Invisalign

More Adults Than Ever Before

March 3rd, 2022

It’s a new year, you have made your resolutions, and on the top of your list is looking (and feeling) healthy!  As a part of looking healthy you may be curious about straightening your teeth. You are not alone,  according to a recent study conducted by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), adult (18 years+) patients now outweigh teens/kids in treatment.

A common misperception is that you may be too old for orthodontic treatment or your situation is too difficult but this is NOT the case. The deciding factor on whether a patient is a good candidate for treatment is the health of their teeth and gums, NOT their age.

An in-person consultation is the best way for you to get the proper diagnosis and treatment plan which will be customized just for you. You get to meet the board certified doctor and ask questions, review treatment plans, discuss pros and cons of different treatment plans, and design a plan that works for you.  In short, when you come to Holt Orthodontics you will love the personalized and customized treatment plan.  Also, being actively monitored by a board certified orthodontic specialist throughout your treatment will help to ensure that your treatment goes smoothly.  Along the way you will see either Dr Holt and Dr Jena  and have the opportunity to discuss the progress, ask questions, and modify the treatment plan as needed.  You will see Dr Holt or Dr Jena at every visit—that is a HUGE benefit.  You have a board certified doctor working diligently to ensure the best possible outcome at every visit.   

Your health history and habits should be discussed with the doctor so that you receive the best treatment possible.

Items to think about when meeting with an Dr Holt or Dr Jena:

  • Fillings
  • Missing Teeth
  • Misshapen or worn teeth
  • Dental disease
  • Periodontal disease
  • Medications
  • Habits like smoking, clenching or grinding teeth, or tongue thrusting

All of these items can affect the outcome of your treatment.  Plus, for some adults to reach optimal dental health, your dentist and orthodontist will work in partnership and may need to call in other dental specialists such as oral surgeons, periodontists, and endodontists.    Dr. Holt and Dr. Jena work closely with many of the area’s top dentists to design the most ideal treatment plan for you.  In fact, when dentists are looking for an orthodontist, they choose Holt Orthodontics.  

In short, NO, you are never too old for orthodontic treatment as long as you have healthy teeth and gums. Orthodontists are experts in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics – properly aligned teeth and jaws – and possess the skills and experience to give you your best smile. The best way to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile at any age is to seek out treatment with Holt Orthodontics.

4 New Year’s Resolutions for People with Orthodontics

January 3rd, 2022

And just like that, 2021 is out the door—bring on 2022! People have likely started asking you about your New Year’s Resolution, and if you haven’t come up with one yet, we’re happy to share a few ideas! For people with braces or Invisalign, a few small changes in the coming year can make a big difference for how their treatment goes, so here are 4 resolutions to consider.

1. I will brush after every meal

Yes, you’ve probably heard that you need to brush at least twice a day, but for people with orthodontics, it’s better to do so after each meal and snack. Why? Because braces can easily trap food in the brackets and wires, and with Invisalign, any leftover debris can become pressed against the teeth when the aligners go back in. Both increase the risk of tooth decay and bad breath. That’s why it’s better to brush throughout the day.

2. I will wear my elastics as much as I should

Elastics allow your bite to line up while straightening your teeth at the same time, but they only work when you wear them! Many orthodontic patients “forget,” which ultimately slows down their treatment. By wearing them as much as your orthodontist recommends, you can ensure that your new smile is ready as quickly as possible, and you can get your braces off. : )

3. I will wear my retainers as much as I should

After a braces or Invisalign treatment concludes, a patient will be asked to wear retainers to help their teeth stay in their new positions. At first, a patient will need to wear them 12 hr per day, and after 3 months they can switch to only using them at night. Not wearing them can cause the teeth to actually drift back to where they started, so be sure to follow your orthodontist’s recommendations so you don’t accidentally undo all of the progress you made with braces or Invisalign.

4. I promise to keep up with progress checks

Regular progress checks enable your orthodontist to make sure your teeth are moving as planned and that everything is alright. If you tend to miss them, this can allow a small problem to pop up, and eventually, it can turn into a big issue that potentially derails your treatment. Usually, these appointments only happen every 6-10 weeks, but they can make a huge difference in how smoothly your treatment goes.

And just like that, you have a New Year’s Resolution! Of course, if you ever have any questions about your orthodontic treatment or what you can do to help it be faster and easier, all you have to do is talk to your orthodontist, and they’ll point you in the right direction.  Wishing you all a Happy and Bright New Year.  :) Dr Holt and Dr Jena.

