Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Invisalign as an Option for Straighter Teeth

Patients often come into my office asking about treatment options for straighter teeth. Many of them have had orthodontics in their teenage years, only to find that without consistent use of a retainer, their teeth have shifted back. Additionally, I find that most of the adult population is not interested in wearing braces again, which they feel are obvious and professionally inappropriate. Welcome to the world of Invisalign!

Invisalign uses a custom-made series of BPA-free clear aligners that fit to your teeth, which gradually move your teeth in the desired direction planned. There are no metal brackets or wires. New aligners are typically switched out every two weeks until treatment is complete.

The first step is to have an Invisalign consultation with an Invisalign provider, whether that be myself, or a dentist that you already have a relationship with. Once it has been determined that you are a good candidate for Invisalign, we can get started.

In order to make custom aligners for you, I need to take pictures, x-rays, and impressions of your teeth. These records will be sent to Invisalign, and a 3-D video of your teeth and proposed treatment plan will then be made and available to you. This virtual presentation will allow me to discuss in detail with you how your teeth will move at each stage of treatment, and how you can expect your teeth to look when treatment is completed.

Once you receive the clear aligners, I will make sure they fit properly, and I will review instructions on how to wear and care for them. You will be coming in every few weeks during treatment, so that I can monitor your progress.

* And now, two extremely important points to consider:

1. Once treatment is complete, you will need to wear retainers indefinitely at night to make sure that your beautiful new smile does not shift back to its old ways!
2. During treatment, you must wear your aligners for at least 20-22 hours per day in order to see results!

It truly is a great feeling for me and my team at South Shore Smiles to see how straighter teeth can have such a positive physical and emotional impact on people. If you are even just curious to learn more about Invisalign, please don't hesitate to reach out and ask!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

In Office Whitening

Hello again friends! It has been a while. I have been busy since my last post. I am now the proud owner of South Shore Smiles, my very own dental office in Braintree, MA!

There are many whitening options out there. Just take a stroll through your local pharmacy or supermarket dental aisle, and you will know exactly what I mean. Specifically, there are many take home whitening treatments such as trays, gels, strips, etc. Many consumers do find success in varying degrees with these products, and I encourage them to continue with the whitening regimen that works best for them.

I am writing tonight specifically about the consistent success that I have had with Zoom in-office whitening. Now the makers of Zoom claim to whiten up to eight shades lighter in one visit. I don't know if I have seen that just yet, but I will say that in just over one hour, I really have noticed some very obvious improvements.

My friend Ruby visited me over the weekend from DC. We have known each other since we were 12 years old with brace faces in junior high school :) I took her to my new office for Zoom whitening, because now I finally have the opportunity to treat my friends to fun stuff like this! 

Here she is at the start of the process, with the barriers in place, ready to go:

And here is Ruby after round 3 of 4 fifteen minute sessions, all done on the low light activation setting:

She was pretty happy with the results! We might have achieved even whiter results if she had used the medium or high light activation setting.

Just in case, I had her take some Advil one hour before whitening, and sent her home with custom trays and a desensitizing gel. I like to do this for all my patients because once in a while, temporary sensitivity can occur. If you have a history of sensitive teeth, or are have questions about sensitive teeth after whitening, make sure that you talk to your dentist about your concerns before trying any products or treatments. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Showing love for your team and your teeth

For those of you out there who play any sports that involve physical contact, I highly recommend a mouth guard if you don't already have one! I have seen too many dental injuries resulting from a hand, foreign object, or floor to the face. Prevention is key! You can save yourself a significant amount of time and money by wearing a properly fitting custom made mouth guard, rather than trying to treat a tooth after it is already broken or missing. Mouth guards have been shown to reduce the risk of concussions as well.

Here is a mouthguard I recently made for a college student:

Yes, your mouth guard can double as a fashion statement! Mouth guards can be made in different levels of thickness, offering different levels of protection depending on the level of physical contact involved with the sport you play. A properly fitting mouth guard can avoid headaches down the road!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Extensive Decay on Maxillary Anterior Teeth

A young man comes to me regarding his maxillary anterior teeth, #7-10. He does not like the way they look, and wants to know what he can do about it. 

Clinically and radiographically, these teeth present with large existing composite restorations, and display extensive facial, lingual, and interproximal recurrent decay. Treatment options were discussed with the patient. Due to very little remaining healthy tooth structure, single unit full coverage all-ceramic crowns were indicated. 

Teeth #7-10 were prepared, all decay was removed, an impression was taken, and temporary crowns were fabricated. His aesthetic wishes were discussed, and we made sure that he was happy with the way his provisionals appeared. 

The permanent crowns were delivered a couple of weeks later. Occlusion and contacts were checked, margins were flush, and the patient was happy with his new smile!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Replacing a Retained Primary Tooth

Dental implants and bridges are common prostheses used to restore missing teeth. In the case below, this gentleman had a retained primary, aka baby tooth #H, which was never replaced by the permanent adult tooth #11, the left canine. Recently, tooth #H became increasingly mobile and was causing pain, resulting in the need for extraction. 

The patient's permanent canine, tooth #11, was in fact impacted, and still unexposed in his maxilla. We discussed his options: forced eruption using orthodontics, extracting the impacted canine and placing an implant, or a bridge. After a thorough evaluation taking the patient's wishes into account, we decided to replace the missing tooth with a three-unit bridge.
Above, the teeth on either side of the edentulous space were prepared for a bridge. 

With good oral habits, the bridge should last for years.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Fractured central incisors

I've noticed that the majority of patients coming to me with an emergency are usually either in pain, or have fractured a tooth. Specifically a front tooth. The case below is something that I see quite often. 

This young lady was having a drink at a bar, and the beer bottle was knocked into her right central incisor, tooth #8. She wasn't in any pain, but was really self-conscious about her appearance. I noticed and asked her about her left central incisor, tooth #9, which had a chip as well. She stated that it's been there for as long as she could remember. After taking a radiograph to make sure the root of tooth #8 was unaffected, I got to work.

I selected a shade that would match her own teeth. Local anesthesia was not necessary, as the fracture didn't appear to be close to the nerve inside the tooth, and there was minimal preparation needed prior to restoring it. I evaluated the size and shape of her teeth, and placed a composite restoration on #8. The chip on #9 was restored with composite as well in order to achieve a more symmetrical smile and in turn, enhancing aesthetics.

She seemed very happy with the final result, which made my day!