Invisalign® is a orthodontic appliance that uses a series of clear aligners to gradually reposition the teeth into proper alignment. These clear aligners are customized to fit over the teeth and are virtually invisible. They can be used for children and adults, although they tend to be a popular choice for adults.
Invisalign® aligners must be worn for twenty two hours a day and can only be removed during meals and when brushing or flossing. Over the course of Invisalign® treatment, you will receive a series of aligners that need to be worn at a specific time during your treatment. These aligners work by exerting slight pressure on the teeth, causing them to move.
Currently, teeth are the second trait that Americans would change about themselves with 57% of Americans feeling insecure about their teeth. The first trait, weight, has 60% of Americans feeling insecure.
Ideal candidates for Invisalign® treatment are individuals who have an overbite, underbite, crossbite, gap teeth, or general overcrowding, and are seeking a discrete treatment to correct these issues. To find out for sure if you are a candidate for Invisalign® treatment, schedule your FREE Invisalign® consultation with Dr. Alkass today!
When you come in for your free Invisalign® consultation, Dr. Alkass will evaluate your teeth and bite to determine your treatment plan. He will discuss this with you, and if you decide to move forward with treatment, he will take a digital scan of your mouth. This digital scan is then sent out and used to manufacture your custom aligners. Once you return to office to pick up your aligners and Dr. Alkass can verify they fit properly, then your Invisalign® treatment will officially begin.
Over the course of your Invisalign® treatment, you will wear your aligners everyday for twenty two hours a day and only remove them at mealtimes or when you are brushing and flossing your teeth. Every week or two, you will switch out the aligners as directed. You will also need to attend regular appointments with Dr. Alkass approximately every six to eight weeks so he can monitor your progress and give you your next series of aligners.
SmartForce attachments are tiny, tooth-colored attachments that sit on the surface of your teeth and are worn with your aligners. They are used in places that require a specific amount of force and can help accomplish dramatic movements without the need for traditional braces. They fit well underneath your aligners and will be barely noticeable. Keep in mind that SmartForce attachments are only used in some cases and not everyone will need them.
Most Invisalign® treatments last for an average of 12-18 months, however this timeframe can vary depending on the severity of the correction and your final treatment goals. During your free Invisalign® consultation, Dr. Alkass will give you a more concrete idea of how long your individual treatment will last.
Invisalign® treatment should not cause extreme levels of pain, however it can cause some discomfort at times. Since each new aligner exerts pressure on the teeth, there can be some short-lived discomfort that occurs when switching aligners. Usually this discomfort is very mild, but it can be alleviated with over the counter pain medication, if required.
To maintain your aligners during your Invisalign® treatment, you will need to keep them clean by rinsing and gently brushing them every night. You will also need to keep up on your oral habits by brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing once daily. Keeping your teeth clean will help keep your aligners clean as well, so you will need to also brush your teeth after meals or drinks before wearing your aligners. Finally, to prevent your aligners from becoming damaged you will need to store them in their case when they’re not in your mouth and avoid using hot water to rinse them because this can warp their shape.
After your Invisalign® treatment, you will need to wear a retainer to keep your teeth in the desired position. Invisalign® offers discrete Vivera retainers that can be purchased and include an extra retainer in case one becomes lost or damaged. Traditional wire retainers can also be used. Immediately following treatment, your retainer will need to be worn at all times, but eventually you should be able to wear it only at night. Be sure to follow Dr. Alkass’ instructions to achieve the best results.
At Alkass Dental, our Invisalign® treatments are averaged at $4,000. In addition, Alkass Dental offers free bleaching will any Invisalign® treatment, allowing you to have brighter teeth to accompany your new and improved smile!
Depending on your dental insurance company, you may be able to receive partial coverage towards Invisalign® treatment. We also offer monthly payment plans to help finance your treatment.
To find out what Invisalign® can do for you, schedule a FREE consultation with Dr. Alexander Alkass today! Alkass Dental proudly serves Oakland County and the communities of Waterford, Bloomfield, Keego Harbor, Pontiac, Sylvan Lake,and White Lake.
