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Invisalign: Fact or Fiction

Invisalign: Fact or Fiction

June 25, 2022

There are many different orthodontic treatments available, so it’s important to find which treatment works best for achieving your perfect smile. However, the growing use of Invisalign means a growing amount of misinformation. Lucky for you, Pioneer Orthodontics is here to help you out. Our expert office wants you to have the right information about Invisalign so you can decide if it’s the best treatment for you. Let’s take a look at a few misconceptions about Invisalign so you can separate the fact from the fiction.

Fiction: Invisalign trays are painful

Traditional braces have a reputation for being irritating and painful, and so many people believe Invisalign will be similarly uncomfortable. Metal braces use wires and brackets that are attached to the teeth, which can cause some discomfort. One of the benefits of Invisalign treatment is that it takes a different approach that does not include metal wiring or brackets.  

Fact: Invisalign trays are very comfortable

Invisalign trays are made from SmartTrack material that is flexible and customized to your unique smile. This means they are more comfortable since there are no wires or brackets. Your trays will need to be replaced every one to two weeks as directed by Dr. Cserna at Pioneer Orthodontics. When switching trays there will be some pressure as your teeth start to shift, but that will fade after a day or two. They are removable, so if there’s a problem, you don’t have to deal with irritation until you can get your treatment checked by us!

Fiction: Treatment takes longer with Invisalign

Many patients think that metal braces will straighten teeth faster than Invisalign since braces use glue and wires that attach directly to the teeth. However, that is not always true.

Fact: Treatment time with Invisalign is usually less than metal braces

Every patient takes a different amount of time to complete their orthodontic treatment. We see a wide variety of different cases at our office. Treatment with Invisalign is generally the same amount of time, or less, compared to traditional braces. Typically treatment time with traditional braces is two years or longer, while Invisalign treatment averages closer to eighteen months. Multiple factors determine the amount of time you will spend wearing aligners such as age, compliance, and orthodontic issues.

Fiction: Invisalign doesn’t work as well as braces

There are many patients who believe that since traditional braces are directly attached to the teeth, they must be more effective than Invisalign because it’s easily removable. This does seem to make sense on the surface. Despite what it may seem, this is far from the truth.

Fact: Invisalign is just as effective as metal braces

Invisalign clear aligners have undergone many advancements in orthodontic technology over the years. Clear aligners were originally used for post-treatment retention, but they are just as effective at correcting orthodontic problems as braces. When used as directed by our Dr. Cserna, you can achieve the same results as you would with traditional braces. For some patients, the results can even be superior to braces.

Invisalign: Fact or Fiction

Fiction: Invisalign is more expensive than braces

Traditional braces have become more accessible and affordable over the years with advancements in orthodontic technology. Since Invisalign is a newer technological development, many people believe it must cost more. Lucky for you, this is not the case!

Fact: Invisalign cost is very similar to braces

Every patient’s treatment is different, so there are several variables to what your specific treatment will cost. Traditional braces and Invisalign clear aligners usually cost the same. If you have dental insurance, orthodontic treatment may be covered. Our office will help verify this and work with you to create a treatment plan for your budget before we begin orthodontic treatment. 

Fiction: It’s difficult to maintain Invisalign aligners

When you think of the challenges that come with orthodontic treatment, you might think of food restrictions and trouble with brushing your teeth. You may need to make tricky adjustments when you’re brushing or flossing. All orthodontic treatments come with their own set of challenges, and there are plenty of rules to follow with metal braces, but that isn’t always the case with Invisalign. 

Fact: Invisalign is easy to maintain

Keeping your clear aligners in their best condition is actually very easy. By using the special care kit, removing them, and rinsing them with an approved solution, you’re more likely to keep your aligners in the right condition. Since you don’t have to worry about brackets or wires, you easily maintain your normal oral hygiene routine by brushing and flossing. No need to worry about moving around metal pieces! As for diet restrictions, you can drink and eat whatever you want when using Invisalign. Just remove the aligner when you eat, and then rinse and put it back in once you’re done.

