Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What are Invisalign Attachments?

When our patients are treated with Invisalign, Dr. Luis always reviews the need for using attachments. Attachments are small tooth-colored bumps of dental bonding material that are bonded to surfaces of selected teeth. The idea is that the placement of the attachments provides an anchor point on teeth around which an aligner can firmly grasp. This allows the aligner to direct its forces to the tooth more effectively than it would otherwise be able to do. Imagine trying to pull a door open without a handle or a door knob. 

Does this mean that all your teeth will have attachments? No. An attachment might be needed in those instances where a particularly difficult type of tooth movement is required (such as tooth rotation or pulling a tooth up/down). An attachment might also be needed in other situations but Dr. Luis will best determine this on a case by case basis. 
Placing of attachments is similar and as easy as bonding brackets (braces). This procedure is painless and does not require any needles. We receive a plastic template from Invisalign that essentially looks like any other Invisalign tray but has small bulges on it that we can fill with bonding material. The template is then seated over the teeth and after the bonding material is set, the tray is removed leaving behind the attachments on specific locations of selected teeth.

Attachments, in most cases, are not visible to others.  However, their visibility will depend on where they are placed, if you consume large amounts of food or drink that have staining properties (e.g. wine, coffee, tea) and how well the color of the bonding material actually matches the color of your teeth. Even in cases that require attachments on patient’s front teeth, these are not as noticeable when wearing trays which patients are encouraged to wear 20-22 hours per day. In instances where attachments do become heavily stained, you can always request to have them replaced.

Removal of attachments occurs at the end of your Invisalign treatment and it is easily removed with a dental drill that only removes bonding material (i.e. does not scar enamel) and the surface of the teeth is then polished so that the glue on the teeth is completely buffed off. 
So don’t panic when it comes time to get your attachments on or off. It is a simple and painless procedure that is a beneficial part of your treatment and makes your final orthodontic outcome that much better!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Choosing a Mouthguard

Mouthguards vary in terms of cost, comfort, and effectiveness. The ideal mouthguard is durable, resilient, and comfortable. It should fit properly, be easy to clean, and should not affect your ability to breathe or speak. Here are some facts to consider when choosing a mouthguard:
  • Stock mouthguards are typically the least expensive. They offer some protection, but they do not grip the teeth, and it can be difficult to keep them in place unless you bite down on them constantly.
  • Boil-and-bite models fit more closely around the teeth and this makes it easier to keep them in place. However, when you bite into the hot mouthguard to give it the right shape, you reduce the thickness of the device. This, in turn, may reduce the level of protection.
  • Custom-made mouthguards are the most expensive, but they have a better fit, which means better protection and more comfort.
Our mouthguards are pressure laminated custom mouthguards which represent leading-edge technology in custom protection. Each mouthguard is produced by pressure-forming multiple layers, shaped separately over a customized mold of the athlete’s teeth. With controlled thickness offering protection in areas where it is needed most, our mouthguards also offer superb durability with a tight, comfortable fit.

If you or your children wear braces or other fixed orthodontic appliances, it is especially important to have a mouthguard that fits properly. Otherwise, a blow to the mouth can damage the brackets and wires of the braces, and can also cause added damage (cuts and tears) to the soft tissue inside your mouth.  

Mouthguards are a smart investment because they provide valuable insurance against injuries that could cost much more in the long run in - not only in financial terms, but also in terms of time and suffering. Protect your winning smile with a mouthguard when you take part in activities that pose a risk of injury to your mouth.

If you would like to find out more about our mouthguard clinics, please check our website (www.ritebite.ca) or email us at info@ritebite.ca.

Health Canada  (www.hc-sc.gc.ca)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Braces or Invisalign?

When we tell are patients that they can be treated with Invisalign, many are surprised to find out that they don’t need braces to straighten their teeth. Dr. Luis always explains that “teeth do not discriminate between metal or plastic. They just know that they are being moved by forces, that if applied correctly will allow them to move in a certain direction.”  However, Dr. Luis will always evaluate a patient to determine if their orthodontic problem can be best treated with braces or Invisalign. What most people and even many dental professionals are not aware of, is that there are several situations where Invisalign actually provides a better option than braces.

Invisalign can be used to correct many orthodontic problems such as crowding, spacing, deep bites, open bites, crossbites, Class II and Class III malocclusions and even cases that require extractions or surgery.

Invisalign trays are not only more comfortable than braces, they are also removable. This allows patients to brush and floss their teeth without the obstacles of wires and brackets. This also allows you to eat the foods you love that may be forbidden with regular braces.  Additionally, you avoid the discomfort that braces may cause which can include poking wires, mouth sores, and other trauma caused by broken appliances.

Of course, the reason our patients like Invisalign so much is because most people don’t even realize that you are going through treatment since they are practically invisible. And even if a special occasion requires that you remove the trays, go ahead and place them back in when it is over. Can’t get much better than that!  

So if you live in the Waterloo, Cambridge or surrounding areas and are considering straightening your teeth, whether with regular braces or invisible ones, come see us for a complimentary consultation.