When dental emergencies happen, waiting several days for an appointment with a dentist is not an option. Emergency dentists are committed to helping patients manage sudden injuries and complications that require immediate treatment. Some emergencies are extremely painful, and a visit to the dentist can provide palliative relief. On the other hand, some emergencies can threaten the health of the teeth, and receiving rapid dental treatment could mean the difference in saving a tooth or losing it.
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that the steps you take after a dental emergency happens can greatly improve your outcome once you receive emergency care. Even though emergency dentists will see you very quickly, there are some precautionary steps you can take in the time it takes to arrive at your dentist’s office. The American Dental Association has a few recommendations:
If you are experiencing sudden and chronic tooth pain, or if you have sustained trauma to your teeth and surrounding tissues, you may need to see an emergency dentist. Even if you do not currently have a dental emergency, it is important that your dentist is capable of treating you quickly in the event that an emergency does arise.
Urgent problems that threaten the health of your teeth or leave you in pain should not be ignored. You can expect to be seen by your emergency dentist quickly and without an appointment though it is recommended that you call your dentist’s office if possible before you arrive.
Some of the most common dental emergencies can be prevented by taking a few simple precautions. Avoid chewing hard foods, such as candy and ice, as these can cause your tooth to crack or chip. Also, be sure to wear a properly fitted dental mouth guard during sports and other high impact activities. Protecting your mouth on a daily basis can significantly reduce your risk of injuring your teeth, as well as your tongue, lips, and the walls of your mouth.
Digital x-rays are a more streamlined way of taking dental radiographs. Like traditional x-rays, digital versions provide an in-depth view of the structures of the mouth, helping dentists detect complications and develop effective modes of treatment. Digital x-rays are capable of revealing hidden caries, bone erosion, and even tooth decay hiding beneath restorations.
Requiring less radiation and no film to process, digital x-rays have become the standard for oral imaging. These systems produce instant digital images that can easily be enhanced and enlarged for a more accurate diagnosis. The images are captured, stored, and even transmitted via in-office computers. In fact, dentists can easily print or email copies of x-rays in just seconds.
Dental x-rays make for a better and more efficient patient experience. Office visits are faster, patients are exposed to less radiation, and radiographs can be sent to a specialist for review in a fraction of the time necessary for traditional film x-rays.
Dental sealants are clear coatings applied to the surfaces of a child’s molars to prevent the development of tooth decay. They work by preventing food and plaque from resting in the grooves and crevices of molars – an area especially susceptible to cavities. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, nearly 1 in 3 U.S. children ages 6 to 12 currently have sealants on their teeth.
Did you know…
that sealants can last as long as 5 to 10 years pediatric dental patients? Depending on a child’s oral development and risk factors for tooth decay, sealants may be applied to the teeth as young as age 6. It is at this time that the first molars typically appear. Additional molars erupt at approximately age 12. If possible, sealants should be applied to a child’s teeth immediately after any molar has appeared to reduce the risk of early decay.
Sealants bond directly to the teeth, where they harden to a clear or tooth-colored coat. This makes them virtually undetectable to others. Though it is normal to feel new sealants with the tongue, most children quickly adapt to their presence.
The process of getting sealants is fast and painless. The tooth is cleaned before the dentist paints the sealant onto the enamel. The sealant will immediately harden, acting as a barrier between bacteria and the chewing surface of the teeth. In most cases, sealants will last several years before needing to be reapplied. However, regular visits to the dentist will be necessary to monitor the condition of the sealants and examine their effectiveness.
While sealants are extremely effective for preventing tooth decay in children, they do not replace other forms of preventative oral health care. Children should still brush and floss each day using a fluoridated toothpaste. Regular dental exams and a balanced diet low in sugar are also essential for good long-term oral health.
A bite guard is a dental appliance custom-fit to a patient’s teeth. Bite guards serve varying purposes and are often recommended for use in patients of all ages. It is important that bite guards be professionally fit, rather than purchased over the counter, as this ensures maximum comfort and protection during wear. Professional dental guards are usually prepared in a dental lab using an oral impression taken in a dentist’s office. These guards are created uniquely to each patient to prevent discomfort, slippage or inadequate protection. There are many reasons why a dentist would prescribe a mouth guard to a patient. They include:
Did you know?
