iTero® Scanner and Pregnancy: Is It Safe?

The iTero® Scanner is completely radiation-free, which makes it safe for pregnant women.

What is the iTero® Scanner?

The iTero® Scanner is a digital device that takes a 3D picture of your mouth, allowing orthodontists and dentists to get a full picture of your mouth and teeth. The iTero® Scanner has changed the face of dentistry to make treatments from orthodontics to restoration easier and faster. In addition to its safety, another advantage of the iTero® Scanner is that dental professionals can show patients the results of the planned treatments before they even begin.

The iTero® Scanner is an advanced optical impression system that records topographical images of teeth and oral tissue. It is an integral part of the Invisalign® orthodontic system and is being used with other types of braces and basic dental x-rays because of its ease and safety.

The iTero® Scanner combines the scanner with computer software to capture 3D images of a person’s teeth, soft tissue, and the structure of the mouth as well as the patient’s bite. As the images are taken the software processes the data so that it can help create the aligner trays for the orthodontic treatment. The process of taking the digital x-rays is much faster than using traditional impressions – even if repeat pictures are needed.

Why Use the iTero® Scanner?

In addition to the safety, there are many benefits to using the iTero® Scanner

  • No messy and yucky goop
  • Immediate images
  • Accurate results, better fitting treys
  • Pregnancy-safe

Let Your Orthodontist Know You are Pregnant

It is important to let your orthodontist know you are pregnant. Optimal oral health is vital for everyone, especially during pregnancy. Orthodontics not only offers cosmetic benefits, but it also brings teeth into alignment to ensure effective oral hygiene.

If you are considering orthodontics and are pregnant, there is no reason to put off treatment. The advances in today’s market make dental care safe for everyone. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

5 Things Adults with Braces are Sick of Hearing

We’ve outlined some of the most common questions and inquiries our adult patients with braces face as they return to their lives after having their braces put on (with some spot-on responses).

#1: “Did you not wear your retainer when you were younger?”

Our suggested response: “Of course, I wore my retainer. My teeth shifted, so I decided to invest in my smile again. Would you like my orthodontist’s contact information?”

#2: “How long do you have to wear them?”

Our suggested response: “I’m not sure, but if I follow the instructions and do what the orthodontist says, it shouldn’t be long. I’m looking forward to the results. I know I’ll smile all the time!”

#3: “Do you and your kids have the same orthodontist?”

Our suggested response: “Yes, as a matter of fact, we do. He’s great and does an amazing job. Let me know if you would like the phone number to make an appointment.”

#4: “How do you eat with those things in your mouth?”

Our suggested response: “One of the reasons I wanted Invisalign® was so I could remove the trays when I eat and brush my teeth. My kids have metal braces, so they must be careful with what they eat.”

#5: “You got braces? How old are you?”

Our suggested response: “Braces are not just for kids and teens. I want a confident smile so why shouldn’t I wear them as well?”

Braces are For Adults Too

At Wright Orthodontics we treat a lot of young children, but we also treat a lot of adults. Braces can be right for you regardless of your age. Contact our office to learn how braces might be right for you or someone in your family.

Five Dental Trends to Avoid

It seems that there are a growing number of trends to adorn the body, especially the face. Dental trends continue to make their way onto the scene whether via adornments or unsafe dental care products. We’re all for being fashionable, but some dental trends should just be avoided…

#1: Bedazzled Teeth

Even though you may think it is a creative way to enhance your appearance, bedazzling your teeth can be very dangerous. The risks include slight discoloration that takes place when worn for a short amount of time to more detrimental issues like wearing the protective coating off your teeth. The results leave your teeth open to infections and even permanent damage. We recommend you leave the bedazzles to your clothing.

#2: Creating a Gap Between the Front Teeth

Georgia May Jagger and Vanessa Paradis are just some of the rich and famous who sport a gap in their front teeth. It is important to remember that their gaps are natural and forcing your mouth to create a gap in your teeth can be detrimental to your overall oral health.

#3: Tongue Piercings and Gauges

A tongue gauge is a piercing that is expanded to the size of a hole. Your tongue plays an important role in your ability to eat, chew, swallow, drink and speak. Piercings and gauges threaten the basic function of your tongue and create the possibility of infection and bacteria growth. In addition, the hardware living permanently in your mouth creates a choking hazard.

#4: Grills

Grills are decorative covers that people put over their teeth usually made of gold or another precious metal. Some are even encrusted with stones like diamonds. From Ryan Lochte to Rhianna and even Madonna, celebrities bling their teeth (or one tooth) trying to look cool and individual. However, whether they are permanent or temporary, grills can lead to tooth decay because they interfere with brushing and flossing best practices.

#5: Charcoal Toothpaste

Charcoal can be used to treat a lot of health issues, but we don’t recommend it for whitening your teeth. Charcoal toothpaste scraps away a layer of the tooth enamel making your teeth much more susceptible to future problems.  If you want white, healthy teeth, practice good oral hygiene, see your dentist for professional cleanings and ask about whitening treatments if you think you need it. Leave the charcoal for your grill (the one outside, not the gems on your teeth).

