Posts for: February, 2016
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.”
We often associate orthodontics with moving several teeth on the upper or lower arches (or both) with braces or clear aligners. But not all patients require a major endeavor — sometimes only one or a few teeth need to be moved, and not very far.
A slight gap between the two upper front teeth is one type of situation that only requires minor tooth movement: just a few teeth need to be moved and usually just a millimeter or two. The appliances needed to achieve this are also relatively simple in design: removable retainers or small scale fixed braces with small springs or elastics that place pressure against the teeth. The process may also only take a few months rather than two years as with major tooth movement.
Preparing for the procedure, though, must be undertaken with great care. We need to first determine if moving the teeth even slightly could affect the bite with the opposite teeth. We must also ensure the roots of the teeth intended for movement are in good position for allowing the space to be closed.
We must then consider the other supporting structures for the teeth. It’s important for gums and bone to be healthy — if not, treating any found disease may be necessary first before beginning orthodontics. And, if the gap between the two upper teeth was created by an abnormally large frenum, the small strip of tissue connecting the lip to the upper gum, it may be necessary to remove it before tooth movement can begin to ensure the closed gap stays closed.
Like any other orthodontic treatment, minor tooth movement first requires a thorough examination with x-ray imaging to determine the exact tooth position, bite issues and the surrounding gum and bone health. We can then be reasonably certain if this straightforward procedure is right for you, and could help you obtain a more attractive smile.
If you would like more information on different orthodontic treatment choices, 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 “Minor Tooth Movement.”
Should I Whiten My Teeth? Reasons to consider teeth whitening treatments.
Do your teeth look dark, dull and faded to the point where you don’t want to smile very often? Do you remember when you were younger, and your smile was bright and beautiful. Where did that smile go? The truth is there are many factors which have combined to make your teeth dull; but more importantly, there is something you can do about it. It’s time to call Dr. John Leitner, your cosmetic and family dentist in Grand Haven, MI. He can give you back the smile you want and deserve.
You have probably tried some of the whitening products available at your neighborhood grocery store, only to find the results didn’t last long enough or the products made your teeth hurt. Many of the products contain harmful abrasive agents which can damage tooth enamel.
Dr. Leitner has a better idea--it’s called Lifetime Whitening! It works like this:
After your initial exam and cleaning, he will provide you with bleaching trays and solution for a small fee. After that, at each six-month visit, he will give you a FREE complimentary tube of whitening gel, so you can have brightened and whitened teeth for a lifetime. Reasons to consider this procedure include:
- Professional whitening treatments often have much better results that last longer
- White teeth help you look younger
- White teeth boost your self-esteem and confidence
- You make a great first impression with a bright white smile
- White teeth make you look better to yourself and others
- You might have a special event coming up and want to look your best
Whitening results can vary depending on the frequency of treatment and your individual characteristics, but you can be assured, when you choose Dr. John Leitner, in Grand Haven, MI, you have chosen the very best. He is your expert on dental whitening treatments. So are you ready to get started on a new smile? Give him a call today!