Archive for August, 2011

Transform your smile with Invisalign orthodontic treatment

Everybody loves the straighter, more attractive smile that is the end result of orthodontic treatment, but most patients are less than thrilled about the prospects of spending 18-24 months sporting a mouthful of metal braces. Fortunately, the Invisalign orthodontic system helps patients achieve the same outcomes but without the “brace-face.”

Many Austin orthodontic patients are turning to Invisalign for their treatment, which can address concerns ranging from excessive crowding to overbites to crossbites.

With the Invisalign system, the dentist aligns the patient’s teeth using a series of clear plastic trays that are designed to exert forces on the teeth to move them into the proper placement. The patient switches to a new tray every other week until the treatment goals are achieved.

Beyond the obvious aesthetic benefits, Invisalign orthodontics has other advantages over traditional treatment. It is easier to keep teeth clean during Invisalign treatment because the trays can be removed for brushing and flossing. Unlike with traditional braces, there are no brackets and wires to interfere with the oral hygiene routine.

Additionally, the trays are removed for eating, which means that patients can continue to enjoy corn on the cob and caramel apples and all of the rest of their favorite foods during treatment. Of course, thorough brushing or rinsing after meals is important to ensure that food particles aren’t trapped underneath the trays.

Invisalign treatment may take less time than conventional braces, as well. When the trays are worn as recommended—between 20 and 22 hours daily—adult patients can complete treatment in as little as a year. The timeline for adolescents is similar to the traditional approach, but results may be noticeable sooner because the teeth are not obscured by the appliances.

The Invisalign technology has improved since the system was first introduced, and increasingly complex cases can be treated using this method. If you would like to improve your smile but don’t want to bother with braces, contact the office of Dr. Paul Lounsberry to see if Invisalign might be an option for you.

Posted in: Invisalign

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How dental implants provide permanent tooth replacement

Thanks to advances in dental care, many patients expect to keep their natural teeth well into their golden years. However, teeth may be lost before then for any number of reasons, such as advanced decay or injury. Patients in such situations want a durable, permanent solution.

Fortunately, dental implants offer a long-term tooth replacement option. Implants are tiny screws that are made of titanium, which is bio-compatible, allowing the implant to fuse with the bone. This process, known as osseointegration, gives dental implants more strength and stability in comparison to tooth replacement alternatives, such as bridges and dentures.

In North Austin, dental implants are increasingly popular among patients due to their numerous advantages over other tooth replacement methods. Implants look and feel more like natural teeth, and for the most part, they can be maintained in the same fashion, too.

Over the years, implant dentistry has continued to improve upon dental implant technology, and these efforts have resulted in a product that serves as the ultimate solution in terms of form and function. The artificial crown or cap that sits atop the implant is a realistic approximation of a biological tooth, and the implant itself replaces the structure of the missing tooth’s root.

In fact, that aspect of functionality is a major factor in the permanence of dental implants. When the tooth’s root is absent, the jaw bone begins to recede because it no longer has a structure that serves as an anchor. So, when teeth are replaced using a method that does not replicate the root in addition to the crown, bone loss may cause those methods to fail. For example, in denture wearers, the shape of the jaw bone changes so dramatically that the patient must be re-fitted for new dentures after several years.

Dental implants also have no impact on surrounding teeth, unlike bridges, which require crowns to be placed on adjoining teeth. Healthy enamel must be shaved from the teeth to accommodate those crowns.

If you need to have a single tooth or multiple teeth replaced, consider dental implants in North Austin for a fix that will be long-lasting. To learn more about dental implants and to schedule a consultation, please call Balcones Family Dental at 512-331-9088.

Posted in: dental implants

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