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.
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.
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.
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.
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – Dr. Michael O’Leary, of O’Leary Orthodontics, will retire after 42 years practicing orthodontics in the Wisconsin Rapids area.
“I extend my deepest and sincere thanks for the confidence, trust, and support shown throughout the years by my patients and the community,” Dr. Michael O’Leary said. “Superior care for my patients is of utmost importance to me. We took some time to find the right doctor and I am thrilled to announce that Dr. Kan Tsunoda joined the practice in May. I will miss all of you very much, but I know you will really like him.”
Dr. Kan Tsunoda will continue to provide orthodontic treatment under the new practice name “Rapids Orthodontics.”
“Rest assured, the familiar faces on the orthodontic support team will still be at Rapids Orthodontics to provide the same level of personalized care,” the company said in a release.
Tsunoda attended dental school at Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine-IL and completed his masters in oral biology and orthodontic specialty certificate at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Tsunoda said he enjoys the outdoors and is excited to be a part of the community with his wife and four daughters.
CRANSTON, R.I. — It was Columbus Day and Joseph E. Pezza and his wife had gotten back from a weekend in Nashville. The Pontiac Avenue orthodontist decided to stop by the office to check the mail and make sure everything was set for Tuesday morning.
But someone was already waiting in the office. He’d come through the office window, a fully grown wild turkey.
The waiting area was strewn with broken glass, Pezza said, and at first he thought he been the victim of a burglary. He went into his office to leave a message for the building manager and while he was wondering if he should call the police, the reason for the carnage became apparent.
“I went back into the room and all of a sudden this bird flies over my head,” Pezza said.
Pezza said he immediately headed back to his office, closed the door and waited for the building crew.
Pezza and his son Gregory are Pezza Orthodontics, located in a four-story office building off Pontiac Avenue near the interchange with Pontiac Avenue and Route 37. Birds sometimes bump into the back windows of the building, some of the office staff said, but the turkey was a first.
“It was double-pane glass, “ Pezza said, in wonder that the bird could fly high enough and fast enough to smash through the window. And survive
The maintenance crew worked to get the bird into a large bucket to get the bird out of the building, Pezza said, but it collapsed and died, possibly of shock or injuries suffered in the crash.
For now, the window is covered with a square of wood, with a felt turkey hanging from the center.
He declined to say if the incident was going to affect his plans for Thanksgiving.
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.
(MARINA DEL REY, Calif.) — NEWS: Throughout his 30-year career, Dr. Mario Paz is used to hearing reasons why patients grind their teeth at night, but now it’s about COVID-19. “Fears of the virus are creating new anxieties causing patients to clench their jaws for sustained period. This alters their bite causing pain,” he says.
According to Dr. Paz, “Stress is something we must attempt to manage, or it will manage us. Teeth grinding may lead to jaw pain and what is known as Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD), which may require braces to correct.”
Instead, Dr. Paz encourages people to focus on gratitude as a way of reducing their anxiety. “The first step is to be intentional, acknowledging stress takes a toll on the body and the mind. A powerful antidote is to cultivate an attitude of gratitude,” he advises.
According to a Harvard Mental Health Letter dated June 5, 2019, “In Praise of Gratitude,” expressing thanks can lead to improved health and greater happiness. The article gives six suggestions for cultivating gratitude, including writing a thank you note and jotting down three to five things you’re grateful for each week. “As you write, be specific and think about the sensations you felt when something good happened to you,” the article states.
Patients suffering symptoms due to excessive grinding should contact their dental professional after COVID-19 quarantines have been lifted. “Hopefully, we can all better manage stress from this virus in the days ahead,” says Dr. Paz.
About Dr. Mario Paz Orthodontics
Since 1990 when Dr. Paz opened his Beverly Hills office he has been as known as a pioneer in lingual braces technology, better known as “invisible” braces. Past president of the American Lingual Orthodontic Association (ALOA), Dr. Paz taught lingual braces at the UCLA Orthodontics School for two years and is a member of the European Society of Lingual Orthodontics, Sociedad Ibero-Americana de Ortodoncia Lingual, the American Association of Orthodontists, American Dental Association, the Western Los Angeles Dental Association and founding Member of the World Society of Lingual Orthodontics. Dr. Paz is now exclusively located in Marina Del Rey.
