If you are looking to rejuvenate your facial appearance, there are a couple of good approaches to help you achieve a younger appearance. Cosmetic surgery and cosmetic dentistry can both help you look younger, but which is the better approach?

Which Will Take More Years off?

It’s hard to quantify the subjective perception of youth that you’ll achieve from either set of procedures. A realistic estimate is that a facelift will make you look three years younger. In comparison, just whitening your teeth can make you look five years younger.

It’s possible you might be able to look 12 years younger by combining a facelift with other surgical procedures. But it’s likely that you could achieve that level of rejuvenation with cosmetic dentistry. Overall, it seems likely that the two approaches will provide about the same amount of rejuvenation, with a possible edge to cosmetic dentistry for denture wearers.

Which Looks More Natural?

The problem with cosmetic surgery is that it has a tendency to look unnatural. A facelift involves cutting away your skin and stretching what remains, and complementary procedures operate in a similar way. This can lead to a stretched or windblown appearance.

Cosmetic dentistry, on the other hand, works by restoring what was lost, so it doesn’t look fake or unnatural. The materials used look like natural tooth enamel, and we take our guidance from nature so that you get a smile that is youthful. The changes in your jowls and wrinkles come from the restoration of what was lost, too, so it restores you to how you looked before, not what a doctor is able to approximate by cutting and stretching.

What about Recovery?

Recovery from cosmetic dentistry is very minimal. You don’t have to take any time off work for most dental procedures. For extractions and dental implant placement, one or two days might be necessary. There’s never a time where you would have to avoid going out in public.

But for a facelift, people generally take pain medication for six days and have significant discomfort for ten. People take 24 days off from work, and it’s two weeks before they can drive again, two-and-a-half weeks before they’re sleeping comfortably. Most spend a month in isolation because they don’t look presentable, and it’s two-and-a-half months before they’re back to normal.


Whenever your skin is cut, there will be scars. Most plastic surgeons are pretty decent at hiding these scars, so they’re not highly visible, but they are there. And they don’t always heal properly, sometimes becoming red, raised, and growing outside the initial surgical area.

With cosmetic dentistry, there is never a scar.


You should never make a decision about your healthcare solely on the basis of cost, but it’s still an important consideration. In general, cosmetic dentistry and cosmetic surgery are comparable in price, which cosmetic dentistry tending to be a little less expensive.

If you have more questions about looking young with cosmetic dentistry, please call (843) 706-2999 for an appointment with a Hilton Head cosmetic dentist at Beyond Exceptional Dentistry.