Invisalign® is an orthodontic appliance system used to inconspicuously treat crooked and crowded teeth in adults and teens. This modern take on braces features a system of clear aligner trays that are worn at all times with the exception of during meals and when brushing or flossing. The trays are custom fitted to the teeth, making them virtually unnoticeable when laughing, talking, and eating with other people. Patients receive a sequence of trays, each of which is slightly different than the one before. The aligners provide a slight resistance to the teeth, forcing them to move into alignment over time. With Invisalign®, adults and teens can achieve the smiles they’ve always wanted without feeling self-conscious about the mode of treatment.
Did you know…
wearing Invisalign® is in no way as restrictive as traditional braces? Many adults opt for this system not only because it is discreet, but also because there is no need to change your diet to avoid foods that could damage braces. This is because the Invisalign® system is free of braces and brackets, instead opting for a removable tray that can be taken out prior to meals. Also, Invisalign® fits well into busy adult schedules, as there is no need to attend frequent visits for wire tightening. Most patients simply change to a new aligner tray every couple of weeks.
If you have crooked or crowded teeth that are embarrassing to you or otherwise preventing you from achieving optimal oral health, Invisalign® could be the solution for you. Visit your Invisalign® dentist for a complete consultation to find out if you could benefit from clear orthodontics.
You will wear your aligners nearly all of the time, with the exception of about two hours per day. Invisalign® treatments are different for everyone, but most patients can achieve their ideal smiles within one to two years. During that time, you can expect to make occasional dental visits to monitor your progress.
Following your treatment, you will no longer need to wear Invisalign® trays. However, you will need to wear a retainer each day to help protect your new smile. It is also important to continue visiting your dentist for routine check-ups and twice-yearly cleaning.
Sleep apnea is a dangerous sleep disorder that interferes with healthy breathing patterns during sleep. It is characterized by snoring, which may be so loud that it affects the sleep quality of bed partners. Having sleep apnea can put a strain on relationships, cause daytime fatigue, and even lead to other secondary conditions like depression. Worse, severe cases of sleep apnea can be life threatening.
Though snoring is a primary symptom of sleep apnea, not all people who snore actually have sleep apnea. As much as 50 percent of Americans snore at some time, whether occasionally or chronically. However, only 20 percent of American adults have sleep apnea. So how do you know the difference? Harmless snoring does not interfere with breathing patterns. Sleep apnea, on the other hand, causes breathing cessations and sometimes ‘gasping’ during sleep.
You may need to see a doctor if you or your partner have been awakened by your chronic snoring and/or gasping for air. Though this condition can be very dangerous, your doctor can help you discover ways of managing sleep apnea and protecting healthy breathing during sleep.
Your doctor’s first goal will be to determine whether your snoring is benign or a symptom of sleep apnea. This may be determined by speaking with you and your partner about your symptoms. If you do not have a partner who can confirm snoring or breathing interruptions, your doctor may request a sleep study.
There are many ways of treating the symptoms of sleep apnea. This may include conservative approaches, such as a new sleeping position or the use of an oral appliance. If your apnea symptoms are severe or conservative treatments are not working, you may be prescribed a continuous positive airway pressure device (CPAP) to open the airway. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary. Keep in mind that a diagnosis of sleep apnea is not always permanent. Many patients find that losing weight can be an effective way of opening the airway during sleep.
When it comes to protecting your patients’ teeth, nothing comes closer in effectiveness and convenience than a custom-made mouth guard, bite guard, or night guard. Mouth guards are used to protect natural teeth and dental restorations from damage caused by activities or behaviors that pose a risk to the teeth. Your patients might benefit from a custom night guard or bite guard if they participate in high-impact sports or if they show signs of nighttime clenching or grinding (bruxism).
Custom night guards are the choice of dentists who understand the importance of an accurate fit when protecting their patients’ teeth. Unlike over-the-counter ‘boil and bite’ mouth guards, our custom guards are designed to protect far more than the tooth enamel and help shield the soft tissues of the mouth against bruising, lacerations, and even nerve damage. Since our mouth guards are hand-processed, they also tend to be low-profile and offer a better fit for the comfort of your patients.
