Fall Food And Fun With Invisalign Treatment | Fun Money Mom

This post was sponsored by the Invisalign® brand and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Getting ready for fall is always fun, especially when Invisalign® treatment lets you eat all the candy corn and caramel apples you want!

Since we moved to Florida, I love fall a lot more than I used to! Before it meant that chilly weather was right around the corner but now, we can enjoy our favorite fall activities without ever having to put on a sweater!

Fall Decor

First, we have to decorate though! Bring on the scarecrows and pumpkins! Because our old scarecrows didn’t survive our recent move, we had an excuse to go shopping for some fun fall decor.

We totally stocked up and made it home with bags full of fall foliage, pumpkins, scarecrows and more. It was time for some fall fun!  

Ashling suggested we decorate the stairs by putting fall flowers around the bannister. It was super simple and cheap since nothing we bought was more than a dollar.

We finished with a couple more flowers and raffia. I’m not sure the raffia will survive the season though…our cats have totally had their eye on it! 

All we needed was a scarecrow display.

Now we’re officially ready for fall!

Fall Food

Next it was time for another fall tradition, candy corn! I’d bought to make Halloween treats and “Boo” our neighbors but of course we saved a little for ourselves too.

Ashling’s Invisalign treatment makes it easy to eat what she wants, including fall treats like caramel apples and candy corn. This wasn’t the case when she had braces and she had to be careful about everything she ate. Certain foods would get caught in her braces or worse, damage them.Invisalign aligners

Now Ashling can just pop her aligners out, eat her favorite foods, brush her teeth, and pop them back in when she’s done. With Invisalign treatment, she can correct her smile without having to give up foods she loves.

It’s just another reason why I feel good about choosing Invisalign® treatment to correct Ashling’s smile. Invisalign aligners are not only the most advanced clear aligner system in the world, they fit better, are more comfortable and provide more predictable tooth movement because they’re made with SmartTrack® material*.  (*compared to aligners made from off-the-shelf, single layer .030in material).

We had so much fun getting ready for fall and can’t wait to hit the pumpkin patches next! What are some of your favorite fall activities?

Learn more about Invisalign treatment here or use the Doctor Locator to find a doctor near you.

This content was originally published here.

Celebrating The Holidays With Invisalign® Treatment

This post was sponsored by the Invisalign® brand and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

The holidays are here and looking back, it’s been a year of big changes for our family! Find out how Invisalign® treatment played a part in making this a great year for our tween.

It’s hard to believe that the holidays are already here. We are really big on Christmas and look forward to celebrating every year. As soon as Halloween is over, I start pulling out all my favorite Christmas decorations!

It’s also a time to look back and reminisce. 2019 was an exciting year for our family! We moved into a new house and the girls started new schools. It was an even bigger change for Ashling since she started middle school (both scary and exciting at the same time). Plus, she just turned 12, which means it’s her last year of being a “tween” before she officially becomes a teenager!

This was also the year she started Invisalign® treatment. It was a big deal for her because she’d already had braces in the past. Orthodontists have found that it’s easier to correct issues if they start early so that when it’s time for treatment the second time around, treatment is often finished more quickly and with fewer complications.

Like most kids, she had counted down the days until her braces were removed. When she found out she’d be getting Invisalign aligners this time, she was excited. I like them because they’re the most advanced clear aligner system in the world, but her favorite feature is that they’re practically invisible. 

If you’ve been considering orthodontic treatment, the New Year is a great time to start. Take the smile assessment to see if Invisalign® treatment is right for your child. Once you decide to move forward, it’s easy to find a doctor near you.

Getting started with her aligners was easy and made her feel more confident with the transition to middle school. We’re fortunate that hers is a simple case but these aligners work for complex orthodontic cases too, which they’ve proven with over 20 years of innovations and 7 million+ smiles.

She’s been wearing her aligners since June and though there’s still about a year and a half to go, we’ve already seen a lot of progress.

I’m excited to see the final results, though the outcome simulator did give us a sneak peek at how her teeth would look when she finished treatment.

Now that the holidays are here, Ashling’s appreciating her aligners even more. For starters, she gets to eat all the fun holiday food she wants. Whether she’s eating popcorn at a Christmas movie or munching on Christmas cookies, she doesn’t have to change a thing. Plus, we always love snacking on fun Christmas food after we set up our Christmas village.

We also take a ton of pictures this time of year. There’s our visit to Santa, photos of us celebrating with family and friends, and plenty of shots of the girls opening presents on Christmas morning. Now Ashling doesn’t mind smiling for all my Christmas pictures, which is a win/win for both of us.

Whether she’s helping put up the Christmas village or wrapping presents, the only thing Ashling has to think about for Christmas is having fun. 2019 been a really great year for her and we’re excited to see what 2020 has in store!

Check out the Parent Page to learn more about Invisalign® treatment and how it can give your own tween more confidence in their smile.

The post Celebrating The Holidays With Invisalign® Treatment appeared first on Fun Money Mom.

This content was originally published here.

Invisalign vs. braces: A comprehensive guide | AZ Big Media

Today, orthodontic patients enjoy more freedom than ever when it comes to tooth-straightening treatments. Kids and adults alike are no longer bound to the clunky, attention-grabbing braces of yesteryear. In this guide, we’ll look at two of the most popular tooth-straightening methods — Invisalign vs. braces — so that you can determine which product is right for you.

Whether you’re looking to straighten your teeth or those of your child, there’s a lot that goes into making the decision of which product to get. Against this backdrop, this guide will examine the selling points of both traditional braces and Invisalign and will review other factors such as cost to help you make your decision. Keep reading to find out more about your options!

Whether clear or metallic in nature, braces are fashioned from colored metal or resin and adhere directly to the teeth. The material works day and night to realign teeth into their optimal position. Today, braces can be bought in both standard metal and clear varieties.

Invisalign offers consumers a more hands-on way of fixing their own teeth. The product is generated by a computer, which maps out the dimensions of the mouth and crafts clear, removable molds that are designed to bring the teeth into their rightful positions. The product gets its name from its near-invisible nature and its ability to draw teeth closer together for a more aesthetically-pleasing smile.

Braces: Pros

With this being said, let’s take an in-depth look at the pros of wearing braces:

Fashioned from strong metal, traditional braces, no matter the color, are great long-term options for their incredible durability. Patients with braces are able to brush their teeth, eat most foods (though super hard or sticky foods are to be avoided), and can generally function normally—all while the strong metal slowly pulls their teeth into a more natural alignment.

Don’t Affect Speech

Another distinct advantage to wearing braces is its ability to get the job done without affecting speech. For children, especially, this proves a popular selling point: at the core of the issue, it’s critical that patients are able to straighten their teeth without hindering their speech development. Working adults will also appreciate the ability to communicate naturally in the workplace (and in their personal lives).

Contrary to popular knowledge, today’s braces are widely customizable. Gone are the days of clunky gray wires and metal smiles. Today, braces are thin, sleek, and come in the color of your choice. Clear braces are an increasingly popular item for children who want to maintain the grace of their smile while improving the quality of their bite. Braces also come in other colors, such as green, for a more artsy and colorful effect.

Braces: Cons

With all this being said, however, there are some downsides to braces that you’ll want to know about. Let’s take a look:

Forget about the candy, the peanut butter, and the hard foods: braces all but dictate a diet based on softer foods—especially in the beginning. Anything too hard could damage the wires and spokes of your braces, while chewy or gelatinous foods will get stuck in the brackets and cause you all sorts of trouble.


There’s no way around it: braces are a high-maintenance option that requires frequent dental checkups to make sure the teeth in question are moving in the right direction. Without these checkups, the quality of work done by the braces could be severely diminished.

Most patients report some type of discomfort with braces—especially in the beginning. That’s because the device literally pulls your teeth and jaw into a more proper alignment. While the level of discomfort will decrease with prolonged wear, you’ll want to keep in mind the initial acclimation period so that you know what you (or your child) is getting into.

Braces are covered by a majority of dental insurance plans and typically range from $2,000-$6,000, depending on the severity of tooth misalignment.

Invisalign: Pros

How does Invisalign stack up to traditional braces? Let’s start our investigation by examining some of the major pros to the increasingly-popular product:

Once braces are on, they can only be removed by a trained orthodontist. Invisalign, on the other hand, can be removed at any time by the wearer for issues of comfort and convenience. That’s because Invisalign works through translucent trays that can be inserted or removed at will to help mold a more perfect smile.

Not Painful

Looking for an option that won’t keep you up at night? Invisalign customers marvel at the level of comfort Invisalign offers and praise the product’s ability to align teeth without the pain generally associated with braces. As for the dentists, Invisalign is recommended by many credible dentists because of the low levels of discomfort.

Clear Aesthetics

The number one reason behind Invisalign purchases, however, is the aesthetic advantage it offers. Indeed, it can be hard to notice Invisalign, even when looking closely. This makes the product a popular option for celebrities and other high-profile individuals looking to mold that perfect smile. If having strips of metal built onto your teeth makes you uncomfortable, Invisalign offers a nondescript way of straightening your teeth.

Invisalign: Cons

Still, Invisalign comes with its own set of cons that you’ll want to examine before buying. Specifically, the product:

Could Change Speech

Because Invisalign works by requiring consumers to place plastic molds over their teeth, it makes it harder for some customers to maintain natural speech. Lisps and other issues are common with Invisalign—at least at first—and learning how to talk around the molds could take some time.

Requires More Personal Responsibility

Even more important, Invisalign requires a great deal of personal responsibility. The product’s removable nature facilitates a lack of wear in some patients, which reduces the quality of the straightening being performed. For children, especially, Invisalign proves problematic because it can so easily be removed and even discarded.

On top of all this, Invisalign remains more expensive than traditional braces. Part of this is simply the mechanics of the device. From computer mapping to mold-making, the Invisalign process is specialized and custom-done to fit individual customers. The result is a price increase that may turn off more budget-oriented consumers.

So just how much can one expect to pay for Invisalign? Like braces, it will depend on the severity of tooth misalignment at the beginning of treatment, which will affect the number of molds needed during the tooth-straightening process. Still, average prices for Invisalign range from $3,500–$8,000, making the product more expensive than braces at both extremes.

Fortunately, Invisalign is covered by most dental insurance plans, making it a safe option for those individuals who are willing to shell out a bit of extra cash.

The Bottom Line

Both traditional braces and Invisalign remain popular tooth-straightening methods, with each having distinct advantages over the other. If you’re looking to get your teeth (or your child’s teeth) straightened in the near future, make sure to use this guide to find out which product is right for you. As you can see, there are a number of reasons to choose either product, though braces still remain the go-to option for children and young adults. For those looking for a more comfortable way to get their teeth fixed, however, Invisalign proves a quality (albeit pricey) alternative. Ultimately, the choice between braces and Invisalign boils down to budget, aesthetics, necessity, and personal responsibility.

Still on the fence? Reference the information above to make your purchase with confidence and know-how!

This content was originally published here.

Why Your Child Should See An Orthodontist by Age 7

By Guest Blogger Dr. Jeffrey Goldberg

As a mom, you’re probably already aware of how important regular dental visits are for maintaining a happy smile. But did you know that along with regular cleanings and check-ups, orthodontic evaluations can play a key role in your child’s oral health?

Since many people associate orthodontics with teens in braces, you may not even be aware that these early exams are an option. As orthodontists, we actually see patients of all ages, including younger children. We’re here to tell you that it’s never too early to take an interest in the health of your child’s smile!

As a matter of fact, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children have their first orthodontic evaluation around the age of seven. This gives orthodontists the chance to evaluate a child’s mouth while it’s still developing and diagnose any potential issues before they become more serious. In doing so, we’re able to take a “watch and wait” approach or explore age-appropriate treatment if necessary.

With this kind of preventive care, there are several issues an orthodontist will be checking for during an orthodontic evaluation. Let’s look at some of the most common ones!

Noticeable crowding or excessive spacing—Spacing problems can show up when a tooth is lost prematurely, where one has never developed, or with teeth that are too small or spaced apart. When crowding is the issue, it can often be corrected with treatment like expanding the arches or removing certain teeth.

Unusual tooth loss patterns—Because the primary teeth tend to fall out in a fairly specific order, any significant deviation from this pattern could signify a developmental issue that requires further attention from an expert orthodontist.

Missing or extra teeth—Most children will have at least four permanent molars and up to four permanent incisors by the time they’re seven years old. Any more or less than this could indicate a problem with missing, crowding, or extra teeth.

Misaligned teeth or jaws—Crooked teeth can be difficult to brush and floss effectively. They’re also more susceptible to uneven wear and tear. Over a long enough period of time, this can affect both the shape and position of the surrounding gum tissue. Aligning teeth when children are younger can help prevent some of that excessive wear and tear, giving them a head start on a healthy smile!

Early orthodontic evaluations are one of the easiest ways to help your child achieve a healthy, confident smile! If issues are left untreated over a long enough period of time, there is a significant risk for growth asymmetries, periodontal and bone issues, impacted teeth, premature wear or fracture of teeth, and more. A simple consultation with Dr. Davis or Dr. Goldberg can save time, discomfort, and money by confirming no issue exists or correcting issues early before they can become problematic.

This kind of preventive care can reduce the need for extensive orthodontic treatment as an adult, as well. If further treatment does become necessary at a later date, it often takes less time and is more efficient.

Davis & Goldberg Orthodontics does not require a dental referral and we offer FREE consultations for all new patients. We make it simple and easy for you and your child to get all the information you need for an early orthodontic evaluation! Call today at 336-887-3168 to contact our High Point office or 336-292-6265 for our Greensboro location. You can also schedule a consultation by visiting our website at . Make sure to follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/DavisGoldbergOrthodontics.

  • Sponsored by Davis & Goldberg Orthodontics

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The post Why Your Child Should See An Orthodontist by Age 7 appeared first on Triad Moms on Main.

This content was originally published here.

Less Fear And More Fun At Kids Care Dental And Orthodontics

This is a sponsored conversation in collaboration with Kids Care Dental & Orthodontics. All opinions are mine.

Kids_care_dental_and_orthodonticsWe all know how important good oral hygiene is for our overall health & well-being. I’m always reminding our teen to brush and floss his teeth. We make sure to schedule appointments to get his teeth cleaned twice a year. He also has visits to the orthodontist, and those can be quite stressful. Kids Care Dental and Orthodontics wants to take the stress out of dental appointments, and replace it with fun. Sounds good to me!


Have you ever heard someone say, “It’s like pulling teeth?” The phrase describes something that’s difficult to do, requires a lot of effort, or is unpleasant. Something that is “like pulling teeth” is usually exhausting and frustrating. You know what shouldn’t be “like pulling teeth?” A visit to see your child’s dentist!

Our entire family has dealt with various “dental issues.” As a result, we’ve spent many hours in the dentist’s chair. Let me tell you, getting our son into that chair is sometimes just like pulling teeth! 

That’s why I’m so excited that Kids Care Dental & Orthodontics is opening new offices near us in February, including locations in San Jose, Livermore, and Sunnyvale. 

Kids Care Dental & Orthodontics is in the business of creating smiles, and now they are currently accepting new patients in their brand new, state-of-the art practices!

Here are the addresses: 

  • San Jose: 5253 Prospect Rd, San Jose CA 95129
  • Sunnyvale: 300 West Washington Ave, Sunnyvale CA 94086
  • Livermore: 3000 W. Jack London Blvd, Space A-1, Livermore CA 94551

Kids Care Dental & Orthodontics is known for their patient-focused doctors and kid-friendly staff, creating a fun, fear-free atmosphere for their patients. Their offices are equipped with video games, kid’s movies, and their staff works hard to put little ones at ease. 

Kids who have fun at the dentist’s office, are more likely to want to return for more visits! That’s a good thing, because prevention is key to having a great smile, and healthy teeth & gums. But wait, it gets better.

We currently have to make several appointments for dental care. There’s the dentist, the orthodontist, and the oral surgeon. Three different appointments, in three separate locations, all around town. Kids Care Dental & Orthodontics takes care of ALL your dental needs, in one convenient location. WHAT?!

That’s right, from X-rays, to teeth cleaning, fillings, check-ups, orthodontics, and oral surgery – Kids Care Dental & Orthodontics handles it all! Their state of the art facilities have all the latest & greatest in modern technology. They are Covid-safe, so be sure to bring your face masks, wash your hands, and social distance! 

I’m excited to check out Kids Care Dental & Orthodontics. I know our son is going to feel less nervous about his dental visits, and that puts a smile on my face! 

If you’re looking for kid-friendly dental care, in San Jose, Sunnyvale, or Livermore, give Kids Care Dental & Orthodontics a try. 

Replace your child’s dental fears with fun, at Kids Care Dental & Orthodontics! Go to KidsCareDental.com to learn more. 

The post appeared first on Mixed Blessings Blog.

This content was originally published here.

Is Invisalign Worth It as an Adult? – Women Fitness Magazine

Is Invisalign Worth It as an Adult?
Is Invisalign Worth It as an Adult?

Is Invisalign Worth It as an Adult? A bright and healthy smile is a key part of a good impression, and a good first impression can make all the difference in the modern world. We make or break out futures off of first impressions, after all.

You might want to fix your smile but worry that doing so as an adult might be not worth the trouble. A nice smile is great, but is it worth months of braces? Some adults decide to go with clear Invisalign to mitigate this worry.

But is Invisalign worth it as an adult, or is it too late to fix your oral issues? Read on and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know.

How Does Invisalign Work, Anyway?

As an adult, it can be too big of a decision to commit to traditional braces.

Whether we like it or not, we tend to associate metal braces with that middle school era of existence. We worry, perhaps not unnecessarily, that having traditional braces as an adult might impact the perception of ourselves in the workplace, or in the social sphere.

Enter Invisalign, the solution for adults who are a bit worried about going the traditional braces route. There are a lot of differences between Invisalign and traditional braces. It’s important for you to find out more about the differences so that you can decide if Invisalign is for you.

How does the treatment actually work?

Invisalign works by utilizing BPA-free plastic aligners. These plastic aligners are modeled and personalized to fit the mold of your teeth exactly. They are then slipped over your teeth in much the same way a mouthguard would. The aligners are made in such a way that they can both fit your teeth snug and also push them into the proper position.

Incrementally, over time your teeth will move to the proper and prescribed positions in your mouth. When treatment is over, you’ll have that brand new smile that you dreamed of.

Benefits of Invisalign as an Adult

Why go with Invisalign to resolve your oral problems? There’s a lot of benefits, to be quite honest.

The biggest plus for most adults is that Invisalign is a lot less noticeable than most forms of traditional braces. The plastic that Invisalign aligners is made out of is totally clear and see-through. That means that in most cases, other people won’t even be able to tell that you’re wearing anything on your teeth.

They’ll have to look awfully close to be able to spot the aligners on your teeth. This means you don’t have to worry about feeling self-conscious about braces in your adult life and in adult circles.

Many adults also find these plastic aligners to be a lot more comfortable than other forms of oral straightening. They are non-intrusive and mostly very comfortable. Traditional braces might have excess metal that pokes at the mouth or irritates the gum. This is not the case with comfortable plastic aligners.

They are also removable, which means you can take them off in necessary situations. You shouldn’t remove them during your prescribed time, but in a worst-case scenario, it can be necessary. If you have a big presentation coming up, for example, and want to keep them off for half an hour?

You’ll be able to. You certainly couldn’t say that about traditional braces.

Traditional braces often cause strange coloring issues with teeth as well. Areas underneath the metal connections may end up being a different color than the exposed areas for some time. With Invisalign, this isn’t a concern. You can brush your teeth and use whitening strips as normal while your teeth are aligned.

Is Invisalign Worth It as an Adult?

If this the golden question, our answer would be leaning towards yes. However, whether Invisalign is worth it or not to you at your current age will vary depending on how badly you want a better smile. How much are you willing to put in to get a bright smile and better oral health?

Invisalign aligners do cost a decent amount of money, and you’ll need to budget a fair amount for the procedure. In most cases, they are more expensive than traditional braces. This is because of the many benefits that they provide. So if the cost is a big concern, that may be one reason that Invisalign might not be worth it to you.

A great smile can be worth any price, however! Not only are you improving the aesthetics of your appearance, but you’re also bettering your health as well. Clean, straight teeth are easier to maintain and keep clean.

That means you’ll be ridding yourself of the high risk of infection or oral issues down the line. These kinds of problems can be quite expensive to handle, so preventive action is your best bet at keeping costs down over the full run of your life.

Oral health is also intrinsically linked to your overall health! By keeping your smile straight, you’ll be actually benefiting your health as a whole. That’s a hard benefit to beat, and definitely might indicate that Invisalign is worth it as an adult.

Try Invisalign as an Adult

Is Invisalign worth it during your adult years?

It’s a question many moving through their twenties and thirties ask. The short answer is: yes! It certainly can be, and the above benefits can help indicate why.

Have more health and beauty questions? Check out our blog for much more information.

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Benefits of Invisalign: Invisalign Benefits and Disadvantages

Misaligned or crooked teeth look unsightly and even restrict the cleaning process. Eventually, improper cleaning can lead to periodontal disease. It damages the bone and gum, which can cause the loss of teeth as well. You can choose to wear braces on your teeth to create proper alignment. But, the selection of braces matters a lot.

Any traditional brace can give pain while wearing and feel uncomfortable. This is why people choose a better alternative known as Invisalign. They are more effective braces for many reasons, which is why more people look for Invisalign Treatment Sydney to acquire all the benefits of braces without any issues.

Table of Contents

In the presence of the best invisalign Sydney, you can expect the following benefits of of Invisalign:

Better appearance

Many people, especially adults worry about the appearance of unattractive metal braces. Conventional braces tend to look strange and awkward, which is why people don’t prefer them. But, that is not a problem with Invisalign, as it becomes barely noticeable once adjusted into the mouth of a person. The clarity of these teeth aligners allows a person to have a natural-looking smile without feeling embarrassed or awkward. This makes Invisalign way better-looking braces than other traditional choices.

Easily removable

The metal braces become fixed in the location once placed by a specialist. It requires a specialist to remove them when the right time comes. This causes problems when a wearer really needs to remove his or her braces. Thankfully, Invisalign braces are easily removable. A wearer can choose to take them out for a few minutes, for eating or drinking. Then, the wearer can place the braces back in the position comfortably.

Exceptional teeth and gum safety

The metal bits in traditional braces increase the chances of scratching or puncturing gums or teeth. But Invisalign braces provide comfort and smoothness without any risks of damage. There are no sharp edges, bits or protruding edges to worry about. Unlike traditional braces, these don’t put extreme force on your teeth. Plus, they reduce the chances of cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay.

Faster teeth alignment

Traditional metal braces can take up to 5 years in many cases to complete the alignment process. On the contrary, Invisalign requires about a year or so to straighten and align your teeth. This is one of the primary benefits, why people ask about Invisalign when consulting Sydney Dental Surgeons. People want to be done with the treatment as quickly as possible. And this modern-age solution does exactly that. After every two weeks, the wearer receives a small adjustment, which allows the setup to work faster and align your teeth to give a perfectly healthy smile.

Assurance of quality in the results

In the presence of the Best Orthodontist Sydney, you can obtain completely computerized treatment involving Invisalign. The inclusion of technology has allowed the procedure to become accurate in terms of results. You will be receiving the expected results, which isn’t the case with many metal braces. Traditional braces create the scenario of trial and error, so, the patient doesn’t know what to expect from the upcoming result.

