Overview for Braces.com -- Your Inside Guide to Braces, Invisalign, and More.
This site provides information about Braces andclear aligners including the popular Invisalign Appliances. Many patients looking at getting Braces are faced with a Pandora's Box of questions ranging from costs, to what sort of Doctor should actually be providing the orthodontic treatment. For Dermatology questions such as acne, skin care, and other issues, please also visit http://derm.com and http://DermInfo.com
So What are the Hot Topics Most Often Asked About in 2012?
Braces or Invisalign ? A Fabulous Smile by any Standard !
What a Beautiful Smile ! Smiles like this
can be attained with Braces, but sometimes traditional braces
can be avoided by using Invisalign or other types of clear style aligners. In addition,
invisiblebraces also known as inside braces,lingual braces, or " ibraces " can be used.
The Invisalign system is a series of clear aligners
used to straighten teeth.
Invisalign aligners are made after the orthodontist takes impressions of your
sends them to a lab. The lab makes the
Invisalign aligners custom made clear aligners
for you using computerized technology.
After a couple of weeks the clear Invisalign
arrive at the office of your orthodontist and the first set of Invisalign
aligners are tried on
The Invisalign aligners are clear
and are barely visible to others compared to
orthodontic Braces with brackets and wires.
With the guidance of your orthodontist, you move to the next set of
Invisalign aligners usually after about 3 weeks. The number of Invisalign aligners will depend
on the individual patient and the orthodontic problem.
Invisalign aligners are generally fairly comfortable. There can be some discomfort or mild
when a new Invisalign aligner is placed as it exerts pressure on the teeth to
move them. Unlike traditional metal
orthodontic Braces, there are no brackets to come off or wires to break and
You may have seen ads for removable clear aligners ( such as
Invisalign ). You will need
discuss your situation with your Orthodontist to see if your smile can be
aligners. If you do not want to wear
traditional metal Braces, other options also include
ceramic clear Braces or perhaps inside invisible Braces worn on the backs of the teeth so that they are
An upper Invisalign Appliance This is used as an Indexing Template for the placement of attachments when needed.
The model shows the Upper Invisalign Appliance fully seated in place and barely noticeable. The Lower Invisalign Appliance is intentionally pulled up a little to allow better visualization.
Close up view on the model of he Upper Invisalign Appliance fully seated in place.
are some disadvantages of Invisalign to consider. The
disadvantages of Invisalign may include:
everyone is a candidate for Invisalign.
The Invisalign system is for adults
used if baby teeth remain. Children and younger teenagers will require the more
orthodontic Braces with metal brackets and wires.
Also the Invisalign system is designed
for only certain tooth movements.
Your Orthodontist will need to determine if you are a candidate for
Invisalign or if you would be better treated with metal Braces or Clear Ceramic Braces.
Major tooth movements, skeletal discrepancies, and extensive crown and bridge treatment can influence whether Invisalign is the right choice for you. It may not be.
cost of Invisalign can sometimes be significantly more than with metal Braces. The computerized custom
clear Invisalign Aligners will result in a lab bill for your orthodontist which is passed on to you in the form of your treatment fee. With traditional orthodontic Braces there is the cost of the brackets and wires, but no such lab bill for your Orthodontist to cover.
Invisalign Aligners are removable and require motivation to be worn consistently.
You will need to decide if you have the self discipline to wear the Invisalign Aligners or if you would be better off with non-removable clear Ceramic Braces
or Invisible Braces which are hidden on the back of your teeth.
the Invisalign Aligners are removable they can
be misplaced. Lost Invisalign Aligners may result in an extra charge by your Orthodontist and may delay treatment until your new custom made Invisalign Aligners are replaced.
