Patients often ask me this question and then follow it with another question–how is an orthodontist different from a dentist? I can answer this question easily: Experience, training and value.
As specialists, orthodontists have received an additional two to three years of full time education, following dental school, at an accredited orthodontic residency program.
The specialized training received by an orthodontist focuses on jaw growth and development as well as diagnosing, preventing and treating a wide range of issues including malocclusions and discrepancies in jaw growth. This additional education could be compared to the additional training received by an obstetrician during their residency following general medical training. This extra training prepares the obstetrician to be better qualified than a family doctor to deliver babies, identify possible issues before they cause problems and to respond correctly to any complications that may arise.
Experience is another big difference that sets orthodontists apart from regular dentists. Since orthodontists correct facial profiles, straighten teeth and create attractive smiles, they get significant experience over the course of treating hundreds of patients a year. Regular dentists, however, may only handle a small number of these types of cases each year among all their usual work. The combination of orthodontic training with plenty of experience makes orthodontists better able to tell the difference between simple and complex cases. When cases become more difficult to handle, orthodontists can more easily take care of these problems to reach a positive outcome.
Finally, orthodontists are frequently as affordable as dentists for more advanced care. Many people are surprised that orthodontists’ fees are often about equal to those of dentists. Greater efficiency is often to thank for this. Orthodontists and their staff are specially trained and possess all the necessary equipment for focusing on orthodontic treatments. General dentists, on the other hand, may only perform occasional orthodontic work between their normal dental work. This causes fees to be similar, but the specialized experience and equipment of the orthodontist provides an optimal result to the patient.
In conclusion, there are many excellent dentists providing general dental care and basic orthodontic procedures to patients with good outcomes. There are, however, many clear advantages to choosing an orthodontist when you want to have an amazing smile created by an expert.
Houston Orthodontist, Dr. Brad Jennings provides an insightful look into the differences between the Damon System and Invisalign.
The Damon System is widely viewed by dentists and orthodontic professionals as a high quality orthodontic treatment with a number of unique advantages. At the same time, it works in an entirely different way to the Invisalign system, so for most patients, choosing between treatments is a relatively straightforward process.
The main difference between the Damon System and Invisalign is that the Damon System use fixed brackets. However, this is far from being a conventional bracket design. Rather than exerting pressure on the teeth through the use of rubber ties or steel ties (remember the wires sticking out of your mouth when you had braces?) , the Damon System is built around a slide mechanism that performs the same function, but with minimal friction.
The reduced friction means that the bracket works more efficiently and the teeth move into place more quickly. Therefore, treatment times are shortened and the number of visits to the orthodontist reduced versus conventional braces.
Invisalign uses a series of clear, medical grade plastic aligners to straighten your teeth. Treatment time is usually 9-12 months for moderately difficult malocclusions. You must wear the aligners about 20 hours per day, essentially pretending they’re glued to your teeth like braces. You remove them when you eat and brush your teeth. Aligners are changed out about every 10 days.
So how do I choose between Damon braces and Invisalign?
There are some things that Damon braces does better as there are some things that Invisalign does better. There are also times where either one will give you the same result. There are times when I may even use Invisalign on the top teeth and braces on the lower teeth. A consultation with your orthodontic specialist should decide whether Invisalign or the Damon System should be your preferred treatment. It is important to remember also that the kind of treatment you use is only part of the picture. It is also important to ensure that you have a good relationship with your orthodontist so that they know exactly what you want from your treatment. If you are clear about your requirements, your orthodontist will be clear about what sort of treatment you need to achieve them.
For a free orthodontic consultation with Dr. Jennings, please visit http://www.drjenningsortho.com or call (281) 497-7920.
At Dr. Jennings Orthodontics, we know good dental health requires only a few minutes a day. We thought we’d provide some practical advice on how to improve your or your child’s smile between your adjustment visits with Dr. Jennings.
Start by brushing your teeth twice a day. Proper brushing techniques are an essential part of maintaining good oral health during your orthodontic treatment, as well as preventing gum disease. More care and time are needed to adequately brush your teeth when you are wearing braces. Brushing daily helps remove decay-causing plaque from tooth surfaces. Please consult Dr. Jennings if you would like us to review brushing techniques with you or your child. The use of a mechanical toothbrush such as a Sonicare or Oral B can aid in removing plaque around braces. Flossing daily will also prevent plaque to build up between the teeth and prevent stains between your teeth. Research has shown the bacteria of gum disease has been linked to coronary artery disease, stroke, diabetes and memory loss. Lastly, we encourage you to throw away old toothbrushes and replace them every 2 or 3 months, or after an illness.
We hope this helps! If you have any further questions about any of these tips, please contact our office or ask your general dentist during your next scheduled visit! Or, ask us on Facebook!
There are so many ways you protect your teeth throughout your orthodontic treatment at Dr. Jennings Orthodontics. You brush your teeth twice a day, floss regularly and protect your mouth and appliances from being damaged. But did you know there is another, often forgotten about, way to keep your teeth clean and healthy during your treatment?
Fluoride – a mineral that helps prevent cavities and tooth decays can help keep your teeth strong! Fluoride comes in two varieties: topical and systemic. Topical fluoride is applied directly to the tooth. Topical fluoride includes toothpastes and mouth rinses. Systemic fluorides are swallowed in the form of a dietary supplement.
Fluoride used in the dentist or orthodontist’s office is often times a stronger concentration than in toothpaste or mouthwash, but is available at some drug stores or a pharmacy (ask your doctor how to purchase professional strength fluoride). A fluoride treatment typically takes just a few minutes. After the treatment patients may be asked not to rinse, eat or drink for at least 30 minutes in order to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride. Depending on your oral health or doctor’s recommendation, you may be required to have a fluoride treatment every three, six or 12 months. Your doctor may also prescribe a fluoride product such as mouthwashes, gels or antibacterial rinses for at-home treatment.
When choosing your own fluoride product, be sure to check for the American Dental Association’s (ADA) seal of acceptance. Products marked with the ADA seal of approval have been carefully examined and have met the criteria of the ADA for safety and effectiveness. Take care of your teeth, and smile bright!
We’ve all heard that biting your nails is an awful habit, but you many wonder- really- what’s so bad about it? Recently, Dr. Jennings found an interesting article that discusses how biting your nails affect your teeth and oral health.
Nail biting, also known as Onychophagia, is a common habit among various age groups, including primarily children, teens and young adults. Nail biting is generally triggered by stress and most often decreases with age. That being said, nail biting is unsanitary, unattractive, as well as unhealthy for your teeth!
- It’s unsanitary. Your nails are dirty, almost twice as dirty as your fingers! Hence, biting your nails is just asking for germs and bacteria.
- No good things come to your teeth. Nail biting causes your teeth to constantly be chewing, which is not good for them. This excessive motion wears your teeth down faster than a non-nail biters and puts a large amount of stress on your front teeth- contributing to teeth misalignment.
- Braces don’t love it it either. Braces already put pressure on teeth, nail biting ads unnecessary pressure, further stressing your teeth and weakening their roots.
- It can be costly. Nail biting can result in up to $4,000 in additional dental bills over one lifetime, according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). Yikes!
What can you do about it?
Now that you know how harmful nail biting can be, it’s time to take action to break your nail biting habit. Try to be conscious of your fingernails and to keep them looking good- this will help you resist the temptation. Ask Dr. Jennings or visit the article for tips on how to break a nail biting habit.