Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Braces? But I still have baby teeth!

D-Gainer stands for Damon space re-gainer. It is a gentle way of re-gaining space and arch width as the first step of treatment in 9-11 year olds.

The D-Gainer is also known as a limited fixed appliance. Basically, it comprises of Damon orthodontic brackets placed only on permanent front teeth and permanent first molars.  Initially, just the front teeth are aligned during the first couple of visits so that stronger wires can then be placed connecting the front teeth to the back teeth. Light nickel titanium springs are then placed on either side to gently expand the arch. These appliances are used primarily to create additional space to allow for the eruption of the permanent canines (eye) teeth when it is determined early that it won’t be possible for these teeth to fit into the dental arch. 

The D-Gainer also gently widens the dental arch which also generates space. The appliance can be used in both arches or just the upper or lower arch. This system of treatment has been shown to  produce more physiological acceptable forces and, in many cases, has replaced the use of palatal expanders. When deemed necessary, it is used as the first step to placing full Damon braces on the teeth. This approach is usually started in the 6-12 months preceding the eruption of the adult eye-teeth. This is often around 9 1/2 to 11 years of age. However, this has to be assessed in each individual case. D-Gainers would not be used when all of the teeth have already erupted and more commonly a full set of Damon braces would be chosen at that time. 

With this in mind, Dr. Luis will normally plan for D-Gainer treatment if it appears that the ability for the canine teeth to eventually erupt into the arch is questionable and possible impaction of the canines will result. In many cases, it is fairly clear that if nothing is done, extractions will be required at a future time at the least, or worse, the permanent canines may become impacted and need surgical intervention to be brought into the arch with or without extractions of permanent bicuspids. The duration of this type of early treatment is normally 12 months.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Waterloo Cambridge Orthodontist on Invisalign

Invisalign (Align Technology, Inc.) is a series of clear trays that are worn on crooked teeth to gradually straighten them.  When worn, Invisalign trays are practically “invisible,” unlike regular braces.  Not only are they more cosmetically pleasing than traditional orthodontic braces, Invisalign is also a more popular option because they are generally more comfortable than braces.  The trays are smooth and will not irritate your lips and cheeks like traditional braces can. This in turn results in less visits to your orthodontist since you will never have nagging issues like poking wires and broken wires or brackets.
Invisalign trays are removable, so you can remove the trays when eating and do not have to worry about walking around with food particles stuck between your braces.  The trays are also removed for brushing and flossing and, if need be, for special occasions.  The best part is that you can enjoy your food! Eating with braces can be challenging, especially early in treatment.

Invisalign trays are required to be worn for 20-22 hours per day.  Each set of trays moves the teeth a small amount (~0.25mm) until they are straight.  Typically there are 10-50 sets of upper and lower trays, and each set is worn for two weeks before proceeding to the next set.  Therefore, treatment can take anywhere from 5 to 24 months, depending on the complexity of the case, and how well the trays are worn.  Invisalign can be used to correct most orthodontic problems.  

Dr. Luis is the only Premier Preferred Provider of Invisalign in the Waterloo-Cambridge Region, which places him in the top 5% of all Invisalign providers in North America. Contact us for a complimentary Invisalign consultation and have Dr. Luis explain why Invisalign is a good choice to straighten your teeth.