Buyer Beware of Direct-to-Consumer Orthodontics

March 22nd, 2021

 

If you’ve seen advertisements or considered programs where you can straighten your teeth by buying clear aligners on-line or through the mail, think again. The American Association of Orthodontists ("AAO") recently issued a consumer alert for direct-to-consumer orthodontics and has raised serious concerns about this service because there are over 1000 customer complaints and consumer horror stories on the Better Business Bureau's website for SmileDirectClub and other companies that sell options to straighten teeth by ordering clear aligners through the mail.

Consumers are often lured into these programs by the lower cost or convenience, but unfortunately, they don’t often understand how it works and they are unaware that there is no oversight by an orthodontist. In fact, unless you live in an urban area where you can go in and have a tech provide a scan of your teeth, you will most likely take your own impressions of your teeth with a putty at home.  Once you do that and mail it in, they ship you a set of plastic trays that you wear to align your teeth.

There are several problems with this model:

  • There is no dental assessment to see if you are a good candidate for clear aligners to straighten the teeth. Some individuals with more complex issues need metal braces to achieve a well-aligned bite and a healthy smile
  • There is no exam to assess dental, periodontal, jaw or joint health to determine if you will do well with the treatment. Additionally, there is no oversight of changes that may occur over the course of treatment.
  • There is no tracking or monitoring of progress or the movement of the teeth, which means there is not an opportunity to make needed adjustments along the way.
  • When the treatment time is up and you have cycled through all the sets of aligners, that’s the result you get, and it is a result that many people are unhappy with.

While people are often unhappy with the end result because their teeth are not straight or they didn’t achieve the result that they had hoped for, it’s important to note that the consequences can be even more serious. When you are moving teeth, if not done correctly, it can lead to potentially irreversible and expensive damage such as tooth and gum loss or a misaligned bite.

Who is the right candidate for straightening teeth with clear aligners?

 When people want straight teeth one of the first things that an orthodontist will do, beyond a dental health assessment, is to determine the best method or technique to use to straighten the teeth. Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, are not always the right option for every person. An underbite or overbite, jaw or joint pain, uneven tooth wear or a misaligned bite are all signs that metal braces may be needed to achieve an optimal result. These individuals with more complex cases or bite-related problems would not be ideal candidates for clear aligners.  Orthodontists would instead recommend regular metal braces, because they can be more aggressive with the treatment, predict the outcome more accurately and achieve a more optimal result.

The right candidate for clear aligners is often someone in their thirties, fourties or fifties who had braces when they were younger and may have had some movement in their teeth.  Sometimes this is because they didn’t wear their retainer or as they have aged the jaw has changed shape which has caused some aesthetic shifting. Clear aligners are ideal for these patients who have a good bite and generally well-aligned teeth.

Benefits of seeing an orthodontist

If you want to achieve the best result, you best see an orthodontist.  Orthodontists attend dental school and then complete another three years of training beyond that specifically in orthodontics, facial development and the biomechanics of the jaw. They are uniquely qualified and dedicated to getting the best possible outcome.  When seeing an orthodontist you can expect:

  • That you will have a complete and thorough oral health assessment to determine if you are a good candidate for orthodontic treatment and identify any underlying periodontal concerns.
  • To form a relationship with your doctor and create mutually agreed upon goals for straightening your teeth.
  • You will receive the right kind of braces for your individual treatment plan – sometimes that is clear aligners, other times it may be metal braces, or some combination of both.
  • Your progress will be monitored every step of the way. The doctor will monitor your teeth to ensure they are tracking with the digital treatment plan and a 3D model of what the teeth are supposed to look like at each stage of the process. As they compare the teeth in the mouth and the bite to that digital model, they make necessary adjustments, because sometimes additional techniques or modifications in the treatment plan are needed to achieve the optimal result.

Keep in mind that even though some cosmetic dentists now offer clear aligners, they still do not have the additional years of specific orthodontic training that is critical for treating complex cases and achieving superior results.  An orthodontist is not just focused on the aesthetic look of the smile, but rather the underlying health of the jaw, the bite and the alignment.  It’s proper alignment that helps to maintain a healthy jaw and avoid problems with sore joints and chipped or broken teeth from uneven wear you age. The truth is, good orthodontic care keeps you mouth not only looking great, but feeling great for a lifetime!