With more adults being referred for orthodontic care, it’s necessary to create an office that is welcoming not only for children, but for older patients, as well.
The first thing your patients notice when they walk into your practice is the design. With that in mind, use these office design techniques to make your practice feel more welcoming for patients of all ages.
Filling an orthodontics office with toys, video games and family-friendly movies may be a hit for kids. However, the approach does not provide key conveniences for adult patients, who account for one in four of the orthodontic patients in the U.S., according to the American Association of Orthodontists.
“Most ortho practices are set up to be efficient for providers, and attractive to children and adolescents, who are generally their target market,” said Spear Resident Faculty member Dr. Cheryl DeWood.
After 22 years in private practice as a general practitioner, Dr. DeWood chose to pursue an education and career in orthodontics.
Based on her experience as a practicing orthodontist since 2005, Dr. DeWood learned that an office designed around child-like elements fails to make adult patients feel welcome.
“This type of set-up emphasizes a ‘fun’ or juvenile atmosphere and is generally lacking in adult amenities, including private treatment areas,” Dr. DeWood said. “For GPs who are looking to refer adults, this isn’t very appealing.”
“I have been telling my colleagues for years that they are missing a growing part of the ortho market by limiting their ability to accommodate adult patients,” she said.
For example, the ADA Marketplace blog recommends that “stacks of magazines, books or newspapers can help keep the adults happily preoccupied.”
The ADA also encourages having soothing music playing in the office and access to refreshments like coffee and tea.
Effective use of color and light
The color scheme you pick for your practice can have a significant psychological impact on your patient. According the ADA Center for Professional Success, utilizing bright and bold colors like red and yellow can cause your patient’s anxiety to rise, whereas shades like sky blue or cool-toned purples can have more of a relaxing or cheerful effect.
Orange, the complement to blue on the color wheel, can be used for smaller touches in an orthodontics office for a bright accent. But if orange is used too much, it can be overstimulating.
Industry experts also recommend adding a few lamps with warm bulbs to your office to create a sunny, inviting space, or swapping out old light fixtures for lamps with a modern look for a fresh, new atmosphere.
Reduce stress with aquariums
It’s no accident that fish tanks are utilized in numerous dental and health care offices.
A 2015 U.K. study by the National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth University and the University of Exeter found that viewing an aquarium display led to lower blood pressure, lower heart rate and an improvement of mood, and these benefits increase as the number of fish increase.
The study says that “an individual does not need to spend long in front of an (aquarium), just five minutes, to derive significant benefits.”
The ADA Marketplace blog adds that aquariums can be particularly helpful for offices that have pediatric patients but can decrease stress in patients of all ages.
According to the ADA, “not every aquarium has to have the grandeur (or price tag) of a 1,000-gallon tank. A simple tank is a great tool for keeping people calm as the colors, lights and animal life provide a healthy distraction from stress.”
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.
TROY – Cooney Orthodontics, one of the region’s larger practices, is closing its two offices for 11 days except for emergency cases per recommendations from the the American Dental Association, the American Association of Orthodontics and the New York State Dental Association Board of Trustees.
Other practices have announced the same, such as The Smile Lodge pediatric dentistry office in Clifton Park, which serves children from the Mohawk Valley, Capital Region and Adirondacks.
“At this point, taken together with Governor Cuomo’s announcement closing additional businesses, we have decided for the safety of our patients and staff to temporarily close both our Troy and Ballston Lake offices starting Tuesday March 17th through Friday March 27th,” Cooney wrote. “If you have an appointment scheduled during this time, we will be reaching out to reschedule shortly,” the practice said in an email to patients.
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.
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 :
Why should you care about orthodontics?
The benefits of Orthodontics and Straight Teeth In Children and Adults – Winnipeg Dentist
HOW BRACES WORK
Why orthodontics matters
Why Visit an Orthodontist?
Reasons For Orthodontic Treatment
The Benefits of Visiting an Orthodontist
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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.
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.
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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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.
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.