Proper teeth cleaning

The removable nature of Invisalign makes it suitable for teeth care during the alignment period. You can simply remove them and clean every area in your mouth properly. On the other hand, traditional braces have special structures that provide small pockets. These pockets don’t allow the wearer to use a toothbrush or floss properly. As a result, more food debris keeps on accumulating, which can cause bad breath, cavity, tooth decay, and other problems.

Invisalign comes out of your mouth, so you can go about your everyday oral health routine. As a result, you don’t have to worry about other diseases after getting your teeth aligned. You will get well-aligned, shiny white teeth with healthy gums at the end of the alignment period.

Easy adjustments

The use of Invisalign involves 3D scanning of your teeth to decide the customization of aligners. Hence, dental adjustments don’t take too many visits to the doctor. While you have to consult your dentist, the frequency of visits doesn’t have to be too quick.

So, are you ready to leverage every advantage of using Invisalign over traditional braces?!

This content was originally published here.

BZ Orthodontics named Lansdale Business of the Month

LANSDALE — The latest winner of Lansdale’s Business of the Month award is one that has breathed new life into a multi-generation family business. 

Councilman Steve Malagari gave the monthly award to BZ Orthodontics and owner Brian Zebrick for continuing a long legacy of being part of the community.

“They want to use their position in the community, and their access to hundreds of families, to encourage everybody to give back, and continue to help Lansdale be a better place,” Malagari said.

Located at 456 E. Hancock Street, BZ Orthodontics was originally established in 1961 by Leon Strohecker as Strohecker Orthodontics, and was operated by that family until 2017, when they retired and turned the practice over to Zebrick. The owner himself was unable to attend council’s Oct. 18 meeting to accept the award in person, and several employees who attended said the owner was away on his honeymoon and thanked council on his behalf.

Since that shift, Malagari told council Wednesday night, Zebrick has continued to provide high quality service, along with their expert orthodontics.

“As an orthodontic specialist, Dr. Zebrick offers Invisalign clear aligners, clear braces, and traditional metal braces, for patients of all ages,” Malagari said, while showing slides of customers showing off their new smiles.

Zebrick himself is originally from Montgomery County, lived in Florida as a teen, then completed dental school at the University of Maryland and an orthodontic residency at Temple University, Malagari said. Since taking over the practice in March 2017, the company and its employees have worked to keep providing high quality dental care as conveniently as possible. 

“I asked them, ‘How do you like doing business in the borough of Lansdale?’ And their response was, ‘It’s very gratifying to be part of the community as a whole, and the small business community in Lansdale. It’s very rewarding to see our patients out in the community, and the change we can make in their lives,'” Malagari said.

Malagari said he first took note of the business when walking along Hancock Street, to and from the nearby SEPTA station, and saw an array of solar panels set up to the rear of the office. When he asked about the solar system, Malagari said, he was told it’s just one way the company tries to be as green as possible.

“The response was, ‘We always try to reduce our footprint on the environment as much as possible. We use solar energy, the plastic bags we give our patients are biodegradable,'” he said, and adult patients are given reusable tote bags they can use for shopping elsewhere.

BZ employees also take part in borough events, and organize donation drives each month for different local charities: in August and September they contributed to the North Penn School District’s “Build a Bag” campaign to assemble backpacks for kids in need, and in October are partnering with Laurel House to raise awareness of domestic violence, and working with Home at Last Dog Rescue to find new forever homes for pets.

Next month, Malagari said, BZ will collect food to donate to Manna on Main Street, and in December they’ll organize a “Toys for Tots” drive to help needy families give gifts for the holidays.

“They pride themselves on giving all of their patients the best experience, by treating them like family, and making their orthodontic experience as fun, and as comfortable, as possible,” Malagari said.

“Their larger goal is to have a greater impact in the community than just producing beautiful smiles,” he said.

For more information on BZ Orthodontics, call 215-855-7717, visit www.BZortho.com or search for “BZ Orthodontics” on Facebook.

This content was originally published here.

Ashford Orthodontics applies 3D printing, expedites dental production by 24 hours

Five years after its initial experimentation Ashford Orthodontics, a UK based laboratory, has shown great success with its 3D printed dental equipment.

According to CEO and founder, Sean Thompson, “Digital orthodontics was something we knew we had to get into. We couldn’t afford not to do it if we really wanted to be a leading player within orthodontics.”

Clear aligners and retainers produced by thermoforming. Photo via Formlabs.

Adopting digital workflow

Founded in 2001, Ashford Orthodontics was formed in response to an increasing demand for laboratories capable of specialist orthodontic technical services. Additionally, Ashford Orthodontics wanted to offer orthodontists and dentists a fair, cost effective price list.

To keep up with the growing number of digital customers, the lab adopted a digital workflow. Unfortunately, the cost and complexity of operating large-scale 3D printers made it difficult to justify using digital workflow in its business. However, by using twelve Form 2 stereolithography 3D printers, Ashford managed to produce high-quality clear aligners, while remaining profitable, allowing it to attract new customers.

Benefits of 3D printed orthodontics

When Ashford first got into digital orthodontics, it accounted for 2% of its business, but after further integration, that number has risen to 15%. Similar success has been seen in other orthodontic companies, such as Align Technology, which has used its iTero 3D Scanning system to produces 8 million orthodontics per year.

Every day at Ashford Orthodontics, the lab has a cutoff time at 3 PM, after which technicians review new scans sent in by clients. They then plan out treatments and set the necessary parts to be 3D printed overnight. In the morning, technicians clean and dry the 3D printed parts, and later thermoform the clear aligners on the finished models.

In comparison to traditional methods, 3D printing has reduced lead time on products by 24 hours. Additionally, if an order needs to be made quickly, a model can easily be spread along several different 3D printers and completed in a few hours. It also allows for technicians to make quick edits to alliengers/retainers.

Thompson comments, “It shouldn’t cost you any more to provide your services to your clients and patients via the digital route than via the traditional impression route. So what we’ve done is quite simply that we swapped the cost of the plaster models—which aren’t needed anymore—with the cost of the resin model,

“Therefore, your lab bill is exactly the same, whether it’s done via the traditional route or the digital route, except you can have things back 24 hours sooner.”

Form 2 stereolithography 3D printers. Photo via Formlabs.

3D printing in orthodontics and dentistry

As other companies search for new, faster, cost-effective production in dentistry/orthodontics, several have turned to additive manufacturing. In 2016, 3D printer manufacturer, EnvisionTEC, received FDA approval for its 3D printed dental products. Similarly, the Tokyo Dental College has been developing a 3D printing lab for designing and producing inexpensive patient-specific dental models.

Thompson concludes: “When [customers] realize that what we’re providing here is very good quality, they trust us to send us the more complex appliances,”

“At the moment, it’s traditional techniques with a little bit of digital, but in a matter of two or three years, it’s going to be digital techniques with a little bit of traditional. And that’s going to be the driving force for our department moving forward.”

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Featured image shows appliances being hand finished by technicians. Photo via Formlab.

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What Is TMJ and Will Invisalign Fix TMJ?

Do you sometimes feel pain or tenderness in your jaw or around your ear, or have trouble chewing and opening and closing your mouth? If so, you may have a TMJ disorder (TMD).

People suffering from TMD may also hear a clicking or popping sound in the jaw or their jaw may even lock up. Some people may even experience a ringing in the ears.

What is TMJ?

TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint which according to the Mayo Clinic “acts like a sliding hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull”. You have a TMJ on both sides of your jaw.

Typically TMJ Disorders are caused by arthritis or a jaw injury or a problem with jaw alignment. Sometimes if you clench or grind your teeth a lot, that can exacerbate problems with your TMJ too.

Women, especially during their childbearing years, are at higher risk for TMJ disorders because of magnesium deficiency.

The Cleveland Clinic reports that “treatments range from simple self-care practices and conservative treatments to injections and open surgery”.

Their experts added, “Self care measures include eating soft foods, using moist heat and cold packs, and using mouth splints. Surgical options include flushing out the joint with fluids, removing inflamed tissue and realigning parts of the jaw joint.”

Medications can also sometimes help including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxants. Some people also get relief from corticosteroid injections that can reduce pain and inflammation.

Another option is undergoing arthrocentesis, a procedure where small needle are inserted into the joint to irrigate the joint and get rid of any inflammation.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms along with jaw pain, then get evaluated by a doctor or dentist as soon as possible. They will do a physical evaluation, pressing on areas around the jaw to see if there is any tenderness or soreness. They might also request a dental x-ray or a CT scan or MRI to get a closer look at what is really going on.

Will Invisalign Fix TMJ?

While there has been a lot of research done on Invisalign’s effect on TMD, the evidence remains inconclusive. However, as long as there is no pathology present in the TMJ, the aligners have been found to good at relieving some of the symptoms of TMD.

Because you are wearing the clear, plastic aligners 20 to 22 hours a day, the aligners help protect your teeth from grinding at night which is referred to sleep bruxism and can inflame the TMJ. Invisalign aligners also realign your upper and lower jaws so you can open and close your mouth to chew and speak properly which also can relieve TMD symptoms.

Invisalign treatment can help with the following orthodontic issues: crooked teeth, an overbite, crossbite (when some of the upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth), gaps in teeth as long as they are not too big, open bite (when upper and lower teeth don’t meet) and crowded teeth. There are some complex problems that Invisalign can’t help with though.

Invisalign has also been linked with causing TMJ problems. In certain cases, wearing Invisalign can either exacerbate a previous TMJ issue or cause a patient to develop a problem with their TMJ.

Will Invisalign fix TMJ? No matter how you choose to solve your TMJ, it is important to do your research and to consult with a few orthodontists before making any final decisions. Factors like cost, length of treatment and number of restrictions can all play a role.

Just make sure you don’t put off treatment until your condition is a lot more severe. Beside the TMJ getting worse, you will also be at greater risk of cavities and gum disease because it will be more difficult to practice good oral hygiene when you are in a lot of pain.

If you choose to go with Invisalign, remember when choosing an orthodontist their Invisalign designation matters. It is a given that when you do something day in and day out that you will become skilled at it. The same applies with orthodontic work. Those orthodontists who provide Invisalign treatment to their patients on a daily basis are going to have a leg up on their colleagues who may mostly work with metal braces.

Invisalign offers four designations for its providers, Preferred, Premier, Premier Elite and Diamond Plus based on how many patients they have treated with Invisalign. Choosing an orthodontist with Preferred status will give you the confidence that your orthodontist is very experienced with this type of treatment. For top level experience though you should choose a provider with the distinction of being a Diamond Plus Provider.

While an Invisalign provider’s designation is important, it is just one aspect of the orthodontist practice that you should be considering when make a choice for where to go. How they treat their patients, cost of their services and how comfortable you feel in your surroundings all also should play a role in your decision.

As an Invisalign Diamond Plus provider, Orthodontics Limited is one of the top orthodontists in the Philadelphia area. When looking for Invisalign in Philadelphia and Invisalign in Center City, they are the smart choice. Orthodontics Limited also has proven success in other types of treatments as well. Give them a call today to schedule your free initial consultation.

If a straighter, healthier smile has been on your wish list for a while, but…

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5 Benefits of Oral Probiotics – Orthodontics Limited

Taking probiotics for a boost to your health has become popular over the last few years, but did you know that there are certain probiotics for your oral health specifically. They can help prevent cavities and gum disease and help keep your breath feeling fresh.

The bad bacteria in your mouth has also been linked to diseases like cancer, heart disease and even Alzheimer’s disease. Oral probiotics can help reduce the number of bad bacteria in your mouth.

The main difference between oral probiotics and other types of probiotics is that most of them focus on gut bacteria. Oral probiotics focus on different bacteria that are important to the oral microbiome. They usually come in the form of lozenges or chewable tablets.

Ultimately if your oral microbiome is healthy enough, there will be enough good bacteria to keep any harmful bacteria in check.

Here are 5 benefits of oral probiotics:

1. Reduces Plaque

Plaque buildup on your teeth is the most common cause of cavities and something brushing and flossing isn’t enough to get rid of all of it. An oral probiotic with Steptococcus A12 in it though can help reduce the plaque buildup even further.

2. Reduces Gingivitis

Gingivitis the precursor to gum disease is another major concern when it comes to your oral health. The probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri though can help destroy the microbes that cause gingivitis bringing a healthier balance to your oral microbiome.

Oral probiotics also help relieve the inflammation that comes with gum disease. This 2007 study suggests that taking supplements with the bacteria Lactobacillus brevis can help decrease inflammation and another study found that drinking probiotic milk on a daily basis can help with inflammation caused by gum disease.

3. Prevents Oral Thrush

Oral thrush a condition when you find white spots on your tongue. This is due to the overgrowth of a fungi called Candida that can be prevented by oral probiotics.

4. Freshens Your Breath

Some studies have found that oral probiotics are more effective at eliminating bad breath than antibacterial mouthwash which tends to kill off the good bacteria as well as the bad which is not what you want.

5. May Protect You from Disease

Research has shown that what goes on in your oral microbiome can have an effect on the rest of your body too and that the risk of life-threatening illnesses like cancer and heart disease. And Alzheimer’s disease has been linked to gum disease. This means keeping a healthy oral microbiome may help protect you from disease.

There is a caveat in all of this though. While studies have shown the benefits of oral probiotics, it is important to remember that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn’t approved them for medical use yet.

You should always talk to your doctor first before starting to take any supplements. Oral probiotics should never be taken by anyone whose immune systems are weakened like people living with HIV. Also, children, older people and pregnant women should not take high levels of probiotics.

If you do take oral probiotics, be sure to follow the dosage instructions and never take more than what is recommended in 24 hours.

There are also some foods that are rich sources of probiotics like yogurt, kefir, aged cheeses, miso and sauerkraut.

While taking oral probiotics have their benefits, don’t forget that the best way to maintain your oral health is to brush and floss your teeth carefully every day and visit your dentist for regular checkups. If you have teeth alignment issues and a crowded mouth, this too can make it difficult to maintain a healthy mouth. Orthodontic treatment is also important for your health.

Today there are so many options now besides the traditional metal braces. You can choose ceramic braces, lingual braces, Invisalign and accelerated orthodontics. Invisalign treatment involves wearing clear plastic aligners that you remove to eat and drink, and brush and floss your teeth. Then there are lingual braces that are attached to the backs of your teeth in order to make them less visible as well as tooth-colored ceramic braces which are also less noticeable than metal braces.

Each treatment has its own pros and cons that you should evaluate carefully, but whatever you decide, don’t ignore your oral health. Your health is important and if you don’t take care of it now, you will find yourself having more serious issues down the line.

Want to learn more about how orthodontic treatment as well as the benefits of oral probiotics? Contact Orthodontics Limited today. We are an Invisalign Diamond + provider, the only orthodontic practice in Philadelphia with this designation, and we are board certified by the American Board of Orthodontics.

With convenient locations in Hatboro, Northeast Philadelphia and Center City Philadelphia, getting to your orthodontic appointments will be stress-free and won’t take up most of your day. Don’t wait any longer to see if orthodontic care can help you get a healthier smile.

ALTHOUGH ORAL PIERCINGS’ ORIGINS GO BACK TO ANCIENT tradition, it didn’t become a means of…

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6 Reasons Why Invisalign Is The Best Option For Teens

6 Reasons Why Invisalign Is The Best Option For Teens
6 Reasons Why Invisalign Is The Best Option For Teens

6 Reasons Why Invisalign Is The Best Option For Teens : When it comes to orthodontic treatment, braces are the most common thing that comes to mind. Dealing with them, however, is not easy considering that the metal surely makes you stand apart. Teens, in particular, don’t appreciate the kind of attention they may get because of braces.

But they were still a necessary evil for decades just because there was no alternative. The advent of Invisalign, however, has sorted out things to a considerable extent. Here are some reasons why Invisalign makes the best option for teens.

Practically invisible

The fact that makes Invisalign aligners popular amongst teens is that they are practically invisible. This makes them just right for teenagers who would not want metal braces to show up in their mouths. There are no wires, brackets, and bands as well. You can have custom-made aligners that fit your teeth perfectly and can be removed whenever you want.

Boosts self-confidence

The biggest challenge for young adults is that they have certain standards about their appearance. Not looking good lowers their confidence level and wearing braces could be one reason. Since Invisalign is an option that can set things right while being discreet, they definitely make an apt choice. If you want a treatment option that does not affect your self-esteem, this is the one for you.

As effective as braces

The best part about Invisalign is that it is as effective as braces even while being invisible. Every expert Pittsburgh Orthodontist, therefore, recommends this option for teenagers who want to correct their smiles and bites without having to rely on braces. While the results that you get are good enough, you need not spend a fortune on Invisalign.

No off-limits foods

As a teenager, you would want a treatment option that does not keep you away from your favorite foods. With traditional braces, you need to be selective about food items. Popcorn, caramel, and ice are a few that come on the list of foods to avoid. There are no such restrictions with Invisalign aligners as you can remove them any time and bite into the foods you love.

No lifestyle restrictions as well

While you can eat just anything with Invisalign aligners, there are no lifestyle restrictions as well. Whether you are a musician or teenager, you can wear them safely and comfortably. There is no risk of cuts and irritation, which are common if you wear traditional braces. Moreover, you can remove the Invisalign aligners whenever you want to.

Fewer office visits

Another reason for teens to get Invisalign rather than braces is that it requires fewer office visits. This is because you need not visit repeatedly to tighten or replace wires. The follow-up appointments with invisalign are automatically fewer in number. Young people have a lot to do these days and anything that requires lesser work and attention is a preferable choice for them.

If you have always feared braces as a youngster, just see an orthodontist and get Invisalign aligners instead. They are comfortable, low-maintenance and safe while being effective as well. Moreover, you need to spend a fortune on the treatment.

Related Videos about Reasons Why Invisalign Is The Best Option For Teens:

Braces Vs. Invisalign® Treatment: Making The Choice For Your Teen

Braces vs. Invisalign Teen: My Switch!

Is Invisalign Right for Your Teen?

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Pros and Cons to Invisalign Treatment for Teens

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Our May Practice of the Month — Gronberg Orthodontics! – My Social Practice – Social Media Marketing for Dental & Dental Specialty Practices

Congratulations to our May Practice of the Month — Gronberg Orthodontics!

We recently asked over 600 dental practices about the biggest roadblock to building their online presence. Can you guess the top answer? It was “it’s too hard to come up with ideas and create posts.”

Perhaps you’re not surprised, because it’s how you feel in your own practice’s social media efforts.

So this month, learn from the team at Gronberg Orthodontics, who went from “spending all day looking for something post” to easily creating their own unique, personalized and engaging social media content!

Why is consistently posting worthwhile content important? Because search engines and social media platforms are giving more and more priority to content that meets people’s needs, connects with them on a personal level, and is relevant to their interests and communities. And when people come across that type of content, they’re more likely to engage with it — meaning more interaction, strengthened patient relationships, and increased visibility for your practice.

We reached out to Bonnie Reeves, office manager for Gronberg Orthodontics, for some insight on which social media tools have been most effective in helping her team create content and attract new patients. Take something from what they’ve learned to apply in your own social media strategy!

Q&A With Bonnie Reeves, Office Manager

(Responses edited for length and clarity.)

What has been the biggest surprise of social media marketing for you?

“We have done a couple of videos of our doctors doing the cheek retractor challenge together. They were hilarious and got thousands of views! We couldn’t believe it! It seems that the personalized posts with real photos or videos of our team members and patients get the most engagement. The Social Signs we receive from My Social Practice also make photo opportunities easy.”

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your social media efforts?

“Finding ideas for content and making the time to post on a consistent basis is the hardest thing for me. Before we started using My Social Practice we really struggled with this and it just didn’t get done.

Now, we use the My Social Practice Publisher to find ideas and easily post to multiple platforms. I also like being able to schedule posts ahead of time so that when I do have a moment, I can set up multiple posts. We’re being more consistent and growing our online presence!”

What feedback have you received about social media in your office?

“I think it’s something fun for patients to do while they are in our office. The Photo Booth app and practice campaigns especially help to get patients and our whole team involved. We also see a lot of children so they like that we have some fun.

What advice would you give to a practice starting to build their online presence?

“Use My Social Practice to help you get your name out there without spending all day searching for content or ideas. Social media is changing and My Social Practice keeps us updated and relevant.

Personally, I have found the entire service helpful but I really enjoy the Photo Booth ideas and contest ideas. They are fun and engaging for our office and patients.”

Thank you for your stamp of approval, Bonnie! It means a lot to us to hear that our tools and content are helping you to grow your practice and build patient relationships.

It’s true that it can be difficult to find the time to post something daily. But our easy-to-use Publisher app makes it simple! My Social Practice clients have access to the world’s largest library of dental-related social media content, with images and pre-written captions you can customize to fit your audience. Plus, you can schedule posts in advance to go out to your accounts when you choose! Get a free demo of the Publisher today!

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Evidence and Orthodontics: Does Your Child Need Braces?

Do straight teeth and a perfect bite improve oral health?

Peter Vig didn’t go into orthodontics looking to take on the entire field. When he entered the profession in 1963 as an academic , he optimistically saw orthodontics as a way to apply his knowledge to benefit patients. He would go on to receive his Ph.D. in facial morphology at the University of London, conduct research at a number of universities, and earn 18 grants from the National Institutes of Health. These feats propelled him, in the eyes of other orthodontists, to the status of research legend. But as his career took off, he became more disillusioned. The more time he spent entrenched in orthodontic research, the more he questioned what he had been taught in dental school: that orthodontic treatment was necessary for health.

Over the years, Vig submitted letters to academic journals, bemoaning a lack of strong evidence for the health benefits of orthodontic treatment and questioning what he calls “the prevailing dogma” of orthodontics. He once testified as an expert witness in a lawsuit against a fellow orthodontist. At one point, the American Journal of Orthodontics, now the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, for whom he was a reviewer, was set to reject Vig’s own paper because editors feared that the results, which questioned the efficacy of diagnosis and variability in treatment, reflected poorly on the orthodontic profession. In response, Vig threatened to write an article about the ethics of orthodontic journals. (When contacted by Undark, the editor in chief of the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics declined to comment.)

Eventually, the editors did agree to publish the paper. But by that point, Vig had come to view the disagreement as yet another example of a lack of scientific integrity in orthodontics. “Shortly after that,” he said, “I quit.”

Vig is now semi-retired. Much has changed in the field of orthodontics since the height of his career. But according to him, orthodontic organizations haven’t stopped making claims unfounded in research. Orthodontics is largely considered a medical specialty, not just a cosmetic one. From small clinics to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), advertisements promise to prevent a host of ills ranging from cavities to jaw pain. Today, the AAO advises parents that all children should have an orthodontic consultation by age seven in order to identify potential problems and develop a treatment plan. According to the organization’s website, a lack of treatment can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, broken front teeth, and loss of bone tissue that holds teeth in place. Many orthodontic clinics additionally warn of persistent jaw pain and headaches.

A small group of dentists and orthodontists across the globe have looked carefully at the evidence underpinning these claims and found it lacking. Although some individual studies suggest that orthodontic treatment improves oral health, such studies are often fraught with bias and often don’t control for variables like socioeconomic status. Further, when the results of multiple studies are analyzed together, they do not provide evidence that orthodontic treatment decreases one’s likelihood of developing conditions such as gum disease and jaw pain.

