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Lincoln Orthodontics

Why You Should Trust Your Family’s Smiles To An Orthodontist

December 20, 2021

If you’ve been thinking about scheduling an orthodontic evaluation for yourself or a family member, you may wonder if your general dentist can do the job or if you should actively seek out an orthodontist. Here at Pioneer Orthodontics, we know that you want nothing but the best for your family, including healthy teeth and a beautiful smile. Our practice is proud to offer expert orthodontic care to patients of all ages throughout our community! Dr. Annette Cserna is a highly trained and skilled orthodontic specialist who has been providing families throughout Lincoln and York with exceptional care for nearly 20 years. 

Extra education, specialized training, more experience

Dentists and orthodontists start off on the same trajectory, with both beginning their careers in dental school. However, once they graduate, dentists will typically begin practicing, while orthodontists must embark on another few years of education specifically for orthodontics. Dr. Cserna spent 11 years training to become an expert in her field. That’s four years of undergraduate education, four years of dental school, and three years of orthodontic residency training. 

During this time, she learned about the way our mouths grow and mature, developed specific diagnostic skills, and worked on a number of case studies. She also received training in biomechanical techniques and how to successfully move the teeth with braces, aligners, and other appliances. As you can see, becoming an orthodontist is a lengthy process! 

What are the benefits of choosing an orthodontist?

Choosing an orthodontist in Lincoln or York to straighten you or a family member’s smile has a multitude of benefits! These include:

  • a wide variety of treatment options—Pioneer Orthodontics offers traditional metal braces, clear braces, and Invisalign clear aligners
  • a customized treatment plan—Dr. Cserna will base this on your specific needs, lifestyle, and the desired results 
  • a more efficient treatment process—orthodontics is our main focus, which means we can produce the best possible outcome, particularly in complex or severe cases

Our Lincoln and York offices are focused on orthodontic care and treatment, with Dr. Cserna performing teeth straightening procedures every single day. We’re always working to perfect our technique! We keep our team up to date on the latest in industry practice by regularly attending continuing education courses, both in-person and online (a much more popular option these days!) We also keep our office fully equipped with the best and latest in orthodontic technology, all of which allow us to provide the highest-quality care and exceptional results for patients of all ages. 

Choose specialized care for a superior smile

As an orthodontic patient, you’re in charge of your care. It’s up to you to choose the healthcare provider you feel most comfortable with! Dr. Cserna has had specialized education and training in how to safely and effectively move the teeth, plus over 20 years of experience in creating beautiful smiles for patients of all ages. When you choose Pioneer Orthodontics, you can be sure your treatment plan will be time-efficient, affordable, and cater to your unique needs.

Why You Should Trust Your Family's Smiles To An Orthodontist

Trust your family’s smiles to Pioneer Orthodontics

Your family’s smiles are too important to trust just anybody! Our expert Pioneer Orthodontics team is proud to offer patients high-quality service, affordable treatment options, and the latest in orthodontic technology. You’ll enjoy a rewarding process from the first appointment to the last! Since orthodontics is our only specialty, your smile will receive our full attention. 

If you and your family are ready to take the first steps toward a healthier smile, we’d love to schedule your FREE consultation! During this initial visit, you’ll receive a thorough evaluation by Dr. Cserna, including a discussion of any problems and a personalized treatment plan. This is a no-pressure visit! If you decide not to pursue orthodontic treatment immediately, we’ll still be happy to answer your questions and address any concerns you have in order to help you make an informed decision.

Your family deserves the best, including a lifetime of healthy smiles! Get in touch today to schedule your FREE in-office or virtual exam with Dr. Cserna.

Braces or Invisalign, Which is Right for Me?

Braces or Invisalign, Which is Right for Me?

September 30, 2021

Choosing orthodontic treatment for yourself or your family is a great first step to improving oral health, but it can introduce a lot of questions that you may be nervous about answering. After all, it’s a big decision and not one you want to take lightly. You should have as much information as possible about everything the orthodontic process involves before taking the plunge, but you may not be sure where to start. Pioneer Orthodontics is here to help, with the answer to one of the most common questions we get from patients like you in Lincoln and York: “Which is right for me, braces or Invisalign?” 

The expert Pioneer team is committed to helping you explore all the options available to you, and that begins with your initial consultation. Your first visit will give us the chance to discuss any concerns you have about your teeth, as well as:

  • how orthodontic treatment can change your smile
  • which treatment would be the best fit for your needs
  • what payment options are available to you

During your consultation at our office in Lincoln or York, we’ll also outline the differences between our most popular treatments: traditional braces and Invisalign clear aligners. We tend to use these options most frequently, and knowing a bit more about each will help you understand which one would suit your smile needs. Let’s take a look at their pros and cons below!  

