Posts for: February, 2016
We often associate orthodontics with moving several teeth on the upper or lower arches (or both) with braces or clear aligners. But not all patients require a major endeavor — sometimes only one or a few teeth need to be moved, and not very far.
A slight gap between the two upper front teeth is one type of situation that only requires minor tooth movement: just a few teeth need to be moved and usually just a millimeter or two. The appliances needed to achieve this are also relatively simple in design: removable retainers or small scale fixed braces with small springs or elastics that place pressure against the teeth. The process may also only take a few months rather than two years as with major tooth movement.
Preparing for the procedure, though, must be undertaken with great care. We need to first determine if moving the teeth even slightly could affect the bite with the opposite teeth. We must also ensure the roots of the teeth intended for movement are in good position for allowing the space to be closed.
We must then consider the other supporting structures for the teeth. It’s important for gums and bone to be healthy — if not, treating any found disease may be necessary first before beginning orthodontics. And, if the gap between the two upper teeth was created by an abnormally large frenum, the small strip of tissue connecting the lip to the upper gum, it may be necessary to remove it before tooth movement can begin to ensure the closed gap stays closed.
Like any other orthodontic treatment, minor tooth movement first requires a thorough examination with x-ray imaging to determine the exact tooth position, bite issues and the surrounding gum and bone health. We can then be reasonably certain if this straightforward procedure is right for you, and could help you obtain a more attractive smile.
If you would like more information on different orthodontic treatment choices, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Minor Tooth Movement.”
Find out more about how you can get a straighter smile with these clear braces.
Think you are too old for braces? Think again! You’ll be amazed to find out that more and more adults are wearing braces now that nearly invisible options like Invisalign are available from your Raleigh, NC dentist Dr. Ashley Lloyd. Find out how these clear aligners can straighten your smile for the look you’ve always wanted.
Step 1: Talk to your Raleigh general dentist
The first thing you’ll need to do is schedule a consultation with us, your Invisalign provider. During your consultation, we will examine your teeth and then talk to you about your treatment goals. After all, we want to make sure that your needs align with what Invisalign can offer you. We will also talk to you about insurance and cost and answer any questions you have.
Step 2: Your Treatment Plan
Once we have determined that you are right for Invisalign we will take some X-rays and impressions of your teeth. The impressions of your teeth will be used to help us create a treatment plan. This treatment plan will include the exact movements of your teeth, as well as your estimated length of treatment. On average, adults can expect to wear their Invisalign about 18 months while a teen’s length of treatment is comparable to traditional braces.
Step 3: Getting Your Aligners
Based on the treatment plan we mapped out for you and the impressions we took of your smile, a lab will then get to work creating your clear custom aligners. Once you get you aligners your job is to wear them as often as possible, only removing them to eat, brush and floss. You’ll want to wear your aligners for about 20 to 22 hours out of the day.
Step 4: Swap Out Your Aligners
Every two weeks you’ll need to start wearing your new set of aligners to continue through your treatment. You will also have checkups with your dentist in Raleigh about every six weeks to make sure everything is progressing as it should.
Step 5: Your New Smile
Once you’ve completed your treatment you can revel in your brand new beautiful smile, and to ensure your results a custom retainer will be made; this way you can maintain your beautiful new smile for life.
Invisalign can be a great option for many patients looking to get a straighter, healthier smile. If you want to find out if you’re an ideal candidate then call our Raleigh, NC dental office today.
When the multi-platinum recording artist, songwriter and TV personality Jason Derulo was recently asked about his ideal woman, his answer covered a remarkably broad spectrum. "There’s no specific thing," he said, "so I think it’s unfair to say what my ‘type’ is." But it turns out that there is one thing the So You Think You Can Dance judge considers essential: A beautiful smile.
"I’m not into messy teeth," Derulo said. "If the grill has spaces and different colors, it’s not my vibe."
As it turns out, he may be on to something: A number of surveys have indicated that a bright, healthy smile is often the first thing people notice when meeting someone new. Yet many are reluctant to open up that big grin because they aren’t satisfied with the way their teeth look. If you’re one of them, consider this: Modern cosmetic dentistry offers a variety of ways to improve your smile — and it may be easier and more affordable than you think.
For example, if your smile isn’t as bright as you would like it to be, teeth whitening is an effective and economical way to lighten it up. If you opt for in-office treatments, you can expect a lightening effect of up to 10 shades in a single one-hour treatment! Or, you can achieve the same effect in a week or two with a take-home kit we can custom-make for you. Either way, you’ll be safe and comfortable being treated under the supervision of a dental professional — and the results can be expected to last for up to two years, or perhaps more.
If your teeth have minor spacing irregularities, small chips or cracks, it may be possible to repair them in a single office visit via cosmetic bonding. In this process, a liquid composite resin is applied to the teeth and cured (hardened) with a special light. This high-tech material, which comes in colors to match your teeth, can be built up in layers and shaped with dental instruments to create a pleasing, natural effect.
If your smile needs more than just a touch-up, dental veneers may be the answer. These wafer-thin coverings, placed right on top of your natural teeth, can be made in a variety of shapes and colors — from a natural pearly luster to a brilliant "Hollywood white." Custom-made veneers typically involve the removal of a few millimeters of tooth enamel, making them a permanent — and irreversible — treatment. However, by making teeth look more even, closing up spaces and providing dazzling whiteness, veneers just might give you the smile you’ve always wanted.
If you would like more information about cosmetic dental treatments, please call our office to arrange a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cosmetic Dentistry — A Time for Change.”