Our Blog

The Process of Starting Orthodontics for your Child

July 17th, 2018

Summer is a busy time for orthodontics, so make your appointments now! It’s convenient for kids to begin their orthodontic process in the summer because they have more free time to make it to their appointments, and their parents can hopefully make the time to take them!

It’s also preferable to have some time to adjust to wearing and caring for the appliances before settling into the daily grind of school and classes.

If your child or teen is in need of orthodontics keep reading to learn what the process will look like.

Consultation and Treatment Plan

Your orthodontist won’t just look at your child’s teeth and make a plan. A thorough assessment and analysis is needed, and this takes some time. X-rays will be necessary so that your orthodontist can determine the complexity and severity of your child’s case.

Once it is determined exactly how much treatment is needed, we will sit down together and decide the best way to go about it. Many teenagers do very well with Invisalign, and for others braces are the better option. We give every single one of our patients individual and undivided attention. We will take the time to determine what treatment is best for you and your child so that their care is sure to be a success.

Of course there are finances involved in getting orthodontic treatment. We will work with you of course, as well as with your insurance company in order to make your case as affordable and hassle free as possible. And you don’t have to figure it all out by yourself- we have experts in the office to handle your insurance and payment needs.

Orthodontic X-rays and Technology

A full panel of X-rays and evaluations will be completed before your child starts the process of Invisalign or braces. Intra-oral photos of the mouth, teeth, and jaw structure are an important aspect of successful orthodontic treatment, and we want to do a thorough job of this.

That’s why we use some of the best technology there is for our patients. We use 3D X-ray technology, as well as panoramic photography.

When it comes to making molds and impressions, we use the iTero element digital scanning technology. This means you and your child get to avoid the hassle of yucky, goopy material that was used in the past for making impressions.

We use the best technology so that you and your child can get the best results.

Starting Braces or Invisalign

Once your child’s case has been made, and a treatment option determined, it’s time to get started! And remember, when it comes to orthodontics, the sooner the better. On the one hand it is never too late to get the beautiful smile we all deserve, but on the other hand it’s best to get ahead of any potential problems. The longer you wait, the more potential there is for the case to become more complicated, and therefore more timely and expensive.

Once the X-rays are taken and examined, the process of orthodontics really begins. Your orthodontist will send your X-rays and impressions to Invisalign, and your hardware will be on the way! It may take up to 4 weeks for this to happen, another reason to get started with your case as soon as possible.

Once your Invisalign aligners arrive, or it’s time to get braces attached to your teeth, the orthodontist will sit down with you and explain step by step what the plan is, and your child’s responsibility for their own care. What foods to eat and avoid, how to clean or care for the appliances, and how often to come in for adjustments will all be laid out for you right at the start.

If your child needs orthodontics, don’t wait another minute to make an appointment! We are a family oriented practice, and we love working with kids and their parents. In fact, we’re a multi-generational practice-some of our patients are the children of previous patients! We will make sure that your whole family is smiling happily and healthily, for years to come!

 

 

 

 

 

My Teenager Wants Invisalign, but I’m not Sure…

June 21st, 2018

If your teenager needs orthodontic treatment then you’ve probably considered Invisalign aligners.  Many teenagers prefer Invisalign over metal braces, and a lot of them have successful results. In fact, teenagers tend to comply better than adults with their Invisalign treatment! There are pros and cons to any treatment regimen, so let’s go over some of them here.

The Pros of Invisalign for Teens

Invisalign aligners can be taken out of the mouth in order to brush and floss, making it easier to clean your teeth thoroughly and consistently. They are to be worn up to 23 hours a day however, so it’s important to remember to put them back in!

Invisalign aligners are clear, so you don’t have that chunky “metal mouth” that braces do. For teenagers in high school this is especially important, given the presence of selfies and social media these days. Self-confidence is important for everyone, and for teenagers going through orthodontic treatment the sleek and virtually invisible appearance of Invisalign aligners can help with that.

Invisalign aligners use gentler movement than braces, so there may be less pain during treatment. The pain felt with braces or Invisalign is fairly mild, but the aligners may produce slightly less.

Invisalign consists of fewer parts than braces- there are no brackets or rubber-bands to deal with. This may mean fewer trips to the orthodontist for repairs. They are also less likely to break during sports or other physical activities, and you can carry back-ups around with you in case something does happen to them.

The Cons of Invisalign for Teens

Compliance is really important for orthodontic treatment to work, and the temptation to leave the Invisalign aligners out may be too strong for some teens. They absolutely must be worn at all times (except when brushing and eating), so Invisalign may not be right for teenagers who aren’t very disciplined.

When it comes to more complicated and severe cases, Invisalign aligners aren’t always optimal. When there is a significant overbite, for example, braces may be necessary to fix the bite.

Invisalign aligners work best for teens who possess a lot of discipline, are willing to comply to all the orthodontists instructions, and are very dedicated to wearing the aligners at all times.

It’s important to note that most teenagers perform better than their parents expect. We have countless numbers of successful Invisalign cases for teens, and we absolutely recommend them if the case is appropriate.

Which is best for My Teen?

If your teenager needs orthodontic treatment and they’re asking for Invisalign, give us a call! We’ve completed hundreds of successful cases of Invisalign for teens. If you think braces might be better for your teen we can handle that just as well! If their case is more complicated, braces might be the best treatment option for your teen.