Vig had come to view the disagreement as yet another example of a lack of scientific integrity in orthodontics. ‘Shortly after that,’ he said, ‘I quit.’

Since the 1940s, there has been a steady increase in the percentage of children who receive orthodontic treatment. From 2010 to 2012, 16.8 percent of U.S. children between 10 and 14 years of age visited an orthodontist . And the proportion who see an orthodontist at any point throughout their childhood is likely much greater. Based on past data, it’s likely that around half of U.S. children today receive orthodontic treatment, according to Philippe Hujoel, an oral health epidemiologist at the University of Washington. Meanwhile, out-of-pocket spending on orthodontic treatments costs $5.4 billion per year. Private insurance and Medicaid cover an additional $4.2 billion of that care, and some nonprofitscover treatments for families in need when Medicaid deems treatment medically unnecessary.

The American Association of Orthodontists declined to comment to Undark. But many orthodontists stand by the association’s claims. Some assert that orthodontic treatments are uniquely difficult to experimentally test. And because of this, treatment decisions are often based on traditional knowledge and an orthodontist’s clinical experience, rather than on scientific evidence, said Peter Greco,a clinical professor of orthodontics at the University of Pennsylvania and an associate editor of The American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics.

“That’s pretty much where the predominance of information is,” Greco said. But, he adds, the field is becoming more evidence-based as time goes on.

Some orthodontists who question their field’s claims about oral health do continue to treat patients. As they see it, clear communication of evidence — or lack thereof — is key. “If you tell a lay person” that a child has “mandibular hypoplasia, or maxillary deficiency, or adenoidal facies — it sounds bad,” said Vig. Parents don’t necessarily know what they’re signing up for. “That,” he says, “is a problem.”

Since antiquity, dentists from Egypt to Greece have sought the perfect bite. Mummies have been found buried in tombs with bands around their teeth. Even the Roman philosopher Pliny the Elder recommended that people file their teeth to bring them into proper alignment. By the early 18th century, French dentist Pierre Fauchard was strapping patients’ teeth to metal arches to wrangle crooked smiles into submission. Early in the 19th century, British dental surgeon Joseph Fox devoted four chapters of his book “The Natural History and Diseases of the Human Teethto the correction of crooked teeth and misaligned jaws.

The end goal of these treatments, however, wasn’t to prevent health problems, but to create a more attractive profile, said Marc Ackerman, an orthodontist and medical ethicist in Boston. Norman Kingsley, considered one of the early fathers of orthodontics, was a classically trained sculptor. During his day job as a dentist in New York, he applied his understanding of facial symmetry to the faces of patients, diagnosing what he referred to as “irregularities” and “deformities.”

It wasn’t until the turn of the 20th century that an American dentist named Edward Angle transformed dentistry’s obsession with straight teeth into the modern science of orthodontics. In his treatise titled “Treatment of Malocclusion of the Teeth,”Angle laid out the precise parameters of a perfect bite, down to the millimeter. He based this ideal on the relative positions of the upper and lower first molars, which he believed should fit cleanly into one another, the crest of the top tooth into the divet in the middle of the bottom tooth. Any bite that deviated from this proposed ideal Angle deemed a “malocclusion” — Latin for “bad close.”

“This was probably the cornerstone of the medicalization in orthodontics,” said Alexander Spassov, an orthodontist and researcher in Greifswald, Germany. Angle’s criteria gave orthodontists a measure that could supposedly identify which bites needed treatment and which didn’t. Still, the transformation of orthodontics into a medical specialty was gradual and hard to trace back to a specific moment in history, Spassov said. For example, although Angle did help establish the specialty by founding both the first orthodontic school and the American Society of Orthodontists (today the AAO), he made no mention of health benefits, Spassov added. It was only later, perhaps after World War II, that orthodontics began to be seen as a preventative treatment for various ills, Ackerman said.

More than 120 years after he waxed poetic about the “artistic harmony” of properly aligned teeth, Angle’s concept of an ideal bite is still the basis used to determine whether patients need orthodontic treatment. Orthodontists measure the overlap between patients’ jaws, the width of their palate, the crowding of their teeth. These measurements are compared to the ideal, then categorized by how they deviate in measurement. Class I malocclusions are the least severe; Class II and III, the most.

This process of systematically measuring teeth and pointing out the way they diverge from ideal is essential in creating demand, said Anette Wickström, a medical anthropologist at Linköping University in Sweden. Wickström studies medical procedures that normalize the appearance of children, such as gender-normalization surgeries performed on intersex children.

“Sometimes we see the medical domain as something that is neutral, just fixing problems. But at the same time, the medical domain is also enacting norms,” Wickström said. From measuring patients’ bites to communicating treatment goals, everyday orthodontic practices send a message that teeth should conform to a very narrow ideal — and anything less is abnormal.

According to a 2015 survey published in The Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry, 57 percent of families seek orthodontic care primarily to give their child straight teeth. The same study also found that nearly 85 percent of parents who opted for treatment for their children did so due to a referral from the dentist. Dentists don’t typically refer patients to the orthodontist to treat an existing medical condition. Instead, the assumption is that getting teeth straightened out will prevent future ills, writes Ackerman in an article for The Journal of Medical Ethics.

For parents, this referral carries the implicit message that treatment is both “necessary and worthwhile” for their child’s health, writes Bill Shaw, a professor of orthodontics and dentofacial development at the University of Manchester in the U.K., in an article published in the academic journal Seminars in Orthodontics. Shaw argues that a dentist’s referral to the orthodontist will initiate “a conveyor belt of entry into orthodontic treatment, with little or no reflection or discussion.”

Similar to Peter Vig, Alexander Spassov began his career under the assumption that orthodontic treatment improves oral health. In dental school at the University of Greifswald, the evidence behind this assumption was never questioned. After completing his residency there, Spassov took a job as a clinical lecturer and researcher in the medical school. Immersed in an academic environment, he saw his colleagues in other disciplines spend each day combing through research literature. These colleagues were engaging in what’s widely known as evidence-based medicine. Developed about 30 years ago, this medical paradigm emphasizes the use of high-quality research in medical decision-making, although in recent years, some experts have moved away from the term and has been much disagreement about what it means.

Following the lead of his medical colleagues, Spassov delved into the orthodontics research. When he found little to support the use of orthodontics as a preventative treatment for oral health, he was deeply troubled. In fact, he began to feel that the lack of evidence presented a “conflict with my professional and ethical principles.”

While continuing to teach orthodontics, Spassov began dialoging with colleagues in the university’s history, bioethics, and philosophy departments, sharing his concerns about offering treatment with weak evidence. In 2014, they published an article on the subject, in a prestigious German medical ethics journal. They pointed out that according to some estimates, fewer than 5 percent of the population fit Angle’s criteria for ideal occlusion (others estimate this proportion could be as high as 25 to 50 percent), and questioned the necessity of treatment, arguing that treatment decisions are often based on incomplete information provided to the patient, overemphasizing questionable benefits. The article cited studies demonstrating that simply brushing and flossing had a greater impact on oral health than orthodontic treatment.

Shaw argues that a dentist’s referral to the orthodontist will initiate ‘a conveyor belt of entry into orthodontic treatment, with little or no reflection or discussion.’

Views like Spassov’s and Vig’s are outnumbered by orthodontists who say their treatments are medically beneficial. “Dental health is definitely enhanced by orthodontic therapy, and I stand firm on that,” said Greco. Greco said that he has seen the positive effects of orthodontic treatment in his own practice. As long as an orthodontist has received proper training and accreditation, Greco trusts them to make beneficial treatment decisions based on their knowledge and clinical experience.

Greco supports evidence-based orthodontics in theory, but putting it into practice takes effort, he said. The gold standard for research on humans is the randomized controlled trial, an experiment in which one group gets the treatment — say, braces — and the other gets a placebo, a varied duration of braces, or some other form of treatment. To eliminate bias, the groups are randomly assigned. At the end of the experiment, researchers compare the results for each group to see if the treatment really worked.

According to Greco, these kinds of studies are uniquely difficult to conduct for orthodontic treatments. For one thing, it’s hard to gather a large enough pool of study subjects to generate meaningful results, and the variation between patients makes it difficult to standardize the procedures. Together, these characteristics make it very difficult to conduct clinical trials where variables are controlled and treatment groups are randomly selected, Greco said. As a result, the majority of research simply compares people receiving orthodontic treatment, without controlling for other variables.

Clinical experience is one component of evidence-based medicine, said Hujoel, but alone it’s not enough. Clinical experience will tell you that a patient can come into the office with crooked teeth and walk out a few years later with a straight smile, Hujoel said. But to claim that changing tooth position has long-term health benefits? “That’s a huge claim to make without clinical trials,” Hujoel said.

Some individual studies do suggest that people with crowded teeth are more likely to have dental problems. For example, a 2000 study found that patients with crowded teeth had more plaque and pathogenic bacteria. And a study published in 2017 found that among nearly 15,000 participants, people who hadn’t received orthodontic treatment were more likely to have a serious gum infection called periodontitis. But because neither study was randomized, it’s difficult to know whether variables like socioeconomic class — a well-known factor in oral health — swayed the findings.

Further, when looked at as a whole, the research paints a troubling picture. Scientists from the University of Washington School of Dentistry carefully selected 12 studies on orthodontics and dental health. The group’s research, published in 2008 in The Journal of the American Dental Association, found that the dental health of individuals who received orthodontic treatment actually worsened slightly over the long term. A more recent study published in the June 2020 issue of The American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics analyzed 7 studies on orthodontics and oral health. While this study didn’t find any evidence for worsened oral health, it came to a similar conclusion: The authors couldn’t find sufficient evidence in the scientific literature for the health benefits of orthodontic treatment.

Treatments aside, it’s not even clear that malocclusion causes bad health outcomes. While some individual studies find risks associated with malocclusion — jaw pain, for example — analyses of the larger body of literature tend to come up short. The 2020 study published in The American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics also analyzed 87 studies on the effects of malocclusion on oral health and didn’t find enough evidence to suggest that crooked teeth lead to poor health outcomes.

‘Dental health is definitely enhanced by orthodontic therapy, and I stand firm on that,’ said Greco.

Of course, not everyone visits the orthodontist to prevent cavities. Many go because they hope straight teeth will improve their life, said Stephen Richmond, a professor of orthodontics at Cardiff University in Wales. And there is some evidence to suggest that might be true — at least in children. In 2016, a team of orthodontists in the Netherlands analyzed the results of 40 studies and found that children with more crooked teeth tended to have a lower quality of life than those with straight teeth. However, the researchers didn’t take into account whether the studies controlled for socioeconomic status — a potentially powerful predictor of both quality of life and likelihood of receiving dental health care.

According to some orthodontists, this lack of objective evidence of health benefits is cause for concern. After all, treatment places a financial burden on families and the health care system, and it also poses some health risks. Even very small risks — from adverse reactions associated with surgical interventions to the long-term effects of X-ray exposure — are bound to impact a small but measurable number of patients if enough people are treated, Hujoel said. And millions of kids receive orthodontic treatment each year.

But others see things differently. “The cost-benefit [ratio] there is so low,” said Greco. “If you can readily correct a problem as a patient develops, you’d want to do that to give that patient every opportunity to develop normally, emotionally and mentally, physically,” Greco said.

No one is arguing that individual orthodontists are intentionally misleading patients. The problem is cultural, Ackerman said. Evidence just isn’t valued as highly in orthodontics as tradition and clinical experience. Although the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation requires an evidence-based curriculum, “It is largely paid lip service,” Ackerman wrote in an email. (The ADA did not respond to requests for comment.) Instead, his residency experience emphasized the classical practice of orthodontics. At one point during residency, Ackerman challenged his chair on a recommendation given to a patient. He still remembers the response he received: “Ackerman — Don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is made up.”

As a lecturer, Spassov was interested in incorporating a more critical discussion of evidence into his curriculum. However, he said that his colleagues dissuaded him. He says he was warned that incorporating evidence-based principles would confuse students. According to Spassov, it is easier and less confusing to just teach the same content each year. But that shouldn’t justify avoiding the topic entirely, he said. Diverging evidence is “at the core of science and research,” he wrote in an email to Undark.

Orthodontists need to rethink how they communicate treatment needs with their patients, said Richmond. “Health professionals have to be careful what they say sometimes,” he said. “When they say, ‘you may have an issue,’ that gets stuck in your mind.”

Ackerman agrees that patients deserve nuanced and accurate information. In 2007 and again in 2018, he challenged the American Association of Orthodontists about specific claims on its website: namely, that malocclusion can cause loss of teeth, speech impediment, and poor nutrition. When asked for evidence to support these assertions, they dismissed the complaint with no real investigation, Ackerman said.

Around a decade after his first complaint, they finally modified the site — and only slightly. Still, it’s a step in the right direction, said Vig.

The website continues to list other risks of malocclusion without providing evidence. That’s what it’s like to fight back against a prevailing dogma with new evidence, said Vig — it’s wearying. In an ideal world, those making a particular claim should carry the burden of proof, he said. Instead, that burden of proof falls on that minority of orthodontists willing to challenge the status quo — orthodontists like Vig, Ackerman, and Spassov. Each time they publish a paper that risks painting the profession in a negative light, each time they demand evidence for a claim, they meet resistance, Vig said. “It makes us pariahs in our profession.”

Isobel Whitcomb is a science reporter based in the Pacific Northwest. Her work has appeared in Bay Nature Magazine, Hakai, and Atlas Obscura, among other outlets.

This content was originally published here.

Invisalign® Aligners vs Braces for Sports – Happy Mothering

This post about Invisalign® aligners vs braces is sponsored by the Invisalign brand and all opinions are my own.

We finally got our first big snow of the season in the mountains! It’s something the entire family has been looking forward to all summer and fall… time to snowboard!

The girls got their new snowboards and immediately hit the slopes! Since Zoë has Invisalign aligners, we’ve been talking with other parents about Invisalign treatment vs. braces for active kids like ours. There are so many kids in her age group that are ready for orthodontic treatment, and many people are curious about our experience with Invisalign clear aligners.

I’ll let Zoë share her Invisalign treatment review with you as a snowboarder in this video! Then I’ll share the answers to some of the top questions about Invisalign treatment that we’ve heard.

Isn’t Zoë’s smile beautiful?! Everyone who sees her for the first time since she started treatment comments on her smile.

Of course, the compliments always spark a discussion about our experience with Invisalign treatment. If you’re considering aligners for your active kid, here are some of the questions we’ve been getting from other sports parents.

How Much is Invisalign Treatment?

Everything comes down to cost, right? Most often, the cost of Invisalign treatment is very comparable to that of braces.

You can pay out of pocket, but you may also be wondering does insurance cover Invisalign treatment? You’ll need to check with your provider, but many dental insurance companies do cover Invisalign aligners and often times they will cover up to $3,500 (or roughly 50%) of the cost… so it’s worth checking into.

How Long Does Invisalign Treatment Take?

It really varies based upon your child’s individual orthodontic needs.

Since Zoë had an overbite and crossbite that needed to be corrected, her treatment will be a bit on the longer side. She started treatment in June 2019 and we’re now in December 2019.

How Does Invisalign Treatment Work for Overbites?

If you’re wondering if Invisalign aligners can fix an overbite, the answer is yes. This point was really important to us since Zoë had such a severe overbite that her bottom teeth would dig into the roof of her mouth.

We’ve also been asked how Invisalign aligners work to correct overbites since they’re “just plastic trays.” Invisalign aligners use little tooth-colored buttons called SmartForce® attachments on the teeth to grip onto and move teeth into position.

Her treatment isn’t even over yet but her teeth no longer dig into the roof of her mouth! She is on weekly aligner changes, so her treatment has been moving along quickly.

That’s because her Invisalign aligners are made with SmartTrack® material, which is designed to fit better, be more comfortable and provide more predictable tooth movement (compared to aligners made from off-the-shelf, single layer .030in material).

Does Invisalign Treatment Hurt?

This question is one we hear often, especially since braces are known to be uncomfortable. I can personally vouch for braces being painful!

According to Zoë, her aligners hurt for a little bit each week when she changes them out. Her teeth shift quickly and the pain subsides equally as fast. They’re not pain free by any means, but it doesn’t seem like she’s in nearly as much pain as I was as a teen with braces.

She talked a little bit about pain levels during the first couple weeks in our post, What to Expect When Getting Your First Set of Invisalign Aligners.

What’s the Best Invisalign Treatment Alternative?

I’ve been really surprised by how many times we’ve heard this question! I’m going to come right out and say that we wouldn’t consider using an alternative to Invisalign clear aligners. There are plenty of home treatment aligner brands on the market now, but I personally wouldn’t use any of them without an orthodontist’s guidance.

Here’s why… Our next door neighbor was a few months into her Invisalign treatment when she realized her bite was out of alignment. Her orthodontist caught it early, re-scanned her and corrected her treatment plan. Now she’s back on track.

We also had Zoë’s mouth re-scanned last month. Not because her treatment wasn’t going according to plan, but because she lost her last baby tooth and she needed new aligners that would fit the new tooth properly.

If you’re using an at-home aligner brand, you won’t have an orthodontist watching for these types of changes. And when you’re busy with sports like we are, it’s important to have someone looking out for things you may not even know you need to be looking out for!

When it’s time for Kaylee to get orthodontic treatment, we’ll be looking at Invisalign aligners for her too…. no alternatives for us.

Is Invisalign Treatment Worth It?

When I was a teen, I had braces and I played softball. I was always terrified of being hit in the face with a ball, and it made me more skittish on the field during that time than I should have been.

There was no question that Zoë needed orthodontic treatment. It was really important to us to choose what we felt was the safest orthodontic treatment for sports for her, especially since she spends 100+ days on the snow each year.

Fortunately, Zoë doesn’t have to worry about the same things I did with her Invisalign aligners. There is no metal like with braces, so there’s no risk of tearing a lip on a bracket or popping a wire.

I believe choosing Invisalign treatment vs. braces has helped Zoë have more confidence in her active lifestyle. She gets on her snowboard and rides without fear of what braces might do to her, and that’s pretty awesome.

So I’d say absolutely yes, Invisalign treatment has been completely worth it for Zoë! So much so that we’ll be looking at it for Kaylee soon.

Is Invisalign Treatment Right for You?

Our experiences have shown us why Invisalign treatment is the most advanced clear aligner system on the market and reinforced why it’s a better choice than braces for us! If you have an active child in need of orthodontics, the next step is to take the free Smile Assessment for your child to see if Invisalign treatment is right for them and find an Invisalign provider near you for an initial consultation!

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This content was originally published here.

Sota Orthodontics opens new Oxford Street location | The Globe

“My personal goal is to have happy people,” said Dr. Todd Hoggan, owner/orthodontist of Sota Orthodontics, which debuted its new Worthington office at 1526 Oxford St. (formerly McCarthy’s Floral) in mid-August.

“Achieving beautiful smiles is the most fun part of it, but it’s really about changing lives.”

While Hoggan and his staff of six (two additional staff members may eventually be added to his Worthington operation) are occupied with examining teeth, making molds and tightening braces in the quest for more perfect mouths, patients will find the clinic’s surroundings contribute to their comfort and relaxation — at least, as much as that’s possible when one’s teeth are being tweaked.

“It’s a different look, a little more current, with new chairs, a new sterilizer and all new equipment,” noted Hoggan.

“We wanted it to look cool, and it features shades of grays, blues and white.

“There’s an expanded waiting room and more capacity generally, with the office flow designed specifically for orthodontics,” he continued.

“It’s a major step for us, and we think it turned out pretty nice.”

Given that Sota Orthodontics’ website says its goal is “personalized care in a patient-focused, warm and inviting environment that allows our patients to relax and enjoy their orthodontic experience,” Hoggan’s refurbished clinic seems to check all the boxes.

However, it wasn’t ambience so much as scheduling freedom that drove Hoggan’s need for a different locale.

“We shared dental office space with AppleWhite Dental [on Worthington’s Second Avenue] for quite some time, and about a year ago they were looking to change hours and times,” explained Hoggan, adding that their weekly Worthington presence has traditionally been each Wednesday.

Because Hoggan, who earned his doctorate of dentistry at the University of Oklahoma Dental School in 2000 and his M.S. in orthodontics in 2003, also has offices and patients in Marshall, Pipestone and Pierre, S.D., he and his peripatetic staff desired greater scheduling flexibility than a shared office space with another busy practice allowed.

“For instance, when winter comes and we sometimes have to shut down the office due to weather events, we’ll have more flexibility to make up for ice days and snowstorms,” said Hoggan.

“That will be a nice benefit.”

Another plus is the central location along one of Worthington’s main streets, although Hoggan is quick to point out that an orthodontist’s office is almost always a predetermined destination rather than a random stop.

Hoggan and his staff provide standard orthodontic care, with Hoggan being a certified Invisalign and Clear Correct clear aligner expert to boot. He has conducted and authored original orthodontic research and incorporates the latest dental/orthodontic technologies in his patient care.

“We want our patients to be the best they can be, but not everyone wants the same thing,” said Hoggan.

“For some people, we’re working to correct something that has bothered them their whole life and has maybe even been embarrassing, so this is a fun, exciting process,” he added.

“It can have its ups and downs — a little pain, some wire pokes — but generally speaking, we want everyone to have a wonderful experience and be happy.”

Hoggan’s enthusiasm for his work and patients shines through, and he is pleased the year-long process of establishing a new site for his Worthington practice is nearly complete.

“The cool thing about being an orthodontist is that every situation is unique—there’s no cookie cutter experience so it’s never a boring process,” Hoggan observed.

“With this new office, we’re well positioned to provide orthodontic care here well into the future,” he continued.

“We want people to be happy and to have a great result in the end — and hopefully we deliver.”

Sota Orthodontics is located at 1526 Oxford St., Worthington, 372-2166. For more information, visit sotaorthodontic.com.

This content was originally published here.

How to Choose the Best Orthodontist for Kids | Making Lemonade

Tips for finding an orthodontist that exceeds expectations, and our son’s experience getting early intervention orthodontic treatment and braces for the first time. If you are looking for an orthodontist for braces or Invisalign in the Cary, Apex or Morrisville, North Carolina area this will be especially helpful!

For more real life parenting solutions, check out how to set up the ideal home learning space and how to organize school papers for grades k-12.

This is a different type of post today, but let’s file it under ‘maintaining mental health and sanity’ both as a parent and a kiddo, as well as helpful life tips when you have a preteen or teen. If you have kids, you’ll want to keep reading for tips to help them adjust to new situations when it comes to orthodontic treatments!

We always knew my son would need braces, so we weren’t surprised during an annual visit to the dentist when they referred him for orthodontic treatment. What DID surprise me was that he had to get an evaluation at an early age… 8 years old! Turns out it’s smart to get a screening around 7 years old because with certain issues early intervention would make things easier down the road.

This was the case with my son, so it was time to get started.

Considering that a huge percentage of the population has a fear of dental work and we’ve had negative experiences in the past, I knew we had to find an orthodontist that was patient centered. Also, since orthodontic visits are frequent during the treatment period I was nervous about the daunting task of convincing an 8 year old to go to his appointments without an argument.

Plus… getting braces isn’t known for being super fun because the whole point of appliances is to move teeth around which takes some finesse. And by ‘finesse’, I mean it can be a little uncomfortable after adjustments and such. Which is… not ideal for an 8-year-old.