Managing billing at your orthodontics practice can take up as much time as you spend with your patients. If your current payment software doesn’t integrate with other platforms like QuickBooks Online, you could be spending hours reconciling payments.
Integrated technology cuts through the red tape for orthodontic payment processing. Integrated payments means that your billing, credit card processing, customer management, and business analytics are all in one place. In this blog, we’ll explore how you can straighten out your orthodontics billing and save money with integrated technology.
Use ACH to Save on Fees
ACH, or “automated clearinghouse,” payments are great for invoicing patients. ACH payments are a secure, low-cost option, especially if you send invoices through a virtual terminal.
ACH costs less than $1 per transaction to providers, unlike credit cards that vary in percentages, usually between 3-4% per transaction. Those savings add up, especially if you’re billing a patient for a high-cost procedure. Once you send a patient an invoice, they can enter their bank account information and complete the payment. Patients can also set up autopay for recurring invoices so you don’t have to worry about late payments. You’ll get paid faster and at a much lower cost.
Use Practice Management Software to Track Your Payer Mix
Your payer mix is crucial to your practice’s cash flow. A payer mix is the total distribution of how your patients pay for their care. They can pay through private insurance, government-funded options, or completely out of their own pocket. Having a good balance between the three creates a steady cash flow for your practice. For instance, if your payer mix leans towards federal insurance programs like Medicaid, changes in regulations can upset your cash flow and revenue.
You can track your payer mix through practice management software like OrthoTrac. You can even check the status of insurance claims and reimbursement so you get paid faster. To stay competitive, you should assess your payer mix and make adjustments as necessary, like accepting more forms of insurance. And to work even more efficiently, choose a payment processor like Fattmerchant that integrates seamlessly with OrthoTrac and other practice management software.
Sync Your Data to End Reconciliation
Integrated technology means you don’t have to stop using the tools you already love, like QuickBooks Online. Integrated technology will work with other tools to create a seamless experience. You can manage patients, their insurance information, payments, and outstanding invoices all without needing to log into separate tools.
Fattmerchant integrates with practice management software like OrthoTrac and DentalXchange, plus 200 other applications and platforms. You can manage the most vital aspects of your orthodontic practice’s billing from one platform. Plus, with our 2-way sync with QuickBooks Online, your data is automatically transferred between the two platforms, making reconciling a thing of the past.
SHARE: FacebookTwitterLinkedinPinterestGoogle+tumblr Dr. Jim Raman. Photos obtained from Irmo Smiles website and Facebook. It was announced that a local orthodontist at Irmo Smiles, Jim Raman, has passed away. Irmo Smiles sent out a letter notifying patients of the doctor’s death, describing it as “a tragic loss.” It was mentioned that all appointments of Raman’s wife Misti, who is also a…
Getting teeth straight is almost a rite of passage. Middle schools and high schools are full orthodontia, but sometimes we need a little help realigning our smiles in adulthood, too. Invisalign, the game-changing brand of clear aligners has been around since 1997 and has been a clear choice for teeth straightening since then. But traditional braces aren’t obsolete and are still a viable option for those who want to straighten their smile.
A Clear-Cut Case Invisalign are clear, removable, plastic aligners that are custom made to fit your smile and slip over your teeth to straighten them for anywhere from 10 to 14 months. Invisalign aligners gradually move your teeth back into place. The cosmetic dentists we spoke to said Invisalign has been the clear choice for patients for mainly for aesthetic reasons. “The trays are clear and barely visible so they don’t make people feel self-conscious when wearing them,” says New York cosmetic dentist Irene Grafman, DDS. “Also, the trays are way more comfortable than having brackets on all your teeth which can cause tissue irritation.”
“My patients choose Invisalign to avoid metal braces,” says Malibu, CA cosmetic dentist Bob Perkins, DDS. “The biggest benefit of Invisalign is the fact that you don’t have to have a silver band across your smile for years.” Newport Beach, CA cosmetic dentist Robert McHarris, DDS adds time and budget are also big factors in choosing the clear trays: “The cost is often comparable or less than metal braces and sometimes treatment time is accelerated compared to metal braces.”