Invisalign: Fact or Fiction

Get your perfect smile with Pioneer Orthodontics

Your smile is in a safe place with us. At Pioneer Orthodontics in Lincoln and York, we are committed to providing you with the best experience, treatment, and information no matter your age. We look forward to helping you achieve the beautiful, show-stopping smile you’ve always wanted, so start your smile journey with a complimentary consultation exam today!

5 Things You Will Not Get with Mail Order Orthodontics

5 Things You Will Not Get with Mail Order Orthodontics

May 31, 2022

You have a busy schedule, so a calendar full of orthodontic visits may not seem very appealing. So when it comes to orthodontic treatment, you may be tempted to search for quicker, easier solutions that require less time and hassle. However, easier and quicker do not always mean better. Mail order orthodontics is a fast alternative to traditional orthodontic treatment, but are they as effective? At Pioneer Orthodontics, we know your smile deserves the best treatment possible. Let’s take a look at what mail-order orthodontics are and how they measure up compared to a visit to the orthodontist’s office.

What are mail-order aligners? How do they work?

The process of companies offering clear aligners through the mail is called “online orthodontics.” Instead of visiting an orthodontic office for an in-person exam, every treatment process step is carried out through their website. You submit an application to the company, and once it’s approved, you can either visit one of their local shops or have a kit sent to your home to make a 3D mold of your teeth. A technician or dentist will then use that mold to create a series of clear aligners that will slowly move your teeth where you need them to go. 

This process can take several weeks to months to complete, similar to in-person visits. Your progress is monitored using photos of your mouth that you give to your providers at regular intervals. This may seem like a simple process, but patients considering these companies should proceed with caution. This kind of care comes with risks, and the results can have a negative lasting impact on your oral health. At Pioneer Orthodontics, we want you to have the best available care. Let’s look over the benefits of traditional in-person practice visits over online orthodontics.

Treatment Supervision

Everyone’s teeth move at different speeds. Your teeth may move slower or faster than expected during your treatment. As a result, things may come up that require minor adjustments, or your orthodontists may need to modify your current treatment plan. This is why having regular check-ins with our team is essential for your aligner process. If you choose mail-order aligners, you will be given a treatment timeline to follow. This timeline is based on your initial teeth mold and what should happen over time. However, this does not account for any deviations that may arise. This hands-off calendar approach can cause severe damage to your teeth, gums, and jaw. Unexpected things can happen, and this distanced, strictly regimented approach to treatment can be very risky and ineffective.

In-Person Clinical Exam

A strong evaluation of your starting point is important when creating a treatment plan with your orthodontics provider. At your initial examination, our experts will look closely at the tissue and bone supporting your teeth using digital photographs, take full mouth X-rays, and a digital scan that eliminates the need for goopy impressions. This detailed information ensures clear aligners are the proper route for your treatment plan and avoid complications later from cavities, gum disease, and other related problems not picked up in impressions or photos. 

With mail-order aligners, on the other hand, the first step is receiving your in-home impression kit. Some options ask you to include intraoral photos, but the information used to determine eligibility is very basic. Once the impression has been mailed back, a dentist or technician will review it and decide if the patient is a good candidate for clear aligners. This is based on your current tooth alignment and does not factor in many other important parts of the orthodontic process. Without considering all of the variables, you may end up with lackluster results, which could cost you more time and money in turn. 

5 Things You Will Not Get with Mail Order Orthodontics

Customized Treatment Plans

Your teeth and gums should always be in healthy condition before any tooth movement is attempted to avoid any sudden problems. While clear aligners can be a useful option for some patients, they are not for everyone. Some cases are much more severe or require specific treatments before moving your teeth. In cases where more precise or complicated movements are needed, you may save time and money by opting for traditional metal or even clear braces. Your individual needs and goals must be considered carefully before creating your treatment plan. At Pioneer Orthodontics, we want to be certain the treatment plan we offer will make the best use of your time and goals while utilizing our expertise in orthodontic care. We’ll use the information gathered during your in-person evaluation and combine it with the data from your imaging to determine what will fit your lifestyle the best. 