The best way to have a great set of teeth and a healthy mouth is to see a dental professional on a regular basis. Dentists suggest two professional cleanings a year and treatments as needed to correct problems when they arise. Contact us to schedule a consultation and professional cleaning so you can achieve and maintain optimal oral health.

iTero® Scanner vs. Impressions

Have you had to have impressions made of your teeth? It’s one of the first steps taken when getting braces or other restorative dental treatment. The impression is a negative imprint of hard teeth that gives an orthodontist a birds-eye view of the current position of your teeth, so he or she can determine the best treatment plan.

The problem is that the material used is universally understood to be “yucky.” In fact, impressions may be one of the worst parts of braces application… but not at Wright Orthodontics. At our practice we use the iTero® Scanner in place of traditional impressions.

More Accurate Picture

With the iTero® Scanner, not only does an orthodontist get a full picture of the patient’s mouth and teeth, but he or she sees a 3D picture of how the mouth and jaws fit with the entire facial structure.

Reduced Patient Stress

The process of taking traditional impressions is stressful to some patients. If the impression isn’t taken correctly, it must be repeated. With the iTero® Scanner, the digital impressions are taken quickly and accurately, which reduces the stress of being at the dentist or orthodontist.

Much Less Time to Complete

Digital impressions like those taken with the iTero® Scanner take much less time to complete than when using traditional dental impressions. In fact, most often the impressions are taken within about five minutes.

Immediate Results

Because the iTero® Scanner takes impressions digitally, the results are instant, which leads to faster treatment times during appointments.

Less Possibility for Errors

Traditional impressions leave more room for error than digital impressions. Small distortions from the impressions may cause the restoration or orthodontics to be poor fitting. With the iTero® Scanner, trained staff members can see the images immediately and retake them if they are not satisfied with what they see. Furthermore, they can enlarge the image on the screen to get an even better visual of what they want to see.

Dr. Marc S. Wright uses the iTero® Scanner on patients receiving orthodontic treatment with Invisalign® so that he can provide the most accurate images of teeth for the clear aligner trays. If you are interested in finding out more about orthodontics or Invisalign®, contact us today to schedule a consultation.

What to Do If You Break a Bracket

It happens. The brackets on braces sometimes break for various reasons whether brushing too hard or eating the wrong foods. And it never fails — it always seems to happen at the most inopportune moments like the weekend or at night. Don’t panic – we have you covered. There are steps you can take to “fix” a broken bracket until you are able to get in touch with us for an appointment.

Assess the Situation

Look at the bracket and make sure the wire is not poking into your gum (more on this below). If the wire is in place, use a cotton swab to press the bracket into place and use orthodontic wax to hold it there until you can get your child to see us. For brackets that have broken, try and remove it from the wire and bring it to the orthodontist to reapply.

Check Out the Wires

If a bracket in the back has broken, the wire may poke into the gums, which can be painful and cause bleeding. The wires are easy to snip and can be cut back by adults to lessen discomfort. If the wires are too short to cut, use orthodontic wax or a pencil eraser to cover the wire until you can seek care.

Call Our Offices

Call us as soon as possible to let us know what has happened so we can assess the situation over the phone. If it is not too serious, we’ll schedule an appointment the next business day to repair the brackets and continue treatment. For serious issues or breaks, we may ask you to meet the doctor at the office as soon as possible to prevent further injury to your mouth.

Be Careful

It is important to take good care of your braces until you can be seen the following day. Be careful about what you eat sticking to soft foods to avoid further damage. Gargling with salt water is also a good idea to help any abrasions from the brackets or wires heal quickly.

Proper Care = Fewer Issues

Braces are affixed to the teeth with strong adhesive, but there are always exceptions. Doing everything you can to care for your orthodontics is the best way to prevent broken brackets. Follow the instructions we provide to care for your orthodontics and be sure to keep your appointments. We encourage our patients to reach out to Dr. Marc S. Wright with any questions. Contact our office to get your questions answered by a professional.

Associated Risks of Crown Lengthening

When a tooth is cracked, broken or has an aesthetic issue, a crown is often placed over it. A crown is simply a tooth-colored cap that fits over the affected tooth. It restores strength and full function of the tooth.

There are situations in which dentists may recommend increasing the length of a crown. For example, this is a common recommendation for patients with “gummy” smiles. When this procedure is performed, a dentist or periodontist may re-contour the gum and even bone to expose more of the tooth’s surface to securely fit a crown. While it is a safe procedure when performed correctly, there are some risks that should be addressed.

Sensitivity

If you’ve ever experienced tooth sensitivity, you know the feeling. When more of the tooth is exposed, you may have more sensitivity to either hot or cold. For most patients, this is temporary; however, it may be permanent.

Bleeding

Crown lengthening is considered oral surgery which involves bleeding. It typically lasts about an hour following the surgery; however, some patients experience bleeding for longer time periods. If this happens, oral surgeons provide coagulants to help stop this complication.