Ceramics & Metallics Traditional braces are made up of metal or ceramic brackets and metal wires. Today’s metal brackets are smaller and less noticeable than the metallic braces of the past. Ceramic braces are the same size and shape as metal braces, but have clear or tooth-colored brackets and sometimes wires that blend in with teeth.
“Good candidates for traditional braces are people with severe jaw related issues, such as top and bottom jaw not in alignment,” says Dr. McHarris. “Often these cases also require services of an oral surgeon.”
Dr. Grafman adds that she typically will consider traditional braces for more extensive cases. “Anytime I must bring down an ankylosis tooth, which is one that never came down, or if I have to move a tooth that is straight right or left without tilting it. Traditional braces are also good for when you lose a tooth and the molars can shift or tilt into that space. If I need to open up the space for an implant, it is better done with braces.”
Whether comfort is king or metallic orthodontia is the only option, the good news is the waiting period for straighter teeth isn’t that long. In just a little over a year, it’s possible to comfortably and affordably shift and straighten your teeth for your best smile yet.
in the south korean city of hwaseong-si, design studio starsis has realized the interior of an orthodontist practice. characterized by bright spaces and a rich material palette, the project has been formed by the architect to perfectly fit the needs and background of the client while creating a tranquil environment for awaiting customers.
when approaching the design, starsis took inspiration from teeth and the layout of the human jaw to create a plan from rounded, overlapping shapes. after applying this idea to the architecture, it resulted in an internal space in which the oval forms overlap. by limiting straight lines and placing curves inside the tight space, the organic aesthetic is maximized, creating a soft and friendly atmosphere within the orthodontist surgery.
the reception desk and hardwood shelves made from terrazzo, viewed from the waiting area
the interior is defined by white walls lit with warm-colored lights, terrazzo furniture, wooden fittings built into the walls and plants full of lush greenery to provide a sense of ease and relaxation for those who visit the practice for treatment. these materials are combined by the steel furniture, which is finished with paint and placed above the terrazzo floor in perfect harmony.
the entrance viewed from the corridor, and wooden and steel furniture for waiting customers
the furniture and reception desk viewed through the glass window
the wall with the reception desk and hardwood shelves made from terrazzo
the walls are 3.7m high and made of steel for solidity
there is an inspection room, a corridor and a powder room
the triage room viewed through the glass where the floor and walls are finished with 50 x 50mm white tiles
the corridor leading to the examination room
the corridor leading to the consulting office and photography room
on the wall there is built-in furniture where examination instruments can be placed and stored
steel pillars with sketches of spatial symbols and geometric shapes
project name: malocclusion ; offbeat teeth
location: 127-5, dongtansunhwan-daero, hwaseong-si, gyeonggi-do, south korea
total area: 2198.31 ft2 (204.23 m2)
designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.
This post was sponsored by the Invisalign® brand and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
My teen is always up for an adventure. If you asked Ryan what his favorite hobbies are, he’d tell you traveling and photography. He loves an adventure. We all do. It’s one of the reasons I homeschool, or road school, to be able to take our learning on the go. Whether we’re at home or exploring El Morro in Puerto Rico we’re not ones to turn down an adventure!
That’s one of the reasons we love Invisalign® treatment so much!
Invisalign aligners are transforming Ryan’s smile without compromise and with more predictability* thanks to SmartTrack® material. With over 20 years of innovation and 7 million+ smiles have enabled Invisalign treatment to correct simple to complex orthodontic cases, like Ryan’s. He can continue to go on all the adventures, eat all the things he likes (and even try new foods) while in treatment. Unlike traditional braces, there’s no restrictions when it comes to food! So there’s no holding him back when it comes to eating his way through our travels. (*compared to 0.30 inch off-the-shelf aligners)
Before we started his treatment, Ryan and I sat down and went over all the instructions from Dr. Segal, his orthodontist at Segal & Iyer. I made sure he understood that this was his responsibility. I cannot wear his Invisalign® aligners for him, only he can.
In order for his treatment to be successful, he has to make sure he follows all the directions Dr. Segal gave him.
It’s been about 10 weeks since he started treatment and he’s done phenomenally well. He wears his aligners all day long, only taking them out to eat or drink. In just these 10 weeks, he’s already notified such a difference in his smile that it encourages him to keep going.
