Alert – The Danger of Gap Bands to Close Space

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The world wide web places information about everything right at our fingertips. You can find instructions on how to do just about anything, even minor orthodontics. Unfortunately, those instructions rarely review the risks and potential negative sequelae.  Case in point is this blog post from the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. Believe it or not, a rubber band placed around the front teeth to close a space can migrate towards the root and become embedded underneath the gum. In the case shown in the blog post, the patient actually lost their front teeth from this. This is just one example of potential negative consequences of “self remedies” for orthodontic problems. At bare minimum, it never hurts to have a complimentary consultation to see if orthodontic treatment is right for you.

Why Should I See an Orthodontist to Straighten My Teeth?

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In today’s market, more and more general dentists are dabbling in aspects of dentistry which were historically confined to specialists. This is especially the case in orthodontics. For the average patient or parent, who to trust for their orthodontic needs can be a daunting question. Should I see my general dentist who I have known for years? She said she could do it. Should I see the person that my friend sees that does orthodontics but isn’t an orthodontist? After all it is cheaper. Or, should I see an orthodontist?

It is so hard for the average person to sort out the inside baseball aspect of dentistry and the laws that govern our profession. In the state of California, any person with a dental license can provide orthodontic treatment. Believe it or not, there is no certification requirement. Even with no experience at all, a licensed dentist can legally perform orthodontics. Only somebody that has a orthodontic certificate from an accredited orthodontic program can call themselves an orthodontist. But, any dentist can name their practice with orthodontics in the title (e.g. Last Name Orthodontics). How can the average person figure any of this stuff out?

The dental sherpa recently had a great post that answers the question, why should I see an orthodontist for my orthodontic needs? The succinct answer, education. That is what differentiates the specialist, whether medical or dental, from the nonspecialist. Dr. Krieger so astutely points out:

The average non-specialist dentist simply doesn’t “know what they don’t know” about orthodontics, so they naturally believe that they have the right answers for what appear like “simple” cases when they might be more complex. The outcomes can be disastrous.

Some of the best examples of disastrous orthodontic treatment are quick treatment offerings. There is nothing magical about 6 month smiles or Fast Braces. They are systems that attempt to automate the first 6 months of orthodontic treatment. They are designed for somebody that does not know how to position braces or manipulate wires, something that any orthodontist should be able to do in their sleep. They are geared toward aligning teeth, which is often the easiest aspect of orthodontic treatment. They fail to address occlusion (the bite), which has long lasting implications for dental health. 

In the end it truly is education that differentiates the specialist and non specialists. It is also what differentiates as specialist from one another. There are practitioners that practice as they were educated their entire career. While others strive to continually improve upon their knowledge base. The outcome is often higher quality patient care. 

Every patient deserves to have a beautiful and healthy smile. It is important that each patient chooses the doctor and office that they feel will offer high quality care in conjunction with the service and atmosphere that fit their desires. But, you owe it to yourself to see an orthodontic specialist as it may be to your benefit.

Impression free Orthodontics – 3D Printing in Orthodontics

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We are proud to announce that we are in the process of eliminating dental impressions (or dental molds) in our offices. Impressions are used to create plaster replicas of the teeth for retainers and orthodontic appliances. Currently, we have reduced the number of impressions that we take by 50% and intend on completely eliminating impressions by the end of the year (2016). 

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So how can we bypass these pesky impressions? By taking advantage of 3D scanning technology (which we have used for 4 years now), and stereolithography printing, we can scan the mouth and use a 3D printer to obtain a perfect duplicate of the teeth. All of this without sticky and gooey impressions and plaster models.

At Humphries Orthodontics it is our mission to utilize tried and true techniques in conjunction with the latest technology in order to confer the best possible care. We don’t use the newest thing just for the sake of newness. It is essential that the technology confer an advantage to our patients. In this instance, the retainers and appliances have a more precise fit. Of course, it also allows us to eliminate one of the most unpleasant parts of orthodontic treatment. There are so many benefits to this technology.

We are extremely excited to be offering this technology (3D scanning and now 3D printing) to our patients. We are one of the few offices nationwide utilizing this technology. 

Humphries Orthodontics awarded with the 2015 Patients’ Choice Award.

We are very proud to announce that Humphries Orthodontics has been awarded a Patients’ Choice Award. We are very proud to have have received this recognition. Thank you to all of our patients without whom this award would have never been possible. Congratulations to Dr. Alene Humphries and all of the Laguna Niguel Humphries Orthodontics staff. 

Top dentists in Laguna Niguel, CA 2015
Voted 2015’s best Dentist in Laguna Niguel, CA
Verified by Opencare.com

Interproximal Reduction Video – What is Interproximal Reduction (IPR)

 
There are many uses of interproximal reduction in orthodontics. There are also many different names. Some of the names include:
  • Interproximal Reduction (IPR)
  • Stripping
  • Polishing or Interproximal Polishing
  • Filing

IPR can be used to assist with the resolution of crowding or to assist with balancing a tooth mass discrepancy. IPR can also be used to reduce dark triangles (exposed gingival embrasures) that occur when previously overlapped teeth are aligned and there is bone loss between the teeth. By creating the space the teeth can be moved closer together so as to reduce the width of the dark triangle.

Patients can become fearful when they hear, “polishing between the teeth.” This short film highlighting IPR illustrates just how easy it is. In many instances it takes just a few seconds in order to complete the IPR between two teeth.

Propel Orthodontic Therapy: Accelerated Orthodontic Treatment

Did you know that today there are a number of ways in which you can speed up orthodontic treatment? One way of increasing the the rate of tooth movement is with Propel therapy. By making small osteoperforations with Propel’s patented device, a biological response is stimulated which can reduce treatment time by as much as 50%. At first glance the process appears to be invasive. Contrary to initial impressions, the treatment is extremely simple and essentially painless. This is a short video which depicts each stage of Propel therapy. The steps include:

  • Disinfection with an antimicrobial rinse
  • Anesthesia with a topical anesthetic
  • Propel Therapy

To find out more you can visit the Propel Orthodontics website.

Humphries Orthodontics Invisalign Summit 2014 – Iron Records

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Every two years Align Technologies, parent company of Invisalign, hosts a three day conference to educate doctors on the state of the art of their clear aligner appliance. Prior to this year’s event, Align Technologies identified Humphries Orthodontics as one of four offices in North America that consistently produced the fastest 3D intraoral scan times with the iTero scanner. As such, our very own Aileen Maffei was asked to compete in the Iron Records challenge on stage at the Invisalign Summit in front of more than 2500 people. 

We are especially proud of Aileen and her effort during the competition. As an office we are so proud to have been involved. Thank you to Daniel, our territory Invisalign sales rep (pictured above), David Rodriguez, and the rest of Align Technologies for allowing us to participate in the 2014 Iron Records competition. Congratulations Aileen!

Congratulations Aileen!!!

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Over this past weekend our Aileen was happily married to long time boyfriend/fiance Adam. The entire office staff was in attendance to celebrate the happy couple. The reception was extremely heart felt and the reception was an absolute blast. Feel free to congratulate Aileen on her recent nuptials during your next visit to the office. We are all so happy for Aileen and Adam!