Let’s just say I was not looking forward to this. At all. But after our first visit I was so impressed with the experience that I’m now partnering with Bovenizer & Baker Orthodontics to share our journey in this post!

Our Orthodontic Experience

(Important note: the following experience and photos happened prior to the pandemic, so some of these details may have changed– but the warmth and vibe of the office remains the same.)

We learned of a local Cary orthodontic practice (Bovenizer & Baker Orthodontics) through glowing-ly positive word-of-mouth recommendations, and booked a screening appointment. The first thing I noticed when I walked in was the happy vibe. Weird, because we’re in an orthodontic office, and that’s not how I remembered the experience when I was a teen!

When I booked the appointment over the phone I noticed the staff was incredibly welcoming and warm, and this continued when we arrived and checked into the waiting room. There were fresh cookies, a beverage machine and Starbucks for parents. Movies were playing to provide entertainment, and all the kids waiting seemed… super chill and not at all nervous. In fact, they were smiling while coming out of the treatment area. I wasn’t expecting that!

They gave us a tour of the office which included a toothbrushing station with environmentally friendly disposable toothbrushes, toothpaste and mouthwash.

We went back for the consult, and they took photos of my son’s teeth, mouth and face. Everything was top of the line and included advanced technology which made the process fast and comfortable. After meeting Dr. Bo and Dr. Baker and going through what the process would entail, we were given a welcome kit that included a way to earn points toward prizes, a view of the prize wall, and a packet of Dippin’ Dots (usually those are for cooling the mouth after procedures, so fun!)

My son’s eyes bugged out of his head when he saw the treat wall that patients get to enjoy after they have their braces off. It’s filled with all the goodies you typically have to avoid while wearing appliances, so it’s a powerful motivator.

Needless to say, we left that appointment beyond impressed. Ben was smiling and chowing down on Dippin’ Dots and looking forward to his next appointment. That’s a huge WIN in my book!

I was so impressed I even posted about it on Instagram, because I’m a huge advocate for local businesses… especially ones that go above and beyond.

Over the next few months, he had a spacer placed and then braces. It was incredible how fast they worked to expand his palate, shift his teeth, and create room for new teeth to grow and prevent impacted teeth. He went from start to finish in about 6 months, finishing just before the pandemic hit.

The difference is wild. In deference to his privacy, I won’t share the mouth photos but needless to say the Before and Afters show a much wider arch and all his teeth in their proper place without crowding. It’s pretty cool to see! This photo was taken after his braces were off, the entire process happened during his 4th grade year:

The follow-up appointments were different because the pandemic was in full-swing and they took major precautions (which is the only way I was going to send my son, considering the fact the other three members of our family are high-risk.) I felt extremely safe with all the systems they put into place to keep their patients safe and healthy, which is BEYOND appreciated in this environment.

Now, Ben will have a few check-in appointments moving forward until he’s ready for full braces in a few years. There is no doubt where we will go for that process!

If you have kids who may need orthodontic work, it’s important to find a practice that combines top-notch skill with a comforting, welcoming environment– especially at such a young age.

For locals in the Apex/ Cary/ Morrisville area, you can call Bovenizer & Baker Orthodontics for a screening appointment and they’ll be honest with their diagnosis. I’ve already had friends set up screening appointments and discover their kids won’t need braces until later, so I know they’re not a practice that will recommend treatment if it’s not needed. I trust them completely.

What to look for in an orthodontic practice

After going through this experience and talking with other parents, here’s a few tips for what to look for when searching for a great orthodontist:

What age do you recommend starting orthodontic treatment?

The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends age 7 for an initial consultation, but most kids don’t get braces until age 12 or 13. It’s good to get checked at age 7 to ensure there are no impacted teeth or other issues that need to be addressed with Phase 1 or early intervention, as some interventions need to happen during a specific growth phase.

Why We Chose Bovenizer & Baker Orthodontics

They checked every single box in the ‘what to look for in an orthodontic practice’ list above. Plus they have a huge presence in terms of giving back to the community (such as their Chance to Smile program, which gives free orthodontic treatment to foster children in our area!)

When I asked my son to summarize his experience, he said

“they made it fun to get braces and I looked forward to going. I mean, I didn’t think that getting braces could be FUN but it really was!”

Even if you’re not in the Apex or Cary area, I highly recommend checking out the Bovenizer & Baker Orthodontics website so you can see their office in action! It will help you measure your local orthodontic practices against their standards so you can find the perfect fit for your family.

I had many questions as a parent before going through the process so I hope you found these tips for choosing an orthodontist helpful!

This content was originally published here.

Hullings Orthodontics: Where Beautiful Smiles Grow | Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce

Hullings Orthodontics has been in business since 1990, but is now expanding its team, technology and capacity. Dr. Vincent Santucci joined Dr. Jon Hullings at his practice in summer 2019. Read more from Dr. Vincent and how the team at Hullings Orthodontics is transforming their services with leading edge technology and finding value in their Chamber membership.

Dr. Vincent Santucci, Orthodontist
Hullings Orthodontics
1700 Waterfront, Building 700
Facebook | Instagram | Website
Member since April 2019

Please tell us a little bit about Hullings Orthodontics.
Choosing orthodontic care is a decision that will make a lasting difference in your life. You’ll have a functional bite, less stress on your jaw, improved dental health and, of course, a beautiful smile to share! Hullings Orthodontics has been happily serving the Wichita community since 1990 and continues to provide the highest quality of care possible with an attentive and personalized approach to treatment. While excelling with more traditional metal and ceramic brackets for all ages, Hullings Orthodontics provides leading edge treatments such as Invisalign, limited clear aligner therapy and surgical options as well.

Why did you join the Chamber?
As a recent transplant back to Wichita after more than 11+ years of schooling across the country, it was important for me to reconnect with the people and businesses of Wichita. Joining the Chamber was a no brainer! It has given me avenues to network with the businesses that keep Wichita alive and to grow as a professional through various learning opportunities with community leaders.

To what do you attribute your success?
We attribute our 30 years of success to the relationships we have built within our community and our patients. A very significant amount of our new patients come to our office as word of mouth referrals from current or previous patients. We are always grateful for the opportunity to provide care to our community and it shows in our patients!

What is your favorite business book?
Well the most recent business book I read was “Harvard Business Review’s 10 must reads – On Mental Toughness” The HBR’s 10 must read series is a collective of articles on topics ranging from managing, business strategy and in this case mental toughness. It helped me form more resilience, manage stress and offered ways to grow from adversity.

What is a fun fact that people might not know about orthodontics?
You can thank NASA for modern braces, they developed the alloys that are currently used to make the wires we use to straighten teeth.

What is a common misconception about your industry?
Orthodontics is not just for teenagers anymore! Esthetic and technological advances in clear aligners provides new opportunities for anyone interested in improving their smiles.

This content was originally published here.

Orthodontist Kept Children In Braces Longer Than Necessary, Massachusetts AG Alleges In Lawsuit – CBS Sacramento

BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s office filed a lawsuit against an orthodontist who is accused of using “young patients as pawns to steal millions of dollars” by keeping children in braces for longer than medically necessary.

According to Healey, Dr. Mouhab Rizkallah fraudulently submitted millions of dollars in false claims to MassHealth. In addition to keeping children in braces for too long, Rizkallah is also accused of deceptively billing for mouthguards.

Rizkallah owns and operates six orthodontist practices in Massachusetts that do businesses as “The Braces Place.” There are locations in Somerville, Boston, Lawrence, Lowell Framingham and Lynn.

The investigation began with a patient complaint. Healey’s office alleges that Rizkallah, through two companies, instituted illegal policies and practices since November 2013.

For his MassHealth patients, who were mostly children, Rizkallah allegedly would often put braces only on their top teeth, even when there was no reason not to also put braces on the bottom teeth. Healey said this “significantly extended” treatment time and increased the amount of money collected from MassHealth.

Rizkallah is also accused of billing MassHealth for custom-fitted mouth guards even when the patient didn’t request, need, or receive them. Mouth guards that were given to patients often were from retail stores with a value of $9.99.

Staff members were ordered to cut the price off packaging before patients received the mouth guards, Healey alleges. Rizkallah would bill MassHealth $85-$95 for each mouth guard. In total, Rizkallah’s practices billed MassHealth more than $1 million for the mouth guards.

“For years, this orthodontist used his young patients as pawns to steal millions of dollars from the state,” Healey said. “This illegal behavior harmed families from low-income communities and communities of color who rely on MassHealth for health care coverage. We are suing to hold Dr. Rizkallah accountable for these exploitative practices that victimized vulnerable residents in Massachusetts.”

This content was originally published here.

Expert Series: How Invisalign® is Empowering ChangeMakers | 4-H

National 4‑H Council and Invisalign have launched a partnership to empower and recognize young people who are creating change in their communities through acts of kindness and service—big and small. Because everyone—especially our youth—should be seen and celebrated for the good they are doing in the world.

I caught up with Kamal Bhandal, VP of Global Brand and Consumer Marketing for Align Technology, to talk more about the Invisalign@ ChangeMakers Initiative and how the mother of two is inspiring her children to be a positive influence in their community.

What is a ‘ChangeMaker’?

Kamal Bhandal (KB): Simply put, a ‘ChangeMaker’ is someone who springs into action to solve a problem for the greater good of a community.

In what ways do you think the Invisalign® ChangeMakers Initiative will inspire young people to become change agents in their community?

KB: Everywhere you look, young people are actively driving change within their communities. In some instances, it may be a young person who leads a local blanket drive to donate to the local shelter, or it may be the young leader who activates their local school district to provide school lunches for families during the pandemic. There are many more examples all around the country, and often these are local stories that aren’t widely known, but provide tremendous impact in the community.

Align Technology’s Invisalign brand, in partnership with National 4‑H Council, has launched the Invisalign® ChangeMakers initiative to shine a light on these stories and elevate the young people who are driving change within their communities and bringing smiles. In doing so, we hope that more young people can see how teens just like them and feel connected to a larger youth community. Our collective goal with this partnership is to spotlight those inspiring stories so that every young person can see themselves as someone who can drive positive change within their communities.

Can you share some of the work Align Technology leads to inspire change in communities and how today’s youth can help support those efforts?

KB: Align is committed to improving the lives of our employees, customers, patients, stakeholders, and the communities in which we live and work. Our philanthropic philosophy is to support organizations whose visions tie closely to our own – improving smiles, empowering our customers through partnerships with learning institutions and foundations, and supporting and educating teens.

We are committed to developing youth leaders around the world. Here in the US, we’re actively partnering with leading organizations—like 4‑H—who are also committed to shaping and developing youth. Other partners include Junior Achievement including their S.H.E. Leads program, Boys & Girls Clubs of America,  and Cristo Rey San Jose High School.  Our partnerships with these organizations include mentoring, program support, as well as workshops that cultivate critical business and STEM skills, corporate work-study programs, and internships. Today’s youth can support these efforts by getting involved with the local chapters of any one of these programs.

As a mom of school-aged children, how are you inspiring them to be ChangeMakers? Why are those teachings so important?

KB: As a mom of a teen and a tween, I try to focus on a few things: (1) exposing the kids to a range of perspectives; (2) fostering empathy for others; and (3) supporting areas of individual interest. The teen years are a critical time in brain development as teenagers have an increased capacity to appreciate various perspectives. By learning about different communities and various ways to solve problems, it not only helps increase awareness of the variety of challenges that exist within communities, but it also stimulates more creative thinking on how problems can be solved. When it comes to having empathy for others, we try to create learning experiences that foster a sense of empathy—such as through volunteering or random acts of kindness—and provide support for a specific area of interest that is important for each of them. However small or large the individual interest area may be, we try to support and encourage the kids to drive change that will create positive impact, and also experience how that feels.

How do we continue to give young people a platform to share their ideas, experiences and innovation, and how will those ideas impact the future?

KB: Organizations like 4‑H that celebrate and support youth in cultivating their ideas are critical. Today’s youth are full of ideas and creative solutions that can help drive positive changes that will enhance the lives of others who are a part of their community – large or small. To give young people a platform to share their ideas, it’s critical that we:

This content was originally published here.

AG Healey sues orthodontist for keeping kids in braces longer than needed | Boston.com

A Massachusetts orthodontist kept kids in braces longer than necessary and submitted millions of dollars in false claims to MassHealth, according to a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Maura Healey Monday.

The defendant, Dr. Mouhab Rizkallah, runs six practices under the name “The Braces Place,” which has locations in Boston, Somerville, Lawrence, Lowell, Framingham, and Lynn. The attorney general’s complaint alleges that Rizkallah has intended to defraud the state’s Medicaid program since November 2013.

“For years, this orthodontist used his young patients as pawns to steal millions of dollars from the state,” Healey said in a statement. “This illegal behavior harmed families from low-income communities and communities of color who rely on MassHealth for health care coverage. We are suing to hold Dr. Rizkallah accountable for these exploitative practices that victimized vulnerable residents in Massachusetts.”

The headline example in Dr. Rizkallah’s alleged fraudulent activity involved arbitrarily delaying putting braces on children’s bottom teeth to increase their treatment time — and, by proxy, money from MassHealth. The investigation began after a patient complaint.

The suit also states that the doctor billed MassHealth for custom sports mouth guards that did not exist. The complaint says that he told his staff to cut the $9.99 price tag off of prefabricated retail mouth guards, gave them to patients, and billed MassHealth up to $95 for each one. The AG’s office says that MassHealth paid Dr. Rizkallah over $1 million for the mouth guards.

The office alleges that the conduct violates the state False Claims Act and the state Medicaid False Claims act, constitutes a breach of contract by Dr. Rizkallah’s companies, and resulted in the unjust enrichment of the doctor. The suit seeks treble damages and civil penalties.

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This content was originally published here.

How to Clean Invisalign | My Crazy Good Life

Keeping your Invisalign retainers clean is easier than you might think! Here are some tips on how to clean Invisalign aligners and also what to avoid when cleaning them. 

This post, How to Clean Invisalign, is sponsored by Invisalign.

Jack is in the process of using Invisalign to straighten his teeth, and Invisalign is providing treatment in exchange for our honest thoughts and experiences. 

Make sure to keep your mouth, aligners, and teeth all squeaky clean and healthy with these tips and tricks. Remember, it’s important to clean your trays properly so they’re not damaged or weakened in the process! 

How to Clean Invisalign

If you’ve ever started an Invisalign journey you probably know that they’ll have to come out and be cleaned several times during the day for eating as well as a deeper clean daily. 

Figuring out how to clean your Invisalign retainers is an important part of caring for your aligners. Let’s take a look at some of the do’s and don’ts associated with cleaning your Invisalign trays.

Cleaning Invisalign Trays Do’s: 

DO clean your Invisalign retainers once a day. The best ways to clean them are with specified retainer soaking products OR with a soft bristle toothbrush and a clear liquid soap. 

DO soak them. A great DIY soak for a squeaky clean Invisalign aligners is equal parts lukewarm water and white distilled vinegar. 15 – 30 minutes (maybe while you’re eating dinner) will do the trick! 

DO check packages. If you do select a store bought soak for your Invisalign trays make sure it is specifically designed for retainers. Something designed for dentures is not a great idea for your clear plastic retainers.

Cleaning Invisalign Retainers Don’ts:

You should never use an abrasive cleaner on your aligners. Something too coarse or stiff can scratch or damage your Invisalign trays. 

Another big don’t is mouthwash. It can seem like a great idea because the alcohol will kill the germs, right? Nope! Soaking them in mouthwash is not good for their structure and it won’t do a good job of eliminating buildup or germs. 

Finally, remember that toothpaste is not designed to clean your Invisalign retainers. Just like with dentures, it can be abrasive and cause more places for germs to build up and grow. 

Are you thinking about Invisalign® Treatment for someone in your family? I highly recommend it, and am happy to answer any questions you have! 

This content was originally published here.

Zimmer Biomet dental unit to distribute Invisalign maker’s intraoral scanners | MedTech Dive

Dive Brief:

Dive Insight:

Zimmer Biomet executives touted “continued improvement” in the dental business on its most recent earnings call, with CEO Bryan Hanson telling investors the unit “has been gaining traction over the last few quarters.” The business markets dental implants, as well as sutures and putty.

But on a year-over-year basis, dental sales declined from $428 million in 2016, to $419 million in 2017, to $411 million last year. A Wall Street Journal report from March 2018 said Zimmer Biomet was considering divesting the dental business altogether.

Zimmer Biomet’s most recent annual report said it competes primarily with Danaher’s Nobel Biocare, Dentsply Sirona and Swiss manufacturer Straumann in the dental implant market. It attributed the continued slide in sales in 2018 to “ongoing competitive challenges in the U.S. and EMEA and restructuring of our dental organization in certain European markets.”

The agreement with Align “expands Zimmer Biomet’s global footprint in the rapidly growing market for digital restorative dentistry solutions,” the medtech said in its announcement.

For Align, the deal comes after recently public teledentistry company SmileDirectClub served as a bit of a boon and a bane. The two companies struck a deal in 2016 for Align to become SDC’s exclusive third-party supplier of non-Invisalign clear aligners. But the business partners have since had disputes. An arbitration decision in March forced Align to close its piloted Invisalign stores due to non-compete provisions.

Align is optimistic about the potential of the Zimmer partnership for its scanner business.

“Through this partnership, the iTero scanner becomes the preferred intraoral scanner used in the U.S. and European Zimmer Biomet Institutes, which train thousands of dental professionals annually,” said Yuval Shaked, senior vice president of iTero Scanner and Services.

Also this week, Danaher dental spinout Envista priced its initial public offering, which it said is expected to close Friday. Danaher’s plans to have its dental businesses form a separate publicly traded company were first announced last July.

This content was originally published here.

Minnesota orthodontist ‘The Braces Guy’ takes TikTok by storm | Grand Forks Herald

So you won’t see the Rochester orthodontist performing dance duets or shuffles on TikTok, but as “The Braces Guy,” Collins and his 20-member staff at Collins Orthodontics in Rochester, Minn., have been a sensation on the infectious social media app.

Their short videos have racked up 3.2 million followers and 180 million likes.

And they achieved that success in the most unique way imaginable: By using TikTok to channel advice and useful tips to people who wear braces.

From Collins’ short video skits, people learn such smile-widening insights: How to mitigate the pain from wearing braces; how underbites can be transformed into radiant smiles; and tips for handling braces-related mishaps, like what do you do when your retainer breaks.

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Collins had dabbled with other social media platforms before, but it wasn’t until he opened TikTok two years ago that his audience began to soar to stratospheric numbers. It was, to say the least, a surprise to Collins.

“It really wasn’t an expectation of mine at all,” Collins said. “Again, I enjoy the video. I like the creation part. I try to make sure that we’re doing this for the right reasons.”

The Braces Guy’s popularity perhaps isn’t so surprising. Take a tour. The 30-second videos are slickly produced and edited (Collins does the editing after work). There is an element of zaniness and fun about them.

When Collins isn’t sporting his blond pompadour, he might be wearing a blue or gold wig, posing as the foul-tempered “Karen The Hygienist” who mock-shames people into wearing their retainer or making sure they floss their teeth. He is a character, in the best sense of the word.

The Braces Guy features staff dancing and holiday-themed videos, but the vast majority of the videos are educational in nature. Collins said the videos are an enhancement of the clinic’s mission, which is to create a “memorable guest experience” akin to going to Disney World, Chick-fil-A or Starbucks.

“We really hone in on training our team to provide excellent customer service,” Collins said, “and TikTok is an expression of that.”

The videos address both the anxiety and dread, hope and excitement associated with one of those pivotal events many teens go through: Getting braces. Whether it’s to fix an overbite or underbite, crowded or crooked teeth, few things are as life-changing as having one brace’s removed to reveal … a new smile.

“It’s a big life event for people,” Collins said. “And to be able to be a part of that and be alongside of them during that journey and be there with them when they get to see that transformation — nothing beats it.”

A 2002 graduate of Century High School in Rochester, Collins earned his orthodontics degree from the University of Minnesota Dental School and spent his residency at Mayo Clinic. Collins Orthodontics opened seven years and is owned by Grant and his wife, Kimberly Collins, who is also the office manager.

Collins said he was first introduced to TikTok by a patient and observed early on how many people, even doctors and dentists, used it for light, airy content. He saw the potential for using it as an educational medium, particularly for debunking myths about teeth and braces.

Collins hopped onto the app in March 2019, and six month later, had chalked up 1 million followers. The pandemic and downtime caused by it allowed Collins and his staff to amp up production.

One of his earliest creations was a short video on teeth whitening. All toothpaste has an abrasive component to it for removing stains on teeth, but some brands have much higher levels. Charcoal toothpaste, for example, is like rubbing sandpaper on teeth, scrubbing away both stain and tooth (Collin used sandpaper to illustrate his point). The message: Don’t use charcoal toothpaste.

Today, Collins makes three to four videos a week. Because the videos are so popular with fans, The Braces Guy has been designated as a “verified” account by TikTok. The exposure generated by the app has been an undeniable benefit to the practice. Young people, the primary audience of TikTok, come to Collins Orthodontics in southwest Rochester longing to meet The Braces Guy.

Along the way, there are other opportunities and temptations that come with being a popular content creator. Brands come knocking with offers and ad opportunities, but Collins said he says no to most of them.

“I think it’s important for me to be authentic and make sure that people are getting an honest opinion about things,” Collin said. “I don’t accept money from dental companies to give advice. I think it’s important to make sure that people are getting an honest opinion about things.”

This content was originally published here.

Making a Visible Difference | Valderrama Orthodontics

“I always saw dentistry as a part of a more HOLISTIC view of healthcare.”

Dr. V consulting with a patient different options, traditional or clear, lingual braces or clear aligners.

When we search for healthcare providers, there are two qualities that engender trust. The kind of trust that provides peace of mind in the moment and confidence in the future. Between medical professionals and their patients, it is based on their doctor’s ability; are they qualified? And their empathy; do they really care?

It would be difficult to determine which quality is stronger in Dr. Natalia Valderrama, of Valderrama Orthodontics in Melbourne. How many graduate from medical school in dentistry at just 18? Not one in a million people, but perhaps one in a million doctors. Then, she became a celebrated and innovative provider of oral health and treatment, in the poorest and most remote parts of her native Columbia, often traveling by horseback to treat villages in rural areas.

Looking back on what drew her towards dentistry she said, “I loved science and was fascinated with how the human body operated.” This, along with the influence of her mother, a biology professor; her father, a philosopher and a philanthropist; and her own orthodontist, who gave her a transformative experience when she was a teenager and encouraged her focus on her profession.

“I had such a wonderful experience with an orthodontist and saw what a difference they could make in a life. I prayed that one day I would be able to have that kind of impact on others.”


State of the art equipment, software and technology allows digital treatment planning of cases for individualized needs

With latest scanning technology, her patients do not have to take impressions and molds any longer, since everything is done via the internet.

Already a successful and experienced dentist with her own practice, at 25 she came to America on vacation and was captivated by how clean, modern and safe it was. “I loved the country and three days after my arrival, I decided this is where I wanted to live,” Dr. Valderrama said.

Though eminent in her native country, like many immigrants before her, she had to divert to a slightly different track to help her achieve American citizenship and an ability to practice dentistry. She chose to become a registered nurse.

