There is rarely such a thing as a straightforward case. This is particularly true for patients with multiple dental issues going on. If orthodontics are necessary, the timing of the treatment is especially important. Because OrthoSnap combines traditional methods with modern techniques, the timeline for treatment is similar compared to conventional braces and Invisalign®. Since each patient is unique, every treatment plan will vary according to the needs of the individual. Here, we will explore timing ortho with other dental treatments and offer general guidelines.
Orthodontics and Restorative Dentistry
When a patient presents with severe decay affecting multiple teeth and their first question is, “Am I eligible for braces?”, you have your work cut out for you. Many patients do not understand the importance of healthy teeth and gums prior to orthodontic treatment. In most cases, patients will need to receive crowns, fillings, and other restorations before pursuing braces. Of course, if an individual has one or two small cavities and wishes to undergo orthodontics, you may be able to begin restorative treatment and orthodontics at the same time.
Orthodontics and Periodontal Care
If you are like most dentists, you won’t even think of shifting the teeth if a patient has periodontal disease. After all, if the supporting bone is compromised, orthodontic treatment could prove disastrous. That is why it is crucial to eliminate infection and gum disease before starting orthodontics. Once the teeth, gums, and supporting jawbone are healthy, braces can be placed successfully.
Orthodontics and Dental Implants
The standard treatment recommendation concerning braces and dental implants is that orthodontic treatment should always be performed first. Because dental implants are anchored firmly into the jawbone, they cannot be moved once integrated. However, there are always exceptions to any rule. You may have a patient who needs a stable anchor point in order to shift the teeth. In such cases, you may consider placing an implant first. When it comes to timing ortho with other dental treatments, our team at OrthoSnap is here to answer your questions.
Orthodontics and Cosmetic Dentistry
Many patients who seek cosmetic dental procedures wish to straighten their teeth. OrthoSnap can be an ideal addition to any smile makeover. In most instances, orthodontic treatment can be performed in conjunction with other procedures, such as dental bonding and teeth whitening. If your patient is considering porcelain veneers, our team at OrthoSnap recommends moving the teeth before placing custom restorations.
Personalized Treatment for Comprehensive Care
Of course, as a dentist, you are the only one who can make the final call when timing ortho with other dental treatments. OrthoSnap has revolutionized the way we move teeth. However, our innovative methods should not change the way you plan treatment. For example, if you would perform traditional orthodontics before placing implants, then we recommend straightening the teeth with OrthoSnap first as well.
Contact OrthoSnap to Learn More about Timing Ortho with Other Dental Treatments
As always, if you have questions about OrthoSnap or our methods for accurate teeth movement, contact us today. We can connect you with one of our providers who can share their experiences with our product. Additionally, we offer continuing education courses in Westbury, NY so doctors can ear credit hours while learning more about OrthoSnap. To get started, or to speak with a team member, call our office at 516-506-7606.
Common Pitfalls in Clear Aligner Usage
Taking the step to wear clear aligner orthodontics reflects a desire to improve one’s oral health and appearance. However, when faced with the everyday routines required of wearing an aligner system, many patients find themselves inadvertently adopting habits that may be harmful to the treatment. No one does this intentionally, but unless you have advanced knowledge of the chemistry of the mouth environment, you may be more likely to make some common mistakes in judgment.
As a provider of Invisalign, OrthoSnap, or other clear aligner systems, you can encourage patients to stay vigilant in their treatment by reminding them of the importance of the following specific steps. These steps are some of the easiest to forget, yet are critical to maintaining good oral health and ensuring a positive outcome.
1. Clean the Aligners in the Morning
It’s common for patients to overlook the need to clean aligners after a long night of sleep. If one’s teeth were clean when the aligners were put into the mouth—and no food was consumed—doesn’t it thereby follow that the aligners will still be clean in the morning? Unfortunately, that’s not how mouth bacteria work. Bacteria can never be fully removed from the mouth with home-based oral hygiene. During the night, even small amounts of bacteria will grow and multiply, even in the absence of a new food source.
