Johansen Dental Blog

Posts for tag: orthodontics

By JOHANSEN DENTAL
April 11, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: orthodontics   braces   invisalign  

If you could straighten your smile with no one noticing, would you do it? Many adults and teens have done just that with Invisalign clear invisalignaligners, the modern, comfortable and quick way to correct many orthodontic issues. At Johansen Dental in Chandler, AZ, Dr. Grant Johansen offers this inventive and practically invisible system of customized aligners as a great alternative to metal braces. They may be best for your smile, too.

What are Invisalign aligners?

Custom-made according to a three-dimensional digital scan, Invisalign appliances cover top and bottom teeth completely but are so thin and transparent they are virtually unnoticeable. Additionally, the aligners are smooth, causing no oral irritation, and they are completely removable.

Just like conventional braces, the 18 to 30 pairs of aligners move teeth into better functioning and better-looking positions. However, unlike traditional orthodontics, the Invisalign system takes just about a year on average rather than the two to two and a half years (or more) that metal braces normally take to complete treatment.

In the end, an Invisalign smile is healthy because it is easy to clean, and of course, because treatment resolves a wide variety of bite and misalignment issues.

Who can get Invisalign?

Many people, from older teens to elder adults, qualify. Dr. Grant will examine your teeth and gums to devise a treatment plan just right for your particular case. Of course, complex problems may still require more traditional orthodontics; however, Invisalign works for many mild to moderate smile issues such as:

  • Gaps
  • Crowding
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Open bite
  • Crossbite
  • Tooth rotation and tooth tipping

Best of all, Invisalign is great for people who want ease of oral hygiene (just take the aligners out and brush and floss), no dietary limitations and the option to remove their appliances for events such as proms, weddings, and professional presentations. For treatment to move forward as planned, patients wear their appliances for a minimum of 20 to 22 hours daily, and they check in with Dr. Grant every month or so.

Get a new look

And, it'll happen discreetly. Find out more about today's most innovative clear aligner system. Contact Johansen Dental in Chandler, AZ today for your personalized Invisalign consultation with Dr. Grant. Our office team can be reached at (480) 345-0530.

By JOHANSEN DENTAL
December 02, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: orthodontics   braces   invisalign  

Learn more about how Invisalign can straighten your smile.

Many people put off straightening their teeth because they don't like the way metal braces look. Luckily, the Invisalign brace system can invisalignrealign your teeth without any metal. Dr. Kent Johansen and Dr. Grant Johansen of Johansen Dental in Chandler, AZ explain how Invisalign can improve your smile.

The clear solution

No wires or brackets are needed with Invisalign. The system uses a series of removable aligner trays custom designed to fit your upper and lower teeth. Tightening the wires controls the movement of teeth when you wear metal braces, but Invisalign wearers only need to open a new set of aligner trays to shift the position of their teeth. Every two weeks, you'll begin wearing a new set. Since the aligners are clear, it won't obvious that you're straightening your teeth.

Popcorn is no problem

Popcorn, gum, apples and other foods can damage brace wires or get stuck in them. In fact, people who wear metal braces receive an entire list of foods they must avoid for the next several years. You won't have that problem if you choose Invisalign. Since you'll remove your aligners to eat, you can continue to enjoy all of your favorite foods while you straighten your teeth.

Temporary breaks are okay

Once you receive traditional braces, they don't come off your teeth until your treatment is completed, which can make attending special events or playing sports more challenging. Because your Invisalign aligner trays are removable, you can take them out occasionally for a few hours without affecting your progress. Whether you plan to play in a big game or want to attend a dance or gala completely brace-less, you'll appreciate this option. Your aligners should typically be worn about 20 hours per day.

Treatment may be shorter in some cases

If you're an adult, you may only need to wear your Invisalign aligners for about a year. Children and teenagers must usually wear the aligners for the same amount of time that they would wear traditional braces.

Invisalign offers a better way to straighten your teeth! Call Dr. Kent Johansen and Dr. Grant Johansen of Johansen Dental in Chandler, AZ at (480) 345-0530 to schedule your appointment.

