Am I too old for Invisalign?
No, age in itself is not a barrier for Invisalign treatment, and in our practice, we have noticed our fastest growing Invisalign population is over fifty. Crooked teeth and a bad bite can contribute to the following: gum disease, tooth decay, excessive wear and chipping of teeth.
People are living longer, and they expect to keep their teeth for a lifetime. Straight teeth are easier to keep clean, and studies have shown that crowding, of as little as 3 millimeters, can increase one’s risk for gum disease. In United States, gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss. Research also shows periodontal (gum) disease can contribute to heart disease, so we see numerous reasons why older adults are taking their dental health seriously.
What about other aligner companies?
We recommend sticking with brand name Invisalign. They have great warranties that protect the patient’s investment and have, by far, the most money and resources dedicated to research and development. In a fast changing field, Invisalign is always obtaining new patents that keep their quality ahead of the competition. This has translated into the best aligner system that provides a consistent force to move teeth throughout treatment.
We have had patients using other aligner systems find out through the news media that their brand went out of business. Some of these companies did not even inform the doctors or the patients, they just stopped making the aligners. Other systems are basically a do it yourself aligner treatment where you mail in your own impressions. With this system we have seen cases where the patient’s teeth were damaged and resulted in thousands of dollars worth of expenses to repair them, and other patients where the aligners were completely ineffective.
FAQ about implants:
Q. I have been told I have bone loss. Can I still get dental implants?
A. Yes, bone graphs are routinely done with implant placement. Many times implants can be placed without any bone grafting, even when there is bone loss.
Q. If I have one missing tooth that does not show, why should I replace it?
A. Missing teeth results in progressive bone loss, also the adjacent teeth can tip into the missing tooth spot. Both of these make your bite less stable.
Q. Are dental implants painful?
A. Most patients do fine with local anesthetic, while others opt for a mild sedative. Typically patients return to their normal activities the next day, and report the experience was much more tolerable than anticipated.
Q. Who places dental implants?
A. In our office, we have a periodontist who places all of our implants. Technically, any licensed dentist can place implants, but it is wise to use an ADA recognized specialist (periodontist or oral surgeon) who has advanced implant training, and places them on a weekly or daily basis.
Q. Can I get “teeth in a day” in your office?
A. Yes, since we have a surgeon and two restorative dentists in our office. We often place temporary teeth the same day as the implants, since the gum level will settle during the healing phase. The permanent teeth are typically placed 3 months later for optimal esthetics.
Q. What if I need a “sinus lift?”
A. In most cases, our periodontist does a sinus lift at the same time as placing the implants and patients do not notice any symptoms from the additional procedure.
FAQ about Children’s Dental Care:
Q. At what age do children usually have their first dental visit?
A. Typically children have their first cleaning at age three. We strongly encourage parents to bring them in prior to that, to observe another family member get their teeth cleaned. That way they know what to expect. If there is any suspicion of something wrong in the child’s mouth they should of course be seen earlier.
Q. What about baby dental care?
A. Baby teeth start to erupt between 6 to 12 months, but it varies. Even before that, you should wipe your babies gums after feeding to maintain a healthy mouth, especially after their last feeding before bed! Teething rings, Tylenol or Motrin can help with teething pain.Once the teeth start to come in, you should brush them with a baby toothbrush. When your child is able to spit, start using a small amount (pea size) of fluoride toothpaste. Assist your child with brushing morning and bedtime, until they are six years old.
Q. What about X-ray use and safety?
A. X-rays are taken to detect cavities between teeth, assess orthodontic needs and diagnose other diseases. The frequency is based on each child’s needs, but for children of average risk for decay, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends annual x-rays. Our office uses digital x-rays, which minimize radiation, as well as protective aprons including a thyroid shield.
Q. Is fluoride safe to use on my children?
A. Fluoride is a natural occurring mineral that makes teeth stronger and more resistant to decay. It is most effective in children, that is why we routinely place fluoride after a child’s cleaning.
Q. What about sealants?
A. A sealant is a protective coating bonded to the biting surface of back teeth. It is most effective for 1st and 2nd permanent molars that erupt at six and 12 years old respectively. Studies have shown it reduces cavity risk by 90%.
Q. What about thumb, finger and pacifier habits?
A. Sucking is a natural reflex that gives children a sense of security or helps them fall asleep. Pacifiers are easier to eliminate than fingers. The intensity of the sucking determines the effect on arch development. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry encourages parents to help stop these habits by age three. Orthodontic intervention becomes more likely if the habit persist to age six.