What do you say to patients who have concerns about dental x-rays?
These days we have the technology to straighten teeth with no wires or brackets using nearly invisible braces. The system we use is Invisalign, which incorporates computer-based imaging to create a digital mockup of the teeth prior to treatment. Through application of a series of aligners the teeth are very precisely moved into an ideal position in the patient’s mouth.
With Invisalign the digital mockup tells us where we are going with each step, as opposed to old fashioned braces. Another advantage over traditional braces is that with Invisalign there are no brackets to be removed and no wires that break and need replacement. The system uses very specific intervals to continue repositioning teeth with a series of aligners—with remarkable results for patients.
With conventional braces, metal brackets and wires are always present. With Invisalign the patient does not have to forego taking photos—they do not have to hide their smile. Patients can remove their Invisalign appliances for photos or for dinner and then put them back in.
Though Invisalign is computer driven it is very important for me, as a diagnostician to be able to identify which patients are good candidates for the system. If there is severe crowding of the teeth, or a severe malocclusion, which means that the bite is far out of alignment, then unfortunately there is only so much we can do with the Invisalign. However, in many cases when teeth are overcrowded or the patient is looking for some esthetic adjustments, Invisalign is an ideal solution.
What makes the system work very when the patient recognizes that they must take responsibility for using the aligners—also called “retainers”--regularly and come in for their follow-up visits for new retainers on the proper timeline. The patient must realize that their cooperation is critical. That means routine maintenance, and taking care of the teeth via diet, brushing, flossing, etc.
When we work cooperatively with patients, Invisalign provides tremendous benefits to patients who do not want to wear conventional orthodontic braces.
Dr. Michael E. Gallagher
West Park Dental
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Do you find yourself waking at night gasping for breath? Are you exhausted all day long because you just can't get a good night's sleep?
'Apnea' is a Greek word meaning "without breath"; people who have apnea literally stop breathing in their sleep. A cessation of breath lasting for 10 seconds in adults, or 2 and 1/2 breath cycles in a child, is the clinical definition of sleep apnea.
X-rays are used for diagnostic purposes, and to protect the patient from oral health problems that could arise—or are currently present—which would not be discovered without the use of this important diagnostic tool.