Treatment For Other Orthodontic Issues

Many orthodontic issues lie below the gum line and in the jaw. This is where complicated impressions and cell phone images can’t capture the details. Problems like these cannot be treated with mail-order aligners and can even become worse. Delicate processes like widening your jaw, aligning your bite, and correcting rotations cannot be accomplished with this kind of treatment. It’s much better to know ahead of time what your specific orthodontic needs are so you can have the most optimal results. Dr. Cserna can examine your current condition along the whole process, which allows for multiple treatment plans to create your ideal smile and can be adjusted along the way. 

Lower Cost And Quicker Results

As we said before, you’re a busy person. Mail-order aligners may seem to offer a quicker, cheaper alternative to orthodontics. This is a misconception. In reality, the potential oral health risks can wind up costing you more in the long run since you won’t get the supervised care that a trained orthodontist can provide. It’s important to use all options for your dental situation while under specialized care. It’s the only way to ensure the quickest and most beneficial path to a perfect smile, and most orthodontists can now compete with the prices that mail-order aligners claim to have.

5 Things You Will Not Get with Mail Order Orthodontics

Get your perfect smile with Pioneer Orthodontics

Your smile is in the right hands with us. At Pioneer Orthodontics in Lincoln and York, we are committed to providing you with the best experience, treatment, and information no matter your age. We look forward to helping you achieve the beautiful, show-stopping smile you’ve always wanted, so start your smile journey with a complimentary consultation exam today!

4 Reasons to Get Adult Braces

April 30, 2022

When we think of braces, we typically think of them as treatment we receive in our teenage years. But one in five orthodontic patients today are adults! Taking care of your smile is not a job that ends once you get older, so you’re never too old to get the confidence from a straight smile that braces can provide. At Pioneer Orthodontics, we want you to feel your best no matter what age you are. Let’s take a look at just a few of the advantages of getting braces as an adult.

Improved Overall Health

There are other benefits to braces besides just straightening your teeth. Braces provide a host of benefits for your overall health. Common health problems such as headaches, jaw pain, and even digestion and sleep issues can be addressed and avoided by getting braces. Braces can be more high maintenance, but this maintenance can encourage habits that increase overall oral cleanliness. The extra care that goes into cleaning your teeth with braces can lead to a healthier, cleaner mouth. Straighter teeth can also make the cleaning process easier, with less room for plaque and bacteria to grow inside. This decreases your risk of cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. It can also give you more access to your gum line, which makes flossing much easier. 

And here’s more: Your teeth are an important part of the digestive process, and so their effect on your health goes a long way. For example, misalignment of your jaw can cause damage to the area where your teeth meet when you take a bite, which can make the chewing process difficult and uncomfortable. When your jaw or teeth do not meet properly when you’re chewing, you risk over-exerting your jaw muscles which can lead to complications like TMD or temporomandibular joint disorder. The result of not chewing properly is that your digestion can be compromised, as food is not adequately digested, and can lead to diminished nutrient absorption, indigestion, and reflux. 

Cost Efficient

No matter what age you get your braces, they are a cost-efficient solution for tooth and jaw problems. All the expensive dentist visits that keep your smile in pristine condition can be decreased with the help of braces. They can help you fight cavities, reduce your risk of gum disease, avoid expensive dental procedures like tooth extractions, and leave no room for the chance of prosthetics in the future. Other orthodontic issues like jaw misalignment can wear down your teeth, which can leave your teeth chipped, cracked, or even gone altogether, which can be costly for you in the long run. On top of that, braces deal with these problems directly, so you don’t have to see specialists who will treat symptoms of problems rather than the source. All this helps you save time, money, and hassle by tackling the root of problems before they can arise. The result is a better long-term smile for a lower price.

4 Reasons to Get Adult Braces

Variety of Treatment

At Pioneer Orthodontics, we have a variety of treatment options for you to pick from. Our office provides the latest orthodontics technology and treatment, so your new orthodontic treatment is fast and affordable. 

