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For many adults, braces or orthodontics have just not been an option. They do not want to invest the time and effort to make their teeth straight. For those that do want to correct their occlusion,  it is a worthwhile investment. Orthodontics is a great way to fix bite issues as well as some cosmetic issues. However, if you do not have any bite issues and are looking for a fresh start with a new smile, instant orthodontics may be the answer for you.

How Does Instant Orthodontics Work?

Instant orthodontics is achieved using multiple cosmetic dentistry procedures in a fairly short time to give you the white, bright, straight smile you desire. Depending upon how extreme your smile issues are to begin with, instant orthodontics can range from 2-3 visits to 2-3x times that number. Let’s take a look at some of the cosmetic dentistry procedures involved in instant orthodontics:

Porcelain Veneers. This is a hallmark procedure in cosmetic dentistry for an instant orthodontics case. Porcelain veneers are a custom made thin shell of porcelain that is bonded to the existing teeth (after a small amount of preparation to the teeth). Once in place you have a long lasting durable dental restoration that can change color, shape, and size of your teeth. These are generally used on the top front teeth and  sometimes, bottom front teeth. Porcelain veneers work best in cases where minor changes need to be made in alignment, shape and color of teeth. Preliminary models of the teeth should be made to assess whether veneers can correct issues properly. If after diagnostic workup, it is found that the issues are too severe, a different method of correction will be necessary. So, porcelain veneers are ideal in cases where there is a limited amount of misalignment of teeth and/or the patient’s desire is to not only bring them back in line but also to change the color and shape of their teeth.

Porcelain and Zirconia Crowns. These types of crowns are the most cosmetic offered in dentistry today. They are made from modern dental porcelains that range in strength and esthetics. If done properly, no one should ever be able to tell a porcelain crown from natural tooth. Modern porcelains possesses strength, color properties, and light reflection properties that very closely mimic our natural teeth. Porcelain crowns can be used to change bite alignment issues as well as change alignment of front teeth which are more extreme such as those issues that porcelain veneers alone cannot fix. More natural tooth structure needs to be removed in preparing a porcelain crown vs a porcelain veneer.

Dental Bonding. This cosmetic dentistry procedure can be useful when closing a gap between teeth, changing a surface imperfection, or altering tooth shape. Dental bonding is much less expensive in the short term, but can change color,(stain), and chip requiring frequent replacement. Porcelain crowns or porcelain veneers do not change color and are more resistant to fracture. That said, dental bonding does a great job in closing gaps on teeth as well as changing the size, shape and color of one or more teeth much in the same circumstances diagnostically as veneers.

Why Choose Instant Orthodontics Over Traditional Orthodontics?

While traditional orthodontics has a necessary and important place in dentistry. Traditional orthodontic movement of teeth into correct anatomical position is the generally the more conservative approach due to the fact that the teeth do not require alteration to their anatomy. Many adult patients choose instant orthodontics over traditional orthodontics for the following reasons:

Time. Traditional orthodontics can take a year or longer to achieve the results you are looking for. Orthodontics will not whiten teeth or change color or tooth shape.

Periodontal disease. This needs to be under control prior to any type of dental work of this magnitude. Traditional orthodontics can make a situation where there is bone loss present even worse as the teeth move. Teeth moving into place may cause increased bone loss, tooth looseness, root resorption, and gum tissue recession.

Tooth Decay/Old restorations present. When there is tooth decay present or an older dental restoration (such as a crown or previous dental bonding) that needs replacing, it may actually be easier and more cost efficient for the patient to get new dental restorations and re align the teeth in that manner.

Bite Reclamation. Over time, our teeth wear (this is especially true for those who grind their teeth). This wear can cause a loss in what is called vertical dimension, collapsing our bites. A good cosmetic dentist can not only make your new restorations look perfect but they can also add the extra function of restoring that lost vertical height. This will give the effect of smoothing out the skin and wrinkles around the mouth thus giving you a more youthful appearance. Instant orthodontics can not fix loss of tooth structure.

Instant Orthodontics Conclusion

Instant orthodontics is not for everyone. For those who are unhappy with their smile and looking for more than just teeth whitening it could be just the answer for their needs. If traditional orthodontics is not feasible for you, instant orthodontics may be a great option. You can expect your smile to look great in just a few weeks,  but be aware, over time some of those restorations may need to be redone if they break or tooth decay becomes an issue. Remember, dental hygiene is the foundation of any cosmetic dentistry work. If you wish any restoration to last, you must brush, floss, rinse, and see your dentist regularly for examinations and professional cleanings.

Do you have a missing tooth (or teeth) that need to be replaced? Throughout our lives, teeth can be lost for a variety reasons. They can be lost from tooth decay, periodontal disease, nutritional neglect, and accidents. Missing teeth can compromise your eating habits, speech, health, and appearance. The loss of a front tooth can negatively affect the appearance of your smile, your speech, and your self confidence. Losing a tooth in the back of your mouth can lead to a number of issues affecting your ability to chew, your ability to properly clean your teeth, jaw collapse, teeth shifting, and the health of your remaining teeth. Replacing a lost tooth will prevent further destruction and help save your remaining teeth. Replacing lost teeth can save you time, money, keep you healthier,and prevent many other oral difficulties in the future.