“Part of the reason I did that is was I wanted to understand how the larger healthcare system in America worked,” she explained. “By becoming a nurse, I served in hospitals in the ER, labor and delivery and intensive care; my goal was to become a better overall clinician. I always saw dentistry as a part of a more holistic view of healthcare.”

She then went through a special international advanced program in general dentistry at the Eastman Institute for Oral Health at the University of Rochester. Having finished that program, she continued on to complete a specialty in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.

Orthodontists, in addition to completing their general dentistry training, spend two to three years specializing in the diagnosis, prevention and correction of misaligned teeth and jaws, including overbites, occlusions and overcrowded mouths.


Consultations include a digital photo and radiographic analysis as well as an oro-facial, respiratory and dental assessment of the patient.

“I wanted to be in a place where I could help people and I realized that in dentistry I have the power to change people’s lives,” Dr. Valderrama said. “That is why we offer free consultations; because part of my mission is to use my knowledge and experience for the betterment of others.”

One of the critical differentiators she identified, being initially trained and practicing in a poorer country, was that the focus of healthcare in these countries is on prevention, rather than curing people once they are sick. Early detection and intervention are foundational to their approach. From a quality of life, as well as the practicality of pure economics, the benefits are obvious. “If you can detect and intervene early, it has a huge impact,” she observed.

In addition, Dr. Valderrama is proactive in taking the initiative to refer patients to other medical specialists. “The longer you wait to treat a problem, the worse the problem has the potential to become. A simple referral to an ENT(Ear, Nose, Throat specialist), speech therapist or a general dentist can make a remarkable difference.”

Dr. Valderrama, is also committed to collaboration and with digital technologies at her disposal she is able to consult with specialists and clinicians from around the world.


“My practice covers both sides of the age spectrum,” she said. “For the young, we focus on early diagnosis and treatment, but I also have patients as old as 82.” The explanation is simple: she is seeing and treating people who have been suffering the effects of poor alignment all their lives.

Thus, they have gum problemsbecause they can’t floss properly,or their teeth are wearing incorrectly. Now with life expectancies increasing with each generation, what was once considered old, is now seen almost as middle age. Thus, orthodontic care becomes a healthy, quality of life and lifestyle option.

The case for having straight teeth isn’t simply a cosmetic issue, rather it helps ensure your teeth last longer and your overall health is improved. Therefore, if you are expecting to live to 100 or 110, then orthodontic care in your 50’s and 60’s makes perfect sense. “These individuals have the potential to be able to keep their teeth for an additional 40 or 50 years,” she said.

According to the American Association of Orthodontics, children should see an Orthodontist for an exam before they are 7 years old. Dr. Valderrama offers complimentary consultations at her practice: Valderrama Orthodontics in Suntree/ Viera.

The post Making a Visible Difference | Valderrama Orthodontics appeared first on Space Coast Living Magazine.

This content was originally published here.

What Dallas Dentists Say About Mail-Order Orthodontics – D Magazine

Two years ago, I plopped down nearly five grand to have my teeth straightened with Invisalign. The orthodontic alternative to traditional metal or clear braces uses a series of removable custom aligners to move teeth into tidy rows. Everything about the process—from having a mouth full of plastic for 22 hours a day to monthly visits to my dentist—was annoying. I hated every second of it, but I am happy with the results.

I was likely a candidate for the much less expensive SmileDirectClub, but it was only after I began treatment that Facebook started serving me ads for the nascent direct-to-consumer orthodontia business. Founded in 2014 and based in Nashville, SmileDirectClub opened its first Dallas office downtown at WeWork in March 2017, only a few months before I began Invisalign treatment. Today, it has five freestanding SmileShops in North Texas. In June, the company unveiled locations inside four CVS pharmacies in Dallas, Plano, Bedford, and Fort Worth, with seven more planned for 2019. That has drawn frowns from some Dallas dentists.

SmileDirectClub bills itself as teledentistry meant to “democratize access to a straighter smile through an affordable and convenient direct-to-consumer platform.” It has spawned many imitators with camel-cased names that suggest gaps between words, like gaps between teeth, are ugly. They include SmileLove, ClearCorrect, and SnapCorrect. Some dentists and orthodontists are concerned about the potential for permanent damage from this lightly guided approach to teeth straightening. In April, the American Dental Association filed a citizen petition with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to shut down SmileDirectClub. The public has until October 22 to comment.

But is the pushback legit or merely outrage over a market disruption?

“Well, that is the question,” says a 30-year dentistry veteran and top Invisalign provider in Dallas who called the issue “a very hot topic.” It’s so hot that she wouldn’t speak on the record for fear of litigation. “The concern is unidentified problems that can develop without the supervision of the dentist watching the movement of the teeth,” she says. Though she admits, “I’ve had two SmileDirect patients come in, and I have to tell you, I don’t hate it.” For that opinion, she says, her colleagues might pop her in the mouth.

There are differences in the treatments. The Invisalign treatment is available only through a licensed dentist, whom you have to see repeatedly during treatment. It has been around since 1997, and if you want to go this route, your dentist will look at your teeth and gums and take X-rays to determine if you are a candidate. If you get the green light, a dental tech takes 3D scans of your teeth with a wand called an iTero. Those images are sent to Invisalign, which sets a treatment plan and 3D-prints a series of removable aligners. In a couple of weeks, you return to your dentist for the first of the aligners, which are like super thin mouth guards for the upper and lower teeth. You wear each of them every minute that you are not eating or cleaning your teeth for 10 to 14 days. Then you move to the next set of aligners in the series. Every 30 to 45 days, you visit your dentist for an exam and to get a few more aligners. Invisalign treatment generally lasts 12 to 18 months. The average cost is $5,750.

None of the Dallas practitioners I spoke to are worried about losing patients to SmileDirectClub. All insist that their concerns are a matter of health and safety.

Treatment through SmileDirectClub works similarly. The biggest differences: no in-person visits to the dentist and a much lower price. A patient declares that his or her teeth and gums are healthy before visiting a SmileShop for 3D scans or purchasing an at-home impression kit from CVS, Macy’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, or the internet. A licensed dentist or orthodontist reviews the scans or impressions to determine the patient’s eligibility and set a plan. The patient is then asked to check in with a SmileDirectClub dentist every 90 days via phone, text, or email and to continue regular checkups with his or her own dentist. SmileDirectClub claims treatment lasts on average just six months—presumably because it accepts only mild to moderate cases of crowding or spacing, and focuses on moving only the front teeth. (Invisalign can be used to treat more severe cases.) It costs $1,895 plus $49 for the impression kit (scans are free).

Dr. Sarah Poteet has a private dentistry practice near Preston Center. She says she has a patient who is likely going to lose a tooth as a result of an infection that she feels was exacerbated by SmileDirectClub treatment. “If someone has gum disease or bone loss, and you start moving teeth in a compromised foundation, you can end up losing teeth as a direct result of that movement,” Poteet says. “The problem with cavities and gum disease is that patients don’t always feel pain. People look at their teeth and they look fine. They think, I can get a better deal. It’s cheaper to do this, and I don’t have time, and I am just going to take the shortcut.”

In other words, she says, it’s risky to move your teeth without knowing for sure that your dental health is A+, and the price you pay could be something you can’t put on a credit card.

“It’s not that the systems inherently don’t work,” says orthodontist Dr. Brody Hildebrand of Preston Hollow Specialists, which provides traditional braces as well as Invisalign. “There is merit to the technology. The issue is who is overseeing things. Who is the person responsible for the treatment and how does the patient address issues when they arise? The fact is, problems happen.”

That’s not something SmileDirectClub disputes. “If there is an outcome that is undesirable, we get involved and manage it,” says Dr. Jeffrey Sulitzer, chief clinical officer at SmileDirectClub. “It’s a significant small minority, and you handle it as you would anything as a clinician.” He stresses that the business works “with Texas-licensed doctors, managed by the same rules and regulations. They are doctors with the same passion about standard of care and the same passion for making sure the dental board is comfortable. Ninety-eight-point-five percent of the doctors affiliated with SmileDirectClub treat patients in their own practices as well. A lot of establishment organizations are pushing back, even though they know the model is safe, efficacious, and productive. They don’t want it to be true.”

I called the Dallas County Dental Society to ask about that. Its president, Dr. Brad Crump, referred me to the American Dental Association. A senior manager in the communications department there emailed me a list of links to its website. One of them warns against “potential irreversible harm” from direct-to-consumer orthodontic services. A representative at the Baylor College of Dentistry told me to call the American Association of Orthodontists. As part of a consumer alert, that organization has posted on its website a list of 14 questions to ask when considering direct-to-consumer orthodontics.

Though Dr. Poteet admits the uproar is a bit of a turf war, none of the Dallas practitioners I spoke to are worried about losing patients to SmileDirectClub. All insist that their concerns are a matter of health and safety.

So should you trust your smile to teledentistry? Should you drop by CVS to begin a teeth-straightening plan? That depends. If you don’t have a major dental problem and you’re a responsible adult committed to brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups, you’ll likely be just fine. But do your research first. Google. Talk to a dental professional. Be honest with yourself. And know that, as Hildebrand warns, if you end up with a misaligned bite that causes problems down the road, your dentist may say, “I told you so.”

This content was originally published here.

Does Insurance Cover Invisalign? A Simple Guide

Getting a gorgeous smile comes at a price, but that doesn’t mean you have to front the bill all on your own. That’s good news if you’re considering Invisalign treatment.

But before you go for your first consultation, there are some things you should understand about Invisalign insurance coverage.

Does insurance cover Invisalign? Keep reading the information below to find out.

Does Insurance Cover Invisalign?

The answer to this question is sort of tricky. For the most part, standard dental insurance policies cover routine cleanings and exams. They also cover oral procedures like extractions and root canals.

Invisalign is considered cosmetic dentistry, so it’s not always included in basic dental plans. However, many policies do offer assistance for orthodontic treatment.

Some insurance plans will take care of a percentage of the Invisalign cost. With that said, here are some important things to note:

  1. The Invisalign insurance might have an annual maximum of $1,000 to $1,500.
  2. For some policies, fixing crooked teeth is considered cosmetic. If the aligners are used for that, it may not be covered.
  3. Your Invisalign insurance coverage might only offer one service for orthodontic procedures. For instance, if you used the policy to pay for braces in the past, it may not cover Invisalign. 

Alternative Payment Options

If you don’t have Invisalign Insurance, don’t worry. There are several alternatives that you can use to help pay for your treatment, such as:

Payment Plans

Many orthodontic offices offer payment plans. You’ll generally have to apply through a credit lender that’s partnered with the office.

If you’re approved, the credit lender will give you the full amount or a portion of the Invisalign cost. You’ll be required to pay the amount back in installments.


If you have a flexible savings account or a health savings account provided by your employer, you can use it to cover your Invisalign treatment.

With an FSA, you can put a portion aside from each paycheck throughout the year for health expenses.

On the other hand, an HSA is used to help people that have high deductible medical insurance policies. It’s a savings account that’s used for health and dental costs with a limit of $3,400 for single persons and $6,750 for families.

Unfortunately, not all employers offer these plans to their employees.

Care Credit

CareCredit is a card that’s designed to help individuals pay off their out-of-pocket medical and dental expenses. Unlike traditional credit cards, it has special options for financing. However, Care Credit can only be used at certain locations that accept it.

Get the Smile You’ve Always Wanted

Hopefully, this article answered your question of “Does insurance cover Invisalign?”

The basic answer to that question is often yes, but only if your policy covers it. On the bright side, it’s good to know there are payment options available if it doesn’t. 

If this content was helpful, take a look at more of our blog. We cover numerous topics to keep our readers intrigued and educated. Check us out!

The post Does Insurance Cover Invisalign? A Simple Guide appeared first on Mom Blog Society.

This content was originally published here.

Growing Your Invisalign® Practice from the Inside Out – Oral Health Group

Three Key Principles to Starting One Invisalign Case Every Day

Let me start by asking a simple question – where do Invisalign patients come from?

Expensive marketing campaigns?

Social media posts and fancy Facebook lead-generating ads and sales funnels?

That poster you hung on your wall and those brochures you placed on your front counter in hopes the patients will ask you about it?

If you think these things are going to fill your schedule with patients lining up for Invisalign consults, then I am going to challenge you to think differently.

I want to get you excited about the idea that all the Invisalign patients you could ever want are already inside your practice.  

In a small rural town with a population of only 7000 people, I have been able to achieve and maintain Platinum status since 2017.

In this article I will share with you the 3 Key Principles I used to grow my Invisalign practice from the INSIDE OUT – without any fancy marketing campaigns or rock bottom pricing strategies.  

My Invisalign journey began in 2008 when I completed Level 1 certification, which allowed me to do a handful of cases per year.  That was until 2017 when everything changed. In 2017, I started over 100 cases – with 46 of those cases started in the last 2 months of the year.  And yes – I did this without any external expensive marketing campaigns and no rock bottom pricing. In 2018, I started 167 cases and worked 151 days – over one case for every day I worked, and I’ve never looked back.  So what changed?

Principle #1  

Changing YOUR MIND is the first step

“If it’s been done before it’s probably possible.”

One of my favourite quotes from Zig Ziglar.

Over one weekend in late 2017 after a series of “fortunate” events including attending a minor hockey league game with my son and downloading a chance book to my Kindle, a lightning bolt of inspiration hit me.

I was inspired both by Zig Ziglars’ quote (which appeared in the book I was reading) and by what other dentists I looked up to and admired were achieving.

I was inspired to be a dentist who started one Invisalign case every day.  

Not only did I know Invisalign clear aligners to be a fun part of practice, but I also knew starting a case every day would more easily allow me to reach the financial goals for my practice.

Your mind is powerful and until you really commit and believe you can achieve the unthinkable – like starting an Invisalign case every day – you won’t.

Changing your mind has to be the first step.  That’s all I changed in three days over that one weekend in 2017, and I started 46 cases of Invisalign treatment in the next two months.

I knew I could be a dentist who started one Invisalign case every day because others had done it – and if it’s been done before, it’s probably possible.

I went from thinking “there is no way I can start more Invisalign cases, there just isn’t that much opportunity” (scarcity thinking – which we will get to in a moment!) to believing in myself and my team that I absolutely could do more…and we did!

I know what you are thinking – “Is she serious? Just change my mind and magically all the Invisalign cases will appear?”

Stay with me because yes, over that weekend, I made the mental commitment but at the start of the week was where the rubber hit the road so to speak, and I had to put action to my thoughts.  That’s where principal number two comes in…

Principle #2  

Get Engaged in Your Practice

If you are anything like I was, I loved running back to my office to check social media, my phone, the stock market, read the latest article on the newest bond, or who knows what else, while I was waiting to begin treatment for my patients. And I was a master of hiding from my hygienists –  What an interruption in my already busy day!

Just let me do the dentistry and do not stretch me outside my comfort zone and I’m happy…

Unfortunately, what I didn’t recognize was that by doing that I was missing huge opportunities, and if I wanted to start one case of Invisalign treatment every day, I could no longer afford to be disengaged. I could no longer afford to take my patients and their needs for granted.  But to do that I had to put some effort in.

What do I mean by this?

I put my phone down and scoured every chart of every patient who was in my office today.  I was actively looking for opportunities to talk about Invisalign clear aligners. Who could I talk to today?

Checking email? Forget it. Now I checked all the hygiene charts looking for opportunities!

Surfing the web? Not anymore. I needed to dig deep into all the restorative charts.

What I’m getting at is that opportunities don’t just happen – you create them!

You need to become keenly aware of the outstanding dentistry and opportunities that are in your office TODAY!

I bet you are thinking, “My assistants and hygienists already do a chart audit and tell me about outstanding dentistry.” And you know what? Mine did too!!!  But finding patients to talk to about Invisalign clear aligners is much different.

There is something to be said for YOU – THE DOCTOR – getting intensely engaged with your patients.  Reading your last notes yourself, reviewing your last x-rays or even better – the last photos – and getting yourself mentally prepared for another conversation is very powerful.   Your team will start to notice the shift too – and trust me – they will like it!

Get focused for a revisit of the already diagnosed dentistry, and if you want to start more Invisalign cases, get focused on who you can talk to about Invisalign clear aligners today.  Don’t underestimate the value of being prepared for those conversations.  Preparedness brings confidence.

Once I was prepared, once I knew with a laser focus who I was talking to today and once my team was prepared for me to have those conversations, you would be surprised how often those patients said “YES”!

But the truth is I had to find those opportunities because they weren’t just going to be handed to me on a silver platter.  

I had to put the work in and get engaged. 

We have a specialized set of skills that only we as dentists possess and that we as dentists only get to practice while we are at work! So make hay while the sun shines!!!  Get out of your personal office, get off your phone, turn off the TV, quit making phone calls, stop returning emails, and quit checking Facebook.

Do what only you can do: provide dentistry and get engaged with your team and your patients!  Everything else can wait.

Getting engaged also means (and yes I am gonna say it) you need to have a motivating, impactful, laser focused and empowering morning huddle.

My first day back in the office after that life-altering weekend in late 2017 began with a morning huddle like I had never had before.  And the day ended with four Invisalign case starts and another three on the schedule to start later that week.

To run a great meeting, my suggestion is for you as the doctor to be the happiest, most positive and overly energetic person on your team. You set the tone for that in the morning meeting!  If you come to work tired and unfocused, your team will follow suit. And no, I don’t believe this can be delegated.  You are the leader and you need to lead the charge, especially in times of change and new goals.  To reach new heights, you must be willing to go outside your comfort zone.

I would suggest every doctor needs to meet with their main assistant(s) and head scheduler in the morning. The agenda needs to be crystal clear: you now have a daily goal and intention of starting one Invisalign case every day and you need their help to reach this goal.  Who are you going to talk to today about Invisalign clear aligners and what is the plan if they say YES?

Get your team happy, get them motivated and get them believing in you! End with high fives, fist bumps or some other positive affirmation of the day, and start the day with good energy and clear intentions.

Trust me, there is no better way to start the day than by celebrating an Invisalign case start from yesterday!  

So get out of your personal office, stop hiding, take charge, get excited about the future and see the magic that follows.

Now you might be thinking, “Ok, I can get excited about the goal and start a mindset shift, and I can be more engaged with my practice, but you still didn’t answer the question you began with: where do these Invisalign patients come from?”  This leads me to principle number three.

Principle #3 

Invisalign patients are in your schedule already! (you just need to know how to talk to them)

In order to start more Invisalign cases, you have to believe that diagnosing a malocclusion is just as important as diagnosing a cavity.  Period.  Read that again if you have to.

Until we as dentists understand how to talk to patients about their malocclusions and the health benefits of straight teeth, we are letting a huge opportunity inside our practices pass us by. If the only way you know how to bring up a malocclusion is to ask if your patient has ever thought about straightening their teeth, you are going to hear a lot of “no”s. Why?  Because patients THINK Invisalign clear aligners are about cosmetics (and they aren’t that VAIN! And plus, isn’t that expensive???). It’s your job to help them understand it’s about so much more than that.

Straight teeth are about much more than cosmetics.

Understanding the importance that straight teeth play in improving a patient’s overall oral health was a game changer for me and my team and what allowed us to take our Invisalign practice to the next level.

That patient with crowding and cavities? There is an opportunity to talk about the health benefits of straight teeth.

That patient with crowding and gum disease?  There is an opportunity.

That patient with recession on a rotated canine? That Class 2 patient with wear who needs a nightguard? That patient with crowding who needs an implant?  That patient who has a deep bite, no overjet and daily headaches? The patient who broke the buccal cusp of a tooth in crossbite?

All of these patients are opportunities to talk about the health benefits of straight teeth! And these are the patients we see all day long in our practices.

Teeth that fit together better are easier to clean and last longer. It’s really as simple as that.

Seventy-five percent of the adult population is walking around with a malocclusion just waiting for us to diagnose! If you see eight hygiene patients in one day, six of them have a malocclusion. You only need one to say yes to Invisalign clear aligners today…

One out of six is a 16% case acceptance rate! (I hope this is looking more doable now!)

There is more than enough crooked teeth to go around.  Think abundantly!  Scarcity thinking is believing there are only so many people in your practice who will say yes to straightening their teeth, or that you will somehow run out of patients to talk to about the health benefits of straight teeth. It simply isn’t true.

If DTC orthodontics has taught us anything, it’s that the demand is there, and we just need to be more intentional at understanding the demand and understanding what our patients’ goals are. We have to be more intentional about talking to our patients about it and educating them on the health benefits of straight teeth.

So growing your Invisalign practice does not need to mean expensive marketing plans to attract new patients, or rock bottom prices to compete with DTC aligner brands.

Growing your Invisalign practice from the inside out simply means talking to your existing patients about the health benefits of straight teeth.

And the really good news is if you get intentional about finding the opportunities in your own patient population, those patients already know you, already have a relationship with you and probably most important, already trust you.  These patients are much more likely to say YES and feel good about their decision.

“To get things you’ve never had you must do things you’ve never done.”

This is my all-time favourite quote and through this article, I hope I have given you the nudge you need to go after those things.

About Dr. Terri Pukanich

Dr. Pukanich graduated from the University of Alberta dental School in 2002. She bought her first and only practice in 2003 when she was just 25 years old. Over the last 16 years she successfully grew her practice from a 4 treatment room, 1 doctor office to a 17 treatment room, super GP group practice – all in a small rural town of 7000 people. She is passionate about creating dental work environments that have tremendous impact on patients and team members and where everyone has fun! Along her journey she has worked with the biggest names in dental coaching and has spent over a million dollars on developing her practice. She learned the secrets to implementation and execution of the most effective strategies. She is now CEO and Founder of Dental BossLady where she helps women in dentistry create a profitable and fulfilling practice while having more fun and making more money. She is a Platinum Plus Invisalign provider and a Key Opinion Leader for the American Academy of Clear Aligners.

Invisalign®, the Invisalign logo, and iTero®, among others, are trademarks and/or service marks of Align Technology, Inc. or one of its subsidiaries or affiliated companies and may be registered in the U.S. and/or other countries.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Align Technology, Inc. The author was paid an honorarium by Align Technology, Inc. in connection with writing this article.

This content was originally published here.

Introducing LightForce Orthodontics and Its Customized 3D Printed Bracket System

The LightForce Orthodontics team. L-R: Kelsey Peterson-Fafara, Dr. Alfred Griffin, Craig Sidorchuk, and Dr. Lou Shuman.

A dental resident walked into a bar full of Harvard graduate students. No, it’s not the beginning of a bad joke, but actually the genesis of venture-backed startup LightForce Orthodontics, which officially launched at this year’s American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) Annual Session. The team is making what it calls the world’s first customized 3D printed bracket system for the digital orthodontics field.

The startup’s founder and CEO, Dr. Alfred Griffin, comes from a long line of dentists, and had just completed a combined dental and PhD program at the Medical University of South Carolina before moving to Boston in 2015 to attend the Harvard School of Dental Medicine for his residency. He wasn’t used to the whiteout conditions of a hard New England winter, and spent a lot of time holed up in his apartment, dreaming up the innovative bracket system.

Dr. Larry Andrews and A-Company first introduced fully programmed brackets in 1970, and not a lot has changed since then.

“Standard orthodontic prescriptions are essentially a compromise from the outset,” explained Dr. Griffin in the special edition AAO issue of this year’s Orthodontic Practice US. “They are an “all patients equal” proposition. But no two patients have exactly the same tooth morphology or exactly the same bite. So why would we think they should all have the same ‘ideal’ finish?

