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Posts for tag: orthodontics

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
October 30, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
ConsiderClearAlignersInsteadofBracesforYourTeen

Your teenager is about to take a big step toward better health and a more attractive appearance — orthodontic treatment. You both know the benefits: better chewing function, lower risk of dental disease, and, of course, a straighter and more beautiful smile.

But your teen might also dread the next couple of years of wearing braces. And it's hard to blame them: although they're effective, wearing braces restricts eating certain snacks and foods, they require extra time and effort for brushing and flossing, and they're often uncomfortable to wear. And of high importance to a teenager, they may feel embarrassed to wear them.

But over the last couple of decades a braces alternative has emerged: clear aligners. This form of bite correction requires fewer food restrictions, allows greater ease in hygiene, and is considered more attractive than braces. In fact, most observers won't notice them when a wearer smiles.

Clear aligners are a series of clear plastic trays created by computer that are worn in a certain sequence. During wear each tray exerts pressure on the teeth to gradually move them in the desired direction. The patient wears a single tray for two weeks and then changes to the next tray in the sequence, which will be slightly different than the previous tray. At the end of the process, the teeth will have been moved to their new positions.

Clear aligners aren't appropriate for all bite problems. When they are, though, they offer a couple of advantages over braces. Unlike braces, a wearer can remove the aligner to brush and floss their teeth or for rare, special or important social occasions. And, of course, their appearance makes them less likely to cause embarrassment while wearing them.

In recent years, design improvements have increased the kinds of bites aligners can be used to correct. For example, they now often include “power ridges,” tiny features that precisely control the amount and direction of pressure applied to the teeth. They've also become thinner and more comfortable to wear.

If you're interested in clear aligners as a treatment option, talk with your orthodontist about whether your teen is a good candidate. If so, they could make orthodontic treatment for achieving a more attractive and healthy smile less of an ordeal.

If you would like more information on clear aligners as an orthodontic option, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Clear Aligners for Teens.”

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
December 05, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: orthodontics  
CoaxingImpactedTeethtotheRightPositioncanImproveYourSmile

What makes an attractive smile? Of course, shiny, straight and defect-free teeth are a big factor. But there’s another equally important element: all your teeth have come in.

Sometimes, though, they don’t: one or more teeth may remain up in the gums, a condition known as impaction. And if they’re in the front like the upper canines (the pointed teeth on either side of the front four incisors) your smile’s natural balance and symmetry can suffer.

Impaction usually happens due to lack of space on a small jaw. Previously erupted teeth crowd into the space of teeth yet to come in, preventing them from doing so. As a result the latter remain hidden within the gums.

While impaction can interfere with the smile appearance, it can cause health problems too. Impacted teeth are at higher risk for abscesses (localized areas of infection) and can damage the roots of other teeth they may be pressing against. That’s why it’s desirable for both form and function to treat them.

We begin first with an orthodontic examination to fully assess the situation. At some point we’ll want to pinpoint the impacted teeth’s precise location and position. While x-rays are useful for locating impacted teeth, many specialists use cone beam CT (CBCT) technology that produces highly detailed three-dimensional images viewable from different vantage points.

If the tooth is in too extreme a position, it might be best to remove it and later replace it with a dental impact or similar restoration once we’ve completed other necessary orthodontic treatment. But if the tooth is in a reasonable position, we might be able to “move” the tooth into its proper place in the jaw in coordination with these other tooth-movement efforts to make room for it.

To begin this process, an oral surgeon or periodontist surgically exposes the tooth crown (the normally visible portion) through the gums. They then bond a small bracket to the crown and attach a small gold chain. An orthodontist will attach the other end to orthodontic hardware that will exert downward pressure on the tooth to gradually bring it into normal position.

Dealing with impacted teeth of this nature is often part of a comprehensive effort to correct the bite. If we’re successful, it could permanently transform both the smile and overall dental health.

If you would like more information on treating impacted teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Exposing Impacted Canines.”

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
June 30, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: orthodontics   Clear Aligners   braces  

Do you want to straighten your misaligned smile? Do you worry about your personal appearance and how healthy your teeth and gums willclear aligners remain over the years? If you have said yes to any of these questions, then clear aligners from our Shelby, NC, dentist, Dr. Joseph Hendrick, Jr., may be right for you. Dr. Hendrick offers ingenious clear aligners, the modern and discreet way to overcome many orthodontic issues without the obvious appearance and oral discomforts traditional metal braces pose.

Why pursue orthodontics?

In short, a well-aligned set of teeth is simply more attractive. Patients who have gaps, tooth rotation, overbite or other smile issues usually are too self-conscious to show their teeth. So they just smile less, affecting not only their self-confidence, but also how others perceive them. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry says that people who smile a lot are viewed as smarter, more successful and very approachable, too. So if you cover your mouth when you laugh or smile, public perception definitely changes.

However, crooked teeth impact more than self-image. They are just harder to keep clean. Crowding, tooth rotation, under bite and more make teeth and gums less accessible to toothbrush and floss, and misaligned teeth collect bacteria, plaque and tartar more easily. Tooth decay and gum disease result. Often, too, a poor bite leads to physical problems such as TMJ (jaw joint) dysfunction, teeth clenching and grinding.