The loss of a single tooth can start a devastating chain reaction of events. After a back molar tooth is lost, a series of destructive events occurs including the displacement and tilting of other teeth around it including a supra eruption (when a tooth continues to grow into the mouth because it is not being kept in place by it’s opposing tooth) of the tooth above it, decay, drifting and formation of periodontal pockets. Eventually, bone loss and periodontal disease, to the teeth surrounding the lost tooth, tend to cause further destruction. If you fail to replace a lost back tooth, you may cause the loss of other teeth.

What Can Happen If Lost Teeth Are Not Replaced?

-Shifting of Teeth When a tooth is lost, for whatever reason, the surrounding teeth will begin to drift into the open space. This includes both adjacent teeth as well as teeth in the other arch. A once straight smile can quickly turn into a crooked one. Replacing a lost tooth sooner, rather than later, can prevent this from happening As the number of lost teeth increases, the further the damage to the overall eveness of the bite  and, making it harder to replace later on. The altered position of teeth causes the forces to be applied incorrectly while chewing, making fractures and bone loss much more likely. The incorrect forces also cause wear which can result in loss of tooth height and subsequent facial changes.

-Temperomandibular Joint Issues (TMJ Disorder) – As your teeth shift out of their normal alignment, bite issues usually develop. When the upper and lower teeth do not meet properly, it can strain and eventually damge the TMJ. This can lead to head, jaw, and ear pain, headaches, dislocations, clicking and popping, as well as permanent damage to the joint.

-Periodontal Disease – When teeth begin to shift, it makes it that much harder to keep your teeth clean. It will be harder to brush and floss certain areas which have, essentially, created a trap for plaque and food debris to build up. When plaque and bacteria are not removed and allowed to build up the result can be tooth decay and periodontal disease. When teeth shift and drift, they oftentimes create a root exposure problem, and allow forces to move them in unnatural ways. This can loosen teeth, and make them very sensitive. Periodontal disease can lead to further tooth loss.

Options For Replacing Missing Teeth

Patients have multiple options when teeth are lost. They can include fixed ( permanent and not removable) or removable options. These procedures can include:

-Removable Dentures – This option has been the longstanding traditional option when multiple teeth are missing. Removable dentures are often the fastest and least expensive alternative in the short term. There are some disadvantages to removable dentures. Removable dentures work by attaching to exisiting teeth. This often leads to these “anchor” teeth becoming loose, worn, decayed, or broken. There can also be bone loss under the denture, which over time will make the denture more and more mobile and uncomfortable. Removable dentures can also be inconvenient to clean after eating especially if out at a restaurant. Lastly, removable dentures have about 1/3 the chewing power and efficiency of natural teeth. This can lead to poor chewing and lack of good nutrition in one’s diet.

Marielaina Perrone DDS Dental BridgesFixed Dental Bridge – This entails cutting down surrounding teeth, and fitting them with fused crowns to replace any missing teeth. The most popular type of fixed bridge is called a 3 unit bridge. This means that the two natural teeth adjacent to the missing tooth serve as anchors. This is a very stable option but does also have disadvantages. Disadvantages include:

-Removal of good tooth structure from adjacent teeth.

-Difficulty maintaining good dental hygiene under bridges as normal flossing is not possible

-Long term prognosis of most dental bridges in between 8-10 years before it needs replacing. This is an average. Some bridges can and will last longer.

Dental Implants – Dental implants are the largest initial investment, but most cost effective long term solution for replacement of missing teeth available today. The main disadvantage to dental implants is the time it takes to be completed. Following placement of the dental implant a 4-6 month healing time is generally needed before the tooth can be restored. Dental implants are the ideal solution for many tooth replacements in dentistry today.

All on Four Dentures – When many or all  teeth are lost, or if you are rapidly progressing to full mouth breakdown, This dental implant/denture option is an excellent choice. The best thing about this procedure is that you have your entire procedure done and walk out with teeth the same day. There are usually 4 dental implants placed and a titanium bar supported denture placed. It is screwed down, but can be removed if needed. The biggest negatives here are price, and post operative possibility of bruising and discomfort while healing.

Tooth Replacement Conclusion

Tooth loss can happen at any time to anyone. Losing a tooth due to a trauma, dental disease, habits, etc. can be a big problem for a variety of reasons. If teeth are not replaced, they can cause issues for you including bone loss, periodontal disease, and more tooth loss. Replacing lost teeth as soon as possible will save you discomfort and greater expense in the future. Knowing your options, and being informed can help you and your dentist come up with the best treatment options for you. Remember, sooner is better than later, but know that whenever you are ready to move forward with tooth replacements there will always be options!

Most teens and adults who wear braces cannot wait for the day that they are free from them. They look forward to finally having the straight smile they have desired.