“The concessions with pre-programmed brackets have been imposed by several constraining factors. Two of the primary constraints are inflexible bracket manufacturing technologies and the imprecision of analog treatment planning.”

It costs hundreds of thousands of dollars and takes anywhere from six to twelve months, using injection molding, to create molds for one standard prescription, which is about 20 brackets of different programming and shapes – not a realistic environment for patient-specific customization. So Dr. Griffin turned to 3D printing, which already has many applications in the dental and orthodontics fields, such as creating aligners, molds, implants, dentures, and even braces.

Most braces are “off the rack,” and even though skilled orthodontists can make this work, Dr. Griffin knew that 3D printing, which is a good fit for custom applications, could be used to make patient-specific braces. So he created a patented system for 3D printed orthodontic treatment brackets, using material nearly identical to injection modeled ceramic brackets but that’s been formulated specifically for 3D printing.

“Delivering a patient-specific prescription for each case, the LightForce system is unlike anything you’ve ever used,” claims the website. “Each bracket is custom created and 3D-printed, bringing a new level of flexibility and clinical possibilities. This enhances treatment efficiency and minimizes time-consuming adjustments in all phases of treatment.”

That same snowy winter, Dr. Griffin attended a local happy hour with Harvard graduate students, and after buying a few rounds, explained his idea to the group. Engineer Kelsey Peterson-Fafara immediately recognized the potential, and would soon be employee #1. Not long after LightForce, originally titled Signature Orthodontics, was accepted into the Harvard Innovation Lab accelerator, Dr. Griffin met orthodontist Dr. Lou Shuman, who had been an important member of the executive team for another dental company using 3D printing: Invisalign. He soon asked Dr. Shuman to be the company’s co-founder, and help reach out to the venture capital community.

LightForce Orthodontics was one of 128 applicants chosen to join the MassChallenge Accelerator program in 2016, and became entrepreneurs-in-residence at the MassChallenge facility, later receiving $50,000 in equity-free financing as one of the 15 winners. The next step was locking down venture capital, but Dr. Griffin didn’t want to work with just anyone – he was looking to change how orthodontics works at a fundamental level, not just for a cash grab. The company’s first major funding came from AM Ventures (AMV), which is dedicated to investing in 3D printing.

“We wanted a strategic investor — not just someone with money,” Dr. Shuman said. “We wanted expertise in our fundamental technology. AMV was an ideal partner for LightForce.”

Speaking of expertise, AMV introduced Dr. Griffin and Dr. Shuman to EOS founder and industry pioneer Hans Langer, who believes that LightForce has achieved the two most important components in the future of 3D printing: creating high value customization, and having a market that’s large enough to support it.

LightForce continued to grow, staying on as Alumni in Residence at MassChallenge through 2017, hiring expert dental software developers, finalizing the bracket design, and receiving FDA clearance for the system. The startup closed its Series A funding round last summer, enjoyed a successful debut at the 2019 AAO Annual Session, and has multiple patients in treatment who wanted to be the first to sport customized, 3D printed braces.

The brackets can be perfectly contoured to any tooth morphology. The initial system was made to compete with metal brackets, and LightForce is now working on higher-aesthetic options and looking at different materials, as well as perfecting its service and supply chain logistics. It’s a simple three-step digital workflow: scan, create the 3D model, and print. The online interface is intuitive, with cloud-based treatment planning software that allows users to make adjustments directly on the model, before the custom 3D printed appliance is shipped in just 7-10 business days after approval.

In order to keep up with a changing industry, LightForce’s treatment planning system will keep evolving as necessary. Aligners are becoming more capable, but many orthodontists still use braces for their patients, which is why LightForce is looking at the larger marketplace.

Dr. Griffin explained, “We don’t want to bring the idea to market and say `here’s how to use it.` We want to bring this to the orthodontist and ask them, ‘What can you do with it?’”

As direct-to-consumer companies gain popularity, Dr. Griffin wants the startup to acknowledge the expertise of the orthodontic community, and help the field, not just take it over.

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below.

The post Introducing LightForce Orthodontics and Its Customized 3D Printed Bracket System appeared first on 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing.

This content was originally published here.

How Young Can Kids Get Braces? An Orthodontist Weighs In

Youve adored your childs goofy grin since forever. Then, those beautiful little baby teeth fall out and in come the permanent ones. If your kids teeth begin to grow in crooked or flaring, you might find yourself thinking about correcting that dental dilemma. So how young can your child get braces if it turns out they might need it not only for a straight smile, but also help the way they might eat and speak.

“The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends that children have their first orthodontic consultation at the age of seven, Dr. Erika Faust, an orthodontist at Elite Orthodontics in New York City, tells Romper. By this age, your childs first adult molars have appeared and her permanent bite has been established. So, if there is any deviation from a normal bite we can take steps to correct it early. Of course, there are some exceptions to this rule, such as correcting a thumb-sucking habit or for a patient who might need to learn proper tongue placement while swallowing, reported the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO).

During an initial visit, there are some things that orthodontists look for to see if getting braces at an early age might be necessary. At the first consultation, we determine if there are any severe bite or alignment issues that need to be immediately addressed, and if so, we begin treatment, says Dr. Faust. In many cases, more moderate orthodontic treatment is recommended and the patient can wait until most baby teeth have come out. That said, an early intervention procedure might be performed prior to getting braces, such as removing a baby tooth, so that a permanent tooth can take its place. Orthodontists also evaluate for proper tooth development and eruption to make sure that all of the permanent teeth are coming in properly. Thats why taking your child to the orthodontist for an initial appointment sooner rather than later can help determine if early intervention methods might be necessary.

In most cases, braces go on around ages 11-13. At this point, pretty much all of your childs baby teeth will have fallen out and hell have his permanent ones. And thats when you might start seeing superficial issues, like crowding or crooked teeth. But theres a small window when orthodontics will work, and thats mostly due to your child’s age and attitude. Starting treatment later than ages 11-13 risks poorer patient cooperation and the likelihood that treatment wont be finished before important life events like senior pictures, prom, and graduation, explains Dr. Faust. That’s why it’s best for your child to brace himself (ha) and get braces before becoming a full-blown teenager.

But having straight teeth isnt the only end goal of electing to get braces. Proper orthodontic treatment can allow your child to chew and eat correctly as well as speak more clearly. Jaw discrepancies are corrected much easier and faster in growing children than in adults, says Dr. Faust. Neglecting these issues can result in the need for a much longer time in braces in adolescence, extraction of permanent teeth, and in severe cases, jaw surgery later in life.

Getting braces is almost a rite of passage in the tween years. While most children should be assessed during their elementary school years, middle school is often when many kids begin orthodontic treatment. And before you know it, your child’s smile will be picture-perfect once again.

This content was originally published here.

Candid adds connected device to remote orthodontics – MedCity News

The ScanBox connected device helps to monitor patients who are using aligners virtually.

The device looks like a virtual-reality headset. But instead of covering people’s eyes, it peers into their mouths.

A teledentistry startup — Candid — hopes the device can give it an edge in the crowded field of straightening people’s teeth.

The company is one of several offering clear teeth aligners and treatment plans to match. This year the company has been field-testing a technology called Dental Monitoring that involves handing patients a connected device, called a ScanBox. The device connects to a patient’s smartphone, captures images and sends them to a remote orthodontist. The uploaded images also are scanned using an AI algorithm that can track a patient’s progress, assess their oral hygiene and detect any potential health issues, such as visible cavities or gingival recession.

Patients are asked to send images every seven to 10 days, more often than they would go for checkups at a traditional orthodontist, said Dr. Lynn Hurst, chief dental officer for Candid, in a phone interview.

Hurst, who is based in Austin, Texas, had been using an earlier version of the technology in his own practice since 2016. The introduction of the ScanBox has made it easier to use, he said.

“It’s extremely robust,” Hurst said.

Based in New York City, Candid was founded in 2017 and features a network of several dozen orthodontists. Some patients may be assessed in one of Candid’s retail studios in major cities like Atlanta, Chicago, San Diego and Seattle. Others come through online channels.

An orthodontist reviews each patient’s case, determines whether they are eligible for treatment and, if so, comes up with a treatment plan. The aligners are then mailed to patients, who generally must be at least 16 years old and have mild to moderate alignment issues. Orthodontists monitor their treatment.

Altogether, the program costs about one-third as much as traditional teeth straightening, said Nick Greenfield, Candid’s president and CEO.

Dental Monitoring will add a couple hundred dollars to the price. But patients using the ScanBox have been more likely to stick to their treatment plans and complete their plans more quickly, Greenfield said in a phone interview. Compliance typically is around 80% range. Patients on Dental Monitoring were 95% compliant, he said. And their treatment time was 27% shorter on average.

The company evaluated other devices but its orthodontists liked the Dental Monitoring program best. The ScanBox and the program are the products of a company itself called Dental Monitoring.

“For us it was a really exciting opportunity,” Greenfield said, adding that Candid’s goal is to make care safe, accessible and affordable.

The global market for clear aligners is valued at roughly $2.2 billion but is expected to reach $8.2 billion by 2026, according to a report by Fortune Business Insights. Candid has plenty of company in the market. There are Invisalign clear aligners made by Align Technology Inc. and mail-order provider SmileDirectClub Inc. SmileDirectClub went public this year but has faced criticism, as has remote orthodontics in general. The American Association of Orthodontists has issued a consumer alert on direct-to-consumer orthodontic companies.

However, Candid executives defended their approach saying that it exceeds the standard of care offered in bricks-and-mortar offices.

“Not only am I doing what they’re doing in their practices, I’m actually going beyond that,” said Hurst, a co-founder of Candid. He sees patients through the Candid platform and noted that it is designed and implemented by orthodontists themselves.

“I think that’s extremely critical,” Hurst said. “We’re the experts in that space.”

Hurst was one of five orthodontists in the Candid network who field-tested the Dental Monitoring program. It was offered first to patients who came in through Candid’s studios, where aides could train patients in using the ScanBox. In early 2020 it will be available to patients online.

The program also could allow Candid to expand into moderate and moderate-to-severe cases of misaligned teeth, a condition known as malocclusion, Hurst said.

For now, he said, “We’re just choosing to stay in the shallow end of the pool.”

Hurst said his practice also has been testing remote services for patients under 16, though it means ensuring parents are on board as well.

So far Hurst has tested starting treatment of children with in-person consults at a Candid studio and with remote consults via audio-video conference. Those have gone well, he said. The next step is to start treatment entirely online, where a patient uploads information and waits for the orthodontist’s response and treatment plan.

“Ultimately our patients will tell us, and our parents will tell us, does that make them comfortable,” Hurst said.

Photo: Candid

CORRECTION: An earlier version of the story wrongly identified the chief dental officer of Candid. His name is Lynn Hurst and not Nick Hurst. The company is based in New York, not Austin.

This content was originally published here.

Braces on the Road: How to Travel With Invisalign

There are a lot of things to consider when hitting the road full time. You have to think about how you will make money, how you will get mail, and what kinds of memberships you’ll invest in to save some money. Adding kids into the mix only adds to the long list of things to consider, and dealing with braces on the road is one of the things that perplexes parents the most.

One of the best ways to go about straightening your teeth while traveling full time? Invisalign is a fantastic option that more and more travelers are choosing. Are you going to travel full time and worried about your invisible braces?

Read on to know how to clean Invisalign and how to take care of Invisalign while on the go!

The foremost important thing is your packing checklist. Here’s an essential checklist for the travel kit on tour with Invisalign.

  1. Travel toothbrush
  2. Floss or floss picks
  3. Pocket-size mouthwash
  4. Retainer remover
  5. Pain reliever (as first aid)
  6. Aligner case
  7. Extra aligners

Keep Up Your Good Habits!

You need to wear aligners for at least 22 hours a day. Thus it might seem tedious to remove your aligners while eating out and putting them back again after cleaning. But, it’s important to avoid slips that can hinder your progress.

Thus it is advised to take out a few minutes for your Invisalign each time you eat or drink anything and enjoy your travels without any worry.

Now let us check out some useful tips on how to take care of Invisalign during traveling.

  • Everyone on the Invisalign treatment knows that you need to change the set of aligners in a week or fortnight according to the dentist’s instruction. Sometimes you switch to a new set, or you might need to go back to your previous set of aligners. Take them all with you during traveling so that you can change according to your requirement. Consult your orthodontics before leaving for the trip.
  • In case you are taking a flight to your destination, keep your Invisalign with you in your handbag or cabin bag. As you need to wear them for the maximum time of the day, you must keep them within your reach all the time.
  • Heat is not suitable for Invisalign as it can deform its shape. If you are traveling to a tropical or hot region, keep your aligners in a cool place. Keep them in the refrigerator if required. But don’t make the mistake of taking them in your handbag under the sun.
  • The list of avoidable food items, while you are on your retainers, is mentioned as below:
  • Hard bread
  • Popcorn
  • Nuts
  • Pretzels
  • Chewy food
  • Tough Meat
  • Hard Cady
  • Gum
  • Do not forget to remove retainers before eating or drinking anything. You can only have water with your aligners on. And brush your teeth and retainer before putting them on again. If you can’t brush, at least rinse them well.

Final Word!

So you see! Braces on the road aren’t even necessary. Instead,  travel with Invisalign. Once you know how to take care of Invisalign it’s a cinch. That said, it is advisable to consult your orthodontics before hitting the road full time.

Author Bio

Emily Taylor found the perfect fit for herself as the Online Marketing Manager at Thurman Orthodontics in Fresno CA as she believes that a great smile does more than just make a person look great – it makes them feel great as well. The power of a smile has always been a mystery to Emily, and she loves researching and writing about it. She loves to write about everything to do with a healthy bite and a beautiful smile – weather is it ways to achieve it or the importance of it in the various aspects of life. What brings a big smile on Emily’s face is her family and surfing. She also likes to bake, and her children and co-workers call her the cookie fairy!

The post Braces on the Road: How to Travel With Invisalign appeared first on Fulltime Families.

This content was originally published here.

ClearCorrect vs Invisalign: Benefits, Before and After, Safety, and Cost


If you’ve been thinking of getting your teeth straightened, you probably know how difficult it is to find a treatment option that’s tailor-made to your unique goals. Traditional braces have been proven effective, but there’s a host of downsides, too — they’re bulky, uncomfortable, and not the most attractive option.

Enter invisible braces. Chances are you’ve already heard about Invisalign, but there’s another company that’s out to revolutionize the way we smile. ClearCorrect invisible braces are a new kind of orthodontic treatment that promises straight teeth with the least amount of fuss.

Bonus points: these industry-disrupting braces are made in the United States by a socially conscious company that uses recycled and eco-friendly packaging. These details, coupled with the fact that they’re more affordable than the competition, make ClearCorrect a popular choice among millennials.

What is ClearCorrect?

ClearCorrect aligners are a unique alternative to traditional metal braces. The primary benefit is that they’re totally invisible — in theory, they’ll give you a straight smile without anyone even noticing. They’re also removable, which means you can take them out before eating or during special occasions.

Like most clear aligners, ClearCorrect braces provide gradual adjustments to the teeth. Your orthodontist will first take photos and x-rays of your smile and then submit your prescription to ClearCorrect. Next, the company will create a set of custom aligners just for you. Occasionally, your orthodontist will request new sets that change along with your teeth.

Most people are required to wear their clear braces for up to 22 hours a day until an orthodontist deems the treatment plan complete. Treatment time varies from person to person, but most people see full results within one to two years.

Orthodontists recommend this treatment for both adults and teenagers to correct crowded teeth, spacing, underbites, overbites and crookedness.

Does ClearCorrect work?

ClearCorrect has been proven effective in a wide range of orthodontic studies.

One study showed that it was a valuable tool in correcting anterior crossbite, a condition where the top teeth rest behind the bottom teeth when the mouth is closed. Another showed that it was a great option for treating the correction of crowding, an issue that makes it hard to floss between teeth and compromises a perfectly straight smile.

Not only that, but ClearCorrect can be used in instances where traditional orthodontics failed. For example, some orthodontists use ClearCorrect as a solution to issues caused by traditional orthodontic bonding. In other words, clear braces are as good as — and in some cases even better — than traditional methods that are commonly used to straighten teeth. There’s even evidence to suggest that they’re just as effective at treating severe crowding as standard methods.

What’s better, ClearCorrect or Invisalign?

ClearCorrect and Invisalign are often compared, primarily because they both provide clear, custom-fit aligners that are more appealing to those who don’t want to fuss with traditional braces.

Both are excellent options with successful track records for mild to extreme cases of various dental issues. In either case you will be required to wear your custom-fit aligners for the majority of the day, except when you’re eating, drinking, flossing or brushing your teeth.

Still, there are some differences. The most significant reason why many orthodontists and patients are beginning to favor ClearCorrect over Invisalign is the cost: since ClearCorrect only charges the dentist a third or less of the cost of Invisalign, many dentists feel that it’s a more profitable option.

What’s more, many people report that ClearCorrect aligners are more comfortable than Invisalign. This is because ClearCorrect fabricates several trays at a time to ensure that they fit perfectly. Some patients also prefer ClearCorrect because their aligners are made in America.

>>To learn more frequently asked questions about Invisalign, check out our article on how Invisalign works

Does ClearCorrect hurt?

Doctors often recommend the use of ClearCorrect and other invisible braces as a more effective treatment option for patients who have “appliance-phobia.” This means that people who have fears associated with fixed appliances on the teeth (i.e. traditional braces) tend to do better with removable aligners that aren’t permanent.

Metal braces can be uncomfortable and even painful, which is why many people are hesitant to go the traditional route. On the other hand, ClearCorrect is virtually pain-free. A multi-stage polishing process ensures that no sharp or rough edges are found on the aligners, making ClearCorrect a relatively comfortable experience, even when worn for long periods of time. And while most patients do experience some mild discomfort in the first couple of days of wearing ClearCorrect aligners, this typically fades away relatively quickly.

When you’re wearing ClearCorrect aligners that are properly fitted to your teeth and gums (achieved through a 3D model that perfectly matches your teeth), you shouldn’t feel a thing. With that said, some patients do complain of sore gums. You should see your orthodontist if this persists for more than two days — he or she will be able to tell if your aligners are not the ideal size and shape for your mouth.

Are ClearCorrect aligners safe?

Most people aren’t too keen on the idea of having a foreign object inside their mouth for most of the day. That’s totally understandable.

The good news is that ClearCorrect aligners are designed to be safe for long-term use. They contain no BPA or phthalates, and have been approved for use by the FDA. Because of this, ClearCorrect is generally considered safe for use by pregnant or nursing patients. Nevertheless, you should speak with your primary care physician and orthodontist if you become pregnant while using ClearCorrect.

How much does ClearCorrect cost?

As mentioned above, the cost of ClearCorrect makes it one of the most desirable orthodontic treatment options on the market for those who dream of straight teeth.

ClearCorrect treatment costs less than Invisalign and other clear aligner treatments because the company itself charges ClearCorrect providers significantly less.

There are several different treatment plans which differ in terms of cost. Your customized treatment will help you determine the right option for your budget and dental needs. The company offers Flex (limited) and Unlimited pricing options. Those who require the full treatment option can expect to pay anywhere between $4,000 and $5,000 for the best results. The Flex option is a good choice for those who don’t have severe crowding or crookedness, and costs between $2,500 and $3,500 total.

Will my insurance cover it?

Another great thing about ClearCorrect is that many dental insurance companies cover the procedure right alongside traditional braces and other orthodontic treatments.

Make sure to check with your insurance provide to see whether or not this type of treatment — which typically falls under the category of clear aligners — is covered. Those who do qualify for some relief under insurance may be able to save up to $3,000 on ClearCorrect braces.

Is ClearCorrect better than traditional braces?

As modern dentistry advances, it’s becoming more and more apparent that clear braces have the capacity to do all of the same things that metal braces can and more. In fact, one of the biggest myths associated with clear braces is that they move teeth more slowly than their metal counterparts. This just isn’t true. A good straightening treatment will work as quickly (or as slowly, depending on your perspective) whether the aligners are made of metal, ceramic or plastic.

Metal braces aren’t the most economical option — a full treatment rings up for as much as $6,000 — but they are almost always at least partially covered by insurance. However, metal braces are by and large considered the most durable solution out there.

The fact that metal braces last longer than other types makes them appealing for people who have to wear braces for long periods of time. Make sure to talk to your orthodontist or ClearCorrect provider about all of your different treatment options before committing to one.

This content was originally published here.

Maxillary First Premolar Extractions for Orthodontics – a Red Flag for Joint Issues – Spear Education

I had an unusual experience recently when I saw two new patients – incidentally, scheduled back-to-back – who both had three circumstances in common that resulted in a loss of airway volume and joint issues.

First, I saw a 45-year-old woman who presented with clicking and popping in her left jaw joint and reported the problem was getting worse. She had an average pain of 6/10 with a worst pain of 7/10 in her right jaw joint and an average pain of 8/10 and a worst pain of 10/10 in her left joint.

She had modified her diet to avoid eating hard or chewy foods and said her joint started clicking when she was in her early 20s.

Her initial point of contact was 15/18 (27/37) in a fully seated condylar position and had a 2-mm anterior shift from a fully seated condylar position to maximum intercuspation. Her mandibular midline was 2 mm to the right of her maxillary midline in a fully seated condylar position. She opened 30 mm and said she used to click in both her right and left jaw joints.

She also reported mild muscle tenderness to palpation and had facial asymmetry to the right. She’s worn two different occlusal appliances and was currently using an anterior repositioning appliance, which was not helping her pain.

Her trauma history included two motor vehicle accidents at age 43 and surgical intubations at ages 40 and 44. Her anterior teeth were uncoupled by 2 mm in a horizontal and vertical dimension.

Next, I saw a 53-year-old woman – another new patient who presented with a chief concern of clicking and pain in the left jaw joint. She told me the problem got worse about two years ago. She saw her ENT physician who examined her ears and concluded they were not the source of the problem.

The patient explained it was difficult for her to chew food and she felt her bite did not fit together evenly. She also reported no pain in the right jaw joint but an average pain of 5/10 and a worse pain of 8/10 in her left joint. Like the first patient, this patient also modified her diet to avoid hard or chewy foods.

In this second case, the patient’s initial point of contact was 2/31 (17/47) in a fully seated condylar position and she had a 3-mm anterior shift from a fully seated condylar position to maximum intercuspation. Her mandibular midline was 2 mm to the right of her maxillary midline in a fully seated condylar position. She opened 37 mm and said she used to click in both her right and left jaw joints.

She reported minimal muscle tenderness to palpation and had a canted occlusal plane to the right. She’s worn one occlusal appliance, which didn’t help her pain. Her trauma history included falling out of a station wagon at age 11, a snowmobiling accident at age 21, and a dog hitting her chin at age 27. Her anterior teeth were uncoupled by 3 mm in a horizontal dimension.

3 common threads

Interestingly, both patients shared three important facts. First, they both had orthodontics from ages 12-14 to treat an overjet problem. Second, they both had audible crepitus in their right and left jaw joints.

Having audible crepitus in a jaw joint usually means the disk is not covering the bone and the noise (crepitus) is typically the result of bone-to-bone contact between the condyle and the joint socket.

The third common factor was both patients had their maxillary first molars extracted when they had orthodontics.