Traditional Braces allow for colors of elastics to be placed on the metal brackets. Some people
fun choosing and changing their colors. For example they choose team colors for
football games, or orange and black for Halloween. Invisalign aligners do not involve such traditional colored
patients may experience difficulty adjusting to the feel of the Invisalign Aligners in their mouth. Before spending
the cost of the Invisalign treatment, you should decide if you are a
person who can give some time to adjusting to the new feel of the Invisalign Aligners
few patients may experience some gum irritation with the Invisalign Aligners. You should
your Orthodontist to discuss the problem if you are having pain of your teeth
or gums with Invisalign
you clean your Invisalign Aligners with denture cleaner be sure to discuss any
your Orthodontist first. According to the
American Association of Orthodontists web site:
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received at least 73 reports of
adverse events, including one death, related to the use of denture
cleansers. Allergic reactions and misuse
of the denture cleansers are the leading causes of the adverse events.
denture cleansers include the ingredient persulfate, a known allergen. Literature and research suggest persulfate is
responsible for the reported allergic reactions.
addition, the FDA has also received reports of severe adverse events, including
at least one death, resulting from misuse of the product. Some patients have gargled or swallowed their
cleanser, which has resulted in abdominal pain, vomiting, seizures, hypotension
and difficulty breathing.”
It should be noted that Invisalign specifically mentions that denture cleansers should not be used. They specify that certain appliance cleansers ( which only they sell) should be used. These Invisalign brand cleansers in and of themselves are relatively expensive ( just under $ 100 USD) in comparison to traditional cleansers used for orthodontic retainers and dentures.
In case the Invisalign should not work out for you, then the other options to consider are Invisible Braces, sometimes also called " iBraces ", which are hidden Braces on the back of the teeth, or Clear Braces sometimes also called Ceramic Braces.
Of course, small metal Braces are also always available as well.
Happy Invisalign Patient
It is important to read and think critically. Just as one would not necessarily accept and believe everything seen on a television commercial, one needs to be careful about the claims and information about Braces and Invisalign available at many websites as well.
Just a quick word about all these websites devoted
to Braces, Invisalign, and Orthodontic treatment.
Websites are designed for different purposes. Some provide entertainment such as gaming,
while others allow you to buy or sell things. The purpose for Braces.com is to
educate and provide clear, unbiased, uncensored information. With so much
available on the internet, it is important to critically read and think about
all that information. Finding and establishing the facts may not be as easy as
It seems that "Facts" about Braces are available in many different styles and flavors.
Marshall McLuhan wrote: "
Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man " and coined the now famous
phrase "The medium is the message." Internet websites are now the ultimate
medium, but McLuhan's message from 1964
is still true.
explain the point, he used the example of a light bulb and compared it to a
television or a newspaper. A TV has content, as does a magazine or newspaper,
but a light bulb is a medium with no content.
Nevertheless, it can light up the night, changing an environment so that
people can now see things which previously were invisible in complete darkness.
A light bulb can create a new environment just by its presence. Moreover, the
type of light bulb, or medium, can
affect how we see and perceive
things. A high power light bulb
may allow you to see far more than a weaker one. A white bulb will show a red
flower to be red, where as a red light
bulb will make a red flower appear very differently.
And so it
is with internet webpages. I have
listed Ten Key Factors which I hope will
help you when browsing health care related web sites which focus on Orthodontic
care, including braces and Invisalign.
Don't be guilty of "MacThinking", and no I am not referring to the Apple MacIntosh.
1. Does a Braces or Orthodontic Manufacturer own or run the Website
Is it a
company which is reviewing or describing its own products? For example, it should not be a surprise if just about everything you read
about "ABC Orthodontic Braces" on their own company website is positive. Companies are in
business to sell products and make money, and their focused approach is
understandable. If one
searches Google for the term " Braces " many of the top ranking web
pages turn out to be slick corporate sponsored productions. The consumer
therefore may or may not be receiving truthful and unbiased information.
Be aware of this and understand the limitations and scope of the
information you are getting.
2. Is the Website there just to make Money ?
seen websites with moderate amounts of information on Braces but laced with intense
advertising. Links require one to sit through a short pop up advertisement
before getting to the targeted material. Such sites often are not run by companies or doctors, but by entrepeneurs,
and the information may be old and dated, and not cutting edge.
3. Is this a Doctor's Personal Website ?
or may not be a good thing. On certain search engines such as Google or Yahoo, if one types in a keyword such as Braces or Invisalign, sponsored links will come up. Doctors will often pay Google for example to place their "advertisement website" at the top under the "sponsored category". Such websites often have the primary mission of
driving patients to a doctor's office.
