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Posts for tag: orthodontics

By Kirkland Smiles Dental Care
April 23, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces   orthodontics   invisalign  

If you're older than 10, you've probably never said, "I wish I could wear cool silver braces!" Although traditional braces offer an effective invisalignway to straighten teeth, they're not exactly attractive. Invisalign offers a much more discreet way to straighten your teeth and improve your bite. Our Kirkland, WA, dentist, Dr. Bernard Pak, explains how the innovative orthodontic system works.

No wires, no problem

Unlike ceramic or metal braces, Invisalign doesn't use wires and brackets to reposition teeth. The system relies on a series of clear, removable aligner trays that exert constant gentle pressure on teeth. Each set in the series is custom-designed for you by Dr. Pak in his Kirkland office using CAD/CAM technology. After two weeks of wear, you'll replace your set with the next one in the series.

Invisalign offers a more comfortable orthodontic experience

Adjustments are an important part of traditional orthodontic treatment, but they can be a little painful. No adjustments are needed with Invisalign. Your aligner trays gradually change the position of your teeth, ensuring that your orthodontic experience is much more comfortable. You also won't have to worry about cuts to your mouth or tongue due to loose brace wires.

Frowning doesn't have to be your default facial expression

Because your Invisalign trays are transparent, you'll never feel that you have to hide your teeth during your treatment. Trays are created from digital images, impressions, and X-rays of your teeth to ensure that they fit snugly. They won't interfere with your speech or attract attention to your smile. In fact, your friends may not even realize that you're straightening your teeth.

Aligner trays make eating and oral hygiene easy

Popcorn, gum, sticky foods, and hard raw vegetables are among the foods you'd have to avoid if you chose traditional braces. All of those foods can damage wires or get stuck in wires and brackets. Fortunately, you don't have to stay away from your favorite foods when you wear Invisalign aligner trays. You'll take out the trays when you eat or drink anything other than water and can continue to eat anything you want. Your oral hygiene routine won't change either, as you'll also remove your trays before you brush and floss.

Are you ready to improve your smile with Invisalign? Call our Kirkland, WA, dentist, Dr. Pak, at (425) 893-9500 to schedule an appointment.

By Kirkland Smiles Dental Care
May 11, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces   orthodontics   invisalign  

If you have gapped, misaligned or crowded teeth, you can achieve a straighter smile without metal braces. Invisalign is an innovative invisalignalternative for straightening your smile that utilizes removable, clear trays that are practically invisible. There are no uncomfortable and unsightly metal brackets and wires. Invisalign trays can be custom made for you at Kirkland Smiles Dental Care. There, Dr. Bernard Pak, your Kirkland, WA, dentist, will create a mold of your teeth that will be used to create custom Invisalign trays just for you.

How Invisalign Works

Invisalign straightens and aligns the teeth with soft, flexible trays. One tray is placed over the top row of the teeth and another along the bottom row. The trays gently guide the teeth toward the desired position. Patients receive a new set of trays every few weeks. Each new set is slightly different from the previous one, which helps the teeth continue moving into position. The average length of time needed to straighten the teeth with Invisalign is between nine and fifteen months. While wearing Invisalign, you’ll see your Kirkland dentist every six weeks.

Advantages of Invisalign

There are several advantages to choosing Invisalign for achieving a straighter smile. Instead of the metal brackets and wires of traditional braces, Invisalign trays are soft and flexible. The trays are composed of a soft plastic material so there are no uncomfortable metal wires poking the mouth or brackets rubbing against the gums. Additionally, the trays are clear, which means they are barely noticeable. Metal braces, on the other hand, are silver and readily visible.

One of the most significant advantages of Invisalign trays is that they are removable. They can be taken out to eat, drink, brush and floss. Since they can be removed to eat and drink, there is no worry of food particles becoming trapped in the trays. With traditional metal braces, food particles are easily trapped between brackets and wires. Further, removing the trays to brush and floss makes it easier to thoroughly clean the teeth and maintain good oral health.

With Invisalign, you can achieve a straighter smile without metal braces. The many advantages of Invisalign make it an easy choice. The soft trays are comfortable and you can straighten your teeth discreetly since they are clear. To find out if Invisalign is right for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Pak, your dentist in Kirkland, WA, by calling Kirkland Smiles Dental Care at (425) 893-9500.

By Kirkland Smiles Dental Care
March 14, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
MasterIllusionistBenefitsfromtheMagicofOrthodontics

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.”

By Kirkland Smiles Dental Care
May 27, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Tags: celebrity smiles   gap   orthodontics  
FixingthatGapinyourTeeth

We all know Madonna, Seal, David Letterman, Anna Paquin and Michael Strahan (of the talk show Kelly and Michael). What do all of these celebrities have in common? Each has a “signature gap” between their front teeth. Given that they have been in the public eye for quite some time, it's not likely that these famous faces will choose to change their well-known smile. In fact, Michael Strahan has publically stated that he will never close his gap.

However, it is not uncommon for people to desire to fix a small gap in their teeth, particularly in advance of important events, such as weddings. Often times, fixing this small gap requires relatively simple orthodontic movements or tooth straightening. Since the teeth don't have to be moved very far, we can usually use simple appliances to correct the issue within a few months.

In order for us to determine your course of treatment, you'll need to make an appointment with our office for a thorough examination. When we examine you, we'll be looking for a number of items that will affect our treatment recommendation:

  • Is there enough room to close the space without creating other bite problems?
  • Are the roots of the teeth in reasonably good position to allow for minor tooth movement to close the space? X-rays will be required to make a proper assessment.
  • Is there an involuntary tongue habit that has pushed the teeth forward and created the gap? If so, this could be difficult to fix quickly.
  • Are the surrounding gum tissues and bone healthy?

Based on our assessment and your individual needs, we may recommend one of the following options:

  • Clear retainers, a computer-generated series of clear retainers customized for your bite to move the teeth
  • Removable orthodontic retainers to which we will attach small springs or elastics to facilitate the minor tooth movement
  • Traditional fixed orthodontic appliances (most commonly known as braces), small metal or clear brackets bonded to your teeth through which tiny wires are used to move the teeth

Regardless of the method we choose, once your teeth have moved into the new position, it is important for you to remember that they must be kept in this position until the bone stabilizes around the teeth. We may therefore advise you to wear a retainer for a few months to a few years, depending on your situation.

If you would like more information about orthodontic treatments, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Minor Tooth Movement.”