To understand why the maxillary first molars were extracted for the orthodontic treatment for overjet, we must reverse-engineer the treatment plans for both patients. At the time, the thinking was they had genetically small mandibles, so if the upper first premolars were extracted it would be possible to retract the upper anterior teeth, thus reducing the overjet and creating a more normal anterior tooth relationship. However, we now know this is a flawed assumption to think the overjet was the result of a genetically small mandible.

While genetics can be a reason for a small mandible, the overwhelming majority of small mandibles are due to a structural alteration in the TMJ. When the joints are injured in a growing patient, growth can be interrupted (Figs. 1-4) and result in a Class II occlusion with an overjet problem.

If thinking about occlusion is limited to the tooth level without considering the condition of the TMJ, it’s easy to see why extracting the maxillary first premolars would make sense.

The problem now is once the TMJ is imaged with MRI and CBCT, it’s easy to understand the small mandible was not due to genetics, but rather due to incomplete growth of the mandible and the maxilla. The extractions were subtractive dentistry, which led to both esthetic and airway issues in both patients.

My advice is to always take a closer look at the jaw joints when patients present with maxillary first premolars extracted for orthodontic treatment. In most of these cases, there will be an undiagnosed joint issue that causes the overjet issue.

We can align with maxillary premolar and retractive orthodontics in the growing patient, but in most cases, the result will be a loss of airway volume along with joint problems in the adult patient.

Jim McKee, D.D.S., is a member of Spear Resident Faculty.

Piper, DMD MD, Mark. “Temporomandibular Joint Imaging.” Handbook of Research on Clinical Applications of Computerized Occlusal Analysis in Dental Medicine. IGI Global, 2020.582-697.

Pirttiniemi, P. Abnormal mandibular growth and the condylar cartilage. European Journal of Orthodontics, 2009;31(1),1-11.

Manfredini D, Segu M, Arveda N, Lombardo L, Siciliani G, Rossi A, et al. Temporomandibular joint disorders in patients with different facial morphology. a systematic review of the literature. Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.2016;74(1),29-46.

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RESULTS: Amherst Orthodontics Trick-or-Trot Lil’ Pumpkin Run – 2020 – MillenniumRunning.com

Millennium Running is fueled by the passion of promoting healthy, enjoyable lifestyles. With over a dozen Signature road races and triathlons, a running specialty store, the Millennium Running Club, plus all-purpose timing and event services. 

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Invisalign Shares Soar Following Huge Quarter, With Substantial Jolt From Charli D’Amelio – Tubefilter

The D’Amelio family — and specifically youngest daughter Charli — are turning out to be a massive booster for brands.

The wholesome 16-year-old and former competitor dancer is the most-followed creator on TikTok by leaps and bounds, with 95 million fans. And she has channeled this influence into myriad brand partnerships, including being named ambassador for a new Gen Z-aimed Morphe sub-brand, the face of Gen Z-Focused financial startup Step, and linking up with Dunkin’ Donuts on a signature drink, which sold hundreds of thousands of cups and significantly bolstered app downloads.

Now, CNN reports that Invisalign parent company Align Technology — maker of the transparent, teeth-adjusting devices — blew past Wall Street forecasts in the third quarter. And this was in large part due to D’Amelio. Align said that sales of its Clear Aligners — which D’Amelio helped promote to her legions of young followers — were up 26% year-over-year in terms of teenagers to 162,700 cases, significantly lifting overall revenues. Accordingly, CNN notes that the stock surged 35% following the earnings report to make it the best-performing stock in the S&P 500 by a long-shot yesterday.

In a release, Align CEO Joe Hogan sang D’amelio’s praises — as well as her campaign co-star Marsai Martin of ABCs’ hit sitcom Black-ish. For her part, D’Amelio joined the company’s so-called #SmileSquad of influencers in August, and began chronicling her process using the product.

“We saw strong response to our new teen and mom-focused consumer campaign with 118% year-over-year increase in total leads, an uptick in consumer engagement from new social media influencers like Charli D’Amelio and Marsai Martin, and a 25.6% year over year increase in teenagers using Invisalign clear aligners,” Hogan said. “Our overall revenue momentum has continued into October.”

This content was originally published here.

Invisalign maker Align surges 26% after reporting a boom in 3rd-quarter sales driven by social-media influencers

Summary List Placement

Shares of Align Technology — the maker of Invisalign teeth straighteners — soared by more than 25% in early trading on Thursday after the company crushed expectations for third-quarter earnings. The beat was driven partially by young social media stars using its products. 

The San Jose, California-based company, whose see-through plastic braces have grown in use all over the world, reported net income for the third quarter of $139.4 million, or $1.76 a share, compared with $102.5 million, or $1.28 a share in the same period last year. Analysts had expected EPS of $0.54, according to Yahoo Finance.

Align shares were last up around 26% in pre-market trading around $422.25 a share, having closed at $335.81 on Wednesday, before reporting third-quarter earnings.

Read more: World-beating fund manager Mike Trigg is bringing in huge returns by investing in 3 high-growth areas his peers neglect. He shares the keys to betting on each.

Align Technology President and CEO Joe Hogan said the company had hit a milestone of 9 million patients and that there had been “strong momentum across all regions and customer channels,” for the company’s Invisalign aligners, as well as other services.

“We also saw strong response to our new teen and mom-focused consumer campaign with 118% year-over-year increase in total leads, an uptick in consumer engagement from new social media influencers like Charli D’Amelio and Marsai Martin, and a 25.6% year over year increase in teenagers using Invisalign clear aligners,” Hogan said.

D’Amelio is a dancer, whose videos on social media app TikTok, have gathered nearly 90 million followers, while Martin is a young actor who stars in the ABC comedy show “Black-ish” and who has almost 3 million followers on Instagram. 

Align also posted a 29% year-on-year rise in sales to nearly half a million units and reported total revenue of $734.1 million in the three months between July and September.

This marked a new record, and an increase of 20.9% over total revenue for the third quarter last year, the company said. 

Read more: Big investors pay thousands of dollars for Danielle DiMartino Booth’s research. The former Fed advisor explains how the central bank has distorted markets — and shares 2 areas where analytical traders can still find returns.

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Connecticut orthodontist indicted in Westchester County love-triangle stabbing

A Connecticut orthodontist was indicted in the stabbing of the girlfriend of her former fiancee in a love-triangle attack where she pretended to be a hero, New York prosecutors said Wednesday.

Alika Crew, 42, of New Rochelle, N.Y., worked at the Stein Dental Group in Stamford, Conn. She faces a slew of charges, including attempted second-degree murder, three counts of first-degree assault, two counts of second-degree assault and unlawful imprisonment, all felonies, and misdemeanor criminal possession of a weapon, Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino said.

She has pleaded not guilty, lohud.com reported.

Crew is accused of attacking her romantic rival July 28. She reportedly hid in the back seat of the woman’s Jeep and lunged at her. She chased the woman who fled and sliced her neck and hand with a razor blade, prosecutors said.

The woman suffered “significant and possibly permanent damage to the neck,” authorities said. The attack took place a few blocks from where Crew and her ex-fiance were living together at the time.

After the attack, she left the scene, but returned and pretended to be a good Samaritan as concerned neighbors came to help the victim, prosecutors allege. When police officers arrived, the victim pointed Crew out as her assailant and she was arrested.

She was released on $200,000 bail and is expected to appear in court Nov. 2.

This content was originally published here.

Connecticut orthodontist indicted in love-triangle stabbing

A Connecticut orthodontist has been indicted on attempted-murder charges in the love-triangle stabbing of her ex-fiancee’s new girlfriend, the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office said.

Alika Crew, 42, who works out of a high-end Stamford dental practice, was arraigned Wednesday on the eight-count indictment, which also charges her with five counts of felony assault and a felony count of first-degree unlawful imprisonment.

Crew is accused of hiding in the back of her romantic rival’s SUV in New Rochelle on July 28 and lunging at the 30-year-old victim with a razor, the DA said in a release.

The victim ran from the vehicle, but Crew chased her down and slashed the woman in the neck and hand, prosecutors allege.

When cops got to the scene, Crew pretended to be a good Samaritan who was aiding the victim, police said.

But the victim told cops that Crew was her attacker, not her savior.

Crew was charged with attempted murder the following day and released on bail.

In court Wednesday, she pleaded not guilty to the indictment, lohud.com reported.

Westchester County Court Judge David Zuckerman allowed Crew to remain free on $200,000 bail pending a return court appearance Nov. 2.

This content was originally published here.

Visiting an Orthodontist – Women Fitness Magazine

The Benefits of Visiting an Orthodontist
The Benefits of Visiting an Orthodontist

The Benefits of Visiting an Orthodontist : When we know that something is going wrong with our teeth, a toothache or sensitivity perhaps, we generally think about making an appointment to see a dentist. However, what about when you have a dissatisfaction with your smile?

If you have always been unhappy about the state of your teeth or you just want to see an improvement in your smile, then what you need to do is visit an orthodontist. You may be interested to know that your orthodontist in Stockport can offer various non-surgical treatments that your dentist can’t. Read on to find out what services your orthodontist can provide:

What does an Orthodontist do?

An orthodontist is a qualified dentist who has undertaken years of study to become a specialist. He or she can help adults and children alike with common dental problems using a variety of non-surgical procedures and corrective appliances. These include aligners such as Invisalign or metal braces to correct crooked teeth, but this is just one of the issues an orthodontist can help with.

An orthodontist can diagnose a problem which may not have occurred to the patient, but which has been causing significant difficulties in eating and smiling and could even have been causing pain. These can include:

An incorrect jaw position or jaw joint disorder such as temporomandibular disorder, or night-time teeth grinding can also be diagnosed and treated.

Other services which an orthodontist can provide include:

Why visit an Orthodontist?

Too many people are inclined to simply put up with dental problems, particularly where there are cosmetic anomalies rather than having things fixed. The problem is that if things are not treated, they can go on to become much worse over time.

For example, where the teeth are overcrowded or overlapping, they can be difficult to clean properly. Eventually, this could lead to tooth decay and even gum disease. A gap in the teeth, which is called a diastema, can become larger over time and this can have the effect of pushing adjoining teeth out of position. An orthodontist can correct this by pulling the teeth back together essentially filling in the gap.

Problems with the teeth generally start in childhood and having misaligned teeth, or too many teeth, in childhood can be especially problematic for the child as they grow. Early visits to an orthodontist are advisable where braces will usually be recommended and fitted to precisely correct the child’s problem teeth.

Gum Disease

Dentists will always advise on how to prevent gum disease and will tell you that the best way is to practice correct oral hygiene through regular brushing and flossing of the teeth, and using the correct type of toothbrush and toothpaste. Unfortunately, gum disease is still a problem which if left untreated can have far-reaching effects.

Gum disease begins with plaque, which if not properly removed turns into tartar. This build-up can cause the gums to become sore and inflamed. Tartar is very difficult to remove and can only be removed professionally by your dentist or orthodontist.

When teeth are misaligned or overcrowded, there is a greater likelihood of developing gum disease through an inability to clean them properly, but if your teeth are correctly aligned and spaced this likelihood reduces. Corrective orthodontic treatment, along with advice on correct brushing and flossing techniques, will ensure good oral health as well as a healthy smile you can be proud of.

Related Videos about the Benefits of Visiting an Orthodontist :

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The benefits of Orthodontics and Straight Teeth In Children and Adults – Winnipeg Dentist


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orthodontist appointment stages, how long after your first orthodontist appointment do you get braces, orthodontist consultation fee, orthodontist vs dentist, what happens at your second orthodontist appointment, orthodontist consultation questions, orthodontist meaning,

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Braces vs. Invisalign -Is the Hype Around Invisalign Really Justified

Often being advocated as “invisible braces”, Invisalign is a renowned product with a commanding market lead among its peers of clear aligners. A look at the growth of Invisalign-producer Align tech says it all – best-performing stock of the S&P 500 (2017), which represents the 500 biggest US companies by market value. Literally everybody knows somebody who had it and who doesn’t secretly or openly crave for perfectly straight teeth without the inconvenience of wearing fixed braces?

But is the hype really justified? Can Invisalign really replace braces altogether – for everyone, regardless of the nature of the tooth positioning issue at hand?

In the following, we want to give an understandable comparison to braces and work out some of the important advantages and disadvantages you need to know before making a decision.

Let’s start with the comparison. Both approaches seek to perfectly align the teeth and are scientifically proven. To understand the differences, one has to take soft factors, like patients’ comfort, convenience and esthetic needs in our modern society into account. It is these categories, which became more and more relevant for the long-neglected group of adult patients in recent years. Modern lifestyle, is widely associated with health, esthetics, comfort and convenience and these trends apparently don’t stop at the doorsteps of medicine and dentistry.

As implied in the name Invisalign, the aligners are barely visible for the outside world, which especially for a considerable proportion of the main interest group of working grown-ups, easily is the most important decision-making factor. Braces, on the other hand, are always visible, even though some newer bracket systems try to tackle this disadvantage by being made out of tooth-colored ceramics. But the wires between the brackets are still made of metal and therefore still visible. In modern days, with people taking increased care of their visual perception by others, this esthetic disadvantage of conventional braces is losing acceptance at every level of society and especially among adults.

In terms of treatment time for the majority of cases, Invisalign narrowly edges out braces with an average of 6 to 18 months as compared to the usual 1.5 to 2 years in brace therapy.

In regards to pricing, it depends on the severity of the case and – especially for brace therapy – can vary considerably from one practitioner to the other. But in most comparable case scenarios, the prices are quite similar and payment in installments is very common for both treatment options, given the duration of the procedure and the significant costs involved.

Another very important issue is comfort. In this point patients almost unanimously prefer Invisalign over , mainly because the latter frequently causes blisters on the cheek which is due to friction from the brackets and wires. In the same category Invisalign also avoids the typical problem of food getting stuck within the braces. While Invisalign also requires proper oral hygiene (patients need to brush after each meal to avoid staining), braces require significantly more attention because of the mentioned food impaction. If a patient fails to manage his or her oral hygiene, we are at times forced to remove the braces altogether to avoid and treat dental caries or gum infections.

From the orthodontist’s perspective, there are still some important advantages for the traditional brace treatment. Especially patients with poor compliance might forget to wear their aligners or even lose them. In both cases, achieving good results can get quite complicated. This, of course, isn’t possible with braces. They aren’t removable, so the patient can’t possibly do anything wrong.

Invisalign developed very fast in recent years and showed more and more capabilities to treat even some of the most complex orthodontic issues with great success. According to a growing number of orthodontists, Invisalign even displays some advantages over braces when it comes to treating vertical issues like open or deep bites. Most practitioners still prefer traditional braces for closing bigger gaps in the lower back jaw. Some practitioners also prefer them for solving rotations of single teeth.

Overall, it must be stated, that Invisalign and other clear aligner systems seem to become more and more important to both patients and practitioners and the trend is so far only accelerating.

It is important to know that Invisalign and other clear aligner systems are also offered by non-specialist general practitioners. Most of them have acquired licenses for certain systems of clear aligners, but this alone isn’t a sufficient quality seal in the eyes of a growing number of patients. Clear aligner systems like Invisalign are often misconceived as simple, straightforward treatment. In most cases it is, but any rotated tooth or more complex issue needs a sophisticated decision making progress. This makes the selection of a trusted practitioner very important. In more complex cases, patients should also consult with their trusted orthodontists.

To put it all together, both systems work similarly with the end goal of ideal alignment. Moreover, they also work in similar case scenarios, with a few rather seldom exceptions, when big tooth gaps in the lower back jaw or severe tooth rotations demand a traditional approach with braces as the better option. Apart from these exceptions, the choice is up to the patient and both treatments deliver very good and predictable results in most cases, if performed by an experienced practitioner. It is the author’s conviction, that clear aligner systems, spearheaded by Invisalign, which continues to dominate the market, will never fully replace the traditional brace therapy for some case scenarios. It must be noted though, that considerable research with aligners led to modified treatment approaches that already solve more complex tooth alignment issues than most practitioners ever expected.

This content is brought to you by Dr. Dominique Laatz MSc.

Photo: Shutterstock

The post Braces vs. Invisalign -Is the Hype Around Invisalign Really Justified appeared first on The Good Men Project.

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Behind the Scenes at Our Invisalign® Treatment Consultation – Happy Mothering

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This post was sponsored by the Invisalign® brand and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

A couple of months ago, we were presented with the opportunity to partner with the Invisalign® brand for complimentary treatment for our daughters. Our girls are 9 and 11, so they’re right at the age where we are exploring different options for orthodontic treatment. We knew Zoë definitely needed to have her overbite corrected and Kaylee has expressed interest in having her teeth straightened, so they were both pretty excited to go see the orthodontist.

We were worried about braces since snowboarding is such a huge part of the girls’ lives. I can’t imagine how painful it would be to smack your face with braces. So the idea of Invisalign treatment over traditional braces was definitely appealing to all of us.

To find out if they qualified for treatment, we scheduled an initial consultation for both girls! Brian even created a really great video of our entire visit so you can actually experience the initial consultation first hand. After watching the video, you can read more details about our experience under the video.

What is Invisalign Treatment?

If you’re not familiar with Invisalign treatment, it’s an alternative to traditional braces. It’s actually considered the most advanced aligner system in the world! Unlike braces, Invisalign treatment is a convenient system for straightening teeth that allows you to remove the nearly clear aligners to enjoy the foods you love and maintain good oral hygiene.

How it works is that you get a series of clear aligners made that will slowly straighten your teeth by shifting them just a little bit at a time. The material the aligners are made from has been shown to straighten teeth more predictably than any other clear aligners*, so that’s something to keep in mind when you’re considering your options. I was surprised to learn that Invisalign clear aligners are able to move teeth horizontally, vertically, and can even rotate them if necessary. I always assumed, incorrectly, that they were only for minor corrections.

* Compared to off-the-shelf, single layer .030in material

Since they’ve been on the market for over 20 years now, they’ve had a lot of experience helping people with everything from simple to complex orthodontic cases. So far, more than 6 million people have gone through Invisalign treatment**.

** Data on file at Align Technology as of October 29, 2018

Since our daughters snowboard and are very active, we were much more interested in Invisalign clear aligners than traditional braces.

In case you’re curious, the cost of Invisalign treatment is often comparable to braces and many dental insurance plans cover Invisalign aligners just as they would any other orthodontic treatment, so check with your provider.

Our Initial Consultation

Our initial consultation was with Hoff Orthodontics, which is a local Invisalign-trained orthodontic practice.

When we first walked in, we were greeted and checked in. Then we were given a tour of the office.

After the tour, it was straight over to imaging for both girls. They took pictures of their face, all of their teeth and their bite.

Then did a 3D scan of their heads so we could see everything that is going on.

We then headed back over to the Dr. Hoff’s office where he could examine the girls’ mouths and talk about the imaging with us. We discussed Kaylee first since she’s younger.

Kaylee Still Has a Lot of Baby Teeth

Right now, Kaylee isn’t quite ready for Invisalign clear aligners because she still has too many baby teeth, as you can see in the 3D image of her head. We did learn, however, that she needed to have a special retainer made to hold space in her mouth for her adult teeth to come in properly.

We’ll reevaluate whether she’s a good candidate for Invisalign treatment again when she has lost her baby teeth.

Zoë is Ready for Invisalign Treatment

After we finished up talking about Kaylee, it was time to talk about Zoë. She just turned 11, but she only has one baby tooth left. We knew she had an overbite, but we didn’t realize she had other things in her mouth that needed to be corrected like a cross-bite.

Dr. Hoff explained, in detail, the issues with Zoë’s teeth, then concluded that she would be a good candidate for Invisalign treatment. He expects her treatment to take up to two years to complete.

He explained the advantages of Invisalign treatment over traditional braces to us (you can watch his full talk in the video above). Some of the points he made were that eating food is easier since braces aren’t in the way and maintaining good oral hygiene is easier since you’re not trying to brush around brackets. You simply remove your aligners in order to eat, brush, and floss as you normally would.

We live in the mountains and have to drive over an hour each way to the orthodontist. That’s no big deal, we’re used to it, but with traditional braces, there are emergencies that need to be addressed. A bracket comes loose, a wire breaks or the wire is poking into your child’s gums and it’s straight to the orthodontist to get it fixed.

You don’t have those same issues with Invisalign clear aligners. There are no wires to worry about and no emergency appointments to fix them if they break. That is a huge reassurance for us since we do live so far from the orthodontist.

No More Pink Goo: On to Digital Impressions

After we decided that Zoë was ready for treatment, it was straight to get the scans to have her Invisalign clear aligners made. It was such a fascinating process! You have to watch the video further up in this post to see how it works.

When I had braces, I had to bite into that messy pink goo to get my impressions done. It tasted awful and it made me gag. If you had braces, then you probably have vivid memories of that experience too. While you can still use the goo for impressions if your practice doesn’t have a digital scanner, you can now also receive impressions digitally with Invisalign treatment, on their iTero® digital scanner. My sweet daughter didn’t have to experience my childhood memory of the pink goo.

The iTero® scanner takes thousands (6,000 to be exact***) of images every second to recreate a 3D digital image of the inside of your child’s mouth on the computer. This allows the orthodontist to create a treatment plan and the Invisalign brand to create your child’s clear aligners.

*** Data on file at Align Technology as of November 7, 2018

When they’re done scanning, you even get to see a rendering of what your child’s new smile could look like. It’s really neat!

Follow Zoë’s Invisalign Treatment Journey

We’ll be talking about Zoë’s Invisalign treatment journey on the blog and social media over the next year. In the next post, you’ll get to see Zoë in her Invisalign clear aligners, so stay tuned!

Find an Invisalign Treatment Provider

If you’re curious whether Invisalign treatment is right for your child, you can use the Doctor Locator feature on the Invisalign® brand website to find an Invisalign-trained orthodontist in your area.

Have you or your child had Invisalign treatment? I’d love to hear your experience in the comments.

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14 Things You Should Know Before You Get Invisalign | Chief Health

Invisalign braces sound fantastic – don’t they? They actually are too! However, here are 14 things you should know before you get Invisalign…

Every time a celebrity smiles for the camera, we can’t help but notice the perfect set of teeth they have. Some people feel envious of the perfectly straight set of pearly whites, while others can only hope that they get new ones just like Dustin Matarazzo (Stranger Things).

Sometimes, even after wearing braces for a decade, teeth don’t become flawless. People, who have gone through the pain of wearing traditional braces know the discomfort of the entire process.

Even after taking them off, there might be significant space between the teeth, which can cause difficulty in chewing.

Apart from the functional challenges, uneven teeth can cause a significant lack of confidence. We have seen teenagers, and young adults shy away from photos and selfies because they are conscious of their crooked teeth.

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Some impressionable children spend hours in front of the mirror practicing closed-mouth smiles or daydreaming about the day they will have straight teeth.

Teeth can be stubborn, and it can take multiple rounds of braces and jaw surgeries to correct the dental alignment. It is not only a costly procedure but also a painful one. Most adults do not have a health insurance plan that covers dental surgeries.

Moreover, these surgeries can take multiple sittings over two to four weeks, depending upon the complications. One modern and almost pain-less alternative is the Invisalign method.

According to an expert Orthodontist, Invisalign is similar to braces, but instead of metal wires and brackets, Invisalign uses invisible, custom-made aligners or retainers of plastic. These are significantly less noticeable than regular braces.

If you are an adult, who has always shied away from wearing braces as a kid, or someone who remembers how odd it felt wearing colorful “straightjacket” on your teeth, the Invisalign braces are worth a try.

