Posts for tag: braces
Bite problems are quite common—as many as 75% of adults may have some form of orthodontic issue. Unfortunately, there's also something else just as common: that many people believe they're too old to correct it.
This belief is a myth—while there are factors that could prevent orthodontic treatment, age isn't necessarily one of them. If your teeth, gums and bone are sound and you're in reasonably good general health, you most likely can have a bite problem corrected even beyond middle age.
Why worry about it, though, if you've lived this long with misaligned teeth? For one thing, straightening teeth with braces or clear aligners can boost your dental health. Teeth that are in normal alignment are easier to keep clean of disease-causing bacterial plaque. You'll also find it easier to chew than if your bite is out of line.
A more attractive, straighter smile can also impact your social and professional life. Having a smile you're not embarrassed to show can boost your self-confidence and image. Research on people who've undergone orthodontic treatment in adulthood have found improvements in social connection and even expanded career opportunities.
Orthodontic treatment can make a difference with your health and life, no matter your age. But while the number of years you've lived won't necessarily make a difference, what those years have brought could rule it out.
If, for example, you've lost significant bone structure due to diseases like periodontal (gum) disease, your teeth may not be able to sustain the new position created by braces or aligners without a form of permanent fixation. If you have systemic conditions like severe cardiovascular disease, bleeding problems, leukemia or uncontrolled diabetes, orthodontic treatment could worsen those conditions. And certain prescription drugs may pose similar problems as well.
That's why you'll need to undergo a thorough dental exam, as well as provide a complete medical history to your orthodontist. If nothing prevents you from treatment, though, you may be able to regain a new smile, better health and a new confidence in life.
If you would like more information on adult orthodontics, 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 “Orthodontics for the Older Adult.”
Though in the past they were often looked at as a teenage rite of passage, braces have evolved into a more flexible, versatile treatment for patients of many ages. With various types of braces to choose from, you and your orthodontist can work together to find the best course of treatment for you and your teeth. Find out more about orthodontics and how they can help your smile with Dr. Scott Emalfarb at Lakeview Dental Associates in Chicago, IL.
- Traditional Metal Braces: Traditional braces use metal brackets and wires to move the teeth to their new positions.
- Ceramic Braces: Ceramic braces use tooth-colored brackets and wires for a subtler look.
- Invisalign: Invisalign uses plastic aligner trays to move the teeth into their new positions. Unlike traditional metal braces, Invisalign goes virtually unnoticed, blending into your smile to give you a natural look.
How does orthodontic care work?
Prior to your treatment, your dentist will map out a route on which your teeth will move. Regardless of the type of braces you choose, they will use gentle but steady pressure to move the teeth along the predetermined route until they reach their final positions. In addition to straightening the teeth, orthodontic care can also move the jaw to correct bite issues.
Am I a good candidate for braces?
Dentists recommend braces for patients over the age of 12 as younger patients have still-growing jaws which could hinder treatment. However, in some cases, early intervention may take advantage of a growing jaw. A good candidate for braces also has a strong at-home oral care routine consisting of brushing twice a day and flossing between each tooth at least once.
Orthodontics in Chicago, IL
If you think you can benefit from orthodontic treatment, you should consult with your dentist at Lakeview Dental Associates to ensure that this is the best course of treatment for you and your smile. In some cases, other procedures may be better suited to your needs.
For more information on orthodontics, please contact Dr. Scott Emalfarb at Lakeview Dental Associates in Chicago, IL. Call (773) 472-6322 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Emalfarb today!
There are many new and exciting ways now to transform an unattractive smile into one you'll be confident to display. But not all “smile makeover” techniques are new — one in particular has been around for generations: using braces to correct crooked teeth.
Braces have improved the smiles (and also dental health) for millions of people. But as commonplace this orthodontic treatment is, it wouldn't work at all if a natural mechanism for moving teeth didn't already exist. Braces “partner” with this mechanism to move teeth to better positions.
The jawbone doesn't actually hold teeth in place — that's the job of an elastic gum tissue between the teeth and bone called the periodontal ligament. Tiny fibers extending from the ligament attach to the teeth on one side and to the bone on the other. In addition to securing them, the dynamic, moldable nature of the ligament allows teeth to move incrementally in response to forces applied against them.
To us, the teeth feel quite stationary (if they don't, that's a problem!). That's because there's sufficient length of the tooth roots that are surrounded by bone, periodontal ligament and gum tissue. But when pressure is applied against the teeth, the periodontal ligament forms both osteoblasts (bone-forming cells) and osteoclasts (bone-resorbing cells) causing the bone to remodel. This allows the teeth to move to a new position.
