Is Invisalign a Reasonable Option to Straighten Adult Teeth?

Invisalign is a system for straightening teeth and improving the bite which is an alternative to conventional metal orthodontic “braces”.  This system utilizes a series of clear plastic aligners, each of which is worn 22 hours per day for a period of 2 weeks. The company began in 1997 and has gone through a series of improvements which have made this method increasingly utilized and accepted by the dental community as well as patients.

There is no question that our practice is seeing more and more adult patients who  request Invisalign to improve their bite and appearance, as well as to help turn back the clock.

There are a number of conditions which can be addressed using this system:

  1. Those who had orthodontics as a child but have seen significant relapse over the years.
  2. Patients who are concerned about the shifting or increasing misalignment of their teeth.
  3. Those who have teeth which are wearing down unevenly.
  4. Patients with teeth that appear crowded or misaligned.
  5. Those who have an underbite, overbite or open bite.
  6. In some cases, those who have gaps between their teeth.
  7. Increasingly, those who desire to improve their appearance and look younger.
Invisalign

Click this image for a concise video on Invisalign.

There are significant benefits of Invisalign as compared to conventional metal orthodontics:

  1. InvisalignThere are no dietary restrictions because the aligners are removed before eating.
  2. There are no special dental hygiene requirements because the liners can be removed to brush and floss the teeth.
  3. Because the aligners are made from a clear plastic material, they are practically invisible.

As the system begins with a virtual treatment plan called a “ClinCheck”, both the dentist and the patient are provided a digital preview of the treatment.   This preview, if used properly, helps to determine how well the treatment will result.  In our experience, patients truly enjoy this preview and its use to track the progress of their case.  It’s important to note that In some severe cases, the use of Invisalign may not offer the best solution. Some cases may still require either surgical intervention, conventional metal braces or a combination of the two.

There are several long-term benefits of having straight teeth and a good bite:

  1. Straight teeth are easier to keep clean and food particles and plaque are not trapped in uneven spaces.  The result is a decreased likelihood of both dental decay and gum disease.
  2. Healthier teeth and gums contribute to a person’s overall systematic well-being and health.
  3. Uneven wear due to misaligned teeth is alleviated.
  4. Patients enjoy a more confident smile and an improved, more youthful appearance.

 If you have any questions about Invisalign, please feel free to call us at 908.359.6655 or via our website at www.DesignsForDentalHealth.com

Invisalign

The Best Way To Fill Your Tooth

Can You Just Fill It?

One question that dentists are asked all the time is: “Can you just fill it?” My goal with this particular article is to answer just that question.   And the answer is: That depends on several factors. First and foremost are the needs and desires of the particular patient.  Equally important is the condition of the tooth or teeth in question.

fill

First, let me begin by explaining that nearly all of today’s tooth restorations are made of ceramic. Ceramic encompasses the materials most commonly used to restore teeth today. This includes porcelain in various forms as well as composite, commonly known as “plastic” fillings.  In our practice, metal is rarely used except in specific cases where achieving a quality bond is impossible (deep under the gum) or the strength of metal is mandatory.  Ceramic materials offer a beautiful, lifelike appearance and can be bonded to tooth structure for strength and longevity.

The choice of whether to use a composite filling or some type of porcelain restoration is dependent upon the following five conditions:

1. The size of the cavity

Composite fillings makes sense when the cavity – whether caused by decay or fracture – is less than one third the width of the tooth and takes up less than 50% of the biting surface. Larger cavities with inadequate tooth to support a filling are best restored using porcelain.

2. A cracked tooth

If the tooth is cracked, a porcelain restoration is needed to protect the tooth from fracturing.  We commonly see cracked teeth when silver fillings, especially large ones, have been in place for many years.

3. Worn teeth

Teeth which are worn can be restored with either material depending upon the extent and location of wear.   Surfaces which receive heavy biting forces require the strength of porcelain to last a reasonable length of time.

4. Root canal

Teeth which have had root canal therapy generally require porcelain crowns to protect them from breakage, as these teeth are brittle and somewhat hollow as a result of the root canal.

5. Tooth Modifications

Sometimes teeth are restored to alter their shape and or appearance. Examples are gaps between teeth, poorly aligned teeth and teeth which are restored to improve the bite.  Larger modifications require the use of porcelain.

fill

Today’s porcelains are much different from those that were used only 10 to 15 years ago. Newer technology has produced ceramic materials with exceptional strength as well as a lifelike appearance.  In addition, these materials can be used to make crowns, commonly known as  “caps”, which cover the entire tooth.

fillThey can also be used as onlays or “partial caps” to preserve solid healthy tooth structure. These onlays are beautiful and long-lasting restorations which can be less costly than full crowns.

If you have any questions about which fillings are appropriate for you, please do not hesitate to call our office at 908.359.6655 or via our website at www.DesignsForDentalHealth.com