularity of this treatment is clear. You can have perfectly coiffed hair, flawless skin, and the manners of royalty, but without a complete smile, it’s hard to feel completely confident when you’re looking for Mister or Missus Right.

A bridge or dental implant puts that confidence back. After all — it’s a lot easier to relax and be yourself on a date when you aren’t constantly thinking about your smile whenever you take a bite, ask a question, or laugh at a joke.

Gum contouring

If you’ve ever felt like your gums are too visible when you smile, gum contouring might be one of the quickest, most noticeably satisfying treatments you can choose.

In as little as an hour or two, it can permanently reduce the amount of visible gum line in a smile, creating the sort of “teeth-only” look that many people prefer. 

Best of all, it’s minimally invasive, which makes it a great choice for older adults. With modern laser dental technology, the procedure can be completed gently and with very little discomfort. You may feel some soreness and sensitivity in your gums after completing the treatment, but recovery times are often as short as a week to 10 days.

Are cosmetic treatments safe for seniors?

This is a common but always-pertinent question. 

As people get older, recovering from treatment can take longer and be more challenging, so many seniors think carefully before going in for a procedure. 

In that light, does it *really* make sense to get a purely cosmetic procedure?

It’s something to consider on a case-by-case basis. Generally, though, the answer is “yes”, cosmetic care still makes sense for people concerned about treatment recovery.

Why? Because many popular cosmetic treatments are non or minimally-invasive and have a strong record of clinical safety behind them. Aside from dental implants, it’s rare for a cosmetic treatment to require even a moderate amount of surgery.

Will people really notice a difference?

They will. Even more so in the context of dating.

Dentists would say that, though, wouldn’t they. Fair point — but the numbers back it up. Here’s one study; and another; plus one more, just for good measure. 

Those studies all agree: the first thing people notice when they meet someone is their smile, and it has a powerful effect on the first impression that they walk away with.

It doesn’t matter if you’re snapping a selfie for your dating profile, walking over to say hello at the community centre, or pulling up the courage for a blind date. 

If you have a bright, well-aligned smile, it’ll always work in your favour.

Can cosmetic dentistry help me look younger?

It’s important to set the right expectations before any treatment, so a fair and measured answer here is “yes, it can help you look younger, but please don’t expect it to be the fountain of youth”.

Having a smile that’s bright, well-aligned, and includes all of its teeth certainly lets you maintain a more youthful look, although it won’t magically make you look like you’re in your twenties or thirties again.

With that being said, there’s a case to be made that, if you’re otherwise in good health, it can help you look about 5-10 years younger.

Let your smile make a great first impression

Sometimes, deep and meaningful connections start with something as simple as a chance meeting of eyes and a smile.

With a little bit of extra care, your smile will be ready to seize the moment. If there’s something you’d like to change about your teeth or gums, or even if you’re just wondering what’s possible, come talk to us.

A quick, no-obligation consultation can show you what your options are and give you a chance to get personalized answers to all of your questions.

If you’re ready to find out more, call us at (604) 552-2241 or contact us online.

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