Braces take advantage of this in a controlled manner. The orthodontist bonds brackets to the outside face of the teeth through which they pass a thin metal wire. They attach the ends of the wire to the brackets (braces), usually on the back teeth. By using the tension placed in the wire, the orthodontist can control the gradual movement of teeth to achieve proper function and aesthetics. The orthodontist continues to monitor the treatment progress, while making periodic adjustments to the tension.
It takes time, but through this marvelous interplay between nature and dental science you'll gain a more healthy and beautiful smile.
If you would like more information on improving your smile with orthodontics, 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 “Moving Teeth with Orthodontics.”
Mayim Bialik has spent a good part of her life in front of TV cameras: first as the child star of the hit comedy series Blossom, and more recently as Sheldon Cooper’s love interest — a nerdy neuroscientist — on The Big Bang Theory. (In between, she actually earned a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA…but that’s another story.) As a child, Bialik had a serious overbite — but with all her time on camera, braces were just not an option.
“I never had braces,” she recently told Dear Doctor – Dentistry & Oral Health magazine. “I was on TV at the time, and there weren’t a lot of creative solutions for kids who were on TV.” Instead, her orthodontist managed to straighten her teeth using retainers and headgear worn only at night.
Today, there are several virtually invisible options available to fix orthodontic issues — and you don’t have to be a child star to take advantage of them. In fact, both children and adults can benefit from these unobtrusive appliances.
Tooth colored braces are just like traditional metal braces, with one big difference: The brackets attached to teeth are made from a ceramic material that blends in with the natural color of teeth. All that’s visible is the thin archwire that runs horizontally across the teeth — and from a distance it’s hard to notice. Celebs like Tom Cruise and Faith Hill opted for this type of appliance.
Clear aligners are custom-made plastic trays that fit over the teeth. Each one, worn for about two weeks, moves the teeth just a bit; after several months, you’ll see a big change for the better in your smile. Best of all, clear aligners are virtually impossible to notice while you’re wearing them — which you’ll need to do for 22 hours each day. But you can remove them to eat, or for special occasions. Zac Efron and Katherine Heigl, among others, chose to wear clear aligners.
Lingual braces really are invisible. That’s because they go behind your teeth (on the tongue side), where they can’t be seen; otherwise they are similar to traditional metal braces. Lingual braces are placed on teeth differently, and wearing them often takes some getting used to at first. But those trade-offs are worth it for plenty of people. Which celebs wore lingual braces? Rumor has it that the list includes some top models, a well-known pop singer, and at least one British royal.
So what’s the best way to straighten your teeth and keep the orthodontic appliances unnoticeable? Just ask us! We’d be happy to help you choose the option that’s just right for you. You’ll get an individualized evaluation, a solution that fits your lifestyle — and a great-looking smile!
For more information about hard-to-see (or truly invisible) orthodontics, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Orthodontics for the Older Adult” and “Clear Aligners for Teenagers.”
There is a discreet way to straighten your teeth without the look of metal brackets and wires. Invisalign is an innovative method for straightening the teeth with soft plastic trays instead of the hard metal brackets associated with traditional braces. Invisalign trays are both clear and removable making Invisalign one of the most discreet methods for straightening teeth. At Lake View Dental Associates, Dr. Scott Emalfarb is your dentist for Invisalign in Lakeview, IL.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is an innovative and discreet method for straightening teeth. Instead of bracket and wires, Invisalign gently moves the teeth into the desired position using soft aligner trays. One tray is worn over the top arch of teeth, and another is worn over the bottom. The trays are custom made for each patient’s teeth and a new set of trays are provided every few weeks. Each new set helps the teeth continue moving into the desired position. The trays are made from a flexible plastic material and can be removed when eating or to brush and floss.
Advantages of Invisalign
Invisalign offers several advantages over other teeth straightening options. The soft aligner trays are comfortable to wear and will not irritate the mouth or gums, as can happen with braces as the hard brackets and wires can poke the mouth. Another advantage of Invisalign is that the trays are removable so brushing and flossing are easier than with braces. Your Lakeview dentist for Invisalign can help you decide if it is the right teeth straightening option for you. The advantages of Invisalign include:
- Discreet — Since the trays are clear, they are barely noticeable to others.
- Removable — The trays can be removed as needed, such as when eating, brushing, or flossing, or for photo opportunities.
- Comfortable — The trays are made from a flexible plastic material that is soft and comfortable to wear.
- Better Oral Hygiene — Since the trays are removable, the teeth can be thoroughly cleaned more easily than with braces.
- Protect Against Teeth Grinding — The trays provide protection against the wear and tear of teeth grinding or clenching.
Straighten your teeth discreetly with Invisalign. The clear trays are virtually unnoticeable to others and can be removed when needed. For Invisalign, schedule an appointment with Dr. Emalfarb by calling Lake View Dental Associates in Chicago, IL at (773) 472-6322.