Posts for: January, 2018
How Invisalign treatment from your dentist in Alexandria can help your smile
If you want a straight smile, but you don’t want to wear unsightly metal brackets and wires for years, there’s a revolutionary orthodontic treatment you need to know about. It’s called Invisalign, and it is the most discreet way to get the straight smile you’ve always wanted.
Dr. Moutaz Abdeen at Alexandria Smiles Dentistry wants to introduce you to Invisalign, virtually invisible orthodontic treatment. He proudly serves residents of Alexandria, Alexandria West, Shirlington, and Bailey’s Crossroads, VA, and he can help your smile too.
Invisalign is unlike any other orthodontic treatment because Invisalign is:
- Comfortable; the appliances are made of smooth plastic with no sharp metal parts to irritate your cheeks, lips, gums or tongue.
- Beautiful; Invisalign appliances are clear, so they blend in with your smile, making them virtually undetectable to people around you.
- Quick; the average length of Invisalign treatment is 9 to 15 months.
- Healthy; you can remove the appliances to brush and floss normally, maintaining optimum oral health.
- Satisfying; you can also remove the appliances when you eat, so you can eat the foods you love without worrying about your braces.
Invisalign treatment begins with your first set of appliances, called aligners, which you wear for 2 weeks. You move on to a new set of aligners, which you wear for another 2 weeks. You progress to a new set of aligners every 2 weeks, as your teeth gradually move into alignment. You can have a beautiful, straight smile in as little as 9 to 15 months, compared to years with conventional orthodontics.
Tooth and jaw alignment issues including overbite, underbite, crossbite, open bite and rotated, gapped, or overlapped teeth can all be corrected, thanks to Invisalign.
Why choose old-school conventional metal brackets and wires when you can choose state-of-the-art orthodontic treatment? You owe it to yourself to investigate Invisalign by calling Dr. Moutaz Abdeen at Alexandria Smiles Dentistry in Alexandria, VA. You deserve a straight, beautiful smile so call today!
For whatever reason, you’ve put off replacing a missing tooth for awhile. Now you want to fill that empty gap in your smile with a dental implant restoration.
But if your tooth’s been missing for a long time, there could be a problem with space. This is because the teeth on either side of the space may have gradually drifted into it, leaving no room for the implant. You could need orthodontic work first to return these teeth to their proper position.
We could use braces, metal orthodontic devices with wires threaded through brackets bonded to the teeth that are then anchored, usually to back teeth. The orthodontist uses elastics or springs as well as possibly incrementally tightening of the wire against the anchors. These techniques create pressure or tension on the teeth for the desired direction of movement. The teeth’s natural mechanism for movement does the rest.
But while effective, braces can be quite noticeable, an embarrassing thought for many adults having to wear them over several months of treatment. But there may be an alternative: clear aligners, a succession of slightly different plastic trays usually worn in two-week intervals. Sequentially wearing each tray gradually moves the teeth to their desired positions.
Though not appropriate for all bite situations, clear aligners have a number of benefits when they can be used. They’re nearly invisible to others and can be removed for hygiene tasks or rare special occasions. What’s more, the orthodontist may attach a temporary prosthetic (false) tooth to the trays to camouflage the missing space during treatment.
There’s one other issue you may have to deal with: if your tooth loss was related to periodontal (gum) disease, the gums and underlying bone may be in poor condition. In fact, substantial bone loss could rule out an implant altogether. But we may be able to remedy both gum and bone deficiencies through grafting or plastic surgery. It may be possible to regenerate enough bone to support the implant; and surgically repairing your gums will help ensure the implant appears natural.
If you have problems like these, don’t give up on your restoration goal just yet. With some orthodontic and dental work ahead of time, we may still be able to make implants a reality for you.
Losing teeth to tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease is never easy. But with implant-supported bridgework, you can regain lost function and appearance with a restoration that could last for many years.
Don’t think, though, that dental disease woes are a thing of the past with your new implants. Although your restoration itself can’t be infected, the supporting gums and underlying bone can, often through bacterial plaque accumulating around the implants. The bone that supports the implants could deteriorate, dramatically increasing your chances of losing your restoration.
It’s essential, then, that you keep the area between the bridge and gums clean of plaque through daily hygiene. This definitely includes flossing around the implants.
Flossing with an implant-supported bridge will be different than with natural teeth: instead of flossing between teeth you’ll need to thread the floss between the bridge and gums. Although this is a bit more difficult, it can be done with the help of a floss threader, a device with a loop on one end and a long, thin plastic point on the other—similar to a sewing needle.
To use it, thread about 18” of floss through the loop and then pass the threader’s thin end first through the space between the bridge and gums toward the tongue until the floss threader pulls through. You can then take hold of one end of the floss and then pull the threader completely out from beneath the bridge. Then, you wrap the ends around your fingers as you would normally and thoroughly floss the implant surfaces you’re accessing. You then release one end of the floss, pull out the remainder, rethread it in the threader and repeat the process in the next space between implants.
You also have other hygiene tool options: prefabricated floss with stiffened ends that thread through the bridge-gum space that you can use very easily; or you can purchase an interproximal brush that resembles a pipe cleaner with thin plastic bristles to access the space and brush around the implants.
Some patients also find an oral irrigator, a handheld device that sprays a pressurized stream of water to loosen and flush away plaque, to be an effective way of keeping this important area clean. But that said, oral irrigators generally aren’t as effective removing dental plaque as are floss or interproximal brushes.
Whatever flossing method you choose, the important thing is to choose one and practice it every day. By keeping bacterial plaque from building up around your implants, you’ll help ensure you won’t lose your restoration to disease, so it can continue to serve you for many years to come.