Metal braces

Traditional metal braces are the most common orthodontic treatment. They are the most recognizable type of braces, and their technology has come a long way with durable stainless steel brackets connected by metal wires that are gradually tightened to adjust your teeth over time. Your orthodontist secures the brackets to your teeth with mouth-friendly glue and the braces are worn with elastic bands that help secure the archwires and assist with bite correction. Plus, the bands come in a variety of colors, so you can add some fun personality to your braces!

Ceramic braces

Want something more visibly discreet? Ceramic braces, also known as “clear braces”, provide a more subtle alternative to traditional metal braces. These braces work similarly to metal braces but are designed to appear almost invisible with a smaller size and are made of tooth-colored polycrystalline ceramic material. This one is popular among adults and older teens for its more covert aesthetic. The only downside to ceramic braces is that these braces are more likely to break or stain depending on your eating and lifestyle habits. This is because the polycrystalline ceramic is not as durable as the mix of high-grade metal used for traditional braces. As long as you maintain a rigorous oral hygiene routine, ceramic braces offer the same effectiveness as metal braces with a more aesthetic design.

Invisalign

Don’t want to deal with brackets and wires? Invisalign is made from clear, acrylic aligners that fit over your teeth. Each Invisalign aligner is custom-fitted for your unique teeth using a 3D image of your mouth made from photos and X-rays from your orthodontist. It’s removable, making eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing easier. This treatment will have to be worn twenty-two hours a day to be effective. Most patients wear theirs for nine to fifteen months depending on individual needs and go through several trays throughout the treatment. No wires, no metal, no bands, just a clean, comfortable, easy-to-remove solution.

Aesthetics and Confidence

Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you, and regardless of age, it’s always good to make a good first impression. Your self-esteem, confidence, and how other people perceive you can all be improved with a brighter, healthier smile. A crooked smile or misaligned teeth, or even teeth that have not been properly cleaned, can not only affect how others see you but even more importantly, how you see yourself. You may find yourself avoiding photos, shying away from conversations, or even avoiding smiling altogether. The positioning of your teeth can even affect your speech patterns by causing your tongue or lips not to attain the position necessary to make certain sounds. All of this can have an impact on how you present yourself to the world. You deserve to feel at your best and show the world who you are. 

4 Reasons to Get Adult Braces

Get your perfect smile with Pioneer Orthodontics

You’re never too old to achieve your ideal smile. At Pioneer Orthodontics, we are committed to providing you with the best experience, treatment, and information no matter your age. We look forward to helping you achieve the beautiful, show-stopping smile you’ve always wanted, so start your smile journey with a FREE consultation exam today.

Can Orthodontics Help Sleep Issues and TMJ?

Can Orthodontics Help Sleep Issues and TMJ?

March 31, 2022

When they think about orthodontics, most people think of getting a perfectly straight smile. While that is the most obvious benefit of orthodontic treatment, bite problems, and crooked teeth are more than just a matter of appearance. 

It is no secret that your body does much of its healing and repair while sleeping, but did you know that your oral health can dramatically affect your sleep quality? If you are having trouble sleeping due to teeth grinding, sleep apnea, or snoring, there is a good chance that orthodontic treatment can help change that. 

Along with her expert team at Pioneer Orthodontics, Dr. Annette Cserna sees many patients who are frustrated with their traditional treatment plans for sleep apnea, like CPAP machines. She is dedicated to providing customized treatments for each of her patients in a way that makes them feel listened to and comfortable through the whole process. In many cases, Dr. Cserna and her team are able to create an individualized orthodontic treatment plan that gets you back to sleeping like a baby. Let’s take a look at how orthodontic treatment can help your sleep issues. 

How sleep apnea affects your health

While you sleep, your mouth and jaw muscles will relax with the rest of your body. This relaxation is entirely normal, but the issue arises when you sleep on your back, causing your jaw to slide backward, narrowing the throat. As you try to breathe through that constricted space, the sound of snoring is produced. Snoring is not something to ignore as it could be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea. 

