Widely Spaced Teeth: Is Invisalign an Option?

Wide spaces between the teeth can greatly diminish the look of your smile. It can also affect your bite, pushing your teeth and jaws out of proper alignment. In some cases, Invisalign can present a more convenient option than traditional braces for correcting spaces between the teeth.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is an orthodontic procedure that uses custom made plastic trays to gradually move the teeth into position. These trays serve the same function as traditional braces and bands—moving the teeth gradually over a period of time until they are in the proper position. Invisalign is used to correct a number of alignment issues including: [pullquote]In some cases, Invisalign can present a more convenient option than traditional braces for correcting spaces between the teeth.[/pullquote]

  • Spaces between the teeth
  • Overlapping teeth
  • Malocclusion

Invisalign trays are constructed based on molds of your teeth, as well as detailed digital photographs and models that represent incremental stages of your treatment. Each tray moves your teeth a small amount. After about two weeks, your teeth have settled into the new position, and a new tray is introduced. By the time you reach the final tray, your teeth will be straight, properly aligned, and have no gaps between them. You will have a beautiful, perfect smile. Wearing a retainer according to the instructions of your orthodontist will ensure that the teeth will remain in position.

Am I a Candidate for Invisalign Treatment?

To determine if you are a good candidate for Invisalign treatment, consult with your orthodontist. After evaluating your teeth and the changes necessary to give you proper alignment and a perfect smile, he will determine if Invisalign will work for your specific needs.

Although Invisalign is an effective treatment for many orthodontic issues, in some cases traditional braces will lead to a better result. Only a consultation with an experienced orthodontist can determine if you are a good candidate for Invisalign.

To find out more about how Invisalign can help you, please contact our office, serving Georgetown CT and the surrounding area, for a detailed Invisalign consultation.

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Signs That Your Child May Need Braces

orthodontist Ridgefield CTPredicting whether your child will need braces can be difficult. All children progress at varying rates and the position of the primary teeth do not necessarily indicate the position of the adult teeth. Still, it is recommended that children be evaluated by an orthodontist by the age of seven. Though it may be too early to determine if future orthodontic treatment will be necessary, these early visits are useful and important.

Your orthodontist is specially trained to identify a number of factors that may suggest that your child will eventually need braces. As a parent or caregiver, you may also be able to provide valuable information that will assist your orthodontist in the evaluation.

Crowded primary teeth may indicate that your child will eventually need braces. It is healthy and normal for a small child to have wide spaces between the primary teeth. Since these teeth are much smaller than the adult teeth, these spaces are important to allow enough room for the larger adult teeth. When the primary teeth are crowded or overlapped, it is reasonable to predict that there will not be enough room for the adult teeth.

The shape of your child’s jaw and palate are also indicators of future orthodontic needs. A jaw or palate that appears small or out of proportion may lead to an improper relationship between the upper and lower teeth. Without the help of braces, conditions such as a crossbite or an overbite may develop.

Any combination of orthodontic conditions can be influenced by your child’s daily habits. Habits like thumb-sucking, the use of a pacifier, and tongue-thrusting have all been linked to conditions such as an open bite or flaring of the teeth.

Where there is a strong possibility that braces will be necessary, your orthodontist may intervene with a variety of orthodontic techniques. These techniques are designed to reduce the necessity for braces or reduce the severity of the orthodontic condition. If your orthodontist deems that immediate intervention is not necessary, your child may be scheduled for an annual evaluation to monitor his growth and progress.

Don’t wait until your child enters high school to begin discussing braces. Consult Dr. Steve Giannoutsos, serving Ridgefield CT, today to discuss your concerns. Call 203-544-9338 to schedule your visit.

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Will Invisalign Help My Overbite?

[pullquote]Using patented Invisalign technology, your teeth will be gently guided into the proper position according to your individualized treatment plan.[/pullquote]The number of dental conditions that can be corrected with Invisalign grows more impressive every day. Orthodontists are finding new uses for Invisalign technology. At the same time, patients are spreading the word about the simplicity and comfort of this orthodontic solution. Understandably, addressing orthodontic concerns becomes more appealing with the elimination of metal brackets and wires.

Your orthodontist may recommend Invisalign to correct your overbite. These clear, customized aligners might also be the solution for your crossbite, crowded, gapped teeth and crooked teeth. Using patented Invisalign technology, your teeth will be gently guided into the proper position according to your individualized treatment plan.

Beginning with an orthodontic consultation, your orthodontist will gather the necessary diagnostic information. Dental x-rays and impressions of your teeth will be forwarded to the Invisalign headquarters where your treatment plan will be developed. State of the art digital imaging will be used to illustrate each phase of your treatment as well as predict the estimated treatment time.

