April 12th, 2021
Most people think of orthodontic treatment in terms of making crooked teeth straight or aligning the teeth. This is an important part of braces or Invisalign and the part of treatment that most patients get very excited about. However, most patients need more than just alignment of the teeth in order to achieve an ideal result and the most esthetic, healthiest smile possible. This is the role that orthodontic elastics or rubber bands play in orthodontic treatment. Elastics correct the bite and braces or Invisalign straighten the teeth. Well-aligned teeth look much better than crooked teeth, but this change alone will leave the teeth not fitting together very well in most cases. Poorly fitting teeth or “bad bites” can contribute to dental decay, periodontal disease, and temporomandibular joint problems over the course of time.
Elastics are the most common bite-corrector used in orthodontic treatment. They can be used to create a similar effect to headgear or other appliances, but are a lot more comfortable and simple to wear. Most patients will need to wear elastics full-time (22 hours/day) to create the desired effect in a timely manner. The elastics are removed and a fresh set of elastics is placed four times per day. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and before bedtime.) You simply remove them to eat and put new elastics into your mouth after you are done eating.
Elastics will change the way your bite fits together, which highlights the importance of who you choose to help you with your orthodontic treatment. Elastics worn incorrectly can cause a number of dental problems including tooth loss. Orthodontists are specifically trained in this type of treatment. Only 6% of dentists are actually trained orthodontists, so make sure the doctor helping you with your treatment is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists. Give Budd Orthodontics a call today if we can be of service to you.
March 24th, 2021
Retainers are a critical part of your orthodontic treatment. If your retainer was fitting well the day you received it from your orthodontist and now does not feel like it is fitting properly, it is important to determine why that may be.
If a retainer was fitting well at the initial placement and now feels tight and is causing you pain, it is generally one of two problems. The retainer has either been deformed in some way or the teeth have moved. A retainer should not deform or change shape with normal use, but there are ways that a retainer can be damaged and deformed other than your dog chewing it up or accidentally stepping on it. Here in Arizona, I have seen retainers left in a hot car in the brutal summer heat become slightly warped. Cleaning a retainer in extremely hot water (boiling or close to it) can also have a similar effect.
When a retainer feels tight and makes your teeth sore, most of the time it is because you have not been wearing it enough. Even a slight movement that is hard to visually see with your eyes can be enough to make your retainer feel tight. The easiest solution for this problem is to go back to wearing your retainer full-time for a few days to a few weeks (depending on how much time you have missed wearing it) to get back on track. The teeth will generally mold back to the shape of the retainer and the soreness and tightness will go away. Be careful though – you can reach a “point-of-no-return” in which the teeth have moved so much that the retainer no longer fits and you will have to realign your teeth with braces or Invisalign. If you are having problems with a retainer, please give us a call. We would be happy to help you determine the best path forward.
January 1st, 2021
Patients will often ask me how orthodontists can move teeth. The process is really quite simple – we stimulate teeth to move by applying a constant, gentle pressure to the teeth. This force acting on the teeth stimulates the bone around the roots of the teeth to remodel. The remodeled bone allows the tooth to move to a new position within the jaw and voila! – your tooth is now straighter.
How the force is applied to the tooth is important in determining the direction and rate of movement. With Invisalign aligners, one of the challenges of moving teeth can be making the aligner apply the correct force to the tooth in the correct direction. Invisalign aligners do not grip teeth the same way braces do because the aligners are removable and slip on and off the teeth. Aligners are not bonded to the teeth like braces. While this is convenient, it also makes it challenging to apply the correct forces to the teeth for tooth movement. One of the ways we have created a work-around for the limitations of Invisalign is by bonding attachments to the teeth. Attachments are little tooth-colored bumps bonded to the teeth. The attachments give the aligner a “handle” to grip the tooth and move it more efficiently like conventional braces would. This allows Invisalign aligners to get closer to the quality and speed of treatment results you might achieve with conventional braces by allowing for a better grip on the teeth and therefore more difficult tooth movements.
If you are interested in improving your smile and self-confidence, please contact our office and we would be happy to discuss treatment options with you to find out what would be the best way for you to achieve a beautiful, attractive and confident smile.
December 2nd, 2020
Many of us have seen the pictures from many years ago when patients had braces that featured metal bands wrapping around every tooth and headgear was the primary method of treating anyone with an overbite.
Has anything changed in the last 20 years when it comes to orthodontic treatment? The simple answer is YES – most definitely! The list of changes is probably too long to consider in one blog post, but here are just 3 few of the most significant changes to orthodontics in the past few years:
- Prevalence of clear braces options including ceramic braces and Invisalign aligners
- 3D Scanning and printing
- Digital treatment planning and simulations
Invisalign has become a household word as clear aligner therapy has made orthodontic treatment a reality for those unwilling or unable to wear traditional braces. For those patients who are not good candidates for clear aligners, treatment with clear braces has become a popular option as well. These developments have removed the stigma of orthodontic treatment for a lot of patients and made the overall process more enjoyable – especially for adult orthodontic patients.
3D scanning and printing have also made orthodontic treatment a much more pleasant experience for patients. Anyone with a sensitive gag reflex can appreciate the convenience of not having a goopy mouthful of impression material placed in a tray and stuffed into your mouth. 3D scanning and printing has become increasingly more common, and its effect on orthodontists has been significant. Our office has really enjoyed being able to offer this service to our patients using the Itero Digital Scanner which links seamlessly with Invisalign treatment to reduce the time it takes to get aligners manufactured and ready for patient use. In literally about 4 minutes, we can have a complete 3D image of your entire mouth.
In addition, within seconds after the scan is complete, we now have the ability to simulate what your teeth would look like after completing a digital treatment plan simulation. This powerful technology helps patients visualize in real time the potential benefits of orthodontic treatment for each individual patient.
If you live in Phoenix or Scottsdale and are looking for a great orthodontist or just need more information regarding orthodontic treatment, we are here to help. Please call our office at 602-493-3338 or contact us online.