The basics of orthodontic treatment

Although they look very different, braces and aligners actually work in much the same way. Both gently apply force to your teeth to move into more optimal positions over time. This aligns your teeth and jaws to give you a fully functional smile that looks great and feels good, too. 

Traditional braces have been around for hundreds of years in various forms, and have a proven track record of successfully correcting a variety of orthodontic issues, from simple to complex. They’re inexpensive and extraordinarily reliable, and today’s braces are smaller and more comfortable than ever.

Invisalign is a more recent treatment method that has become increasingly popular over the last twenty years with teen and adult patients. This new treatment is incredibly comfortable and flexible, and has recently caught up to the versatility and efficiency of brace technology to be appropriate for treating most smiles.

Braces and clear aligners are both excellent options for anyone interested in achieving a healthier smile, but there are some important differences between them.  

Braces or Invisalign, Which is Right for Me?

Traditional braces

Traditional braces are very efficient at correcting a wide range of orthodontic issues and can be especially useful for more severe or complex cases. Because every case is different and each patient responds in their own way, the treatment time will vary from person to person. However, the average patient we see here at Pioneer Orthodontics will usually spend anywhere from 18-36 months in braces.

Unlike Invisalign aligners, which are removable, braces are a fixed appliance. That means they can come with a bit of a learning curve! There are certain foods you’ll need to avoid throughout treatment since crunchy and chewy foods can damage the brackets and wires. 

You’ll also need to make some adjustments to your dental hygiene routine to ensure you’re keeping your teeth, gums, and appliances nice and clean. It can be tricky learning to navigate around braces, particularly where flossing is concerned, but this is an essential part of the treatment process. Fortunately, there are a variety of accessories available to make cleaning easier! 

Traditional metal braces from Pioneer Orthodontics are very adept at fixing a variety of oral issues. In fact, they can sometimes work faster at closing gaps and aligning teeth than other treatments might. Noticeable signs of progress can often be seen in a relatively short amount of time, which can be a real boost to your self-confidence!

Invisalign clear aligners

Invisalign aligners are nearly invisible and they’re also removable, making them the most popular alternative to braces by far. The SmartTrack material Invisalign aligners are made of is smooth and tends to be more comfortable than traditional braces. When worn as directed by Dr. Cserna, Invisalign aligners can be just as efficient as braces at correcting many of the most common orthodontic issues.

Just like braces, the total treatment time for Invisalign patients will vary from case to case, with an average of about 9-18 months. The number of aligners needed to straighten the teeth will also depend on your unique smile, as well as your level of compliance and how your teeth respond to treatment.  

Because Invisalign aligners are removable, you have an extra measure of freedom during treatment. They’re designed to be taken out before eating or drinking anything other than water and should also be removed before brushing and flossing. 

Since you don’t wear your aligners during mealtimes, there are no food restrictions, something our Lincoln and York patients love. You can continue eating all your favorite snacks as long as you’re careful about brushing and flossing afterward, which makes the entire treatment process a bit easier to manage.

The aligners must be worn for 20-22 hours each day and switched out every 1-2 weeks to be successful. Because they’re custom-designed to fit each patient’s unique needs, these frequent changes are necessary to keep up with the shifting of the teeth. Just like braces patients, you’ll be expected to attend follow-up visits with Dr. Cserna every 6-8 weeks or so. Skipping these appointments or missing your scheduled aligner changes can quickly undo any progress you’ve made, so you’ll want to make them a priority!

Braces or Invisalign, Which is Right for Me?

Find the right fit for your smile with Pioneer Orthodontics

When you get right down to it, metal braces and clear aligners are both amazing options for achieving an incredible smile. And when you trust your teeth to Pioneer Orthodontics, you can be sure that our expert team will only recommend the treatment they feel is best for your unique needs, lifestyle, and goals. 

If you’re ready to take the first step towards the confident smile you deserve, get in touch today to schedule a FREE consultation with Dr. Cserna!

Bad Habits That Could Be Damaging Your Teeth

Bad Habits That Could Be Damaging Your Teeth

August 29, 2021

Our expert team is committed to helping patients of all ages in Lincoln and York achieve beautiful, functional smiles. We’re able to do that by using cutting-edge technology to correct misalignments and straighten the teeth, but that’s not all we do at Pioneer Orthodontics—Dr. Annette Cserna also advises patients on a wide range of orthodontic and dental topics. That includes tips on maintaining good oral hygiene, and on bad habits that could be damaging your teeth! 

You may think that regular brushing and flossing is all that’s necessary for maintaining a healthy mouth, but bad habits like these can undermine even the best dental routine and compromise your oral health. These behaviors are so commonplace that you might engage in one or more of them without even realizing the damage they can cause! To learn more about why these habits are harmful, and what you can do to beat them, keep reading below. 