Since these are relatively new and not a lot of orthodontists in the city work with them, you might find it challenging to find consolidated information on Invisalign and their benefits. We are happy to share the insight from Invisalign users from the last few years –

1. You Will Need To Wear Them 22 Hours Per Day

We have seen actors wear their retainers before sleeping and take them off before leaving for work. Like many Hollywood fantasies, their retainer wear time is one as well.

You might want to rethink your plans of taking them off for going on date night or heading to bed. You should keep them on unless it is time for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Moreover, you might want to invest in a couple of travel-sized toothbrushes for emergencies.

2. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner Are Your Friend

Taking Invisalign braces off and putting them back on can be a difficult task when you’re first starting out. With this in mind, you will want pack on the calories for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to avoid excess snacking and taking your braces off more than you need to.

3. You Might Receive More Attachments Than You Expect

Invisalign braces sometimes include attachments. These attachments hold the Invisalign aligners in place and stick to your teeth just like braces brackets. They are often enamel-colored so the bumps are virtually invisible.

It is quite similar to wearing braces, except the Invisalign attachments are inconspicuous and less uncomfortable. Be warned – you may be told that you only need a few and end up with 20 (or more).

4. You May Lose Weight

Since the recommended wear time is 22 hours, that leaves two hours to eat per day. It’s an ambitious goal, but you should do your best to follow the guidelines. It really sucks to pull off your aligners more times than necessary because of how tight the Invisalign braces are and how sore your teeth may become. Even if you attempt to pack on the calories at mealtime, you may still be hungry many hours throughout the day – resulting in weight loss.

5. Say Goodbye To Your Favorite Lipstick

Colored lip gloss and lipsticks won’t be your friend when you begin using Invisalign braces. Lipstick and colored lip gloss easily sticks to the aligners and the attachments. Clear lip balm and gloss will be okay, but even they can leave a waxy residue on the aligners. Dramatic eye makeup can draw some of the attention away from your teeth.

6. No More Manicures

Popping the aligners in and out is almost impossible without nails, so unless you’re hapy with chipped nails, you should only buff them and stay away from painting them. If you still want to have gorgeous nails and avoid chipping them, you will want to buy an aligner removal tool.

7. Kissing Gets Awkward

Who would’ve guessed it? Yes, it is really weird trying to kiss with a giant plastic device all in and around your mouth. However, Invisalign shouldn’t kill your love life unless kissing is all you’re good at… (Don’t worry – we are only teasing!)

8. Whitening Isn’t An Option Until After You’re Finished

As long as the attachments are on your teeth, whitening won’t be an option until the treatment is complete. However, brushing your teeth often and avoiding stain-causing beverages will help your enamel quite a bit.

9. You Will Have To Be More Careful About Oral Hygiene

Brushing your teeth will become an addiction once you get the Invisalign braces. It is quite easy to get food and bits of snacks in the attachments.

Unless you brush more than three times per day, at least once every meal, you will suffer from bad breath and cavities. Not brushing is the leading cause of plaque buildup and tartar formation.

Always carry a toothbrush and toothpaste set with you, along with a small bottle of any mouthwash your orthodontist recommends.

10. The Invisalign Attachments Capture Stains

When you drink tea and coffee, without a complementary brushing habit, you are at full risk of developing stains on your attachments. Although Invisalign is almost invisible, these stains can take away that advantage. You might end up with blotchy looking attachments with bits of sugary stacks stuck all over your teeth.

11. No Hot Food

You can only drink cold water, or drinks at room temperature because hot water and other hot beverages will easily stain the aligners. Plus, they might even warp the attachments.

You might want to avoid sugar and alcoholic drinks. Alcohol with high congener content can increase the plaque buildup and stain the aligners. Reports from regular Invisalign users state that drinking red wine can stain the retainers almost immediately.

12. You Will Receive A Refinement Aligner

Once you complete your basic set of Invisalign retainers, you will receive another set of custom designed refinement aligners that can fix any stubborn crooked teeth. These can take care of the slightly misaligned teeth and the unsightly spaces between them. You should speak with your orthodontist before you begin your Invisalign treatment.

13. Consult With Your Orthodontist When Planning Vacations

Find out from your orthodontist about the next set of appointment dates before you head off to the tropics for summer. Although the Invisalign attachments require next to no maintenance, as long as you are regular with your brushing and honest with your oral hygiene, you might want to consult your dental expert before you make big plans in the next few months.

14. It’s A Small Sacrifice For A Giant Gain

Wearing Invisalign retainers is a breeze compared to wearing the metal braces we received as children. The duration of wearing this retainer will vary from one person to another depending on the condition of their teeth. You should consult your orthodontist regarding the different stages of Invisalign and refinement retainer attachments.

There aren’t too many cons of wearing Invisalign instead of going for metal braces or corrective surgery. The cost is negligible considering the long-term positive effect of the retainers on teeth alignment and self-confidence. Invisalign will help you make the right choice in life, and it will give you the perfect teeth you have always desired.

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This content was originally published here.

SBA Finalist Spotlight: Northern Virginia Orthodontics

Thank you to Northern Virginia Orthodontics for answering a few of our questions.
Congratulations on being named a finalist for Health & Wellness Business of the Year!

1.Tell us your story of how your company got to where it is today? 

After finishing my orthodontic residency at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond in 2006, my wife and I knew we wanted to move to Loudoun County. We both grew up nearby, and were aware of the planned residential growth, excellent schools, and the fact that Loudoun would be a great place to raise our kids and open an orthodontic practice. We settled on Brambleton Town Center, centrally located in Loudoun, to both live and work. With my vision to make an impact on patients, my team, and my community, I opened Northern Virginia Orthodontics in February of 2008. We saw just two patients that day, and despite the economy crashing in 2008 and 2009, NVO continued to grow thanks to our dedication to treating patients like our own family, over-delivering on top-notch service, and changing lives both inside and outside our office.

Since opening our doors in 2008, we’ve expanded twice in our Brambleton office, added the East Coast’s first, adult-only Invisalign Center, earned the title of Washingtonian Magazine’s Top 50 Places to Work, treated the most Invisalign patients in the state of Virginia, and in 2017 became the #2 Invisalign provider in the entire country.

Despite all these incredible accomplishments, what I’m most proud of is NVO’s impact on the local community. To date, NVO has donated over $1 million to local schools and organizations, as well as to pediatric cancer research and awareness. With our brand new 501(c)(3), The NVO Foundation, we can continue to do even more to help those in need right here in Loudoun County. It’s been an incredible ride going from just two patients that very first day to now seeing over 100 patients on a daily basis, but NVO is just as committed as ever to changing smiles and impacting lives.

2. What would it mean to you and your company to win a Small Business Award?  

Winning an award of this magnitude would serve as affirmation that Northern Virginia Orthodontics is impacting and improving the Loudoun County community, and would serve as fantastic recognition for our entire team.

3. If you weren’t running your own business/working at this business, what would you be doing?

I’ve always had a passion for medicine and helping others, hence becoming an orthodontist. I couldn’t imagine not working at NVO, but if I had to do anything else, I’d probably be a pilot.  I love flying and aeronautics.

4. What book are you reading right now? / What is your favorite book?

“Tools of Titans” by Tim Ferriss. It’s a study of successful people’s habits, and focuses on three critical elements – health, wealth and wise. Great read for anyone, especially business owners.

5. If you have 24-hours off, and your family was out of town, what would you do?

I’d work out, eat a healthy breakfast, then look for a D.C. sporting event to attend, like a Nationals or Capitals
game. Then a good glass of wine with dinner and call it a day – but I’d rather be with my family!

6. What is the smallest thing that has made the largest impact on your business?

Having no fear of change. It’s absolutely essential to assume risk, and to be open to change as your business grows.

7. What did you want to be when you grew up as a child? / What was a childhood dream that you had?

A professional baseball player. Baseball was my passion growing up, and remains a giant part of my family. My oldest son is currently plays baseball at the University of Arizona, and my wife and daughters love the sport as well.

8. Who is the one person that has influenced you the most in your career?

There are so many people that have influenced me along the way, but my older brother has definitely influenced me the most. He has a solution for every problem. He is an attorney by trade, but is always there when I need an opinion on anything business-wise and has been a huge part of NVO’s success.

9. What is your favorite thing about running a business in Loudoun County?

The growth and success of the county, and the pro-business mindset of its leaders.

10. If you’re not in the office where can we find you?

At my son’s baseball game, my daughters’ soccer games, a local winery, a D.C. sporting event, teaching the orthodontic residents at MCV (Medical College of Virginia), or out helping others.

11. What is your favorite weekend activity in Loudoun County?

Visiting one of Loudoun County’s many incredible wineries with family and friends.

The post SBA Finalist Spotlight: Northern Virginia Orthodontics appeared first on Loudoun Chamber.

This content was originally published here.

Illinois orthodontist wins ADA Stanford Award for retainer research

An Illinois orthodontist won the American Dental Association’s 2019 John W. Stanford New Investigator Award for her research paper evaluating the effects of eight cleaning methods on copolyester polymer, a material commonly used in clear thermoplastic retainers.

This content was originally published here.

Machine learning helps Invisalign patients find their perfect smile | CIO

Machine learning helps Invisalign patients find their perfect smile

Align Technology’s mobile app helps Invisalign wearers stay on schedule, while machine learning and other features help lure prospective consumers to try the orthodontic device.

The mobile computing trend requires enterprises to meet consumers’ expectations for accessing information and completing tasks from a smartphone. But there’s a converse to that arrangement: Mobile has also become the go-to digital platform companies use to market their goods and services.

Align Technology, which offers the Invisalign orthodontic device to straighten teeth, is embracing the trend with a mobile platform that both helps patients coordinate care with their doctors and entices new customers. The My Invisalign app includes detailed content on how the Invisalign system works, as well as machine learning (ML) technology to simulate what wearers’ smiles will look like after using the medical device.

“It’s a natural extension to help doctors and patients stay in touch,” says Align Technology Chief Digital Officer Sreelakshmi Kolli, who joined the company as a software engineer in 2003 and has spent the past few years digitizing the customer experience and business operations. The development of My Invisalign also served as a pivot point for Kolli to migrate the company to agile and DevSecOps practices.

The pitch for a perfect smile

My Invisalign is a digital on-ramp for a company that has relied on pitches from enthusiastic dentists and pleased patients to help Invisalign find a home in the mouths of more than 8 million customers. An alternative to clunky metal braces, Invisalign comprises sheer plastic aligners that straighten patients’ teeth gradually over several months. Invisalign patients swear by the device, but many consumers remain on the fence about a device with a $3,000 to $5,000 price range that is rarely covered completely by insurance.

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This content was originally published here.

Our November Practice of the Month — Zammitti & Gidaly Orthodontics


Congratulations to our November Practice of the Month — Zammitti & Gidaly Orthodontics!

This month we’d like to spotlight an absolute social media powerhouse practice, Zammitti & Gidaly Orthodontics! They’re using social media dental marketing to reach new audiences, strengthen relationships with current patients, and stand out in their community.

They also impressed us with their phenomenal reviews presence, with over 350 positive patient reviews across Facebook and Google.

We reached out to Michelle Camp, patient care and marketing coordinator of the practice, for some insight on how social media is growing their business and what’s been working for them. Take something from what their team has learned to apply in your own social media strategy!

Ready for a quick demo of our reviews service? Fill out the form below.

Q&A With Michelle Camp, Marketing Coordinator

(Responses edited for length and clarity.)

What has been the biggest surprise of social media marketing for you?

The biggest surprise of using social media in our practice is how fun and exciting it is creating the posts. Our staff has really loved getting involved in taking pictures, sharing their fun facts or just listening to our silly post ideas. Taking pictures of the staff and patients is a fun and quick way to break up the day/week and add some excitement to our patient’s visits.

Which of your team’s social media efforts have shown to be most effective?

The social media tool or tactic that has been most successful has been our “Fun Fact Friday”–where each staff member shares a little fact about themselves that our patients may not otherwise know. People love getting to know our staff and doctors through these posts. Our patients look forward to this post in particular because it is fun to see everyone’s unique answers while also thinking about what their answer would be for each week’s fun fact.

What has been the biggest challenge of using social media in your practice?

The biggest challenge of social media marketing has been staying fresh and current. We have a large multi-doctor, multi-location practice and it can be difficult to make sure all employees/doctors/locations are included while being sure we are not posting the same thing each week. My Social Practice has helped us with this challenge by providing interesting new content ideas.

What has been the biggest benefit to your patients since you started using social media?

The number one benefit of our social media for our patients is that it helps patients to develop a more intimate relationship with our practice. With our daily posts our patients get a little glimpse behind the scenes while also getting to know our employees and doctors more. Our patients can see that we are a family that works hard while having fun too.

What has been the biggest benefit to your practice since you started using social media?

The #1 benefit social media has brought to our practice is the ability to always stay on people’s minds. Everyone is scrolling through Facebook and Instagram at some point throughout the day. When they scroll past our posts it helps people to think about us when they otherwise wouldn’t. If they are current patients it may be a reminder to tell a friend about our office. If they are not patients yet it may be that extra reminder to call our office to schedule a consultation. Social Media brings our practice into people’s homes and into their everyday conversations.

What kind of feedback have you gotten from patients about your social media?

Luckily, the feedback we have received from our patients about our social media efforts has been positive. We have had parents of patients and older patients themselves tell us how much they enjoy our posts. I personally have been able to use this feedback to get to know our patients more, asking them what they dressed up as for Halloween or what their least favorite food is.

What do you do in your office to promote your social media presence?

Right now our employees promote our social media presence in a low-key, laid-back manner. It may be as simple as mentioning a recent post or telling a patient to look for an upcoming post. Of course, taking pictures of patients and telling them to look for their photo on our social media is a great way to promote also! We don’t ever want a patient or parent to feel pressured or uncomfortable so something as simple as “check us out on Facebook/Instagram” has done the trick so far.

What advice would you have for a dental practice just starting to build their social media presence?

For a dental practice just starting out on social media I would tell them to stay true to their values and beliefs. Social media is an amazing platform that can reach a lot of people, it is important that what is being displayed on your practice’s social media is a great representation of who you are and what you believe in. Put your best qualities out there and let social media be another marketing platform that keeps you on people’s minds.

Which My Social Practice product or service has been the most help to you?

My Social Practice’s Engagement Boxes have been the biggest help for our practice. Each engagement box has included a great variety of fun and interesting tools/props/ideas to help our posts stay fun and fresh. Each engagement box has been filled with fun props along with well-made signs and ideas for each post. We have always been impressed with the content delivered within each box!

Thank you for sharing, Michelle! Your team really understands how social media grows dental practices, and we’ve loved watching your online presence grow!

Dental social media marketing is about growing practices through increasing your reach, enhancing your local reputation, and building relationships with patients and potential patients. My Social Practice has remained laser-focused on these key objectives for over a decade as we’ve built the perfect dental social media solution.

Even if you have no social media experience and no time to learn, My Social Practice can do all the heavy lifting for you—growing your practice while you focus on serving your patients.

and we’d love to show you step-by-step how we can make your practice shine online!

Ready for a quick demo of our social media service? Fill out the form below.

The post Our November Practice of the Month — Zammitti & Gidaly Orthodontics appeared first on My Social Practice – Social Media Marketing for Dental & Dental Specialty Practices.

This content was originally published here.

Airway Perspective on AAO Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Orthodontics White Paper – Spear Education

Author’s note: The topic of the impact of tooth extraction on the airway can be very contentious. My hope is this article serves as a tool to allow collegial discourse between restorative dentists concerned with airway and the orthodontists who they look to for solutions.

Recently, I had a new patient come to see me “looking for some veneers.” She had four bicuspids removed for orthodontics in the early 1970s and was given a headgear, but routinely found it on the floor at night. Also, her tonsils and adenoids were removed when she was very young due to recurrent infections.

She complains of a lifetime of poor sleep and never feeling refreshed. She is on multiple high blood pressure medications and has reflux. Ten years ago, she was snoring so badly her husband requested a sleep study.

The study diagnosed her with snoring and apnea. The treatment was UPPP (palatal surgery) and repair of a deviated septum. She feels that she can breathe better than before the surgery, but the symptoms never cleared. She still snores and has unrefreshing sleep.

My examination revealed multiple teeth with recession, some significant. Generalized pathologic wear and erosion. The maxillary anterior teeth were retroclined with lingual facets from pathway wear. The lower anteriors were over erupted. The tongue volume appeared normal, but the oral volume was limited. Her airway, on examination, was constricted with an exaggerated protective retraction of her tongue during examination of the oropharynx.

I thought to myself, “Could the removal of four teeth and subsequent retraction of the anterior teeth be culpable in her medical and dental history?”

The OSA and orthodontics relationship is relatively new

In 2019, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) released its “Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Orthodontics” white paper. It was the culmination of a two-year project by a panel of sleep medicine and dental sleep experts. They were tasked to produce guidelines for the role of orthodontists in the management of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

In the end, the group could not develop any formal OSA guidance for orthodontists. This is interesting given that orthodontists are charged with managing the anatomy of the airway and they work with medical providers on airway anatomy issues like cleft palates and orthognathic surgery.

While it was not stated in the paper, in my opinion, the reason for the lack of specificity of recommendations comes from the nature of the science that was being evaluated. When medical colleagues review dental literature, routinely they are struck by the poor quality of the data. Dental research is typically not well funded, the numbers of participants are limited, the follow-up is short, and it lacks untreated control subjects.

Orthodontics takes years to complete and many years to determine any impact. And finally, the relationship between OSA and orthodontics is a relatively new concept that has rarely been tested in sleep laboratories. Instead, most studies on airway change look at cephalometric or CBCT volumetric alteration and infer (all be it incorrectly) that bigger is better. The conclusions of the AAO white paper are, therefore, going to be constrained by this lack of quality evidence.

Bicuspid extraction addressed

Curiously, section 12 of the AAO white paper, “Fallacies About Orthodontics in Relation to OSA,” addresses the issue of bicuspid extraction. It begins, “Conventional orthodontic treatment never has been proven to be an etiologic factor in the development of obstructive sleep apnea. When one considers the complex multifactorial nature of the disease, assigning cause to any one minor change in dentofacial morphology is not possible.”

This conclusion is true, but the key word is “proven.” There is also a lack of proof orthodontics is not a factor in the development of OSA. The disease is multifactorial but minor changes in oral volume, vertical dimension, and mandibular protrusion have been shown to change the airway and sleep apnea significantly. To argue that removal of four teeth is an unremarkable change is, at least, questionable given available data.

The paper continues, “The specific effects on the dental arches and the muscles and soft tissues of the oral cavity following orthodontic extractions can differ significantly, depending on the severity of dental crowding, the amount of protrusion of the anterior teeth and the specific mechanics used to close the extraction spaces.”

Zhiai Hu1 published a systematic review evaluating the effect of teeth extraction on the upper airway. It included only seven articles. They were divided by the reason for treatment:

The Class I bimax group all had anterior tooth retraction without boney changes. Three of the four articles showed a reduction in upper airway dimension, the last showed a reduction but not to the level of significance.

The one article on crowding differed because the orthodontic technique allowed the molars to move forward ~3mm. That created an increase in the airway dimension.

Finally, the unspecified group did not provide a discussion of the direction of movement (retractive or molar movement) and found small increases for both extraction and non-extraction groups. A conclusion that can be reached from this review is if you retract the anterior teeth, the airway size reduces and if the molars move forward, the airway improves or remains the same.

Impact of volumetric change

The white paper goes on to state, “The impact that orthodontic treatment with or without dental extractions may have on the dimensions of the upper airway also has been examined directly, first with two-dimensional cephalograms and more recently with three-dimensional CBCT imaging…

“In discussing orthodontic treatment to changes in the dimensions of the upper airway, it also is helpful to understand that an initial small or subsequently reduced or increased size does not necessarily result in a change in airway function.”

This is one of the issues medicine has with dental literature. Dental researchers rarely study the actual impact of the volumetric change. It is not enough to say the space is smaller. It needs to be quantified with sleep data. It also needs to be followed over time.

However, Christian Guilleminault highlighted a reduction in the ideal size of the upper airway can lead to abnormal breathing over time, initially with flow limitation, then with a progressive worsening toward full-blown OSA.2> Rarely would testing at the completion of orthodontics demonstrate a compromise. It is the stressful breathing night after night that compromises the airway and makes people more prone to breathing issues during sleep.

Existing evidence suggests the opposite

The AAO white paper does highlight a paper that attempts to answer the question about compromise later in life.

“One such study assessed dental extractions as a cause of OSA later in life with a large retrospective examination of dental and medical records… The study concluded that the prevalence of OSA was essentially the same in both groups, and that dental extractions were not a causative factor in OSA.”

A.J. Larsen3 reviewed insurance records for 5,500 patients between the ages of 40-70. Dental radiographs determined if the subjects were missing four bicuspids or had a full complement of teeth. They matched the two groups for age, BMI, etc. Then they reviewed their medical records to see if the subject had received a diagnosis for apnea.

The results showed that 9.56% of the non-extraction and 10.71% of the extraction group had a diagnosis of OSA. This was not significantly different. Thus, the authors’ conclusion was there was not a relationship between OSA and premolar extractions.

It is currently estimated that 80-90% of OSA patients are undiagnosed. Larsen’s paper states because the subjects all have insurance, they would expect physicians would note the symptoms and get them a sleep study and diagnosis.

There is absolutely no evidence to support that assertion and the existing evidence suggests just the opposite. From pediatricians to primary care, physicians are not diagnosing apnea effectively. The conclusion of the article should be extraction and non-extraction individuals are underdiagnosed at almost the same rate.

Orthodontic literature is not conclusive

The AAO paper goes on to state, “Overall it can be stated that existing evidence in the literature does not support the notion that arch constriction or retraction of the anterior teeth facilitated by dental extractions, and which may (or may not) be the objective of orthodontic treatment, has a detrimental effect on respiratory function.”

Once again, it is true existing evidence does not support that position because there is no quality evidence at this time, not that the relationship does not exist. This should, in my opinion, be a call for more research rather than posturing the topic as a fallacy.

Orthodontic literature is not conclusive on whether premolar extractions impact the airway. A weakness of all the studies is they are based on CBCT or cephalometric radiographic measurements and not sleep data. How a patient uses the existing airway volume is more critical than the size and that’s never measured.

Is there ever a time when I agree with an orthodontic recommendation of extractions? Absolutely. I will, however, ask my specialist:

The most important take away should be the need to intervene earlier. Attempting to direct craniofacial development may keep us from ever needing to know the answer to, “Does the extraction of four bicuspids impact the airway?”

Jeffrey Rouse, D.D.S., is a member of Spear Resident Faculty.

1. Hu Z, Yin X, Liao J, Zhou C, Yang Z, Zou S. The effect of teeth extraction for orthodontic treatment on the upper airway: a systematic review. Sleep and Breathing. 2015;19(2):441-451.

2. Guilleminault C, Huseni S, Lo L. A frequent phenotype for paediatric sleep apnoea: short lingual frenulum. ERJ Open Research. 2016;2(3):00043-02016.

3. Larsen AJ, Rindal DB, Hatch JP, et al. Evidence Supports No Relationship between Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Premolar Extraction: An Electronic Health Records Review. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. 2015;11(12);1443-1448.

This content was originally published here.