Monthly Archives: January 2016

3 Reasons Why Orthodontics is Worth the Effort – at Any Age

braces.

Think braces and you may conjure up the image of a teenager undergoing what is for many adolescents a rite of passage. But while correcting poor bites (malocclusions) is usually optimal between pre-adolescence and early adulthood, it’s just as viable an option for older adults.

Still, many people in their later years with malocclusions think orthodontics isn’t worth the bother — it’s simply too late for them or they don’t want the “embarrassment” of wearing metal braces at their age. But even if you’re older, it’s worth reconsidering treating that bad bite. Here are 3 reasons why.

Misaligned teeth can affect your oral health. If your teeth are out of position, then they will be much harder to keep clean, and may wear down at a higher rate than normally aligned teeth. You may also find chewing your food becomes easier with a straighter bite, which can improve your overall nutrition.

A More Aesthetic Option to Metal Braces. One of the biggest concerns for many older adults is the thought of wearing metal braces for an extended time. Clear aligners are a more attractive alternative. They are a series of computer-generated incremental clear plastic trays: each tray is worn for about two weeks moving teeth a small distance before changing to the next tray in the sequence until the end of treatment. Not only are they much less noticeable than metal braces, they can be removed for easier oral hygiene, or even for a rare special occasion.

Age Really isn’t a Factor. Not everyone is a good candidate for orthodontics. A person’s level of bone volume is a major consideration: if they have significant bone loss successful tooth movement may not be possible. Systemic conditions like diabetes, severe heart-valve disease or leukemia, or drugs for arthritis or osteoporosis can also make treatment difficult if not out of the question. But, if you’re in reasonably good health with adequate bone support, there’s no reason you can’t undergo orthodontics — at any age.

If you would like more information on orthodontic treatment at any age, please contact us by calling (815) 741-1700 for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Orthodontics for the Older Adult.”

David Copperfield on the Magic of Cosmetic Dentistry

smile.

If you could seem to levitate, walk through walls, or make the Statue of Liberty disappear… would it really matter whether or not you had a bright, shiny smile? According to David Copperfield, who has performed all of these illusions (and many more), the answer is: Yes, absolutely! In a recent interview with Dear Doctor magazine, the renowned magician talked about how a smile affects the way you’re seen by others — and the way you see yourself.

“Whether you’re in a job interview, or on stage, or just walking down the street, it can influence how people react to you, when they see you‘re happy,” he said. “And a smile is a beacon of that.”

As a veteran performer with a decades-long career, Copperfield understands the importance of a great-looking smile — not only to those who see you, but to your own self-esteem. “It’s not just appearance, it’s how you feel about yourself,” he noted.

Although he makes it look easy, Copperfield explained that it takes plenty of work behind the scenes to make the illusions appear natural. And at various times, when his dazzling smile has needed some touching up, the masterful magician hasn’t hesitated to take advantage of a different kind of magic: the kind offered by cosmetic dentistry.

What kinds of “magic tricks” can dentists do? Cosmetic procedures range from easy and effective teeth whitening to cosmetic bonding, which can repair small chips or cracks with tooth-colored resin. A smile that is crooked can be straightened with traditional or colorless braces, or by using clear plastic aligners that fit right over the teeth and are nearly invisible. Teeth that are more seriously stained or damaged can be restored with crowns or veneers. And teeth that have “disappeared” can be replaced with modern dental implants or traditional bridgework.

But the best thing about these “tricks” is that they aren’t illusions: Dentists work hard to preserve and restore your natural teeth whenever it is possible, and offer natural looking, long lasting replacements when it isn’t. That means, with proper oral hygiene care and routine office visits, a great-looking smile can be yours for life. And that’s not “magic”… it’s reality!

If you have questions about cosmetic dentistry, or would like to talk about having a “smile makeover,” contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Cosmetic Dentistry” and “The Impact of a Smile Makeover.”