Maintaining good oral hygiene

Many people think they have their bases covered as long as they brush a couple of times a day, but your dental hygiene routine should go beyond that.

As far as brushing itself goes, Dr. Cserna recommends using fluoridated toothpaste at least twice a day and brushing for two minutes each time. For the best results, you’re better off using a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle strokes to clean the teeth and gums. Don’t forget to floss every night before bed, too! This will get rid of any stubborn food particles and lessen the build-up of plaque, reducing your chances of developing tooth decay. 

Mark your calendar every 3-4 months to remind you that it’s time to replace your toothbrush, but do it sooner if you have a cold or any other illness. Antimicrobial and fluoride mouthwashes can also improve your oral health by eliminating the types of bacteria that cause bad breath and gum disease!

Bad Habits That Could Be Damaging Your Teeth

Grinding your teeth

Tooth grinding, or bruxism, is the involuntary grinding of the teeth outside of normal chewing, swallowing, or speaking movements. There are several possible causes for this, which can include:

  • stress and anxiety
  • medications
  • certain medical conditions
  • genetics
  • misalignment between the teeth and jaws
  • an abnormal bite
  • missing or crooked teeth

Bruxism can cause quite a few problems, from interrupted sleep to chronic headaches and many issues in between. It can also wear down the enamel of your teeth if it’s not treated, eventually exposing the much softer dentin inside. This may result in tooth sensitivity, with symptoms ranging from mild to intense.

There are several options for reducing or eliminating the symptoms associated with tooth grinding. Many of these solutions will help prevent any further damage and also treat any that’s already present. This generally involves addressing and correcting obvious underlying causes, like stress, anxiety, or untreated orthodontic issues. Dr. Cserna may recommend proactive treatment as well, such as wearing a mouthguard overnight.

Sometimes it helps to simply be aware that you’re grinding your teeth! If you feel yourself clenching or grinding your teeth, you can try positioning the tip of your tongue between your teeth to train the jaw muscles to relax. Holding a warm washcloth against your cheek can often produce the same effect and is a calming way to end your day.   

Using your teeth as a tool

You’d be surprised at what we’ve seen people use their teeth for over the years here at Pioneer Orthodontics! Tearing open bags, ripping tags off clothing, uncapping bottles—we’ve seen or heard it all. Many people do this without even thinking about it, but using your teeth as tools can be tough on them. After all, it only takes one wrong move for a tooth to be traumatized, chipped, or fractured.

With that in mind, try to stop and think when you’re about to use your teeth for something that could be harmful. Keep simple tools like scissors, nail clippers, and pliers in convenient places around the house so you aren’t tempted to do the dirty work with your mouth. Reducing the amount of unnecessary stress on your teeth will help keep them strong for years to come.

Chewing on various objects

Many adults we see at Pioneer Orthodontics find themselves crunching on ice or chewing their fingernails when they’re bored or need a distraction. These may seem like harmless habits, but they can be destructive to your teeth. Ice, for example, has freezing temperatures and a tough texture that can cause fractures, and biting down on them can also introduce microscopic cracks into the surface of the enamel. Given enough time, this can lead to several other dental issues. 

Ice isn’t the only thing to avoid here, though! Chewing on pencils, pen caps, or your fingernails are often subconscious habits, but they can chip away at the tooth enamel and irritate the soft tissue inside the teeth. If this is something you struggle with, try giving your mouth something else to do, like chewing sugarless gum or snacking on something healthy that has a satisfying crunch, like fresh fruits or veggies. These are good for you and your oral health!

Bad Habits That Could Be Damaging Your Teeth

Beat bad oral habits with help from Pioneer Orthodontics

As an experienced orthodontist, Dr. Cserna has been trained to diagnose and correct a multitude of orthodontic issues. Identifying harmful oral habits is an important part of that process, too, but you don’t have to be an orthodontic patient to benefit from breaking a bad habit!

If you’re in Lincoln or York, we can help you break free from destructive oral habits. Get in touch today to schedule a FREE consultation with our expert team and take the first step towards stronger teeth, a healthier smile, and lasting oral health.

Recognizing and Treating Your Child's Misaligned Jaw

Recognizing and Treating Your Child’s Misaligned Jaw

August 1, 2021

As parents ourselves, we know that you want your child to be as happy and healthy as possible. That includes looking out for their general oral health, and ensuring that their toothy childhood grin develops into a straight, comfortable smile. Noticing and knowing when to treat their child’s orthodontic issues is a common point of concern for parents, but you can rest assured that the team at Pioneer Orthodontics is here to help you with recognizing and treating your child’s misaligned jaw along with any other orthodontic issues they may have.