Caring for a dental bite guard is simple. You’ll need to rinse it before and after every usage using a soft-bristled toothbrush, toothpaste and cold water. From time to time, cleanse it with cold water and a mild soap. When not in use, store your mouth guard in a hard, ventilated container and keep it away from hot temperatures that could cause your guard to warp.
You absolutely need to be fit for a custom bite guard if you participate in sports or activities that put your oral health at risk. These guidelines also apply to children, who often play sports like football or participate in activities like martial arts, which can cause tooth-related injuries. You may also need a bite guard if your dentist diagnosis you with bruxism, or tooth-grinding. Over time, grinding or clenching the teeth can lead to wear and irreversible damage. Sleeping with a bite guard can protect the teeth from these unwanted side effects.
Being fit for a bite guard is simple. You’ll visit your dentist, who will take an impression of your teeth and send it off to a dental laboratory. The lab will carefully construct a durable and comfortable new bite guard that you can pick up at your dentist’s office in just days.
Yes. Although custom bite guards are made of durable materials and designed to last through many uses, they do need to be replaced from time to time. Keep an eye on your bite guard, checking it frequently for wear. Also, bring it with you to your normal dental cleanings and check-ups for a professional inspection. Be sure to tell your dentist if your bite guard no longer offers an optimal fit or if it has become uncomfortable to wear.
Dental mouth guards have long been used to protect the teeth, gums and supporting tissues from damage, injury and trauma. There are two types of sports mouth guards – over the counter and custom. While OTC guards are helpful for occasional use, many dental patients require the benefit of a customized dental mouth guard fitted by a dentist to effectively prevent injury.
Caring for your new custom mouth guard is simple.
The American Dental Association recommends keeping protected in a sturdy container in between usage. You should also be careful to clean your mouth guard after use and occasionally soak it in cool, soapy water for thorough sanitation. Custom dental mouth guards are designed for durability, but it is important to check your mouth guard for signs of wear every few months. Mouth guards for children and teens must be replaced frequently to account for growing jaws and changes to the teeth.
There are many reasons why wearing a dental mouth guard could be right for you. A few examples include:
Your visit will consist of taking an impression of your teeth that will be used as a mold for your new mouth guard. You may even be able to leave your dental appointment with your custom mouth guard in-hand.
Before you leave your dentist’s office with your new mouth guard, you’ll receive instructions on how and when to wear it. If you suffer from TMJ disorders or bruxism, for example, you will likely wear your mouth guard at night. If you participate in recreational sports, however, you may only need to wear your mouth guard during physical activity.
Preventative care is a foundation of dentistry. The American Dental Association recommends visiting your dentist regularly – usually about twice yearly – for full cleanings, examinations, and consultations for potential treatment. Professional dental cleanings help remove built-up plaque that is not removable using conventional brushing and flossing. Often, dentists are also capable of identifying potential problems that patients are not yet able to see or feel. When you maintain regular preventative dental appointments, you can stave off decay and gum disease, as well as identify the beginnings of oral health problems before they become severe.
Did you know…
that Americans are less and less likely to visit the dentist as they age? Data from the Centers for Disease Control reports that only 57 percent of Americans over age 65 visited the dentist in 2010. That compares to about 61 percent adults under age 65 and about 79 percent of children ages 2 to 17. Nonetheless, it is important to visit the dentist for cleanings and exams regardless of how long has passed since your most recent dental appointment.
Yes. Even if you brush and floss after every meal and before bed, bacteria-harboring plaque can accumulate in the tiniest crevices, grooves and pits. Overtime, the teeth will begin to decay in those areas, which may result in pain and partial or total tooth loss.
Your cleaning and consultation will consist of a visible examination of the teeth and gums. If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, you may also require x-rays for a more comprehensive view of your teeth. You’ll also consult with your dentist about any oral health problems you may have been having or questions that you may have. The cleaning will follow, during which a dental hygienist will use special instruments to remove hardened plaque from your teeth. Finally, your teeth will be polished before your dentist discusses any treatment recommendations he or she may have for you.
