Treatment

INVISALIGN

Kerolos Michael, D.D.S. provides the most up to date procedures available, ensuring optimal results for our patients. Dr. Michael offers Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen® as an alternative to braces to his patients in Silver Spring, MD. Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen® is a revolutionary system that utilizes 3-D computer graphics to design and manufacture customized clear appliances called “Aligners”. Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen® appliances are virtually undetectable, easy-to-use and comfortable to wear.

The invisible way to straighten your teeth, without braces. Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen® can give you the beautiful, straight teeth you’ve always wanted. It works through a series of invisible, removable, and comfortable aligners that no one can tell you’re wearing. So you can smile more during treatment as well as after.

Frequently Asked Questions!

Q: How much do Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen® cost?

A: As with other types of orthodontic treatment, the cost of Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen® depends on the complexity of a patient’s case. The cost is generally slightly more expensive than traditional braces, but find out what your treatment involves by contacting our office for a complimentary appointment. We also do not let finances stand in the way of getting a beautiful smile. We offer a number of payment plans that make any treatment fit our patient’s budget.

Q: Does Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen® really work?

A: Yes. In both clinical research and in orthodontic practices nationwide, Invisalign® has been proven effective at straightening teeth.

Q: Does insurance cover Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen®?

A: Because medical benefits differ significantly from policy to policy, each patient should review their coverage. However, if a patient has orthodontic coverage, Invisalign® should be covered to the same extent as conventional braces.

Q: What are aligners made of?

A: Aligners are made of clear, strong medical grade plastic that is virtually invisible when worn.

Q: What do aligners look like?

A: Aligners are nearly invisible and look similar to clear tooth-whitening trays but are custom-made for a better fit to move teeth. Some orthodontists and dentists have referred to them as “contact lenses for teeth.”

Q: How does Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen® effectively move teeth?

A: Like brackets and archwires, Invisalign® aligners move teeth through the appropriate placement of controlled force on the teeth. The principal difference is that Invisalign® not only controls forces, but also controls the timing of the force application. At each stage, only certain teeth are allowed to move, and these movements are determined by the orthodontic treatment plan for that particular stage. This results in an efficient force delivery system.

Q: What is the minimum age of a patient that a doctor can treat with Invisalign®

A: Doctors can use Invisalign® to treat a vast majority of patients with fully-erupted molars.

For more information on Invisalign®, please visit www.invisalign.com.

BRACES

Traditional Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and are more comfortable today than ever before. Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires. With metal braces, you have the option of adding colored elastics (rubber bands) for a more unique and colorful smile.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces. For this reason, ceramic braces are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns. While they are visually less prominent, they do require more attention to oral hygiene, because ceramic braces are larger and more brittle than their metal counterparts. For these reasons, ceramic braces tend to be used more on upper front teeth than on lower teeth.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are hidden behind the teeth and are therefore “invisible” when you smile. Lingual braces are 100% customized to match the shape of your teeth, and the metal appliances are created uniquely for you. Lingual braces are a very reasonable option for athletes, models, actors/actresses, musicians who play wind instruments, and adult professionals.

LIFE WITH BRACES

Your braces will be attached quickly and easily to your teeth, but a full day is necessary for the bands to completely affix. It is a good idea to wait several hours after getting braces before eating solid food. You may find it easier to eat soft foods for the first couple of days while you are becoming accustomed to eating with your new braces.

Comfort Concerns

The braces may feel a little awkward at first and the teeth may be tender or sensitive to pressure. This is completely normal and will go away soon. It may feel as though the braces are “sticking out,” but this sensation will also soon pass. Small pieces of orthodontic wax may be used if the brackets irritate cheek tissues. The orthodontic office always has extra wax in case you run out so call them if you need more.

Many patients will experience some discomfort at first, but the soreness will go away within the first few days or even hours of getting braces. It is impossible to predict exactly when the tenderness will end. Some patients choose to take over the counter pain relievers the first day of treatment to lessen the discomfort. To ensure the best result take the medications before your appointment.

Eating Right

Braces are attached to your teeth with a strong adhesive, but may become loose as a result of eating certain foods. It is also possible that wires could become bent or broken without proper care. Since it is best to achieve orthodontic treatment goals with as few disruptions as possible, a well balanced diet is important to ensure a healthy environment for your teeth.

Patients should avoid foods that are sticky, hard or chewy. They should also avoid any food and drinks that are known to cause cavities. Patients should brush, floss and rinse their mouth regularly between meals.

