An orthodontist’s treatment for you or your family member is something that will impact the rest of your lives. A smile isn’t something you want to put at risk, so choosing the right healthcare professional is important. There is absolutely nothing wrong with shopping around, or getting a second opinion, when it comes to orthodontic treatment.
The main reason most patients seek a second opinion is to increase the confidence in the treatment plan and the provider’s ability to successfully carry it out. If your treatment plan is straightforward and the orthodontist comes highly recommended to you by friends or your dentist, you may feel comfortable pursuing treatment without getting a second opinion. Remember to consider all aspects of the practice, such as the staff, environment, cost, appointment times, and emergency policies.
If you choose to obtain multiple opinions, you may be given several different treatment options. This can be confusing, but it just means that you need to do your research and decide which plan and which specialist you feel most confident in. Different orthodontists use different procedures or techniques to address the same issues, and that doesn’t mean that one way is absolutely wrong. You just need to determine which plan fits best with your goals and lifestyle.
If you are uncomfortable with the proposed treatment, ask lots of questions about the reason for it and why other options aren’t recommended. If you are still uncertain, be sure to get another opinion. Also make sure that a provider doesn’t push you toward treatment that you get the feeling is their “only” or “favorite” method. For example, if an orthodontist says that teeth “always” must be extracted as part of every patient’s treatment, that is a reason to get a second opinion.
You should never feel pressured by an orthodontist to begin treatment immediately or rush into anything. Your healthcare is always your decision, so consult orthodontists until you are happy and confident with the plan and the provider.
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The American Dental Association suggests that children visit a dentist by the age of one. Most experts recommend you take your child to their first dental appointment within six months of the first tooth’s eruption. When this time comes, you may wonder if your family dentist is an appropriate choice for your child’s dental health needs.
A family dentist sees patients of all ages and can treat a child from infancy through their teens and into adulthood. Your family dentist likely already has a well-established relationship with your entire family and has knowledge of any family health history which may apply to your child.
Most family dentists offer a full range of services, including many that are specific to children. Regular check-ups, cleanings, fillings, x-rays, sealant application, and orthodontia assessment are all services your family dentist can provide.
Education is also a major part of any family practice. Your family dentist can help your child understand the importance of daily oral care, as well advise you on a broad range of other oral health topics specific to your child.
If you take your child for their first visit around the time the first tooth erupts, they will be too young to be nervous. However, if you wait until they are older, your child may be anxious when visiting your family dentist. Prepare your child for their first visit by taking them to one of your appointments to see you having your teeth cleaned and examined, or look for books geared to teaching children about dental visits. Make sure your child is well rested before the visit and plan plenty of time so the visit is not rushed. These simple steps will help your child feel relaxed and comfortable with your family dentist.
When the time comes for your child’s first dental visit, you can enjoy the convenience and flexibility of visiting your trusted family dental practice while feeling confident they will be receiving the best oral health care available.
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Due to the increased interest in cosmetic dentistry, many family dentists are becoming trained to offer more extensive procedures and treatments geared to improve the appearance of your smile. Many of these treatments are quick and painless, and can offer almost instant results.
Some of the cosmetic dentistry options offered by your family dentist may include:
- Professional teeth whitening to improve the color and brightness of dark, dingy, or discolored teeth
- Placement of dental veneers to improve the look of gapped, stained, or crooked teeth
- Replacement of old or unattractive metal fillings with more natural, tooth-colored materials
- Placement of crowns and bridges to repair and replace missing or severely damaged teeth
- Correction of small spaces or gaps between teeth by bonding with tooth-colored composite resin
- Insertion of dental implants to replace missing teeth
- Straightening of teeth and correction of bite problems with braces or Invisalign
Because your family dentist is already aware of your family’s dental history, it will be simple to recommend treatment plans. With this knowledge, your dentist can also quickly and expertly assess if you or other members of your family are suitable candidates for the procedures you are seeking. Your family dentist can perform all the same services as both a pediatric dentist and a general dentist, and will be able to address the cosmetic dental concerns of every member of your family. Family dentists can provide advice as to which procedures are age appropriate and give guidelines for when treatment is recommended.
If anyone in your family is not pleased with the appearance of their teeth, consult first with your family dentist to find out what cosmetic dental procedures and treatments are offered to improve the quality of their smile.
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Do you have questions about Invisalign? Maybe you’ve heard the name mentioned as an alternative to traditional metal braces, but you don’t know the specifics. Invisalign utilizes a series of clear plastic trays that are custom fit to your smile goals. Over time, the aligners slowly straighten teeth. When one tray’s goals are complete, the next tray begins its work. When the last aligner in the series is done, the smile is straight and the bite is corrected.
Your additional questions about Invisalign aligners might include the following:
- How long do I have to wear the aligners each day? Invisalign only works properly if the aligners are removed fewer than two hours each day, meaning wear time is 22 hours or more.
- When can I take them out? Invisalign is removed to eat and to clean your teeth and trays.
- How long does the total treatment take? Most adults in Invisalign complete their treatment in one to two years.
- What happens if I don’t wear my aligners as long as recommended? Wearing your aligners less than the total time recommended by your orthodontist will lead them to be less effective than intended. Treatment could take significantly longer to complete.
- What are my food restrictions while straightening my teeth with Invisalign? None! You can eat anything you like because you’ll remove your trays before eating.
- Is Invisalign right for me? If your oral and overall physical health is good, Invisalign is likely a very good fit for you. It’s recommended that Invisalign users have all of their adult teeth fully erupted prior to beginning Invisalign treatment.
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Today’s advances in orthodontic technology offer many treatments for crooked or misaligned teeth. One of the most popular options for mildly crooked teeth is Invisalign. Invisalign uses clear custom-fit aligner trays to gently move teeth into the desired position. Because the aligner trays are transparent, Invisalign is nearly invisible to the eye, making them an attractive option for patients who want to improve their smile without the embarrassment of sporting a “metal mouth.” Invisalign aligners are also easy to maintain, as they are removed for cleaning and eating.
To achieve the best possible results with Invisalign, there are some dental issues that should be addressed prior to treatment:
- To guarantee the aligner trays hug your teeth with the proper fit and to prevent the formation of cavities, chips on your teeth should be fixed prior to being fit for Invisalign.
- Any existing cavities should be filled and cured to prevent sensitivity that could result from the shifting of teeth during treatment.
- Have your teeth professionally cleaned prior to wearing Invisalign aligners. If you have excessive plaque or tartar buildup, your dentist may recommend deeper cleaning treatments that include scaling and polishing your teeth.
- If you still have your wisdom teeth, your orthodontist may suggest having them removed prior to Invisalign treatment to make more room for your teeth to shift and line up properly.
Having your mouth and oral health in tip-top shape prior to your Invisalign treatment will help to ensure a complication-free, successful result. With Invisalign, you can enjoy the benefits of straighter, more beautiful teeth without the hassle of traditional metal braces.
Sherman Oaks Orthodontist