Tag Archives: Orthodontics

Straightening Teeth with a Missing Teeth

I never had braces as a child. It’s always bothered me. I want to do something about it now that I’m an adult. I keep hearing about invisible braces, which sounds much better to me than those silver ones all my friends in middle-school wore. The one thing that worries me is I have two congenitally missing mandibular bicuspids. Do I need to get dental implants for those spots?

Katherine

Dear Katherine,

A woman putting in her Invisalign aligners in two stacked images

Invisible braces could refer to one of three things. First, they could be referring to the clear braces you can get these days. They still go on your teeth like the traditional metal wire and bracket braces, but it uses a less visible material.

A second possibility is lingual braces. These are also the traditional type of braces bonded to your teeth, but they are placed behind your teeth where no one can see them. Many child stars have worn these when they’re in the middle of filming a series where they didn’t (or couldn’t in the case of a historical series) want the character to have braces. They’re useful for straightening in secret, but they have a couple of drawbacks.

They can be uncomfortable on your tongue which will bump up against them quite a bit. Braces make oral hygiene trickier because of all the materials you have to get around and the food that continually gets trapped in them. Lingual braces are even harder to keep clean because of their location. You could end up with a lot of unnecessary decay if you don’t stay on top of your tooth care.

Invisalign — Your Best Invisible Braces Option

While both of the above options could be considered “invisible braces”, there’s a much better option. Invisalign, though not technically braces, is an orthodontic system which straightens your teeth in significantly less time than traditional braces. These use clear aligners (think teeth whitening trays) instead of wires and brackets. Even at a conversational distance, people will not be able to tell you’re wearing them.

Because you’re talking about your lower bicuspids, it’s not necessary to get dental implants. Invisalign will close the spaces in your lower arch. Though, if you wanted to, you certainly could get implants placed where you’re missing teeth are. To do that, however, you’d need to work with an experienced implant dentist who also understands orthodontics. This way your work can be done in such a way as to preserve the needed space for the implant.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba. Check out his smile gallery.

Orthly App Versus Invisalign

I recently read about an app called Orthly.  It’s a lot cheaper than Invisalign. In fact, I can’t afford Invisalign, but I can this app. Is it safe?

Benjamin H.

Benjamin,

This app hasn’t been available long. It could be a wonderful product, but there are a few things which concern me. The first is that it is developed by students who, like many people including yourself, couldn’t afford Invisalign. That in itself isn’t so bad, but they admit themselves they have no knowledge of dentistry.

They evaluated how Invisalign works and came up with what they felt was an affordable solution. Unfortunately, one of the ways it saves so much money is by keeping dental professionals out of the treatment plan, except for a few “check-ups” by photo to see how your teeth are coming along.

Here’s my concern with those check-ups. How can an orthodontist measure and track things such as mobility, root absorption, periodontal disease, and oral hygiene through a photo? The answer is they can’t. Unfortunately, any of those issues can mean serious problems for your teeth. They can even lead to you losing your teeth.

The jury is still out on Orthy. In your place, I’d talk to your dentist. Let him or her know your financial concern. It’s likely they can work out a payment plan of some type for you which will work with your budget.

Straightening your teeth can do a lot more than give you confidence in your smile. It can help with things like jaw pain and migraines if they’re being caused by your bite.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

 

Are Tooth Bands A Good Alternative to Porcelain Veneers?

I have a tooth gap that I told my dentist I wanted to fix. He suggested braces, but I wasn’t keen on wearing metal on my mouth. Then he suggested porclain veneers. I liked the idea, but they are so expensive. I recently saw an add for tooth bands that close gaps. Is that a good alternative?

Ebony K. – New York

Ebony,

Unfortunately, tooth bands are a gimick that could actually end up costing you your teeth. While they will pull the gap closed, they do it by loosening and tipping your teeth. Orthodontics, move the teeth in proper stages AND give the surrounding bone time to reform around the roots.

I do have good news for you though. If you don’t like the expensive of porcelain veneers, there are other ways to repair your gap. If you want to close the gap, without metal braces, you could get Invisalign. These use clear aligners, that are not visible to others when they’re on your teeth.

If you don’t want any orthodontics, but just immediately want to close the gap, then dental bonding can do that, at a fraction of the cost of porcelain veneers.

I’m actually surprised your dentist suggested veneers before bonding.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

Are orthobands good enough if you can’t afford porcelain veneers?

My dentist wants me to get orthodontics to close my tooth gap. I told him I’m not interested in doing braces because of the time involved. His next suggestion was using porcelain veneers, but that was way more money than I’m willing to spend. I read about orthobands. Would they work?

Laura L. – Virginia

Laura,

I would absolutely NOT recommend ortho bands. They’re nothing more than regular rubber bands that force your teeth together. The problem is they only move your teeth, not the roots, which puts you in danger of loosing your teeth as a result.

I’m surprised your dentist didn’t recommend dental bonding to fix your tooth gap. That is the general treatment for that type of situation.  It’s much more affordable than porcelain veneers. That will be a good option for you if all you’re looking for is to close the gap.

However, if there were other things about your smile that you were hoping to change, such as their shape or color, then porcelain veneers would be the best option.

I’m puzzled why that is what your dentist suggested if the gap is the only issue. Is there more to this than you’ve mentioned?

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

 

Invisalign or Porcelain Veneers

I went to my dentist to discuss a potential cosmetic change. I want to whiten and brighten my teeth and I have mildly crooked front tooth. I thought I’d get porcelain veneers, but my dentist is suggesting invisalign first and then porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are so expensive, I was hoping not to have to add any additional expense.  Is it normal to do invisalign and porcelain veneers?

Paige W. – New Mexico

Paige,

Hmmm…this is answer can only be considered in light of the fact that I haven’t actually seen your case.

What I can tell you is that, generally speaking, dentists either do invisalign or porcelain veneers.  My recommendation would be to get a second opinion from an expert cosmetic dentist.

See if there’s anyone in your area (it’s worth a drive too) that is accredited from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. You can also check the mynewsmile.com website. They have recommendation for artistic cosmetic dentists.

You have a few options. First, is porcelain veneers. When done properly, veneers can make crooked teeth appear straight. They’re a good options, especially if you want to change anything else about your teeth, such as their shape.

But, if you are happy with the shape of your teeth and just want to brighten and straighten them, then you might just want invisalign with teeth whitening, instead of porcelain veneers.

This blog is brought to you by Randall Burba.

Embarrassed about a gap between my teeth

Hi,

My name is Stacey. I’m 15 years old. I have a small gap between my front teeth that really embarrasses me.  One of my friends said that her sister had that and when her wisdom teeth came in, it closed the gap. Can that happen to me or do I need braces. Will braces help if my teeth are already straight?

Stacey,

In only a small percentage of people will wisdom teeth erupting close a tooth gap. That being said, it won’t hurt you to ask your dentist if your wisdom teeth are coming in properly with the possibility of closing up your diastema (the gap). If he says it isn’t, things aren’t hopeless. You have other options.

You can close your teeth through orthodontics. Because your teeth are fairly straight, you will more than likely be a good candidate for Invisalign. That way you could close the gap without anyone knowing you are wearing braces.  Another option is to get porcelain veneers placed on your front teeth. A word of warning here. Be sure you go to an excellent cosmetic dentist. You want them to be able to match your other teeth perfectly. Look for someone who is AACD accredited. You’ll be in great hands then.

This blog is brought to you by Boston Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.