Posts for tag: orthodontics
For many people, the image of a mouth full of metal wires and brackets is the first thing to come to mind when discussing straighter teeth. Although traditional metallic and ceramic braces are the most common orthodontic treatment option for children, older teenagers and adults can be understandably reluctant to get braces after a certain age. But braces are not the only option available. Dr. Ashley Lloyd, a dentist in Raleigh, NC, offers Invisalign clear aligner trays for patients looking for a more discreet solution to orthodontic problems like crowding or an overbite.
Get Straighter Teeth with Invisalign in Raleigh, NC
In addition to being discreet and comfortable to wear, the Invisalign system offers a number of additional benefits. Because the trays are removable, they allow you to maintain your regular oral hygiene routine and brush and floss every day as you normally would to help keep your gums and teeth clear of tooth decay and gum disease. You can also continue to enjoy the foods you love without the dietary restrictions that sometimes go along with traditional braces.
And then there's the social aspect. For many adults, even significant bite or alignment problems are not enough to overcome the stigma associated with wearing braces. Invisalign makes it so that you don't have to choose between straighter teeth and your social and professional life. Invisalign consists of a series of plastic trays, each of which is worn for approximately two weeks. You can remove the tray for up to two hours a day to eat and brush and floss your teeth. Like braces, Invisalign gradually shifts your teeth into the desired alignment.
Find a Dentist in Raleigh, NC
It is never too late to invest in a healthier, more attractive smile. For more information about Invisalign and to find out if it is the right option for you, contact our office by calling 919-828-1001 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lloyd today.
Orthodontics relies on certain mechanics in the mouth to move teeth to better positions. As the specialty has advanced, we've become ever more precise in moving teeth with braces, the “workhorse” of orthodontics, and other specialized appliances and techniques.
But although cooperating effectively with the mouth's natural ability for tooth movement is crucial for success, there's another aspect to consider if that success will be long-term: the growth and development of oral and facial structure. And not just development during childhood and adolescence: indeed, facial structure continues to change throughout a lifetime, including the senior years. Research has shown that although the rate of growth slows over time, it doesn't stop even for someone 80 years or older.
Our emerging understanding in this area has had an important impact on how and when we perform orthodontic treatment. As we develop a treatment strategy for an individual patient we consider not only the immediate outcome of a treatment, but also how it may change their facial appearance in the future. By taking continuing facial growth into consideration, we're more likely to achieve a new smile appearance that remains attractive later in life.
A key factor is to be sure we're initiating treatments at appropriate ages. We may detect developing bite problems as early as age 6, which might prompt preventive treatment at that time to diminish or even eliminate the problem. But it may also be prudent to wait on full-scale orthodontic treatment until late childhood or puberty. Furthermore, some form of orthodontic treatment might need to continue into early adulthood to ensure the most optimal outcome.
By taking a longer view of the treatment process, we're better able to work within the natural growth and development taking place now and in the future. As a result, a person is more likely to enjoy an attractive and youthful appearance even in their later years.
If you would like more information on aging factors for cosmetic enhancement, 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 “Understanding Aging Makes Beauty Timeless.”
Moving your teeth to a more functional and attractive alignment is a big undertaking. You can invest months — even years — and a lot of expense to correct a bad bite. But all that effort could be for nothing if your teeth return to their original positions.
The very aspect of dental physiology that makes orthodontics possible can work against you in reverse. Your teeth are not actually rigidly fixed in the bone: they're held in place by an elastic gum tissue known as the periodontal ligament. The ligament lies between the tooth and the bone and attaches to both with tiny fibers.
While this mechanism holds the teeth firmly in place, it also allows the teeth to move in response to changes in the mouth. As we age, for example, and the teeth wear, the ligament allows movement of the teeth to accommodate for the loss of tooth surface that might have been created by the wear.
When we employ braces we're changing the mouth environment by applying pressure to the teeth in a certain direction. The teeth move in response to this pressure. But when the pressure is no longer there after removing the braces or other orthodontic devices, the ligament mechanism may then respond with a kind of “muscle memory” to pull the teeth back to where they were before.
To prevent this, we need to help the teeth maintain their new position, at least until they've become firmly set. We do this with an oral appliance known as a retainer. Just as its name implies it helps the teeth “retain” their new position.
