We use the most state-of-the-art technology available to help create the smile you want, which is why we use a digital impression system. Our digital impression system replaces the uncomfortable, unpleasant-tasting, messy and sometimes inaccurate traditional putty impressions. No bulky trays or sticky putty needed!
Using a digital scanner, we will take three-dimensional (3-D) digital images, or impressions, of your teeth and bite. These impressions are then used at a lab where they will custom-fabricate a model of your teeth.
The digital impressions and the model will help us formulate a personalized treatment plan that meets your specific orthodontic needs and desires. We can also use them to visually show you your treatment options and help us keep you up-to-date on your treatment progress.
After your specific treatment plan has been chosen, the digital impressions allow us to create customized bracket trays that we use to place your brackets onto your teeth, all at one time, with increased efficiency and overall effectiveness.
Some benefits of digital impressions over traditional putty impressions include:
- Accuracy: They capture the exact contours of your teeth.
- Efficiency: They require less time in the treatment chair.
- Comfort: Taking the digital images is less invasive. No putty is used, and patients are more at ease without fearing they will gag on the impression putty.
- Customization: They provide a digital plan and allow for trays that are tailored to meet the individual needs and desires of each patient.
- Visualization: They provide each patient with a definite picture of what their teeth will look like before, during and after orthodontic treatment.
- Innovation: They use the most advanced 3-D video technologies.
We offer one of the latest technological advances in orthodontics with digital radiography, also known as digital X-rays. A wireless sensor is placed in the mouth, and a computer generates an image in 30 seconds as opposed to the general 4-6 minute wait time for images taken on dental film. These X-rays can also be enhanced on the computer and enlarged.
Not only are they friendly to the environment, they are much safer than traditional X-rays. Digital radiographs reduce a patient’s radiation exposure by 90 percent!
Diode Laser Treatment
We utilize the Diode Laser for many procedures during orthodontic treatment, including:
- Removing extra gum tissue: To expose more of the teeth, we can use the Diode Laser to shape the gum tissue. The gums encase the teeth, so if there is too much tissue, the teeth may appear small. The laser safely removes the excess gum to give the teeth better function and appearance!
- Assist in Bracket Placement: If a tooth is covered by too much gum tissue and not enough room is available for a bracket to be bonded, the Diode Laser is used to remove the extra tissue. This way, our orthodontist has enough room to place the bracket precisely where it needs to be on the tooth.
- Help with Impacted Teeth: If a tooth is still underneath the gums and hasn’t erupted on time, we can use the Diode Laser to help with the eruption. This will speed up the eruption process, and we do not have to wait months to continue with treatment.
- Prevent Fever Blisters: Fever blisters are caused by a common virus that is spread through saliva or skin-to-skin contact. Once contracted, the virus remains dormant in a person, but it can become active ever so often. Stress, illnesses, sunburn or trauma can lead to an outbreak of a fever blister.
When a fever blister is forming, the patient will feel a tingling sensation, and then redness and swelling will occur. Our orthodontist can help inhibit the formation of a fever blister by using the Diode Laser. The laser can prevent the blister from breaking out, but if you already have a blister, it can also be treated with the laser. After treatment, it should fade.
One of the many important advances in orthodontics has been the development of temporary anchorage devices, or TADs. Made of a bio-compatible titanium alloy, TADs are miniscrew anchors which are inserted into specific places in the mouth to be used as a fixed point from which teeth can move. Before TADs, orthodontists who wanted to move some teeth while keeping others still, or to achieve orthodontic movement in a mouth with missing teeth, had to rely on headgear for their fixed point. But TADs now provide an option for that fixed point that is smaller, more discrete, more efficient and requires significantly less work for the patient.
Temporary anchorage devices may not be recommended for everyone, and in fact, anchorage devices at all may not be needed in all cases. Contact us if you’d like to know more about TADs and how they can potentially prevent you from needing orthodontic headgear.
One of the most common problems orthodontists treat is the discrepancy that occurs when the upper teeth protrude beyond the lower. Ordinarily, when we see a patient with the upper teeth protruding, we tend to think that the upper jaw and teeth are too far forward; but, more often than not, this condition is due to a small lower jaw that is further back than it should be. With these patients, we would like to encourage the lower jaw to catch up in growth, and braces like the Herbst appliance help this happen.
Even though the Herbst appliance prevents the lower jaw from moving backward, opening and closing movement still occur easily, and patients do not have any problems learning to chew their food with their lower jaw in this new position.
As with all kinds of braces, patients with Herbst appliances need to be careful about what they eat. For instance, cold foods such as ice slushes, Popsicles and ice will freeze the cement and make the brace loosen. Sticky foods such as caramels, bubble gum and candy suckers will pull the brace away from the teeth. Hard foods like crisp vegetables and hard candies will bend and loosen the Herbst appliance, too. So stay away from these foods during your orthodontic treatment.
Your Herbst appliance will be checked and adjusted at your appointments. If, sometimes between appointments, you develop some sore areas on the inside of your cheeks, please do not try to adjust the appliance yourself. Call for an appointment so that the necessary adjustments can be made.
The Forsus appliance is used in order to help move the upper molars back while moving the lower arch forward. Composed of a spring coil rod, the appliance is used while a patient is currently wearing braces. It runs from the upper first molar band down to the lower archwire.
You may notice some discomfort initially, so we recommend a soft food diet for the first few days after the appliance is placed. Regular anti-inflammatory medication may help with any pain, if needed. It is important to keep the appliance clean; you may do this by carefully brushing the coil and other metal pieces of the appliance. Also, we recommend that patients not open their mouths very wide, as the appliance may come apart.
If your Forsus appliance breaks, please contact our office immediately to schedule a repair appointment.