While there is nothing wrong with this, the information presented is
often simply cut and paste generic information developed for the doctor by website developers. Others may simply link to an Orthodontic Manufacturer's website. Some doctors' websites use cut and paste information simply supplied by Mega Orthodontic Company A or
Mega Orthodontic Company B. Many other such
websites feature generic clinical pictures of smiling children, and a website
for a doctor in Los Angeles may end up sharing the same pictures as another
website for a doctor in New York.
4. Who is the Doctor and what is he/she
trying to say or do ?
Orthodontic industry, many companies use
( and pay or reimburse ) doctors for being spokespersons for their Braces and other products.
This is similar to Tiger Woods promoting Nike
sporting goods. There is nothing wrong with this, but understand where the
person is coming from. A doctor who gives raving testimonials about a certain
type or brand of Braces but he or she may not have an unbiased point of
view. That doctor may in fact be receiving
endorsement money from a manufacturer to lecture on these products or promote their virtues
on their own website.
5. Who is the Doctor and what are their Qualifications
comes to offering Orthodontic treatment, not all doctors are the same. For the General Dentists offering Orthodontics, some have pursued additional
coursework, and attained fellowships in such organizations as the Academy of
General Dentistry. Other General Dentists, because they are legally permitted to perform orthodontics, also offer orthodontic services without
necessarily having the experience and depth of clinical training of other more
widely trained General Dentists or Orthodontic Specialists ( Orthodontists
). The websites may or may not clearly
spell out how well trained the doctor is, and additional questions may be
Does the website clearly spell out whether the Doctor is a General Dentist or an Orthodontic Specialist (Orthodontist) ? Be cautious. Dentistry in 2008 is now very complex, and no one doctor, specialist or generalist, is able to know and do it all. Draw your own conclusions about the hype and overstatement of many of these supposed " Super-Doctors".
6. Clinical Data and Testimonials.
been said that the Devil can quote Scripture for his own purposes. Moreover,
saying so does not necessarily make it so. If a product is " Doctor
Recommended ", just what does that
mean ? Research involving human subjects is very difficult and often involves limited
numbers of trial subjects. A "finding" may not be statistically significant,
although clinical versus statistical significance is an area that can also be
7. Does the Product, Service, or Treatment
Apply to Me ?
careful that in the heat of marketing that you are not being sold something
that you do not need, or which may not be effective in treating your condition.
Orthodontic related appliances such as those to treat sleep apnea, snoring, TMJ
symptoms, headaches, and more may or may not be effective. Surgical or other more profound medical intervention
may be needed. Invisalign, for example,
may be an excellent choice for some Orthodontic patients, but not for
8. Are you being "Oversold" or
experiencing " Bait and Switch " ?
American television and media advertising have promoted BMW automobiles as
"The Ultimate Driving Machine", but do you really need a BMW ? If you
live in the city you may not need a car at all. Clear braces or Invisalign may
sound great, but other Orthodontic alternatives may in fact be more appropriate
for your particular situation. In many
circumstances Orthodontic treatment likely is the most desirable
solution for an "Orthodontic problem" . However, some websites would
have you believe that cosmetic dentistry
which they call " Instant Orthodontics" to "fill the gaps
and correct the crowding" with cosmetic dentistry is the best solution.
This instant solution may come at the grave expense of having to reduce the size and shaper of teeth by drilling and grinding into sound healthy tooth enamel. Carefully analyze the pros and cons.
9. Are you looking for a General Dentist or
an Orthodontist ?
Don't be Misguided.
people use websites to locate a General Dentist or dental specialist (Orthodontist).
Understand that many doctors pay not so small sums of money to place themselves
highly on the sponsored sections of certain internet website search engines.
All Orthodontists are dentists. Not all dentists are Orthodontists. All Dermatologists are physicians for example, but not all physicians are Dermatologists. The choice of where you want to obtain your skin care or orthodontic care is up to you. You can choose to go to a General Practitioner or a Specialist. The important thing is that you know the difference and what you are getting.
10. Information Changes Quickly and so should a
Never before has the future so rapidly become the past" --