Risk of Infection

As with any surgery, there is a risk of infection which may affect the tissue or the bone if not treated. This may be due to poor dental hygiene during the recovery or messing with the incisions. Patients may have an infection if they experience the following symptoms: redness, excessive pain, fever, severe swelling or discolored gum tissue. Some of the symptoms are common with surgery, but if they do not resolve themselves or get worse, it is important to call the doctor’s office to check for infection.

Ineffective Procedure

If the procedure is not performed by an experienced dental professional, crown lengthening may result in an ineffective procedure. This happens if the crown is not placed on the tooth securely or the tooth is loose. With an unsuccessful crown lengthening, the outcome may be tooth extraction or make it difficult to place an implant.

Longer Looking Tooth

Immediately following the procedure, the new crown may appear longer than the others. Once the healing process completes and any sensitivity greatly diminishes, the dentist can correct the appearance of the tooth to make it blend with the other surrounding teeth.

Successful Results

Crown lengthening can create or restore a beautiful, confident smile when performed by a qualified professional. The associated risks are easily minimized and preventable when following the directions provided by the professionals performing the procedures. For anyone considering crown lengthening, it is imperative to consult with a qualified dental professional such as an oral surgeon or periodontist.

The Pros and Cons of Mouthwash

Truth be told, mouthwash offers a lot of benefits to those who use it; however, it definitely is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Advantages of Mouthwash

  • Protects from Cavities – Most mouthwash contains fluoride which is also in toothpaste. Fluoride adds a layer of protection against plaque. Additionally, mouthwash kills bacteria that tends to stick to teeth and lead to tooth decay.
  • Helps Prevent Gum Disease – Plaque can easily develop in the areas around the gums especially when people do not floss regularly. While mouthwash is not a replacement for flossing, it provides a little more protection and helps prevent gum disease.
  • Freshens Breath – Ever notice how people take a swig of mouthwash, rinse, spit and then forcibly exhale to feel the mint? Mouthwash freshens breath which in turn makes the mouth feel clean.
  • Whitens Teeth – Some mouthwashes contain teeth whitener to help whiten teeth when used on a continual basis. It’s not meant to be a teeth whitener; however, it can help brighten teeth.
  • Soothes Sores – Canker sores can be so painful. Mouthwash can sooth sores and even help them heal a little faster. Regular use may even aid in preventing them.

Disadvantages of Mouthwash

  • Mouth Irritation – If too much is used, or the mouthwash has alcohol, it may irritate the inside of the mouth.
  • Harmful if Swallowed – With some mouthwashes, the ingredients are harmful if swallowed. While adults know not to swallow, children may not understand and drink it if they can open it. That’s why a child-proof lid is on many bottles of mouthwash.
  • Dries Out Mouths – This mostly pertains to those that contain alcohol and happens to people who use it too much. Alcohol-based mouthwashes can lead to tooth sensitivity and decay.
  • Conceals Other Oral Issues – Chronic halitosis or bad breath is often a symptom of health problems. When someone continuously has bad breath, they should consult with their dentist or doctor for any underlying conditions.

Basically, as with everything, mouthwash has its advantages and disadvantages. There are many types of mouthwash, so the best thing is to talk to a dentist to determine whether it is the best course of action and recommend the best type to use. Just remember… mouthwash is never a substitute or shortcut for proper oral hygiene.

The Proper Hygiene to Take Care of Your Teeth

Orthodontics in Atlanta and Marietta, GASometimes braces can feel like an extra hassle. However, you know the results are worth it. To get to those results, though, you need to take care of your teeth throughout the whole process. Making sure you use proper hygiene can help you get to your beautiful smile easier and faster.

 

Brushing habits

One of the most important factors in oral hygiene is brushing your teeth. People tend to only think about brushing their teeth when they wake up and before they go to bed and maybe after lunch, but this may not enough. When you have braces, you need to brush your teeth more often so that plaque does not build up. The easiest way to form a healthy brushing habit is to brush your teeth after every meal. With retainers, make sure they get ample brushing as well. Brush them at least twice a day.

 

Rinsing

If you are unable to brush, then rinse. Simply rinsing with water can help flush food particles out of your mouth.

 

Ways to keep breath smelling fresh

Bad breath is never fun, and it can be particularly bad when you have braces trapping food and consequently its after-smells in your mouth. Here are some ways to keep your breath smelling fresh:

  • Make sure you brush regularly. Keeping your teeth clean helps take out the smell at its source.
  • Flossing is also a major key in removing those hard to get particles leftover from your meals. If you can’t brush your teeth at the moment, at least rinse your mouth out to get rid of looser particles.
  • Keep your tongue clean. People often forget to brush their tongues, but they can be equal if not worse offenders when it comes to holding bad odors in.
  • Avoid stinky foods. Garlic and onion sit in your mouth and marinate into one bad odor if you aren’t careful.

 

For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact Dr. Marc S. Wright in Atlanta and Marietta, GA at (404) 507-2078.