Posts for tag: orthodontics
What are the two most important components of a winning smile? A winning smile is both healthy and well-aligned. You really cannot have one without the other, and Invisalign clear aligners help teen and adult patients achieve both. Learn more about this unique orthodontic system and how you may benefit with Dr. Sowmya Punaji, your dentist at Legacy Dental Care in Woodbridge, VA.
Orthodontic problems are common
Overjet, bite issues, tooth tipping, gaps, crowding and more... they are something people of all ages struggle with. Adults and teens can straighten their teeth, says the American Association with Orthodontists with clear aligners from Invisalign, and in fact, these patients likely will enjoy easier and quicker smile makeovers using these invisible acrylic appliances.
What is Invisalign?
Used for more than two decades in the US and around the world, these custom-made aligners gradually shift teeth into positions are straighter, more efficient, healthier and better looking. Your dentist in Woodbridge Dr. Punaji uses Invisalign aligners with great success. After just about a year or so of wearing 18 to 30 invisible aligners, patients look great and anticipate years of vibrant oral health.
Dr. Punaji qualifies patients through oral exam and specialized 3-D scans. A treatment plan helps the Invisalign lab design and produce the aligner pairs which resemble thin teeth whitening trays. The aligners easily snap over the top and bottom teeth, are smooth and removable and achieve remarkable results without the irritations, nuisance hygiene routines and obvious appearance of metal braces.
Benefits of Invisalign
If you qualify for Invisalign, you'll enjoy:
- Easy oral hygiene (just take your aligners out and brush them with toothpaste and clear water)
- A treatment plan which leads you step by step to a better smile (just be sure to wear the aligners 20 to 22 hours per day and see Dr. Punaji as scheduled)
- Unrestricted diet (eat whatever healthy foods you enjoy)
- A straighter smile (wear your customized aligners as your dentist directs)
Ready for a great smile?
Then, you're ready for Invisalign invisible aligners. Please contact Legacy Dental Care to arrange your consultation with Dr. Sowmya Punaji to learn all the details. Call the office team at (703) 474-4490.
Orthodontics relies on certain mechanics in the mouth to move teeth to better positions. As the specialty has advanced, we've become ever more precise in moving teeth with braces, the “workhorse” of orthodontics, and other specialized appliances and techniques.
But although cooperating effectively with the mouth's natural ability for tooth movement is crucial for success, there's another aspect to consider if that success will be long-term: the growth and development of oral and facial structure. And not just development during childhood and adolescence: indeed, facial structure continues to change throughout a lifetime, including the senior years. Research has shown that although the rate of growth slows over time, it doesn't stop even for someone 80 years or older.
Our emerging understanding in this area has had an important impact on how and when we perform orthodontic treatment. As we develop a treatment strategy for an individual patient we consider not only the immediate outcome of a treatment, but also how it may change their facial appearance in the future. By taking continuing facial growth into consideration, we're more likely to achieve a new smile appearance that remains attractive later in life.
A key factor is to be sure we're initiating treatments at appropriate ages. We may detect developing bite problems as early as age 6, which might prompt preventive treatment at that time to diminish or even eliminate the problem. But it may also be prudent to wait on full-scale orthodontic treatment until late childhood or puberty. Furthermore, some form of orthodontic treatment might need to continue into early adulthood to ensure the most optimal outcome.
By taking a longer view of the treatment process, we're better able to work within the natural growth and development taking place now and in the future. As a result, a person is more likely to enjoy an attractive and youthful appearance even in their later years.
If you would like more information on aging factors for cosmetic enhancement, 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 “Understanding Aging Makes Beauty Timeless.”
After months of treatment we’ve removed your braces and your new smile emerges. Upon closer view, however, you notice a number of chalky white spots on your teeth.
These pale areas are white spot lesions (WSLs), the result of mineral breakdown from the long-term contact of acid with the enamel surface. The underlying cause is built-up bacterial plaque due to inadequate oral hygiene, and as such WSLs are the beginning stages of tooth decay.
While anyone can develop WSLs, brace wearers are highly susceptible because of the extra care required to clean around orthodontic hardware. Poor dietary habits such as frequent snacking on sugary or acidic foods and beverages also increase the risk of WSLs.
To reduce the risk of developing this condition, brace wearers must give extra attention and effort to daily oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing. The extra effort required in brushing can be aided by specialized toothbrushes designed to clean around brackets and wires, along with prescription-level fluoride toothpastes for added enamel strength. Floss threaders or a water flosser, a device that uses pulsating water under high pressure, may help you maneuver around hardware to remove plaque between teeth. It's also important to maintain a healthy mouth environment by limiting intake of sugary or acidic snacks and beverages, avoiding tobacco or excessive alcohol or caffeine, and drinking plenty of water to keep your mouth from drying out.