MakeEffortstoProtectYourTeethfromDiseaseWhileWearingBraces

Orthodontic treatment is a big investment. But given the benefits for future good health and a more attractive smile, it's well worth it.

In the here and now, though, braces wearers face a different threat to their dental well-being — dental disease. Wearing braces can actually increase the risk of disease and make it more difficult to fight.

Tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease, the two most common forms of dental disease, usually arise from plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles on tooth surfaces. The bacteria produce acid, which erodes enamel and makes the teeth susceptible to decay. Certain bacteria can also infect the gums and eventually weaken their attachment to teeth. Thorough brushing and flossing everyday removes this disease-triggering plaque buildup.

But braces' hardware can make brushing and flossing more difficult. The brackets attached to the teeth and wires laced through them make it more difficult for floss and brush bristles to access all the areas around the teeth. Plaque can build up in certain spots; it's estimated braces wearers have two to three times the plaque of a person not wearing braces. Acid can also remain in contact with some of the enamel surface for too long.

It's important, therefore, if you wear braces to make a concerted effort to brush and floss thoroughly. Besides improving technique and taking more time, you might also consider additional aids. You can obtain toothbrushes specially designed for use with braces, as well as floss holders or threaders that make it easier to access between teeth. Another flossing alternative is an oral irrigator that sprays water under pressure between teeth is an alternative to flossing.

As a precaution against acid damage, we can boost enamel protection with additional fluoride applied to your teeth. We may also prescribe antibacterial rinses to keep the bacteria population low.

Above all, be sure to look out for signs of disease like swollen or bleeding gums or pain. As soon as you sense something out of the ordinary, be sure and contact us.

If you would like more information on keeping your teeth disease-free while wearing braces, 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 “Caring for Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”

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.”

By Johansen Dental
March 12, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
EdenSherandtheLostRetainer

Fans of the primetime TV show The Middle were delighted to see that high school senior Sue, played by Eden Sher, finally got her braces off at the start of Season 6. But since this popular sitcom wouldn’t be complete without some slapstick comedy, this happy event is not without its trials and tribulations: The episode ends with Sue’s whole family diving into a dumpster in search of the teen’s lost retainer. Sue finds it in the garbage and immediately pops it in her mouth. But wait — it doesn’t fit, it’s not even hers!

If you think this scenario is far-fetched, guess again. OK, maybe the part about Sue not washing the retainer upon reclaiming it was just a gag (literally and figuratively), but lost retainers are all too common. Unfortunately, they’re also expensive to replace — so they need to be handled with care. What’s the best way to do that? Retainers should be brushed daily with a soft toothbrush and liquid soap (dish soap works well), and then placed immediately back in your mouth or into the case that came with the retainer. When you are eating a meal at a restaurant, do not wrap your retainer in a napkin and leave it on the table — this is a great way to lose it! Instead, take the case with you, and keep the retainer in it while you’re eating. When you get home, brush your teeth and then put the retainer back in your mouth.

If you do lose your retainer though, let us know right away. Retention is the last step of your orthodontic treatment, and it’s extremely important. You’ve worked hard to get a beautiful smile, and no one wants to see that effort wasted. Yet if you neglect to wear your retainer as instructed, your teeth are likely to shift out of position. Why does this happen?

As you’ve seen firsthand, teeth aren’t rigidly fixed in the jaw — they can be moved in response to light and continuous force. That’s what orthodontic appliances do: apply the right amount of force in a carefully controlled manner. But there are other forces at work on your teeth that can move them in less predictable ways. For example, normal biting and chewing can, over time, cause your teeth to shift position. To get teeth to stay where they’ve been moved orthodontically, new bone needs to form around them and anchor them where they are. That will happen over time, but only if they are held in place with a retainer. That’s why it is so important to wear yours as directed — and notify us immediately if it gets lost.

And if ever you do have to dig your retainer out of a dumpster… be sure to wash it before putting in in your mouth!

If you would like more information on retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers” and “Why Orthodontic Retainers?