Once your treatment has been planned and the outcome predicted, your orthodontist will review and discuss the details with you. At this point, prior to any movement of the teeth, you will have an amazingly accurate outline of your proposed treatment. With the ability to view computer-generated three-dimensional digital images of your teeth, you can visualize the proposed outcome of your treatment.

Upon your approval, your case will be processed and you can begin the active phase of treatment. As you begin wearing your customized aligners, you will soon notice that a new smile begins to emerge. Your overbite will fade away as your teeth will be steadily guided into the most ideal position.

In recent years, an increasing number of patients have turned to Invisalign technology to address their orthodontic concerns. Compared to traditional braces, the ability to improve your smile with a more comfortable and discreet treatment is especially attractive for teens and adults.

Schedule an appointment with our experienced team at Georgetown Orthodontics, serving Wilton CT, to learn how Invisalign can correct your overbite and more.

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Orthodontic Treatment for Your Overall Health

orthodontist Wilton CTOrthodontic treatment is usually thought of as cosmetic—a way to turn crooked or incorrectly spaced teeth into a perfect, straight smile. However, orthodontic treatment affects more than just the appearance of the teeth. As our orthodontist can explain in an initial consultation, orthodontic treatment can help reduce wear and tear on your teeth and prevent long term problems such as clenching, grinding and TMJ disorder.

How Orthodontics Can Help Your Health

The health of your teeth and mouth is important to your overall health. If your teeth are poorly spaced or crooked, you cannot chew thoroughly, which reduces the efficiency of your digestive system overall. Or you might choose not to eat foods that are difficult to chew, which could reduce your intake of fiber and other important nutrients.

Misalignment can also lead to premature and abnormal wear and tear to your teeth. If your teeth wear down too quickly, you could face tooth loss at an early age. Loss of teeth and extensive wear and tear can cause even more misalignment, causing problems to build up over time such as TMJ disorder that could require surgery to repair. Correcting your misalignment greatly reduces the possibility of these problems becoming more severe over time.

Orthodontic Treatment

The most well known orthodontic treatment is traditional braces. This treatment uses stationary metal braces affixed to the teeth and attached to each other with flexible bands. These bands gradually pull the teeth into the proper position over time. Traditional braces are commonly used among adolescents to correct issues as permanent teeth come in.

Other orthodontic treatments include porcelain braces, Invisalign, palate expanders and other treatments designed to correct alignment and be sure the teeth are properly positioned. Your orthodontist will discuss your particular needs and the best way to bring your teeth into their optimal alignment in the long term.

To find out how orthodontic treatment can help you both improve your smile and improve your overall health, please contact our office serving Wilton CT at 203-544-9338 for a consultation.

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Will Orthodontics Change my Lifestyle?

If your teeth are crooked, or if your bite is not properly aligned, you could experience long term problems with your teeth and jaw. Orthodontics can correct these problems, preventing abnormal wear and tear and other side effects of misalignment. In addition, if you are self conscious about your smile because of crooked teeth or gaps between your teeth, orthodontic treatment can greatly improve your quality of life.

Orthodontics and Short Term Lifestyle Changes

Orthodontic treatment typically involves braces. While you are wearing braces, you must make some lifestyle changes to ensure your teeth remain healthy and your braces are able to work effectively. These changes are relatively minor, and mostly involve foods you must avoid and an increased diligence in cleaning and caring for your teeth. [pullquote]In the long term, orthodontic treatment will greatly improve your lifestyle.[/pullquote]

While you are wearing braces, you should avoid some foods, including:

  • Sticky foods
  • Hard or chewy foods
  • Sugary foods

While these foods should normally be avoided because they can promote tooth decay, it is even more important to avoid them while you are wearing braces because these types of foods can break the delicate wires that make up your braces. In addition, some healthy foods should be avoided because they can break your braces or can become wedged in them, under them, or between the teeth, making cleaning more difficult.

Your teeth and braces must also be kept clean during your orthodontic treatment. Areas between your teeth are more difficult to reach, and so are more susceptible to decay than normal. Your orthodontist will provide guidelines for how to keep your teeth and braces clean and healthy throughout your treatment.

Orthodontics and Long Term Lifestyle Changes

In the long term, orthodontic treatment will greatly improve your lifestyle. You won’t have to worry about the imperfections in your smile, and will have much more confidence in your appearance. After your braces are removed, you will be able to return to your normal dietary habits without having to worry about the long term wear and tear your teeth would have experienced without treatment.

To find out more about how orthodontics can help you in the Ridgefield CT area, please contact the office of Dr. Steve Giannoutsos today.


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Orthodontics: Purpose of a Palatal Expander

braces Wilton CTWhen people think about orthodontics, they usually think first of braces. However, there are other orthodontic treatments commonly used to improve the look or the smile or the alignment of the teeth. One of these treatments is a palatal expander. If you are in need of braces in Wilton CT, our orthodontist can explain how braces or a palatal expander can help you.