Though Dr. Annette Cserna customizes every treatment plan to meet the specific needs of the child that she is treating, there are several common conditions she’ll be looking for during your child’s initial evaluation. Let’s take an in-depth look at some of the most common issues related to misaligned jaws we see in young children, and how treating them can set your child up for a lifetime of healthy smiles! 

Crowded teeth

Healthy teeth and gums are obviously a core part of your child’s oral health, but crowded teeth can make it difficult for your child to brush and floss effectively. This can put them at risk of tooth decay and cavities which only leads to more problems down the line. 

If your child has crowded teeth, orthodontic treatment can move them into more optimal positions over time, resulting in an evenly spaced smile that’s easier to clean! Treatment can also lessen general facial tension and relieve chewing or speech difficulties. 

Gapped teeth

Gaps between teeth are very common, and can develop for a variety of reasons: genetics, thumb or finger sucking, extended bottle or pacifier use, and even gum disease. 

If your child has a bit too much space between their teeth, our doctors will be able to identify the root cause and create a personalized treatment plan to close any gaps and improve the overall appearance of your child’s smile. 

Missing teeth

Sometimes, gaps between teeth can develop because of congenitally missing teeth that simply never grew in. In other cases, these gaps may be created when permanent teeth are lost due to injury or disease. 

If this is something your child has experienced, we can use braces to move existing teeth into their proper positions, then place bonded bridges where the missing teeth would have been. This approach allows us to create an evenly-spaced smile for your child that looks great and feels great, too!

Open bite

An open bite is where the upper and lower rows of the front teeth don’t touch or close properly when the mouth is closed. Many open bites come from extended thumb sucking in childhood, which can cause the teeth in the upper jaw to develop in a noticeably rounded formation. 

Whatever the cause, an open bite can generally be treated with a combination of braces and an orthodontic appliance known as a “crib.” This device prevents the tongue from putting pressure against the anterior teeth when swallowing, thus allowing the teeth to be adjusted while also training a better swallowing pattern. 

Once treatment is complete, your child will enjoy an aligned bite that allows them to comfortably close their mouth and enjoy all their favorite foods.

Recognizing and Treating Your Child's Misaligned JawDeep overbite

When a child has a deep overbite, their lower teeth recede so far behind the upper teeth that they bite into the roof of the mouth. The upper front teeth also overlap the lower front teeth. Out of all the bite disorders, a deep overbite is the most detrimental to the teeth and health of the jaw joints, and may even impact their face shape and appearance. 

Treatment for a deep overbite may be achievable with orthodontics alone, or a combination of orthodontics and restorative dentistry, depending on the severity of the case. Correcting deep bite misalignments will not only improve the functionality of your child’s mouth but will also dramatically improve the appearance of their smile.

Underbite

An underbite occurs when the bottom teeth protrude in front of the upper teeth. This type of bite misalignment can cause pain at the jaw joint, and the angled pressure it creates can wear teeth down over time. Children with underbites have quite a few treatment options available to them, including:

  • an upper jaw expander, which can be widened nightly until treatment is complete
  • a reverse-pull face mask, which wraps around the head and attaches to metal bands on the back upper teeth to pull the upper jaw forward
  • traditional braces to adjust the misaligned teeth

Orthodontic treatment like this will often relieve any pain and discomfort associated with the underbite. It can also make smiling, eating, and even breathing easier for your child!

Overjet

If a child has an overjet, their top front teeth protrude far beyond the bottom front teeth. This particular malocclusion is often referred to as “buck teeth” and is most effectively treated when diagnosed as early as possible. This gives us the chance to use your child’s growth to our advantage by guiding their tooth eruption towards a more balanced mouth. The child’s age and specific needs will determine what treatment approach we take, but their options generally include:

  • bite correction devices
  • traditional braces
  • removable orthodontic appliances
  • tooth removal
  • surgery

Once we treat your child’s overjet, they’ll enjoy a beautifully balanced, functional smile. 

Recognizing and Treating Your Child's Misaligned Jaw

Help your child find their best smile with Pioneer Orthodontics

Most children around the age of 7 will have enough dental “landmarks” in place that their teeth, jaw, and bite can be assessed by a trained orthodontist to ensure everything is developing normally, which is why the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child should see an orthodontist around that age.

Though an initial consultation is only the first step in recognizing and treating your child’s misaligned jaw, it is also the most important one, because catching problems early allows the team at Pioneer Orthodontics to preemptively address orthodontic issues before they become issues.

Dr. Cserna is proud to provide customized care in a friendly, welcoming atmosphere to every child we treat. If you’ve been wondering if your child would benefit from orthodontic care, we’d love to meet you both and take a look at how your child’s smile is developing! 

If you’re in Lincoln, York, or the surrounding area and would like to know more about the benefits of orthodontics, get in touch today to schedule a FREE consultation. Whatever your child needs, we’ll provide them with the best orthodontic experience possible!