ASK THE DOCTOR
by DR. SHIKHA BATRA, D.M.D
With the newest, greatest, and most cutting-edge technology, the answer is yes. In many instances, your crooked teeth can be corrected!
The process of straightening “crooked” or misaligned teeth has come a long way since the age of “a mouth full of metal.” Traditional straightening of teeth or “orthodontics” have seen major and remarkable improvements in methods, materials, and technology in recent years.
The most recent and innovative method involves the careful, precise, and professional placement of a series of clear aligner trays (much like bleaching trays). Over a period of a few months, it is absolutely possible to achieve a healthy, properly aligned, functional, and cosmetically perfect smile!
The actual technology of “straightening teeth” has become so advanced that now, a few quick photos of your teeth (using an iPhone) are loaded on an app and, voila! Within five minutes you are told whether or not you are a candidate for the “express straightening procedure” (i.e. Invisalign GO). This procedure is approximately half the cost and duration of traditional treatment. What a breakthrough!
Next, impressions of the teeth are obtained by expert and qualified professionals. Finally, within just a few short days, clear trays are custom fabricated and professionally fitted to correct crooked teeth. Depending upon the duration of treatment recommended, regular visits are required to change out trays and carefully monitor the progress of treatment. The results are truly “magical!”
What are you waiting for? Schedule a consultation with your dental health care provider to see if you are a candidate. As a side note, this is a great time and opportunity to utilize health care saving accounts, as you risk losing what you don’t spend before the end of the year.
As an adult, what are some complications of crooked or misaligned teeth long term? To name a few: cold sensitivity; chipping or wearing of teeth; food stuck between teeth; difficulty cleaning teeth; “notches” of teeth at the gumline (recession); jaw/muscle/teeth or head pain from an unequal bite; bad breath and “puffy,” sore, irritated and/or bleeding gums leading to bone loss and moving teeth; and – last but not least – simply not being able to smile without feeling self conscious.
Research shows that greater than seven out of 10 adults have a “crooked” smile that can, and often does, lead to these and many other problems.
This well-known research has even prompted more and more dental insurance companies to cover adult orthodontics. Even the insurance companies have realized that it is more beneficial and economic to correct misaligned teeth than to have to “pay out” for more complicated and costly procedures down the line. With teen straightening becoming a faster, more efficient, aesthetic and affordable option, the choice is obvious. Promote and pay for straighter teeth.
Lastly, it is absolutely imperative to stress that this procedure can and should only be done by healthcare providers – in a proper setting. The risks and complications of new age, at-home, do-it-yourself straightening methods are far too great and more often than not, lead to situations that are unable to be corrected. There is an absolute reason that professionals train for many years to perform, achieve, monitor, and maintain predictable, functional, and aesthetic results. Moreover, the professionals are held accountable for this (by law). This protects you – the recipient of a beautiful smile!
So, please consider this the next time you think of becoming a do-it-yourself dentist.
Dr. Shikha Batra is a general and cosmetic dentist in Troy, Michigan. For any further comments, questions, or concerns, feel free to contact her office at 248-362-1100.