We require most patients to initially wear their retainer around the clock. After a while we can scale back to just a few hours a day, usually at nighttime. Younger patients may only need to wear a retainer for eighteen months or so. Adults, though, may need to wear one for much longer or in some cases permanently to maintain their new bite.
Although having to wear a retainer can be tedious at times, it's a crucial part of your orthodontic treatment. By wearing one you'll have a better chance of permanently keeping your new smile.
If you would like more information on caring for your teeth after braces, 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 “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers.”
Magician Michael Grandinetti mystifies and astonishes audiences with his sleight of hand and mastery of illusion. But when he initially steps onto the stage, it’s his smile that grabs the attention. “The first thing… that an audience notices is your smile; it’s what really connects you as a person to them,” Michael told an interviewer.
He attributes his audience-pleasing smile to several years of orthodontic treatment as a teenager to straighten misaligned teeth, plus a lifetime of good oral care. “I’m so thankful that I did it,” he said about wearing orthodontic braces. “It was so beneficial. And… looking at the path I’ve chosen, it was life-changing.”
Orthodontics — the dental subspecialty focused on treating malocclusions (literally “bad bites”) — can indeed make life-changing improvements. Properly positioned teeth are integral to the aesthetics of any smile, and a smile that’s pleasing to look at boosts confidence and self-esteem and makes a terrific first impression. Studies have even linked having an attractive smile with greater professional success.
There can also be functional benefits such as improved biting/chewing and speech, and reduced strain on jaw muscles and joints. Additionally, well-aligned teeth are easier to clean and less likely to trap food particles that can lead to decay.
The Science Behind the Magic
There are more options than ever for correcting bites, but all capitalize on the fact that teeth are suspended in individual jawbone sockets by elastic periodontal ligaments that enable them to move. Orthodontic appliances (commonly called braces or clear aligners) place light, controlled forces on teeth in a calculated fashion to move them into their new desired alignment.
The “gold standard” in orthodontic treatment remains the orthodontic band for posterior (back) teeth and the bonded bracket for front teeth. Thin, flexible wires threaded through the brackets create the light forces needed for repositioning. Traditionally the brackets have been made of metal, but for those concerned about the aesthetics, they can also be made out of a clear material. Lingual braces, which are bonded to the back of teeth instead of the front, are another less visible option. The most discrete appliance is the removable clear aligner, which consists of a progression of custom-made clear trays that reposition teeth incrementally.
How’s that for a disappearing act?!
If you would like more information about orthodontic treatment please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the subject by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Magic of Orthodontics.”
How Invisalign treatment from your Raleigh dentist can help you
Everyone wants a straight smile, but did you know if you straighten your teeth it can actually help the health of your smile? That’s because straight teeth are much easier to clean. Straight teeth allow you to get in between the teeth more easily while flossing, which is where a lot of cavities begin.
Now, there is a revolutionary, virtually invisible way to straighten your teeth. It’s called Invisalign! Dr. Ashley Lloyd in Raleigh, NC wants to help you discover how Invisalign treatment can help you.
In the past, straightening your teeth meant years of wearing unsightly metal brackets and wires, but orthodontics has changed. Now, thanks to Invisalign, orthodontic treatment is shorter (typically around18 months), and much more comfortable with appliances made of smooth plastic.
After impressions of your teeth are taken and the aligners made, Dr. Lloyd will begin your Invisalign treatment with your first set of aligners. The aligners gradually move your teeth into the desired position. You wear the first set for 2 weeks and then switch to a new set, which you wear for another 2 weeks. You change appliances every 2 weeks until your treatment is complete. That’s all there is to it!
In addition to the rapid results and comfort of Invisalign, there are other benefits too. Invisalign is:
- Clear plastic, which makes it virtually invisible to others
- Healthy, because you can brush and floss normally
- Removable, so you can eat the foods you love without worry
Invisalign can correct alignment problems just like conventional metal braces can. Invisalign is the perfect treatment for:
- Bite problems, including underbite, overbite, crossbite and open bite
- Crowded, overlapped or rotated teeth
- Closing gaps between teeth
You can improve your smile with Invisalign. If you have teeth that are crowded, you know how difficult it can be to clean in between them. Invisalign can make your smile much easier to maintain.
Now you can achieve a straight smile in less time, and more comfortably than you ever thought possible, thanks to Invisalign. For more information on Invisalign treatment, call Dr. Lloyd in Raleigh, NC. Call today!