What are some of the most common orthodontic problems and their appropriate treatment?
We typically see a lot of crowding of the teeth in children who come to see us. They may have overlapping teeth, teeth erupting out of place due to lack of space caused by a relatively small jaw, or large teeth. For the teeth to be aligned ideally, we use braces and sometimes expanders on children, while for adults and older teens, we may opt for Invisalign as a form of treatment. This may take anywhere from a year to two years to complete, depending on the age of the patient and severity of the crowding. Besides crowding, we see other problems, such as protruding teeth or overbites, underbites, open bites, cross-bites, excessive spacing, missing teeth, impacted or late eruption of permanent teeth, and other jaw discrepancies. Most of these issues are treated with braces and the use of appliances, including expanders, headgear, or other more complex devices. Some complex cases may even require jaw surgery from an oral surgeon.
Is it possible to be “too old” for orthodontics?
You can never be too old to begin orthodontic treatment as long as your teeth and gums are in good health and you see a dentist regularly for cleanings and check-ups. Some of our older patients are in their 70s. They have great teeth and gum health that allows them to undergo orthodontic treatment. It is best to check with your dentist to verify that your gums and bone levels are in good health before beginning orthodontic treatment. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends an evaluation for orthodontic treatment as early as age 7. Early detection of orthodontic problems is important in order to take corrective action (Phase 1 treatment) in order to avoid a more difficult treatment later. The typical age for treatment in children is around age 12. This is when all the permanent teeth have fully erupted, including the second molars, also known as 12-year molars.
With today’s improved orthodontic technology, is the treatment time shorter than in years past?
Technology has improved considerably in just the last decade alone. Invisalign, for example, has made significant improvements in product predictability during the last few years. They have improved their proprietary SmartTrack aligner material with SmartForce features and SmartStage technology to provide more predictable, faster tooth movement. This results in more effective and efficient treatment. Our use of the latest (gag-less) iTero 3D scanner provides us with a faster and more accurate digital impression of the teeth resulting in better-fitting aligners and more efficient treatment outcomes. There have also been tremendous innovations in braces, including self-ligating brackets called Empower brackets. These brackets do not require a movable component to hold the wire in place, like those colored elastic “o rings” which are now only used as an option to add color to the brackets. Due to this, there is less friction between the wire and the bracket, allowing the teeth to move faster. We offer clear brackets that look more aesthetic and are popular with our older teen and adult patients.
Besides adults, are teens good candidates for Invisalign?
We treat more than 400 patients a year with Invisalign. Dr. Kanabar is recognized by Invisalign as a Top 1% Doctor VIP Diamond+ Provider, defined as “among the most experienced Invisalign providers in all of North America.” We have seen teens become more aware of Invisalign as a treatment option other than traditional braces. Rather than having wires and brackets, Invisalign uses removable aligners that have been custom-made for the patient’s teeth. Research shows that parents underestimate the extent to which teens feel self-conscious about crooked teeth, and using braces as a solution can exacerbate this lack of confidence. With Invisalign Teen, no one needs to know the patient is straightening his or her teeth, removing a potential source of anxiety and boosting confidence so they can be themselves. We offer a Teen Guarantee in our practice: in six months, if the treatment isn’t going as planned due to lack of compliance in wearing the aligners, we will switch to traditional braces with no upcharge.
Can my treatment be accelerated?
Our practice is the leading provider in Dallas-Fort Worth of AcceleDent, a vibratory orthodontic device clinically proven to speed up orthodontic treatment by as much as 50 percent and reduce discomfort by up to 71 percent. For Invisalign patients, this means switching out aligners weekly rather every two weeks. Patients also feel less discomfort throughout treatment.
About the Expert:
With over 2000 successfully completed Invisalign cases, Dr. Joshika Kanabar has earned the prestigious title of a Top One Percent Doctor, defined by Invisalign as “among the most experienced Invisalign providers in all of North America.” Offering complimentary consultations for both children and adults, Dr. Kanabar utilizes leading-edge technologies including self-ligating metal and clear braces and the latest gag-less iTero 3D Smile Simulator. She is a top provider in Dallas-Fort Worth of AcceleDent, a device proven to expedite treatment by up to 50 percent. She has been in practice for more than 12 years and is the sole practitioner at her friendly, family-run office that has earned countless rave reviews.