Braces - Marielaina Perrone DDS

Orthodontic Treatment – Braces

Whether treatment takes a few months (in cases of limited orthodontics) or 2-3 years it is still something to look forward to. But now the work begins to continue maintaining proper oral hygiene to keep those teeth straight, white, and free of tooth decay.

Tips to Maintain that Straight Smile

Schedule regular dental examinations and cleanings. Now that the braces are off it is not a time to slack off on maintaining your teeth. Most patients find dental hygiene to be easier after dealing with braces for such a long time. Most patients, especially adult patients, are extra motivated following orthodontic treatment. They want to show off their new smile and keep their teeth shining. Immediately following removal of braces it is very important to schedule an appointment to see your regular dentist to ensure there is no tooth decay, residual cement, chipped enamel or stains. Sometimes there are white spots caused by decalcified enamel under or around the brackets. The gums, and roots of teeth also need to be evaluated. The dentist will also check your orthodontic retainer to assure proper fit and hygiene.

Wear Your Orthodontic Retainer. Following most orthodontic treatment an orthodontic retainer is custom made for patients. This retainer will need to be worn for 9-12 months as your teeth “adjust” to their new positions. If you choose not to wear your orthodontic retainer regularly, your teeth will likely shift. After the first year, many people wear their orthodontic retainers at night, several nights per week, to ensure that their new smiles continue to look great. There are three basic types of orthodontic retainers. These include:

1) Hawley Retainer. This type of orthodontic retainer is made of acrylic that is custom molded to your mouth. These contain a wire to hold your teeth in position. A Hawley retainer is the most common type of retainer. The acrylic can be made available in clear, and in a variety of colors and interesting designs, so you can “personalize” your orthodontic retainer if you so choose.

Las Vegas Orthodontics Marielaina Perrone DDS

Wear Your Orthodontic Retainer To Keep Your Smile Straight!

2) Essix Retainer. These are made of clear plastic. Most people like these as they are fairly lightweight and thin, and do not look anything like traditional retainers.

3) Fixed Retainer. These are just as the name implies, meaning they do not come out. These are usually a thin wire bonded behind a section of teeth using a tooth colored material. This type of orthodontic retainer stays in the mouth 24 hours a day and patients must be extra diligent to maintain proper oral hygiene as food and debris can be trapped along this type of orthodontic retainer. This is most often used on lower teeth, as they have the highest incidence of moving back to their original positions over time. The fixed orthodontic retainer is best for those who would be unlikely to wear a removable retainer as they are instructed to, or would likely lose it.

Never stop wearing your orthodontic retainer unless advised otherwise. Wearing the orthodontic retainer will ensure the teeth do not shift over time.

Maintenance of  Your Orthodontic Retainer

How can you keep your orthodontic retainer clean? You can brush a Hawley retainer with a toothbrush. Brushing is not recommended for Essix orthodontic retainers because brushing can scratch or damage them. You can use denture cleaner such as efferdent, but there are actually several retainer cleaning products custom produced for this task. These include RetainerBrite and SonicBrite. You should also bring your orthodontic retainer to dental appointments, your hygienist can place them in a special tartar and stain removing solution to soak while you are having your teeth cleaned.

-Retainer Brite. This cleaner comes in tablet form and can be used with our without a portable sonic cleaner. The advantage of this cleaner is that the tablets are individually wrapped, which makes it easy for traveling and on the go.

SonicBrite. This cleaner is a powder that comes with a battery operated sonic cleaner bath. It works very well at getting white calculus build up off of many types of Las Vegas Orthodontics Marielaina Perrone DDSorthodontic retainers and dental appliances. Patients with Essix retainers and Invisalign -type aligners tend to like this system.

All of these systems do a very good job at keeping your orthodontic retainer smelling fresh and preventing white build up. They can be used for either plastic and wire Hawley retainers, or Essix (clear plastic) retainers and Invisalign type aligner trays.

What If I lose My Orthodontic Retainer?

Losing retainers especially for teenagers is quite common. A good tip to make sure you do not lose it is to carry a retainer case with you at all times. Get in the habit of placing the orthodontic retainer in its case whenever you need to remove it. This way it is not just left in a napkin on a restaurant table or left for a dog to chew. Be sure to keep your orthodontic retainers in their protective case when out of your mouth.  Dogs love to chew retainers, and they can be easily knocked off counters and stepped on. It is YOUR responsibility to make sure that the retainer is kept in a safe place when not in use.  Backpacks, pockets, and purses are also dangerous, unless the protective case is used.  Heavy books, keys, etc. can bend and break orthodontic retainers.

You have long awaited your new smile. You have been through a lot to get here. Make sure you do all that you need to maintain your investment. Your future should be filled with years of bright smiles. Wear your orthodontic retainer, so that your teeth don’t move out of their new, beautiful positions. Continue with excellent oral hygiene. Be diligent with your dental visits. These tips can help keep that perfect smile straight for many years to come!