It’s boosted his confidence so much and he readily smiles more for pictures and throughout our whole trip.
Plus we didn’t have to worry about any unexpected office visits (like you do with traditional braces) while we’re away. If a set of aligners break, you just move back to your old set or up to you new set.* That’s it!
*Consult your Invisalign provider before reverting to previous aligners or wearing new aligners
When his case fell out of his backpack in Disney and his top aligners broke, we didn’t worry. He just moved onto the next pack. Simple as can be.
I always try to include an educational aspect into all our trips. Since we homeschool and travel a lot, I use every place we visit as a learning tool. Whether it’s through the local cuisine or just immersing ourselves into the local scene, he’s able to enjoy anything our adventures bring while not having to worry about his orthodontic treatment.
When it comes time to plan out our trips, we don’t worry that Invisalign treatment will hold us back. Invisalign aligners give him ( and me) the confidence to know that he can try all the new foods he wants and we won’t have to avoid any restaurants tough to chew foods. Plus since Invisalign aligners transform his smile without compromise, we can still get the perfect family shot or selfie where he’s actually smiling. When we sit down and discuss what historical sites or things we want to learn more about and make a list of things to see and do, and Ryan makes sure to packing his aligners is at the top of that list!
Sometimes I even put him in charge of all our educational activities and I let him plan the whole itinerary. It’s doubles as a research project. He’ll look into the different sites and activities available and pick out ones he thinks we’ll all enjoy.
If you or your child need orthodontic care, Invisalign aligners are a convenient choice for active and jet-setting families.
Invisalign aligners let you transform your smile without compromise, so nothing holds Ryan back from hiking, swimming and truly exploring and immersing himself into wherever we’ll be.
Parents, you can learn more about Invisalign treatment for your tween or teens here, and be sure to take the free Smile Assessment for them!
To find an Invisalign provider near you, check out the Doctor Locator!
BETTENDORF, Iowa (KWQC) – Getting braces is an expensive task, which makes do-it-yourself videos from online even more attractive. Orthodontists have noticed more and more patients coming to them with teeth actually worse than before because they tried correcting the problem themselves, in order to save money.
Dr. Steven Mack is an orthodontist at Mack Orthodontics in Bettendorf, Iowa, and he says he’s seen patients who order kits from online to fix their teeth instead of going to a professional. “You’re not just ordering shampoo online and you can send it back, or shoes,” he said. “It’s something that effects your body and effects your health.”
With all information being a click away nowadays, kids feel they can learn and know everything. “It’s a different generation nowadays. Kids want to do something, they immediately want to go to YouTube and watch a video,” said Dr. Mack. “They wake up, they’ve got a device in their hand and it’s just so common to them.”
“The internet has definitely played a role in this. I think people think that because I can buy shampoo and all these products online through Amazon and have them shipped directly to my house,” he said. “They need to remember moving teeth is not a product.”
Dr. Mack said the complications and health risks from not seeing a professional actually lead to higher prices later, when more work is needed to fix what a patient has made worse.
“There’s a lot of risks and possible complications that you can have if it’s not done properly,” he said. “It may cost you time, it may cause injury to yourself which can lead to possibly thousands of dollars of repair work.”
Dr. Mack says at the end of the day, let the pro’s be the pro’s.
“Who do you go to if there’s a problem? If things aren’t working you need to have a name, face, and person in office that you can follow up on,” he said. “At least you’re going to have options that you know are going to only solve problems and not create problems.”
The worry with such services is that patients are missing out on crucial care steps provided by a one-to-one consultation with an orthodontist. This can include jaw x-rays, and general dental health checks, which are fundamental to the overall well-being of the teeth.
USC alumni Nehi Ogbevoen, now an accomplished orthodontist, explains, “There’s a lot of things we can catch on an X-ray — for example, impacted teeth. There are other things we can catch that, if you aren’t seeing a dentist regularly, can be really scary.”
“We not only want to improve aesthetics but also the function of the bite,” he adds,
“We’re trying to plan your bite and smile and how they are going to age over the next 30, 40 years.”