You can remind your patients of the need for a morning cleaning of the aligners by pointing to the presence of “morning breath.” When saliva is reduced during sleep, mouth bacteria proliferate and cause this common phenomenon. If your breath is bad, this indicates the presence of bacteria that need to be cleaned (not just rinsed) from the aligners, as well as the teeth. Overall, if the teeth are being cleaned in the morning, the aligners should be cleaned as well.
2. Protect the Aligners When Not in Use
Clear aligners should never be placed on a napkin or a tray (or shoved into a pocket or desk drawer) during lunch or dinnertime. This leaves the aligners open to cross-contamination and can introduce new bacteria into the mouth. Patients should have a clean, reliable case for holding the aligners whenever they are not being worn. Even if meal times may seem too brief to put the aligners at risk, those periods of exposure can add up over a period of weeks. Aligner cases should be cleaned regularly, as well, if not as frequently as the aligners themselves.
Careless placement of the aligners can lead to other problems beyond contamination. Leaving them in a car on a hot day can lead to warping; putting them in one’s pocket can lead to accidental pressure and cracking; and putting them on a napkin on a cafeteria tray can lead to accidentally throwing them in the trash. You can help your patients protect their aligners by reminding them that the aligners should always be in something. If they aren’t in the mouth, they should be in a case.
3. Brush and Floss Before Wearing Aligners, Even After Beverages
It’s not a challenge to see the value of flossing after a meal. Food gets stuck between the teeth and flossing is a great way to make sure it all gets removed. After drinking a cup of coffee, however? Or a fruit smoothie?
Patients might assume that purees and beverages don’t require flossing, as the teeth have not been chewing or grinding anything. However, the purpose of flossing is to remove bacteria and residues as much as it is to remove obvious bits of food. Remind your patients that even liquids can leave residue on the enamel in the small spaces between the teeth and at the gum line. Flossing reaches the spaces toothbrush bristles miss. Coffee residue left between the teeth before wearing aligners can cause staining and enamel damage. You can save your patients time (and whitening treatments!) by reminding them of this distinction.
4. Clean the Aligners Regularly and Correctly
Everyone loves the feeling of just-cleaned teeth. Brushing with a generous dollop of toothpaste is a very satisfying way to make the teeth feel smooth and clean again. Could you imagine cleaning your teeth with anything else? However, with the heavy consumer focus on whitening in recent years, toothpastes have become more abrasive. Patients may be tempted to apply that belovedly-effective abrasive cleaning method to their aligners. The problem with cleaning aligners with abrasive toothpastes is that it can damage the finish, make the fit less precise, and reduce their effectiveness at shifting the teeth.
Aligners should never be cleaned with abrasive toothpastes. Given how many products are labeled as “whitening” these days, patients may not be able to tell the difference between a toothpaste that is gentle enough for aligners and one that may damage them. The best way to help your patients avoid this potential mistake is to encourage them to follow a daily aligner-tray cleaning regimen that is safe and effective. This can include cleaning the aligners with a clear hand soap, soaking the aligners in an approved cleaning solution, and using a soft-bristled brush that does not have abrasive toothpaste residue on it.
Stay Connected for More Helpful Tips
Stay connected with OrthoSnap for more tips on giving your patients a great experience with their clear aligner treatments. Many companies provide aligner orthodontics nowadays, but OrthoSnap is unique because we use a patented molding system to create a better-fitting product. You can hear it in the snap of a perfect fit. Our system moves the teeth faster than 3D printed trays and costs less to manufacture. Learn more about OrthoSnap by contacting us at 516-606-7606.
What Direct-to-Consumer Aligners Neglect
Clear aligner orthodontic treatments are more popular than ever. Who wouldn’t want to wear removable orthodontics that blend in with your smile, as opposed to cumbersome metal brackets and wires? Who wouldn’t want to check in with the dentist less frequently? However, all that convenience and self-guided use still involves a precise orthodontic process that is as equally dependent on careful treatment planning and monitoring as traditional bracket-and-wire braces.
More than five million patients have purchased a course of Invisalign (the most well-known name in clear aligner treatment) and more dentists and orthodontists now provide it as a treatment option. At OrthoSnap, we provide a similar treatment that tends to work faster and more effectively, due to impression-moulding and closer attention to detail. Despite our differences in process and results, there is one thing we agree on: the role of the supervising doctor is critical to safe, successful treatment.
