Posts for: February, 2017
Are you ready to find out if you are the perfect candidate for these clear braces?
You could never picture going to work day in and day out while wearing braces; however, you are also tired of your crooked smile. Fortunately, there is still a way to get the smile you want without sporting metal braces. Our Stamford, CT, dentists Dr. Irina Pogosian and Dr. Thomas Ohlson are here to tell you more about Invisalign and whether it might be right for you.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is a unique way to straighten teeth without the need for metal, brackets or wires. Instead, Invisalign uses a set of customized aligners that look similar to whitening trays but are thin, flexible and designed to snugly fit over your teeth. Each aligner is specially crafted just for you based on measurements and tooth movements already mapped out by our Stamford, CT, general dentists.
Who is a good candidate for Invisalign?
There are many factors that go into determining who is ideal for Invisalign treatment. While it can certainly help a lot of patients, it isn’t right for everyone, which is why we always have patients come into our office for a consultation. The consultation phase is important because it gives us a chance to get to know you and your treatment goals, as well as examine your smile and make sure that what you want to fix can most efficiently be handled by wearing Invisalign. Some candidacy factors to consider include:
Age: Older teens and adults are the perfect candidates for Invisalign but children and young teens aren’t. Children often respond best to traditional braces, but there are more subtle and discreet orthodontic options that can help make brackets and wires less obvious.
Your dental issues: Malocclusions like overbites, underbites and crossbites, as well as spacing problems and crowding are some of the issues that can be addressed with Invisalign. While it can also handle some minor crookedness as well, those with severe or complex dental issues that require complicated tooth or jaw movements will need to consider more traditional options.
Your dedication: One reason that children aren’t good candidate for Invisalign is that they often cannot comply with the rules of Invisalign. While it’s convenient that you can remove your aligners whenever you eat or need to brush and floss, the rest of the time you should be wearing your aligners. The less time you spend wearing them the longer your treatment will take. That’s why it’s important that you are truly dedicated to wearing Invisalign for about 22 hours out of each day.
Comprehensive Dental Group in Stamford, CT, is ready to help you get the smile you want with Invisalign. Turn to us for a no-risk consultation.
Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates knows how important it is to present your best face to the world — and one of the most important features of that face is a beaming smile. But there came a point when she noticed something was a little off. “I've always had good teeth, but it seemed to me as I was getting older that they weren't looking as good,” Kathy explained in a recent interview with Dear Doctor magazine.
That's when she decided it was time to take action. Kathy had orthodontic treatment when she was in her fifties, and she keeps her smile bright with tooth whitening treatments. She uses a kit provided by her dentist with a safe, effective whitening solution.
Of course, a bright, healthy smile looks great anywhere — whether you're on the red carpet or “off the grid.” And you don't have to be a Hollywood star to have professional whitening treatments. In fact, teeth whitening is one of the most popular and affordable cosmetic treatments modern dentistry offers.
The basic options for professional teeth whitening include in-office bleaching or take-home kits. Both types of dentist-supervised treatments offer a safe and effective means of getting a brighter smile; the main difference is how long they take to produce results. A single one-hour treatment in the office can make your teeth up to ten shades lighter — a big difference! To get that same lightening with at-home trays, it would take several days. On the plus side, the take-home kit is less expensive, and can achieve the same results in a bit more time.
It's important to note that not all teeth can be whitened with these treatments. Some teeth have intrinsic (internal) stains that aren't affected by external agents like bleaches. Also, teeth that have been restored (with bonding or veneers, for example) generally won't change color. And you can't necessarily whiten your teeth to any degree: Every tooth has a maximum whiteness, and adding more bleach won't lighten it beyond that level. Most people, however, find that teeth whitening treatments produce noticeable and pleasing results.
What about those off-the-shelf kits or in-the-mall kiosks? They might work… or they might not. But one thing's for sure: Without a dentist's supervision, you're on your own. That's the main reason why you should go with a pro if you're considering teeth whitening. We not only ensure that your treatment is safe — we can also give you a realistic idea of what results to expect, and we will make sure that other dental problems aren't keeping you from having a great-looking smile.
How often does Kathy Bates see her dentist for a checkup and cleaning? “I go about every four months,” she noted. “I'm pretty careful about it.” And if you've seen her smile, you can tell that it pays off. If you would like more information about teeth whitening, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Important Teeth Whitening Questions Answered” and “Teeth Whitening.”
Not long ago, the most affordable option for total tooth loss was a removable denture. Dentures, prosthetic (false) teeth set in gum-colored acrylic plastic bases, can effectively restore function and appearance. But the appliance continues to have one major drawback: it can accelerate bone loss in the jaw.
Like other living tissues, older bone cells die and become absorbed into the body (resorption). Normally they're replaced by newer cells. The forces generated when we chew our food travel through the teeth to stimulate this new growth. This stimulus ends when we lose our teeth, and so cell replacement can slow to an abnormal rate. Eventually, this causes bone loss.
Removable dentures can't provide this stimulation. In fact, the pressure generated as they compress the gums' bony ridges can even accelerate bone loss. That's why over time a denture's fit can become loose and uncomfortable — the bone has shrunk and no longer matches the contours of the dentures.
In recent years, though, a new development has been able to provide greater support to dentures while at the same time slowing or even stopping bone loss. We can now support dentures with dental implants.
Implants are best known as individual tooth replacements: a titanium metal post replaces the root, while a life-like porcelain crown attaches to the post to replace the visible tooth. In addition to providing a longer-lasting alternative to removable dentures, implants provide a very important health benefit: they improve bone density because they mimic the function of natural teeth. Bone cells are naturally attracted to the titanium; they adhere to the titanium post and are stimulated to grow through the action of chewing, increasing bone density and securing the implant's hold in the jaw.
Using the same technology we can support removable dentures, or even full fixed bridges. Rather than rest directly on the bony ridges, a denture can make a secure connection through a coupling system with just a few strategically placed implants. We can also permanently attach a full bridge by fastening it to a few implants with screws.
Not only do we eliminate the pressure from dentures compressing the gums and bone tissue, we can actually stimulate bone growth with the implants. Although more costly upfront than traditional dentures, unlike traditional dentures which must be replaced every five to seven years, long-lasting implants may be more cost-effective over the long-run.
If you would like more information on implant-supported tooth replacement, 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 “New Teeth in One Day.”