The open-source dental opportunity
In 2016 famed designer Amos Dudley shed significant light on the power of 3D printing in dentistry by creating his own corrective braces at home. The blog charting his homegrown dental care project comes with a disclaimer advising readers against taking such action on their own. However it seems it has sparked some concern within the professional dental market.
Not only this, but entrepreneurs seeking to cash-in on the opportunities offered by dental 3D printing have also started cropping up. And this, in particular, is what comes under scrutiny at USC.
The problem with “DIY” dentistry
As an established brand within dentistry Invisalign is of course a respected business within this sphere. However, “the world’s largest user of state-of-the-art 3D printing technology for making highly accurate, customized aligners,” is not the kind of opportunist targeted by USC critics.
Invisalign requires patients to organize an appointment before seeking treatment. It is instead such businesses that seem to solely operate online that have come under fire. Those that allow a patient to submit their own 3D scanned dental model for consideration, without consultation.
The problem here can be that any existing dental-health conditions can fly under the radar, causing deeper issues for the patient. In particular Hany Youssef, faculty member at the USC Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, has come face-to-face with a patient who suffered negative side effects due to a condition missed when undertaking this type of “DIY” dental care.
How to get low-cost dental care
Rather than scaremongering though, the recommendation here is that patients should be asking lots of questions before they go ahead with the low-cost alternative. It is also making orthodonists reflect on the high cost of treatment and, USC experts, believe that this new, more convenient approach will have a trickle-down effect on the wider dental industry.
Glenn T. Sameshima, chairman and program director of USC’s Advanced Orthodontics Certificate Program, says accessibility needs to be taken into account. “I see a future,” he adds, “20 to 30 years from now, when they’ll be able to do a combination of clear aligners and braces, with 3D printing bringing these costs down.”
A Chicago dental practice has filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Align Technology, Inc. in which it alleges the Invisalign maker has leveraged its dominance in both the aligner and hand-held digital dental scanner markets as a means to suppress competition.
According to the 30-page suit out of Delaware federal court, Align Technology’s anti-competitive conduct has allowed it to not only artificially boost and/or maintain its market share and power, but to artificially inflate prices in both markets. The defendant’s alleged conduct, the lawsuit says, essentially amounts to a de facto bundling of its aligners and intraoral scanners that offers no corresponding discount to purchasers.
Align’s Technology’s Invisalign-brand aligners are by far the dominant product in the overall aligner market, the case begins. The defendant reportedly pulls in “well over a billion dollars per year” selling Invisalign, according to the suit.
The plaintiff charges that the defendant knew from the outset that dental practitioners’ use of digital scanners would make them more likely to use its aligners in that “once a dental practice purchases a digital scanner, that practice would be more likely to order more aligners as a way to pay for the scanner.”
“The bottom line,” the complaint reads, “was that more iTero Scanners meant more Invisalign orders.”
Since at least March 15, 2015, the defendant, the case claims, had been able to charge high prices and keep its profit margins in the black for Invisalign due to protection from “a thicket of hundreds of patents” Align Technology has supposedly wielded aggressively to “protect its aligner monopoly.” As the lawsuit tells it, however, once some of Align Technology’s key patents expired in 2017, the company was forced to turn its attention to the outside influence of competitors while keeping one eye on the lofty expectations of its investors. To juggle its predicament, the defendant “responded with the anticompetitive scheme” over which the lawsuit was filed, the plaintiff argues.
Moreover, the defendant’s possession of Invisalign-related patents, along with “other high barriers to entry” in the above-described markets, allegedly served as an effective deterrent for competitors looking to enter the market.
“Instead of reacting to the advent of competition by improving its product or lowering its prices, Defendant worked to suppress that potential competition by using its dominance in the Aligner market to impair competition in the Scanner market, and then in turn using its dominance in the Scanner market to impair competition in the Aligner market,” the case reads.