Do a quick internet search of “Invisalign without a dentist” and you’ll find a number of businesses willing to customize a series of aligners, sight unseen. They send out a home impression kit, which is then assessed by one of their remote dentists. The consumer gets their bargain-price aligners and is left to complete the treatment to their own best ability. There are several things wrong with this scenario! Direct-to-consumer models may make people feel empowered, and they may work if circumstances are just right, but there is much they are neglecting. The risks to one’s oral health are too great to ignore.
The first benefit of having a dentist or orthodontist supervising your treatment is assessing your candidacy for aligners. This always involves an oral health exam to check for signs of decay and periodontitis. If a patient begins a course of aligners with untreated issues, he or she may be putting the teeth at risk of rapidly advancing decay or gum disease. The damage that could be done in as little as six months is staggering. Considering that most people don’t keep a DiagnoDent in their medicine cabinet or know how to measure their periodontal pockets, having a dental provider clear you for treatment is a critical prerequisite.
Orthodontic Treatment Planning
Beyond basic oral health, most laypersons are not skilled at assessing the severity and nature of their malocclusion and bite issues. You need a doctor who understands the underlying anatomy and how the product works to determine whether it will be capable of successfully realigning the teeth. Neither alignment issues nor overall oral health can be assessed properly by a remote dentist who only sees a model built from a home-administered impression kit.
Radiography an important part of the oral health check and treatment planning, and a growing number of providers go beyond x-rays to include CBCT scans, as well. Three-dimensional imaging is superior to 2D radiography when you are trying to assess the position of the roots and supporting structures.
Dr. Jeffrey Miller’s 2016 presentation “10 Things You Will Not Hear from Invisalign” raises an important point regarding better screening and treatment planning. Call it housing, boundaries, or orthodontic walls—but, in some cases, there simply isn’t enough bone to support the movement of individual teeth. Poorly planned aligner treatments can result in a situation that ultimately ends in root dehiscence or fenestration. Two-dimensional imaging does not always give us the ability to screen these patients properly. You need to be able to see each individual tooth’s root-bone relationship to assess the limits of the buccal and lingual cortical plates.
Long-term oral health can be compromised by aligner treatments that don’t screen and plan treatment accordingly. As far as we can tell, the direct-to-consumer models don’t even require x-rays to begin treatment. That is scary, to say the least.
Check-Ups and Mid-Course Corrections
If you read patient reviews of direct-to consumer models, you’ll start to see a pattern of patients noticing their teeth moving improperly and requesting corrections. Sometimes it takes them months of customer service nightmares to have the treatment plan corrected, and they may have to pay additional fees for this.
With a supervising dentist or orthodontist, these problems can be corrected before they escalate to the point that a patient notices a problem. Trying to do it alone can result in a three-steps forward/two-steps-back scenario that can drag on for years. This can add up to stress on the teeth and bone, prolonged treatments timelines, and a general sense that you are wasting your money! Having a professional to monitor a patient’s progress, face-to-face, cannot be undervalued.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, there are two things that patients and consumers need to be reminded of: no two mouths are the same, and a dental impression is never the full picture. There may be cases in which the role of the doctor is minimal—but an unvetted, unmonitored course of orthodontics carries terrifying potential risks. Orthodontists and dentists are trained to see the whole picture and use their specialized knowledge to make sure treatment is appropriate and effective. Taking him or her out of the picture is like playing Russian roulette with your smile.
Give Your Patients an Affordable Alternative, with OrthoSnap
A great way to discourage your patients from seeking out direct-to-consumer aligners is to offer them a more affordable option. OrthoSnap provides a clear aligner system of straightening the teeth that uses dynamic modeling and moulding, rather than 3D printing. This gives patients a faster-working, better fitting treatment. (You can hear it in the snap of a perfect fit.) Our system also happens to be less expensive.
To learn about OrthoSnap’s dynamic physical modeling system, visit our webpage How OrthoSnap Works, or email OrthoSnap inventor Yan Pogorelsky at firstname.lastname@example.org.