Whatever you and your teenager decide is the best treatment for them, we will be there to support and guide you every step of the way. We are a family oriented practice, and we want your family to be happy! We have worked with multiple generations-some of our current patients are the children of previous patients! Family is the most important thing there is, and we’re here to put smiles on the faces of everyone in yours!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Does My Child or Teenager Need Braces

May 23rd, 2018

Summer is approaching, and it’s time to start planning for your child’s orthodontic care. We tend to get pretty busy in the summer months, since you want your kids to have some time to get used to braces or Invisalign aligners before school starts, so make your appointments soon!

When Should my Child See an Orthodontist?

The American Orthodontics Association (AAO) recommends that a child have their first orthodontic appointment by age 7. It is unlikely that your child will need treatment at this time, but it is important to get them in early to catch potential problems early on. By being proactive and ahead of any issues, we can avoid surgery and more intensive treatment further on down the road.

Many kids and teenagers are put on “observation” after their first appointment. This simply means the child isn’t in immediate need of treatment, but is being kept under close observation in order to be properly prepared for the time that treatment becomes necessary.

If your child or teenager is under observation, it is important to keep up with your appointments. Despite the seemingly slow movements of teeth, things happen fast in orthodontics. Being on top of the situation is imperative when trying to avoid costly and intensive treatment in the future.

When Your Child Needs Orthodontic Treatment

Many teenagers need braces, but not all of them. If your teen does need braces it’s best to get them sooner rather than later. They may not love the idea, but in truth it’s socially acceptable as a teenager to have braces. Their friends and peers will likely be getting them as well, and there’s less of a stigma attached to teenagers with braces than there is for adults.

It’s also important to note that kids have more malleable teeth and jaws to work with. They’re still growing, so it’s easier to adjust that growth to the proper specifications. Once a person stops growing, it becomes more difficult and time consuming to move their teeth around.

When it comes to orthodontics, the sooner the better!

Conditions That Require Orthodontics

Some of the most common conditions requiring orthodontics include crowding, spacing, deep bites, open bites and even under bites. Under bites aren’t very common, but they do occur and they can be corrected with orthodontics.

Some teens prefer braces and others prefer Invisalign aligners. We are experts at both mediums, and it is really up to the patients and their parents to decide which is preferable. They both have their pros and cons, and it is a personal decision as to which avenue to take when it comes to orthodontic treatment.

If you have a child reaching the age of 7 this year, don’t hesitate to call us! We are a 2nd generation practice, and we take care of patients of all ages. We have kids whose parents were treated here! It makes for a wonderful family atmosphere-a place where patients of all ages can feel comfortable and well cared for.

We treat patients from all over the East Bay, including Pleasant Hill, Concord, Benicia, Orinda, and Walnut Creek. Call our office and schedule a free consultation today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Technology and Orthodontics

April 18th, 2018

When you go to the orthodontist you want it to be as quick and painless as possible. And we want that for you! That’s why we pride ourselves on our technological systems that make your orthodontics care and treatment as easy as possible.

We are a “one-stop-shop”. That means everything you need is right here in our office! There is no need to travel to outside labs to have photos taken, or impressions made. We want your orthodontic care to be convenient, not a hassle! We understand that you’re busy, and that your time is valuable.

iTero Digital Scanning

One thing people absolutely hate about orthodontic treatment is the goopy impressions. There is nothing pleasant about having your mouth pried open, and getting some sticky gooey substance shoved in there, causing you to gag. So we’ve done away with that!

iTtero digital scanning equipment takes pictures of your mouth and teeth. You simply lie back and relax, while we wave what looks like a wand  around your mouth. The images are clear and precise, and the impressions can be made from those images.

No more gagging and feeling claustrophobic and panicky with your mouth packed full of goop! This aspect of orthodontics creates anxiety for many people, and so we’ve updated our technology to avoid it. No one should have to forgo vital care because of unpleasant and outdated techniques.

Panoramic and Cephalometric X-Rays

Orthodontic care is about more than just your teeth-it consists of the activity below the surface of your gums as well.

The roots of your teeth move around, and that affects how your orthodontic treatment is going to go. With our cephalometric x-rays we are able to see and predict when and where your roots are moving, and that makes it easier for us to ensure that your orthodontic treatment will be successful.

The best part about these x-rays is that they are super quick! The pictures take about ten seconds, and the images come through in 5 or 6 minutes! This means less time at the orthodontists office, and more streamlined and predictable outcomes for your treatment.

Superior Patient Experience

The patient experience is important to us. By updating our technology we have ensured that your orthodontic experience will be superior.

The cephalometric x-rays are a fast and clear imaging process that takes pictures of your mouth and jaw with speed and ease. The pictures will be clearer and more concise than older techniques. We can have your images ready within minutes, and your data will be stored and easily accessed for future appointments.

The iTero technology makes it very easy to make images of your mouth without goopy impression materials. You don’t have to struggle with your gag reflex while you wait for material to set. The impressions will be much more concise, and take less time to complete.

We are a second generation practice. That means we’ve treated patients and their parents! We feel very strongly about community and family, and we do our absolute best to ensure that you and your families receive the best possible care in our practice

If you or a family member is looking into orthodontic treatment, look no further and schedule an appointment today! We serve patients all over the Bay Area, from Walnut Creek to Concord and Martinez.

 

 

Creating generations of smiles through a legacy of personal care and heartfelt service!