What is a Palatal Expander?

A palatal expander is also referred to as a palate expander, an orthodontic expander, or a rapid palatal expander. It is used to widen the palate, or the roof of the mouth. It is most often used on younger patients whose palates are still growing. It can also be used with adults, but this is less common.

When permanent teeth begin to come emerge in younger patients, crowding can become apparent. When teeth are crowded, there simply isn’t enough room in the mouth to accommodate them. Because of the lack of space, the teeth often grow in crooked or overlapping. In some cases, a palatal expander can create more room in the mouth so that these teeth can come in properly.

A palatal expander can also be used to widen the upper palate when the upper and lower jaw do not fit together properly, causing problems with bite alignment. Your orthodontist can provide information on whether a palate expander is an appropriate treatment, and what kind of results you can expect to see when treatment is complete.

How a Palatal Expander Works

The palatal expander is placed on the roof of the mouth and anchored to the teeth on the lingual side, or the side facing the tongue. A key inserted into the expander allows it to be gradually adjusted so that it widens the palate over a period of time. Because the child’s palate has not fully developed, the expander can gradually separate the bony structures in the roof of the mouth. In adults, the process is more gradual.

For more information on palatal expanders and to schedule a consultation, please contact Georgetown Orthodontics at 203-544-9338.

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Orthodontics for Treating TMJ Disorders

The temporomandibular joint, also referred to as the TMJ, is the joint where the lower jaw or mandible joins the upper jaw near the temporal bone. This joint can become misaligned, leading to a variety of uncomfortable symptoms that can be difficult to diagnose. In some cases, orthodontic treatment is used to help adjust the alignment of the TMJ and reduce or eliminate the symptoms.

Causes and Symptoms of TMJ Disorders

TMJ disorders occur when the temporomandibular joint becomes misaligned. Causes of the misalignment vary, but can include:

  • Bite problems
  • Stress
  • Habitual teeth grinding and clenching

Bite problems cause misalignment because the teeth do not move in the proper relationship to each other. This can cause the TMJ to move out of alignment. Bite problems can also cause teeth grinding and clenching, which can be either a cause or a symptom of TMJ disorders.

Other symptoms of TMJ disorder include:

  • Chronic headaches
  • Jaw discomfort
  • Ear discomfort
  • Discomfort in the neck, shoulders, and upper back

These symptoms can occur due to other issues, so it is important to get an accurate diagnosis. Once you have been diagnosed with TMJ disorder, your dentist can provide treatment and recommendations for management. [pullquote]In some cases, orthodontic treatment is used to help adjust the alignment of the TMJ and reduce or eliminate the symptoms.[/pullquote]

How Orthodontics Can Help TMJ Disorders

Orthodontics is one effective approach often used with TMJ disorder. If your TMJ is caused by misalignment or bite problems, braces can be used to move your teeth back into the proper position. Once your teeth are positioned correctly, the TMJ will also shift back into its optimal alignment. This will reduce or even eliminate your ongoing symptoms as well as prevent abnormal wear and tear to your teeth, which can occur when teeth are misaligned.

Other treatment for TMJ disorder can include stress reduction, muscle stimulation to reduce tension in the jaw, heat applied to the joint, or, in serious cases, surgery to repair the joint.

If you have experienced TMJ symptoms, please call our office to find out how treatment with orthodontics in Georgetown CT 06896 can help.

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Subtle Straightening with Invisalign

Invisalign Georgetown CTInvisalign in Georgetown CT is a means by which people of all ages can realize the beauty of a new smile thanks to straight and perfectly aligned teeth.

Young adults and professionals can realize the aesthetic advantage of being able to have their teeth straightened with the clear aligners available with Invisalign.

Traditional metal bands and brackets were once the norm when braces were needed to straighten teeth. But with the introduction of Invisalign, straightening teeth can now be completed through the use of clear, soft plastic aligners. In addition to the advantage of their transparency, Invisalign also offers the ability to:

  • Remove the aligners while eating. This means all your favorite foods, as well as nutritious fruits and vegetables that might be sacrificed to wear traditional braces, can remain on your menu.
  • Remove the aligners to perform daily hygiene. Flossing wearing traditional braces is cumbersome and tedious. Brushing alone might leave behind harmful bacteria that could lead to dental decay.
  • Eliminate the wires used with traditional braces. Wires can break or rub against soft tissue in the mouth causing cuts and sores.
  • Smile with confidence because you are straightening your teeth without a mouthful of metal.
  • Eliminate uncomfortable adjustments. The aligners work gently to straighten your teeth.

Your Invisalign provider will consult with you to see if you are a candidate for this teeth straightening method. If you have an issue with overcrowding causing an overbite, cross bite, or under bite, or you have unwanted gaps or spaces between your teeth, Invisalign has a solution.