Orthodontic treatment with our Shelby dentist can eliminate many of these problems and allow people to keep a healthy and attractive smile for a lifetime.

What are clear aligners?

Custom-fabricated from thin, biocompatible acrylic, clear aligners fit tightly over top and bottom teeth. Just like conventional braces, they gradually move teeth into healthier positions and correct aesthetic problems, too.

These fully removable, clear appliances avoid many of the issues that conventional braces pose. Clear aligners:

  • Are barely noticeable
  • Are easy to clean
  • Pose none of the dietary restrictions traditional braces do
  • Must be worn 20 to 22 hours a day but may be removed to brush and floss, to eat and for special events such as professional meetings or weddings
  • Take an average of one year to achieve the desired results (other braces take two to two and half years or more)

Who qualifies for Clear Aligners?

Many teens and adults do. Dr. Hendrick does a complete oral examination, X-rays and other kinds of imaging to determine if a patient can benefit from treatment. If he or she is a candidate, the patient enjoys the convenience of simple progress checks every four to six weeks with their Shelby dentist. After treatment, most individuals wear a customized retainer to keep newly aligned smiles straight and beautiful.

Get more information

If you wish to explore clear aligners, please contact the office of Dr. Hendrick to arrange an orthodontic consultation. Call (704) 484-0077 or (704) 482-8336 today.

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
November 07, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: orthodontics   braces   invisalign  

It’s easy to show off your best smile with Invisalign, the modern teeth straightening alternative to traditional metal braces. Invisalign uses invisalignbarely visible clear trays to straighten the teeth. It is a great option for teens and adults who want a straighter smile, but don’t like the look of regular braces. The dental office of Dr. Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr. offers patients Invisalign in Shelby, NC.

Invisalign

Invisalign is a teeth straightening alternative to traditional metal braces. Invisalign uses clear aligner trays that fit over the teeth and help reposition and straighten them just as the brackets and wires of metal braces do. The primary differences between Invisalign and braces are that the trays are both clear and removable. The trays are also custom fit to each patient’s mouth and patients usually receive a new set of aligner trays every few weeks to accommodate their repositioned teeth. In Shelby, NC, Invisalign is an excellent option for achieving a straighter smile.

Advantages of Invisalign

There are several advantages to getting Invisalign for straightening your teeth. Unlike traditional metal braces, Invisalign’s clear aligners are not the first thing people see when you smile. They are designed to be practically invisible. Invisalign aligners are also more comfortable than metal braces; the trays are made from a soft plastic material that sits comfortably over the teeth. There are no hard brackets or wires to poke the mouth like metal braces.

Another advantage of Invisalign is that, since the aligner trays are removable, they can be temporarily taken out for eating, drinking, brushing and flossing. Being able to remove the aligners when eating prevents food particles from getting trapped, as is the case with metal braces. Plus, it is easier to clean the teeth more thoroughly when the aligner trays are removed.

Invisalign can help you show off your best smile. To learn more about Invisalign in Shelby, NC, schedule an appointment with Dr. Hendrick by calling his office at (704) 484-0077 or (704) 482-8336.

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
June 17, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
MasterIllusionistBenefitsfromtheMagicofOrthodontics

Magician Michael Grandinetti mystifies and astonishes audiences with his sleight of hand and mastery of illusion. But when he initially steps onto the stage, it’s his smile that grabs the attention. “The first thing… that an audience notices is your smile; it’s what really connects you as a person to them,” Michael told an interviewer.

He attributes his audience-pleasing smile to several years of orthodontic treatment as a teenager to straighten misaligned teeth, plus a lifetime of good oral care. “I’m so thankful that I did it,” he said about wearing orthodontic braces. “It was so beneficial. And… looking at the path I’ve chosen, it was life-changing.”

Orthodontics — the dental subspecialty focused on treating malocclusions (literally “bad bites”) — can indeed make life-changing improvements. Properly positioned teeth are integral to the aesthetics of any smile, and a smile that’s pleasing to look at boosts confidence and self-esteem and makes a terrific first impression. Studies have even linked having an attractive smile with greater professional success.

There can also be functional benefits such as improved biting/chewing and speech, and reduced strain on jaw muscles and joints. Additionally, well-aligned teeth are easier to clean and less likely to trap food particles that can lead to decay.

The Science Behind the Magic

There are more options than ever for correcting bites, but all capitalize on the fact that teeth are suspended in individual jawbone sockets by elastic periodontal ligaments that enable them to move. Orthodontic appliances (commonly called braces or clear aligners) place light, controlled forces on teeth in a calculated fashion to move them into their new desired alignment.

The “gold standard” in orthodontic treatment remains the orthodontic band for posterior (back) teeth and the bonded bracket for front teeth. Thin, flexible wires threaded through the brackets create the light forces needed for repositioning. Traditionally the brackets have been made of metal, but for those concerned about the aesthetics, they can also be made out of a clear material. Lingual braces, which are bonded to the back of teeth instead of the front, are another less visible option. The most discrete appliance is the removable clear aligner, which consists of a progression of custom-made clear trays that reposition teeth incrementally.

How’s that for a disappearing act?!

If you would like more information about orthodontic treatment please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the subject by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Magic of Orthodontics.”



Dentist in Shelby, NC
Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
511 N. Morgan Street
Shelby, NC 28150
(704) 484-0077
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