The foods below are known to cause breakage of orthodontic appliances and are examples of what NOT to eat:

  • gum
  • beef jerky
  • nuts
  • hard or sticky candy
  • corn chips
  • crisp taco shells
  • whole apples
  • celery
  • caramel
  • taffy
  • popcorn
  • soft drinks
  • candy bars

Eating restricted foods may cause problems which will result in extra visits for repairs and will ultimately extend the length of treatment. You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy these restricted foods after completing your treatment. Any specific questions about food choices should be directed to your orthodontist and staff.

COMMON PROBLEMS

Achieving a healthy bite is important at any age. Left untreated, crooked teeth can lead to periodontal disease and create abnormal amounts of stress on teeth and jaws which can lead to premature wear. The effects of crooked teeth can get worse over time and can adversely affect your overall health. It is important to have an evaluation done by an orthodontist to see if you can benefit from orthodontic treatment.

Crowded Teeth

Crowded teeth, the opposite of spacing, is caused where there just isn’t enough space in the mouth for all your teeth. Crowding just gets worse over time as one tooth pushes over the other, leading to overlapping teeth. Crowded teeth are harder to clean than straight teeth, which will eventually lead to cavities and tooth decay. Crowding can often be corrected by expansion so as to avoid tooth removal.

Underbite

In an underbite, the lower jaw is longer than the upper one, which causes the lower teeth to protrude in front of the upper teeth. It is best to diagnose the problem early.

Overbite

An overbite, or deep bite, is when the front teeth cover the lower teeth too much. An excessive overbite leads to wearing down of the teeth and may even cause the bottom teeth to bite into the roof of the mouth.

Spacing

The malocclusion known as spacing is too much room between the teeth. Spacing can occur if teeth are missing, small, or if the dental arch is wide. The most common complaint from patients with excessive spacing is cosmetic.

Cross Bite

A crossbite is when the back upper teeth fit into the inside of the lower back teeth. A crossbite causes tooth stratification and misaligned jaw growth.

Protruded Teeth

When the upper front teeth stick out too far forward, or the lower teeth don’t extend enough, this is called protrusion. Because of the abnormal contact between the upper and lower front teeth, it could cause injury to the lower teeth. It also causes poor bites and may even be from uneven jaw growth. This problem can be caused by thumb and finger sucking.

Midlines Off

In a perfectly aligned face, there should be a straight line from the bridge of the nose to the bottom teeth – all should be lined up. If they are not and the bottom teeth are actually misaligned from the top teeth, then your midlines are off. When your midlines are off, your teeth could be drifted or your lower jaw could be shifted, which would result in an improper bite.

Open Bite

The common result of thumb sucking or tongue thrusting, an open bite, is when you can actually stick your tongue between your teeth while biting down. An open bite is a cosmetic problem, but it can also cause chewing problems.

EARLY TREATMENT

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children initially visit the orthodontist at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age seven. Treatment may not be necessary at that time, but by this age most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth.  This will make it easier for us to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems sooner and without surgery.

Early treatment allows us to:

  • Correct and guide the growth of your child’s jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight
  • Reduce the need for teeth extractions
  • Create space for crowded or erupted teeth
  • Correct thumb-sucking and help improve minor speech problems
  • Reduce treatment time with braces

Signs your child may need to see an orthodontist:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Difficult time biting or chewing food
  • Finger or thumb sucking
  • Crowded or misplaced teeth
  • Jaws that pop
  • Teeth that do not come together at all or come together abnormally
  • Teeth and jaws that are not proportionate to the rest of the face
  • Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight

EMERGENCIES

Call our office as soon as possible if you break or loosen any of your appliances. Please do not come directly to the office – by calling us, you will allow us to create a time to see you. Even if you have a regular appointment scheduled, call us immediately to notify us if you need an appliance repaired.

Loose brackets or bands

Call our office immediately for advice if a bracket or wire is loosened. The bracket may need to be re-fitted as soon as possible. You may have a situation that requires cutting a wire or sliding a bracket off a wire at night or over the weekend. If you need to cut a wire in case of emergency, you may use fingernail clippers that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. Please call our office the next business day, so that we may schedule an appointment for you.

Wire irritations

Sometimes discomfort caused by a wire on your braces can be resolved by moving the wire away from the irritated area with a cotton swab or eraser. If the wire will not move, try covering the end of it with a small piece of cotton or a small amount of wax. If the wire is painful, you can cut it with nail clippers or scissors that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. If you cannot resolve the wire irritation, call our office for an appointment.

Discomfort with orthodontic treatment

During the first week after your braces are in place and routine adjustments are complete, you will likely feel some pain, soreness or discomfort. You may take over the counter pain relievers while you adjust to your new braces. A warm wash cloth or heating pad may reduce the soreness in your jaws.

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