Sudbury Smile Center
Posts for tag: orthodontics
Are you interested in straightening your teeth with Invisalign but have a few questions about the process? Our Sudbury, MA, family dentist, Dr. Reina Garcia, can tell you how Invisalign works.
Trays, not wires, do all the work
Traditional braces use a system of wires threaded through brackets attached to your teeth. Adjusting the wires periodically moves the teeth into the desired positions. The Invisalign system achieves the same results as metal or ceramic braces without wires and brackets.
Removable aligner trays gradually change the position of your teeth by placing gentle pressure on them. You'll receive an entire series of trays, each designed to carry out a particular goal in the orthodontic process. Trays are worn for 20 to 22 hours per day and are replaced approximately ever two weeks.
Your trays are designed using a computerized 3D image compiled from X-rays, digital photographs and digital impressions. Adjusting the image in our Sudbury office allows us to view a virtual representation of the way your teeth will shift during your treatment.
Invisalign offers unique advantages
Invisalign offers excellent results but doesn't call attention to your appearance. When you straighten your teeth with clear aligner trays instead of wires and brackets, it won't be immediately obvious that you're improving your smile every time you smile, laugh or speak.
Invisalign also makes eating and oral hygiene easier. If you wear traditional metal or ceramic braces, the length of your oral hygiene routine will increase significantly. Removing food stuck on and between wires and brackets can be time-consuming. Luckily, no special cleaning protocols are needed with the Invisalign system. After you remove your trays, you'll brush and floss the same way you always have. Because you'll also remove your trays to eat, you won't have to worry about prying stuck-on food from your trays at the end of the day. Although you can drink water without taking out your aligner trays, drinking colored beverages may stain the trays.
Even though Invisalign aligner trays are designed to be comfortable and unobtrusive, you may occasionally want to remove them if you're participating in an activity. The trays can be removed when you play sports or may be left behind when you attend a special event.
Are you interested in learning if you're a good candidate for Invisalign? Call our Sudbury, MA family dentist, Dr. Garcia, at (978) 443-5500 to schedule an appointment.
Is there a single orthodontic appliance that can help your child get a wider, better-looking smile, correct problems with the bite, make room in a crowded upper jaw for new teeth to erupt (come in)... and shorten the overall time he or she will need to wear braces? The answer is yes: It's the palatal expander, a device that works with the natural growth patterns of a child's mouth, and offers dramatic results.
What's a palatal expander? Basically, it's a custom-made orthodontic appliance that fits between the rows of back teeth at the top (roof) of the mouth, close to the palate. After it has been put in place, it can be tensioned with a special key. Because it is contained inside the mouth, it's invisible when worn — but its benefits are easy to see.
How does it work? The palatal expander takes advantage of the fact that the left and right halves of a child's upper jaw bone don't completely fuse (knit together) until sometime after puberty. Until that happens, the upper jaw is relatively soft and easy to manipulate. When tension is applied, the palatal expander gently moves the bones apart, just like braces do for teeth. Then new bone tissue naturally fills in the space.
The appliance is tightened daily for a few weeks — while spacing improves dramatically — and then it's left on for several weeks more to stabilize the expansion. The total time a child needs to wear it is generally 3-6 months. After that, a set of braces can be put on if needed. So, what's so great about a palatal expander?
For one thing, the device can correct a crossbite, which occurs when the back top teeth bite inside (instead of outside) the bottom teeth. For another, expanding the upper jaw can relieve the condition known as crowding, which happens when the jaw isn't big enough to accommodate all the teeth. A related situation — impacted teeth — occurs when a tooth that hasn't yet erupted is blocked by another tooth above it. Both these conditions formerly required tooth extraction: an invasive and sometimes complicated procedure. Both can now be remedied by a palatal expander.
But maybe the biggest plus to a youngster — where a month can seem like an age — is the prospect of having to wear braces for less time. And that alone is a good reason to smile.
If you have questions about palatal expanders, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Palatal Expanders” and “The Magic of Orthodontics.”
As the Baby Boomer generation moves into its 60s, more and more of us are concerned with looking younger. We do it with vitamins, diet, exercise, makeup, cosmetic surgery, and yes, even with cosmetic dentistry.
In recent years we have learned a lot about how aging affects the soft tissues and bones of your face. This has led to an approach to orthodontics that considers not only the teeth and jaws, but also the continuing growth of the bones and soft tissues of the face.
We used to think that growth stopped when people reached their late teens or early 20s. However, recent studies have shown that some kinds of growth continue throughout a person's lifetime. Your bones and facial structures change as much between the ages of 25 and 42 as they do between 18 and 25.
As you age your facial profile flattens, your nose becomes more prominent, the lower part of your face becomes shorter, and your lips become thinner. By studying these changes we have learned to consider them when planning orthodontic treatment. Modern orthodontics treats the entire face, not just the teeth.
The science of orthodontics is dedicated to slowly moving the teeth within the jaws to better functional and aesthetic positions, using standard braces or clear aligners. Sometimes the upper and lower jaws are so far out of alignment that more extreme treatment is needed. In such cases orthognathic (from ortho, meaning straight and gnathos, meaning jaw) surgery may be required to achieve the best results. Orthognathic surgery was once considered a drastic procedure, but it has become easier to manage during and following surgery and is now considered a more normal treatment option, like a facelift. Since the nose becomes more prominent as part of the aging process, the surgery is sometimes combined with rhinoplasty, or reshaping of the nose.
This new approach to orthodontics and cosmetic dentistry — taking into consideration the normal changes that occur as a person's face ages throughout life — requires teamwork among a general dentist, an orthodontist, and an oral surgeon. The results are a long-lasting change that holds back the clock on aging.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your questions about cosmetic dentistry. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Understanding Aging Makes Beauty Timeless.”
For adults with a reasonably well fitting bite, but mild to moderate crowding or spaces between your teeth, clear orthodontic aligners can be an ideal solution for straightening your teeth. This is why we offer this treatment option to our patients experiencing these issues. However, for those of you who are unfamiliar with what they are or how they work, this will give you a brief understanding.
Clear orthodontic aligners consist of a series of clear “trays” that fit snuggly over all teeth to slowly shift them into alignment. Patients are typically required to wear them 20 hours per day for about 2 weeks before progressing to the next tray. With each new tray, you are one step closer to achieving your goal of perfectly aligned teeth. The entire process usually lasts 6-18 months depending on how much movement is required to achieve the goals.
Each aligner is individually made from very precise molds of the patient's teeth to ensure proper fit. And we map out the entire alignment process using computer generation from each patient's initial molds so that we can identify the number of trays required. But best of all, clear orthodontic aligners are perfectly smooth with no rough edges like traditional braces, and you can remove them for eating, brushing, and flossing teeth as well as for brief social events.