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Your Options for Teeth Straightening

December 27, 2020

Filed under: Blog,Dental Services — Tags: , — Dr Peter Thompson @ 11:42 am

Maybe Mona Lisa would have cracked a real smile if she had been more confident in her teeth!

All jokes aside, you don’t have to live every day embarrassed by your own smile. Orthodontic treatments today are much more desirable than those of yesteryear. There are a lot of good reasons to straighten your teeth, both functional and aesthetic. And there are a lot of good times in your life to commit to treatment – like now! But how do you decide among all of your options for teeth straightening?

Portales dentist Peter L Thompson DDS can help you understand your options.

A Healthy Bite

In an ideal world, your top teeth should rest down and in line with their opposing tooth on the bottom. This helps you smile, chew, and speak smoothly. If you have any problems with this, like a crooked tooth or odd spacing between teeth, you’ve got an improper bite. Improper bites (also called malocclusion) can cause overbite, underbite, and crossbite. An improper bite can make you self-conscious of your smile and can cause excessive stress and forces on your teeth and jaw joint (TMJ).

Orthodontics is a dental treatment that slowly moves your teeth and jaw to help your teeth line up better. The metallic “train tracks” found on nearly every middle schooler, and the removable retainer likely gathering dust in your medicine cabinet are both types of orthodontic appliances.

If you’d like the benefit of a smile makeover without the metallic dramatics, you’re in good company. Many people are interested in Invisalign® and Six Month Smiles® for all of the orthodontic benefits and none of the obvious metal mouth.

Invisalign® & Six Month Smiles® Similarities

  • Invisalign trays and Six Month Smiles braces are clear and sleek
  • Neither are distracting
  • Both look professional for work environments
  • Neither gets in the way of everyday life
  • Both provide great results

Invisalign and Six Month Smiles Differences 

  • Six Month Smiles is usually less expensive
  • Six Month Smiles requires less treatment time
  • Six Month Smiles is a cosmetic treatment
  • Invisalign can help patients who need bite alteration
  • Invisalign trays are virtually invisible without brackets & wires
  • Invisalign can be removed for special occasions and flossing

Choosing Orthodontics

Only you can decide which option is best for you. But don’t make your choice without a professional opinion. Peter L Thompson DDS in Portales provides professional orthodontic treatments as well as whitening and cleaning to truly give you a healthy, beautiful smile.

Make an appointment today for a consultation and to learn how to achieve your best smile.

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

An Orthodontics Overview

May 27, 2020

Filed under: Blog,Dental Services — Tags: — Dr Peter Thompson @ 9:58 am

The root word “ortho” means “straight or upright.” Orthodontics— you guessed it – help make your teeth straight. But oh, how it can do so much more!

A lovely smile with straight teeth and an even bite is equal parts functional and beautiful – and thanks to scientific progress, all that can be yours. Orthodontics is an area of dentistry that focuses on how the bones and teeth of your mouth are placed and fit together.

Dr. Peter Thompson in Portales is a professional provider of orthodontic treatments. Read more for our general overview of orthodontics and what teeth straightening can do for you.

How Does Orthodontics Work?

Orthodontics moves the placement of your teeth slowly over time. Appliances (fixed or removable pieces in your mouth) add a tiny bit of pressure to help your mouth and teeth achieve the perfect shape and alignment.

Your mouth is an incredible machine with many parts that work (or should work) in harmony to let you eat, speak, and smile easily. Dentists and orthodontists are trained to make strategic changes in your mouth over a period of time. They are skilled and careful to move your teeth just enough, but not too much, to improve the looks and utility of your mouth.

Depending on your unique needs and treatment methods, orthodontic treatment can take anywhere from six months to two years or more. Slowly, the constant pressure from appliances moves your teeth around in your jaw.  The pressure and movement can cause soreness or a “tight” feeling in the mouth but it’s not generally too painful.

Braces and retainers are common examples of orthodontic appliances. But many people are excited to try less obvious treatment options such as clear braces like Invisalign® and Six Month Smiles®.

Who Needs Orthodontics?

If the alignment of your teeth is getting in the way of your health, your confidence and well-being, you should consider orthodontics. Cosmetic dentistry like orthodontics improves the appearance and, therefore, improves confidence as well as strengthening the important functions of your mouth.

Orthodontics can fix:

  • Bite or Occlusion: A perfect “bite” is when your top teeth rest down comfortably and just a little bit in front of your bottom teeth. Very few people have a naturally perfect bite. If your top teeth rest unevenly, it’s called an improper bite or malocclusion. It’s usually cosmetic but an improper bite can cause jaw pain and make teeth difficult to clean (which increases your risk of decay). Overbite, underbite, buck teeth, and crossbite are all forms of malocclusion.
  • Spacing: Large or uneven gaps between teeth are unhealthy for your teeth, gums, and jawbone. Orthodontics can close the gaps for a healthier, more evenly spaced smile.
  • Overcrowding: If your mouth seems too small to comfortably hold all your teeth, this causes crooked, overlapping and/or protruding teeth. Orthodontics can bring them into alignment.

Orthodontics can help:

  • Children & Teens: The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children get an orthodontic evaluation by age 7. As children grow (and so fast!), their mouth goes through a lot of changes. Pacifiers, thumb sucking, and so many teeth in such a small mouth can lead to problems. And it’s easier to treat kids before they grow up and their problems become permanent.
  • Adults: Even though it’s easier to treat children and prevent problems early on, adults can still benefit a lot from orthodontic treatments. There are plenty of traditional and alternative orthodontic treatments available to help adults straighten their teeth with confidence and achieve a healthier smile.

Choosing an Orthodontist

You can choose to see either an orthodontist or a general dentist for orthodontic treatment. Both are professionals, but an orthodontist has extra training specifically in providing orthodontics.

Orthodontics can be costly. Usually insurance companies cover a portion but not all of the treatment and appliances. Peter L. Thompson is happy to offer flexible payment options so that anyone who wants treatment can get the smile of their dreams.

If you’re interested in orthodontics, why wait? Contact Peter L. Thompson today to make an appointment!

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

I Had Braces, Now My Jaw Hurts: Can Orthodontics Cause TMJ?

May 13, 2019

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , — Dr Peter Thompson @ 1:37 pm

You had braces when you were younger and never experienced any jaw pain or other TMJ symptoms prior. Then, after you completed your orthodontic treatment, you developed a pain in your jaw, maybe accompanied by popping, locking, clenching and grinding. Maybe you developed these symptoms shortly after having your braces removed, maybe it was a decade later. Either way, could these two things be related?

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