If you’ve already developed lesions, it’s important to stop the decay process before it causes more damage. One way is to assist your body’s natural mechanism for re-mineralizing tooth enamel with fluoride pastes or gels or re-mineralizing agents, or undergoing micro-abrasion to repair a tooth’s surface.
To improve a tooth’s appearance a procedure known as “caries infiltration” involves injecting a liquid tooth-colored resin into the lesion, which is then hardened with a curing light. The spot becomes less noticeable and appears more like normal enamel. For extensive defects, conventional bonding with composite resins or porcelain veneers can be used to cosmetically cover the tooth.
Getting ahead of the problem with effective oral hygiene and good dietary and lifestyle practices will keep WSLs at bay while you undergo orthodontic treatment. If they do develop, however, there are ways to minimize their effect and restore the look of your teeth.
Are you interested in straightening your teeth but aren't sure if Invisalign is a good option for you? Our Woodbridge, VA, dentist, Dr. Sowmya Punaji, shares some information that may help you make a decision.
How does Invisalign work?
Invisalign improves your smile without metal wires or metal or ceramic brackets. The system uses removable aligner trays that resemble nightguards or mouthguards. When you visit our Woodbridge office, we'll create a 3D image of your mouth with X-rays, digital photographs and impressions. Using the 3D image as a guide, Dr. Punaji will design a series of aligner trays that will gradually shift and re-align your teeth.
What are the benefits of Invisalign?
Invisalign offers several important benefits including:
- No Metal Mouth: Because the Invisalign aligner trays are clear, it will be very hard for anyone to tell that you're improving your smile.
- Straighter Teeth: Invisalign is very effective in treating all of the same issues that are corrected using traditional braces. If you have a crowding or spacing problem, overbite, underbite, crossbite or open bite, you're a good candidate for Invisalign. Severe orthodontic problems may still require traditional orthodontic treatment.
- Shorter Treatment Time for Adults: If you're an adult, you may only need to wear your aligner trays for a year or less.
- Removability: Your aligners can be taken out for short periods of time. If you play a sport or plan to attend a special event, you can remove the aligners and pop them back in your mouth when the event or game ends. Although removing the trays periodically isn't a problem, you'll want to wear your trays for 20 to 22 hours most days.
- No Change to Your Diet: You won't have to give up the foods you like simply because you're straightening your teeth. Because you'll remove your aligners before every meal, you won't have any food restrictions.
- Simple Oral Hygiene Routine: People who wear braces must devote extra time to removing food from their brackets and wires. Luckily, your oral hygiene routine won't change. After you take out and rinse your trays, you'll brush and floss your teeth, then reinsert your aligners.
Would you like to find out if Invisalign is a good orthodontic choice for you? Call our Woodbridge, VA, dentist Dr. Sowmya Punaji at (703) 494-4490 to schedule an appointment.
At your child's latest dental visit, you found out one of their primary (“baby”) teeth has become decayed and in danger of loss. Of course, you may think, it's only a primary tooth — it's going to come out sooner or later.
But a primary tooth lost “sooner” rather than “later” can create long-term negative consequences for your child's dental health. For the sake of the future permanent tooth, the best treatment strategy could be to put forth the effort and expense to save it.
Besides its role in eating and chewing, a primary tooth's most important function is as a “trailblazer” for the permanent tooth developing below it. A primary tooth doesn't normally loosen and let go until the new permanent tooth is ready to erupt. Until then they hold the new tooth's space in the jaw.
But if the primary tooth is lost prematurely, nearby teeth can drift into and crowd the space so that the permanent tooth comes in out of position. This can result in a malocclusion, or poor bite.
Depending on the state of your child's jaw development, it may be advisable to attempt saving the tooth through a filling or, in the case of deep decay, a modified root canal treatment. If the tooth can't be saved, then placing an orthodontic appliance known as a space maintainer might be necessary. Cemented to a tooth next to the empty space, this appliance has a looped band of metal that butts against the tooth on the other side of the gap, and prevents both teeth from drifting into the space.
Intervening for a decayed primary tooth can seem a waste of time and money since it has a limited lifespan to begin with. But for the health of its companion permanent tooth, as well as possibly avoiding orthodontic treatment, it could be well worth it for your child's long-term dental health.
If you would like more information on dental care for your child, 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 “Importance of Baby Teeth.”