With regard to the particulars of the defendant’s alleged competition-quashing scheme, the lawsuit says it came down to Align Technology’s production of both Invisalign and the tool with which dentists determine whether the treatment is right for a patient:
All this amounts to a de facto “closed system” that essentially makes it impractical for dental practitioners to order Invisalign aligners from other manufacturers, the case says. The defendant’s iTero scanner, according to the suit, does not accept scans in an industry-standard format nor from other scanners. The plaintiff stresses that this makes it more time-consuming and expensive for proposed class members to go outside of the framework set in place by Align Technology.
As of September 2018, Align Technology has “an over 80% share in the market for aligners in the United States and an over 80% share in the market for scanners in the United States,” the lawsuit says. With this much muscle, the defendant, the plaintiff alleges, has been able to leverage its position to inflate prices for its iTero dental scanners and Invisalign treatments.
Whether you call the process “braces,” “orthodontics,” or simply straightening your teeth, these 7 facts about orthodontics – the very first recognized specialty within the dental profession – may surprise you.
1. The word “orthodontics” is of Greek origin.
“Ortho” means straight or correct. “Dont” (not to be confused with “don’t”) means tooth. Put it all together and “orthodontics” means straight teeth.
2. People have had crooked teeth for eons.
Crooked teeth have been around since the time of Neanderthal man. Archeologists have found Egyptian mummies with crude metal bands wrapped around teeth. Hippocrates wrote about “irregularities” of the teeth around 400 BCE* – he meant misaligned teeth and jaws.
About 2,100 years later, a French dentist named Pierre Fauchard wrote about an orthodontic appliance in his 1728 landmark book on dentistry, The Surgeon Dentist: A Treatise on the Teeth. He described the bandeau, a piece of horseshoe-shaped precious metal which was literally tied to teeth to align them.*
3. Orthodontics became the first dental specialty in 1900.
Edward H. Angle founded the specialty. He was the first orthodontist: the first member of the dental profession to limit his practice to orthodontics only – moving teeth and aligning jaws. Angle established what is now the American Association of Orthodontists, which admits only orthodontists as members.
4. Gold was the metal of choice for braces circa 1900.
Gold is malleable, so it was easy to shape it into an orthodontic appliance. Because gold is malleable, it stretches easily. Consequently, patients had to see their orthodontist frequently for adjustments that kept treatment on track.
5. Teeth move in response to pressure over time.
Some pressure is beneficial, however, some is harmful. Actions like thumb-sucking or swallowing in an abnormal way generate damaging pressure. Teeth can be pushed out of place; bone can be distorted.
Orthodontists use appliances like braces or aligners to apply a constant, gentle pressure on teeth to guide them into their ideal positions.
6. Teeth can move because bone breaks down and rebuilds.
Cells called “osteoclasts” break down bone. “Osteoblast” cells rebuild bone. The process is called “bone remodeling.” A balanced diet helps support bone remodeling. Feed your bones!
7. Orthodontic treatment is a professional service.
It’s not a commodity or a product. The type of “appliance” used to move teeth is nothing more than a tool in the hands of the expert. Each tool has its uses, but not every tool is right for every job. A saw and a paring knife both cut, but you wouldn’t use a saw to slice an apple. (We hope not, anyway!)
A Partnership for Success
Orthodontic treatment is a partnership between the patient and the orthodontist. While the orthodontist provides the expertise, treatment plan and appliances to straighten teeth and align jaws, it’s the patient who’s the key to success.
The patient commits to following the orthodontist’s instructions on brushing and flossing, watching what they eat and drink, and wearing rubber bands (if prescribed). Most importantly, the patient commits to keeping scheduled appointments with the orthodontist. Teeth and jaws can move in the right directions and on schedule when the patient takes an active part in their treatment.
AAO orthodontists are ready to partner with you to align your teeth and jaws for a healthy and beautiful smile.
When you choose an AAO orthodontist for orthodontic treatment, you can be assured that you have selected a highly skilled specialist. Orthodontists are experts in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics – properly aligning teeth and jaws – and possess the skills and experience to give you your best smile. Locate AAO orthodontists through Find an Orthodontist at aaoinfo.org.
Murray Klauber, an orthodontist from Buffalo, N.Y., reinvented himself as the owner of a Florida tennis resort where Nick Bollettieri taught tennis and Al Gore practiced for debates, before a dispute sent the business into a death spiral.