The ‘Golden Years’ don’t refer to fillings |

The ‘Golden Years’ don’t refer to fillings

Americans are living longer and it is now reasonable to plan for a 30-year retirement. Dentists Vanssa (pronounced Vanessa) and Michael Knight want to see you enjoy that time with your original teeth.

The Knights are a married couple who practice together in Pinebrook. They met in dental school and have always run an office together.

"We don’t know how to do it any other way," Vanssa said.

A specialist in smile reconstruction, Vanssa can help aging teeth stay young.

About 20 to 30 percent of the adult population has Occlusal Disease a wearing of the teeth that can cause the jaw to not set properly. As a result, the teeth grind abnormally accelerating the wearing. In addition to the cosmetic consequence in the front of the mouth, it can also cause jaw muscle and tooth damage in the back, she explained. In worst-case scenarios it hurts to chew so people stick to softer, and often less healthy food, creating further problems.

Rebuilding the teeth which can be a minor or a major procedure depending on how advanced the problem is adds decades to the life of the teeth and gives front teeth a more youthful appearance, she said.

Many dentists today practice reconstructive and cosmetic dentistry, but Vanssa believes she’s the only one in Park City who is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and is seeking board accreditation from the academy a distinction no dentist in Utah currently holds, she said.

As part of that regimen, Knight completed an intensive two-year program in Chicago in 2009. Only four percent of dentists nationally pursue this kind of advanced training, Michael Knight said.

That specialized training gives Vanssa greater expertise in smile design, Michael added.

Like with plastic surgery, many Americans are now seeking repairs or improvements on their body that are subtle. A set of "piano keys" in the mouth make an impression, Michael said, but changes that obvious also draw attention.

"You want everyone to know you did something, but not necessarily what you did," Vanssa said.

She and Michael Knight study a person’s lip line, skin color, facial muscles and tooth shape to create a younger smile that looks natural.

It’s like designing a house, she explained. You need a really good set of plans that everyone has approved before you start building. It isn’t unusual to spend three to five hours total with a patient before initiating treatment, Michael said.

Smile reconstruction is becoming more important during the recession than just to prevent occlusion, Michael said. Many Americans are having to delay retirement or work harder to maintain the same income. A great smile has never been more important.

Sophisticated dental work can take five to ten years off the appearance of someone’s face. And people who love to smile evoke confidence, he said.

"It’s no different than getting yourself a nice set of shoes or an Armani suit," he said.

Vanssa is a finalist for a "Best of State" award to be announced next month. People in the area recognize and appreciate her expertise, Michael said.

Pinebrook Dental Group

3080 Pinebrook Road Suite 2000


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