Thanks to the technology employed by the Invisalign process, a series of clear plastic aligners will be devised specifically for you. Your orthodontist will monitor your progress and update you with a new aligner every few weeks. The aligners will slowly and gently shift your teeth to their correct position. So not only are you creating a new smile by re-aligning your teeth, the transformation is completed in such a subtle fashion that your family and friends will have to ask you “what’s different?”

Invisalign aligners must be worn a minimum of twenty to twenty-two hours per day to achieve the desired goal in the prescribed time. For most adults, the process will generally take six months to two years. For the younger set and teens, the time prescribed is typically the same as traditional metal bands and brackets. Your Georgetown CT Orthodontics Invisalign solution is just a consultation away. Call 203-544-9338 today!

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Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?

There are many conditions that wearing braces will rectify from overcrowding to gaps between teeth. Orthodontics in Wilton CT can resolve your dental problems, and a consultation can provide answers to all your questions.

Overcrowding can create an overbite, under bite, or cross bite. What does overcrowding mean? Our jaw space must accommodate 32 teeth. As we mature and grow and our permanent teeth come in, they will erupt through gum tissue whether or not there is enough jaw space. If the jaw does not have room for teeth to grow naturally and straight, teeth can become impacted, grow in crooked, or misaligned. An impacted tooth grows into the gum tissue, not up through the gum tissue. It is not dangerous, and unless it presents a problem, there is no need to do anything about it. [pullquote]There are many conditions that wearing braces will rectify from overcrowding to gaps between teeth.[/pullquote]

If teeth come in without sufficient jaw space to grow, this might impact your bite and can result in protruding teeth or teeth growing inward. This is where a consultation with an orthodontist can help you understand how braces can improve your bite and straighten your teeth.

Quite often when overcrowding is the basis of the problem, it might become necessary for one or several teeth to be extracted before moving forward with braces. Once permanent teeth have been removed, braces will slowly allow the remaining teeth to shift back into place relieving the problem of overcrowding and correcting the bite.

Extracting an impacted tooth will sometimes require a referral to an oral surgeon. The extent of the impaction and how many teeth are involved will dictate to your orthodontist whether or not you should see an oral surgeon. Quite often impacted teeth are third molars, more commonly referred to as wisdom teeth. If it is determined that impacted third molars should be extracted, your orthodontist will want to make sure your mouth has healed completely before moving forward with braces.

Removing teeth to relieve overcrowding is a very common first step in many orthodontic procedures. For children or young adults, there is an option to removing teeth. In the case of overcrowding due to a lack of jaw space, it is possible to expand the jaw with the use of a palatal expander. Although more difficult, expanding the jaw of an adult is possible, but requires surgery and more aggressive treatment.

Since each case is different, only a consultation with our Wilton CT orthodontist can determine whether or not you will need to have an extraction before moving forward with braces.

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Is Invisalign a viable alternative to traditional braces?

Invisalign Wilton CTAn increasing number of patients are considering Invisalign in Wilton CT to achieve their dream smiles, and that’s no surprise. Invisalign tends to be particularly appealing to adult patients, who don’t want to spend years saddled with appliances that take them back to their awkward teen years.

The Invisalign system, which straightens the teeth through a progressive series of clear plastic aligner trays, is more convenient than traditional braces and it’s barely noticeable, unlike its counterpart’s clunky metal brackets and wires.

Despite all of the advantages associated with Invisalign, some prospective patients remain skeptical about the system’s capabilities for straightening their teeth. Those individuals may feel that the tried-and-true method is more effective at realigning the teeth.

That’s simply not the case. The technology has improved drastically in the years since this technique was introduced, and Invisalign now can help an orthodontist straighten almost any patient’s teeth. Plus, with the clear trays, patients can see results much sooner, as the teeth aren’t hidden by appliances.

At this point, Invisalign can even be used in complex cases involving mild or moderate underbites and overbites or severe crowding. Orthodontists can use attachments and rubber bands to reposition the jaws, as well.

Of course, in order to achieve the best outcomes, patients need to wear the trays as recommended—between 20 and 22 hours each day.

In addition to the aesthetic benefits, Invisalign can also help patients keep their mouths healthier during treatment. Invisalign trays can be removed for eating, brushing and flossing. It’s easier to rinse food particles from the teeth after eating, and the patient’s regular oral hygiene routine can be maintained throughout treatment.

Although Invisalign equals the performance of conventional braces in most cases, certain problems may not respond well to the trays. For example, teeth that are significantly rotated or other severe misalignments may require a traditional approach. In older patients in whom the jaws cannot be repositioned by orthodontic forces alone, accompanying surgery may be necessary.

If you are interested in the Invisalign system, call 203-544-9338 and schedule a consultation to learn if Invisalign is an appropriate treatment for your case.

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