Another factor affecting your snoring and sleep apnea could be related to your bite or the alignment of your jaw and how your teeth meet when you close your mouth. Bite problems are common and can be an overbite, where your upper front teeth extend over your lower front teeth, an underbite, where your lower front teeth rest in front of your upper front teeth, or an open bite, which is when your upper and lower front teeth do not meet at all. For most people, traditional braces can correct your bite problem relatively quickly. They will also remove obstructions to create better airflow through your mouth, alleviating your snoring and sleep apnea concerns. 

For some people, you may not have actual sleep apnea but instead experience pain in and around your ear, jaw pain, headaches, difficulty chewing, and temporomandibular joint pain that can be contributed to your bite issues and cause other concerns like Temporomandibular Joint Disorder or TMD.

TMJ/TMD

Your temporomandibular joints connect your lower jawbone to your skull. These joints get a lot of use throughout the day as you speak, chew, swallow, and yawn. Pain in and around these joints can be unpleasant and may even restrict movement. Not all jaw pain is associated with TMD, though. If you notice any pain in addition to ear ringing, head and neck aches, clicking or popping sounds in your jaw, muscle spasms, alignment changes, or lockjaw, tell Dr. Cserna at your next appointment. She can help determine if you have TMD and create a customized treatment plan to help relieve your symptoms.

Most people get TMD without ever having braces. Symptoms usually come and go regardless of whether braces are worn, but there are solutions if you find yourself experiencing any issues as described above. 

If you do not have Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, you can take many different preventative steps to maintain a healthy, strong smile. 

  • Relax your face – “Lips together, teeth apart.”
  • Avoid grinding your teeth
  • Avoid all gum chewing
  • Chew foods even on both sides of your mouth
  • Do not sit with your chin rested on your hand
  • Practice good posture – keep your head up, back straight, and shoulders squared
  • Do not cradle the phone receiver between your head and shoulder

Can Orthodontics Help Sleep Issues and TMJ?

Other orthodontic treatment options besides braces

Not all sleep issues are created equally, and because of that, we are able to utilize more than just traditional metal braces for some mouth and jaw issues contributing to your sleep problems.

A Rapid Palate Expander, or RPE, is a device placed on the roof of the mouth and used to widen the upper jaw. This appliance is typically used as a treatment for children since their mouths and palate are still not fully formed and can easily be manipulated. Frequently, when a child’s mouth does not appear wide enough to accommodate the adult teeth, this RPE can be used without braces to provide spacing support for those teeth to come in correctly. This palate expander creates space allowing better airflow through the mouth, helping ease or even prevent sleep apnea.

Another notable option is using custom oral appliances to help keep the jaw in a forward position and keep airflow unobstructed. Two different methods of custom oral therapy vary only slightly, with one having an extra piece to help position your tongue correctly. This option is called a tongue retaining mouthpiece. The other therapy option is the mandibular advancement device which moves your lower jaw forward and tightens the soft tissues of the upper airway, preventing airway obstruction. 

Can Orthodontics Help Sleep Issues and TMJ?

Your best sleep is waiting for you at Pioneer Orthodontics

At Pioneer Orthodontics, we are committed to providing you with the best information and the best options for your specific needs. We want you to take pride in your smile and have a lifetime of successful sleep to be the healthiest you possible. 

Our caring and experienced team recognize that children, teens, and adults will all have different dental needs, requiring a different level of attention and care. We work diligently with each patient to ensure you receive the most appropriate treatment in the most inviting environment. 

We know wearing braces and other oral devices can be uncomfortable, but creating a proper bite young can create excellent health in the long run. If you face sleep issues like sleep apnea or TMJ, come make yourself at home at Pioneer Orthodontics in York or Lincoln, Nebraska. 

We look forward to helping you achieve the beautiful, show-stopping smile you’ve always wanted, so start your smile journey with a FREE consultation exam today.