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Posts for tag: clear aligners

Cosmetic dentistry is a particular branch of dentistry that focuses on improving the appearance of patients’ smiles. A wide range of services is available for addressing different types of concerns, including gaps between teeth. In Woodbridge, VA, cosmetic dentistry is offered at Occoquan Smiles. Our experienced team of dentists can recommend specific procedures for closing the gaps in your smile.

Cosmetic Dentistry Services for Fixing Gaps

We have several methods for fixing gaps between teeth at our general and cosmetic dentistry office in Woodbridge, VA. Some procedures and services that can close gaps in the smile include:

Dental Bonding: Small gaps between teeth are filled with a tooth-colored resin material that permanently bonds to the teeth. After applying the resin, a special curing light is used to harden it. Once dry, the resin blends in with the rest of your smile, and the gap will be gone. Dental bonding can also be used to repair teeth that are chipped or cracked.

Porcelain Veneers: Wafer-thin laminate covers that are bonded to the front surface of teeth to improve their appearance. Veneers can be used to conceal small gaps between teeth. They can also conceal other types of imperfections, such as stains or discolorations.

Crowns: A dental crown is a hollow tooth-like cap that is placed over a tooth to improve its appearance. In some cases, placing a crown over a tooth can fix a small gap. Crowns can also improve the appearance of teeth that are crooked, misshapen, or discolored. Additionally, crowns can strengthen and protect damaged teeth, as well as restore function in teeth too weak to bite and chew food.

Invisalign Clear Aligners: Another option for fixing gaps between teeth is Invisalign clear aligners. Custom clear aligner trays are worn over the teeth and gently exert pressure on them so they gradually move into the desired position over time.

Other Ways Cosmetic Dentistry Can Help

In addition to fixing gaps between teeth, cosmetic dentistry can address many other problems with your smile. Some of the cosmetic issues that can be improved with the right treatment or procedure include:

  • Cracked or chipped teeth
  • Dull, stained, or discolored teeth
  • Crowded/overlapping teeth
  • Odd or misshaped teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • A gummy smile

Cosmetic dentistry can fix gaps between your teeth, as well as many other smile concerns. Our skilled dentists can recommend certain services and procedures to help you achieve the smile you desire. For cosmetic dentistry in Woodbridge, VA, call Occoquan Smiles at (703) 490-9094.

NotJazzedAboutWearingBracesConsiderClearAlignersInstead

Wearing orthodontic braces brings challenges to daily life. During treatment a patient will need to avoid certain foods and habits, take more time to brush and floss properly, and may endure occasional discomfort. But the effect of metal braces on appearance can be especially difficult, especially for peer-conscious teens.

Clear aligners, though, offer an alternative to braces that could make some of these challenges easier, particularly with your appearance. Aligners are clear plastic trays that fit over the teeth to move them. They can be removed by the wearer for easier brushing and flossing or for special occasions. Best of all, they're much less noticeable than metal braces.

Clear aligners were developed thanks to advances in digital technology. An orthodontist uses a computer application incorporating the data from photographs, x-rays or CT scans of a patient's teeth and jaws to produce a series of clear plastic trays. The patient then wears each tray for about two weeks before changing to the next tray in the sequence.

The trays apply pressure much like metal braces to gradually move teeth to the desired position on the jaw. Each tray is slightly smaller in size than the previous tray in the sequence, so that the progression of tooth movement continues with each succeeding tray. The treatment time is about the same as with conventional braces.

This new orthodontic tool works well for many common bite problems, but until recently they've been limited in scope. But new designs in trays and attachments called buttons added to teeth to provide more leverage have greatly increased their use for more complex bite issues.

Clear aligners also have one other disadvantage, ironically due to one of their principal benefits, removability. Although they can be taken out, they must be worn consistently to achieve results. Some younger patients may not have the maturity level and discipline to responsibly wear their aligners as they should.

That's one issue you'll need to discuss with your orthodontist if you're considering clear aligners for your teen. But if they can maintain wearing consistency, and they have a bite problem that can be corrected with aligners, both you and your teen may find this choice more agreeable and attractive than braces.

If you would like more information on clear aligners, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Clear Aligners for Teens.”