We can produce bite guards for patients of all ages. Simply create an oral impression in your office and send it to our lab for fabrication. We will create a custom guard that protects the teeth and gums and is also comfortable to wear and resistant to slippage. Most guards are returned to your office very quickly and ready for immediate pick-up by your patients. They are very easy to care for, even for the youngest of patients. Simply rinse it with cold water before and after each wear using a soft-bristled toothbrush and paste. Then, keep it stored in its ventilated container in a room-temperature environment.
Keep in mind that young patients may need to be re-fit for a new custom mouth guard from time to time as they grow and their dentition changes. You may suggest that your patients bring their mouth guards with them to future dental visits for inspection and to ensure the guard continues to provide a comfortable and effective fit. Although durable and designed to last, all mouth guards inevitably need to be replaced from time to time due to normal wear and tear.
Dental emergencies occur often in young patients. Though they require urgent treatment, it is important to remain calm and take immediate action. Dental emergencies are any trauma or condition that requires immediate attention. Examples include:
Did you know…
that more than 1 in 3 kids will experience a dental emergency during childhood or adolescence? Often, these dental emergencies are caused by injury to the teeth, gums or soft tissues of the mouth. Though a dental trauma can occur at any point during childhood, children are most susceptible to them during the curious toddler years and during the pre-teen and adolescent years, when kids begin to participate in more vigorous sports.
Pediatric dental emergencies always happen when they are least expected. Preparation is essential for maximizing the outcome in an actual emergency. Start by storing the phone number of your child’s pediatric dentist in your phone for easy access. You can also take steps to prevent an emergency. For example, we recommend limiting your child’s exposure of hard foods and having a mouth guard custom-made for use when your child is participating in sports.
If your child has an injury or pain affecting the teeth or gums, contact a pediatric dentist immediately. Visit your local emergency room if your child has uncontrolled bleeding or has suffered a head trauma.
If your child’s tooth is completely dislodged from the gum and jaw, retrieve the tooth immediately, being careful not to touch the root. Rinse it gently in clean water and place it in a glass of milk. If you have an older child, place the tooth gently back into the socket. Get to an emergency dentist immediately, as time is a critical factor in saving a lost tooth.
The field of orthodontics spans beyond corrective treatments. It also includes preventive care, which is used to prevent the development of a bad bite or crooked and overcrowded teeth. In fact, some children who undergo preventive treatments can avoid the need for far more invasive treatments later in life. By the time preventive orthodontic treatments are complete, children have an adequate amount of jaw space for permanent teeth to erupt.
Did you know?
It is important that your child undergoes an orthodontic screening no later than age 7. Preventive care is only effective when used early – usually while the majority of primary teeth are still intact. Some of the most common preventive orthodontic treatments in include:
- Space maintainers – to hold the space of a primary tooth that has fallen out prematurely
- Head gear – used to reposition the jaw and create space for permanent teeth
- Tooth extractions – used to remove primary teeth that have not fallen out on their own
Your child may need preventive care if he or she has malocclusion, inadequate jaw space, has teeth erupting in the wrong spaces, or has missing primary teeth lost due to decay or trauma. If you suspect that your child could need preventive orthodontic, schedule a consultation immediately.
Preventive treatment varies from child to child. Some types of preventive appliances are fixed in your child’s mouth, and require multiple visits to ensure a perfect fit. If your child’s appliance is removable, you will be given instructions on how and when your child should wear the device. You can also expect to make occasional orthodontic visits for the duration of your child’s preventive treatment to measure progress and make adjustments as needed.
Yes. In addition to ensuring your child’s appliance is being worn correctly, you’ll need to also prevent your child from consuming foods that could damage the appliance while being worn. If your child’s appliance is removable, you’ll need to clean it regularly and store it according to your orthodontist’s instructions.