In between dental cleanings and consultations, be sure to maintain good oral habits at home. This includes daily flossing and brushing after meals. It’s also important to drink fluoridated water and use a fluoridated toothpaste.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring element that has been shown to help strengthen teeth in children and also prevent decay in people of all ages. Topical fluoride, in particular is helpful for promoting oral health. The American Dental Association has publicly endorsed the use of fluoride for the prevention of dental caries, as has the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association.
Did you know…
that you might be drinking fluoride every day without knowing it? Many communities add fluoride to the public water supply in an effort to promote better dental health. You can find out if there is fluoride in your tap water by contacting your local water utility. Keep in mind that if your primary source of drinking water is bottled, you may not be getting fluoride. You can contact your bottle water company or manufacturer to find out if fluoride is in your water. If not, speak with your dentist about getting professional fluoride treatments.
You may need fluoride treatments if your drinking water is not fluoridated or if you are experiencing certain symptoms, such as receding gums. Fluoride treatments can also provide oral support and prevent decay if you wear orthodontic braces or are taking medications that cause dry mouth.
Fluoride treatments are painless and can be administered in your dentist’s office at your twice-yearly check-ups and cleanings. Your dentist will distribute fluoridated gel, foam or varnish into a tray and place it over your teeth. The treatment takes only a few minutes and is only required between one and four times per year.
Yes. The ADA recommends supplementing your fluoridated drinking water or fluoride treatments with a fluoridated toothpaste.
Flossing is an important part of an oral hygiene routine, but research suggests that fewer than half of Americans do so daily. Flossing is simple and only takes an extra couple of minutes per day. Developing a healthy habit of flossing can prevent tooth decay and gum disease, and it may allow you to keep more of your natural teeth as you age. So what is the most effective means of flossing?
Need some extra tips?
The American Dental Association recommends using a strand of floss approximately 18 inches in length. It is important to only use clean floss as you move between the teeth. One of the easiest ways of doing this is by looping each end of the floss around your fingers and beginning to floss with the area closest to one end. If you have never flossed, be sure to ask your dentist for a quick in-person tutorial at your next check-up.
Yes. The ADA recommends that everyone floss in order to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Even if you have restorations, such as crowns or veneers, good oral hygiene is essential for prolonging their use and maintaining your oral health.
You may not experience immediate results from flossing, but over time, your habit will pay off. Flossing can prevent tooth decay, gum disease and tooth loss – all of which can be highly inconvenient and expensive to treat. A piece of floss that costs just pennies could save you thousands of dollars later on.
Yes. In addition to flossing, you should be adopting proper brushing techniques and visiting your dentist at least twice per year for examinations and professional dental cleanings.
Brushing your teeth is probably a standard part of your daily routine, but chances are you aren’t following the American Dental Association’s guidelines for cleaning your teeth properly. The ADA currently recommends that you brush your teeth at minimum of two times each day – preferably morning and night or anytime you eat foods that contain sugar. When you brush, your toothbrush should be tilted at a 45 degree angle to your gum line. As you brush, be sure to remove debris from every surface of the teeth – including the backs of the teeth, near the gum line, and on chewing surfaces. It is also important to brush your tongue, as bacteria can accumulate there and cause malodorous breath.
Did you know…
that the type of toothbrush you use makes a difference in your oral health? The ADA recommends using a soft-bristled toothbrush with a head that is ergonomically proportioned to the inside of your mouth. Many patients erroneously believe that medium or hard-bristle toothbrushes are more efficient; but these brushes can actually cause abrasions to the teeth and gums, making them more vulnerable to decay. The ADA also recommends replacing your toothbrush about four times yearly or whenever the bristles become frayed.
You may need to change your brushing habits if you are experiencing signs of poor oral hygiene. Examples of common symptoms include bleeding or reddened gums, excessive plaque build-up, decaying teeth and receding gum lines. To find out if you are brushing correctly or if you need to change your brushing habits, make an appointment with your dentist for a full consultation.
The benefits of proper tooth brushing techniques may not be experienced immediately, but they are noticeable long-term. Over time, brushing too hard or not brushing enough can produce oral health complications that cannot be reversed and require special treatment. By adopting proper brushing habits, you could avoid expensive dental bills in the future.
Yes. It is important that you also floss daily and use toothpaste that contains fluoride each day. You should also schedule dental exams and professional cleanings in at least twice per year.