Northern Virginia, Including Arlington, Tysons Corner, Alexandria, Fairfax, And McLean, Virginia Orthodontist
Orthodontics can conjure up horrifying thoughts of awkward teen years and a mouth full of metal braces and rubber bands. In reality, the field of orthodontics has come a long way toward making teeth straightening more comfortable and unobtrusive for pre-teens, teenagers and even adults.
At Galleria Dental Aesthetics in McLean and Arlington, our orthodontists, Dr. Lee and Dr. Oh, provide their patients with specialized orthodontic treatment to correct a variety of dental issues. Call (703) 448-1020 to learn more about the treatment options available.
Questions to ask your doctor before orthodontic treatment
Orthodontic treatment is a commitment that typically lasts many months. Before committing, you may want to familiarize yourself with what to expect from treatment. It is also a good idea to find out what services our orthodontists offer as well as the treatment best suited to your needs:
- What are my orthodontic options?
- Is orthodontic treatment painful?
- How long will my orthodontic treatment take?
- Do you offer financing options for orthodontics?
- What kind of dental problems can orthodontia fix?
- Do you offer adult orthodontics?
- Do you offer orthodontics for teens?
WHAT IS THE BEST AGE TO START ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT?
Orthodontic treatment may be the right approach at many different ages. Generally, your child should have his or her first appointment with an orthodontist by age 6 or 7. As your child grows, the development of their jaw may have to be altered if the jaws are growing narrowly, or in a position that is too far forward or backward. If your child is a teen, Invisalign® is a possible alternative to traditional braces. As an adult, you can receive orthodontic treatment at any age.
What to consider before getting braces
The best time for your child to get braces depends on a number of different factors, including:
- Your child’s unique dental issues. Instead of thinking of orthodontic care as being needed at a specific age, a more personalized approach is to take your child to regular dental appointments. Our dentists can monitor the development of your child’s teeth and jaws, and decide the best time for braces.
- Your child’s self-discipline. Both Invisalign® and traditional braces require patient compliance. Careful teeth cleaning while wearing metal braces is essential to preventing tooth decay, and easily removable Invisalign® aligners must be worn at least 22 hours a day.
During a consultation at Galleria Dental Aesthetics, Dr. Lee and Dr. Oh can evaluate your child’s orthodontic needs and determine the best treatment.
Today, adults make up a significant portion of orthodontic patients nationwide. Even though your mouth has stopped developing, a beautiful smile can still be achieved with orthodontics – even if you never wore braces as a child. Even as adults, many of us have some degree of misalignment that has developed over the years. Many adults seek orthodontic treatment for both aesthetic and functional improvement.
INVISALIGN® VS. METAL BRACES
The choice between Invisalign® and traditional metal braces is mostly determined by your specific tooth needs, which are coupled with your personal treatment preferences. At Galleria Dental Aesthetics, our experienced Orthodontists can help determine the right orthodontic treatment to get you the smile you always wanted.
The goal of both Invisalign® and traditional braces is to straighten your teeth and align your bite; however, these two orthodontic approaches are quite unique from one another. Invisalign® uses clear, plastic aligners to gently push your teeth into position, and traditional braces employ metal wires and brackets to achieve tooth movement.
Many of our patients are interested in Invisalign® because it is less noticeable than traditional braces and the plastic aligners are removable. These two features have several implications for your orthodontic treatment, including:
- Clear, plastic aligners are largely unnoticeable. Unlike traditional metal braces, with Invisalign® you can straighten your teeth without attracting attention.
- Removable aligners make it easy to brush and floss. Oftentimes, food debris is difficult to remove from metal wires and brackets, and food that becomes lodged in your braces can lead to tooth decay.
- Removable aligners let you enjoy the same foods. For metal braces, your orthodontist may advise you to avoid certain sticky or chewy foods. Because you remove Invisalign® aligners before you eat, dietary changes are not necessary.
- Aligners may cause less irritation and discomfort. Metal braces can quickly become uncomfortable when the metal irritates your cheeks, gums and tongue. The smooth contours of Invisalign® have led to a more comfortable orthodontic experience for many patients.
Depending on your candidacy for the different types of orthodontic treatment, the benefits of Invisalign® may make it the right treatment for you.
THE RIGHT ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT FOR YOU
Invisalign® and traditional braces are both viable and effective orthodontic treatments. The key to finding out which is best for you is assessing your unique needs. At Galleria Dental Aesthetics, our experienced cosmetic dentists determine whether traditional braces or Invisalign® – or another orthodontic approach – will most effectively align your teeth and bite.
Invisalign® and metal braces are both effective in treating many cases of:
- Crooked teeth
- Gapped teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Misaligned bites
Generally, Invisalign® treats less severe cases of these tooth issues. Sometimes, the tooth movement needed can only be achieved with metal braces; however, the only way to know the right treatment for you is to contact our experienced dentists.
Dental braces are devices that are placed directly on teeth to move them. They usually consist of “brackets” that are bonded to the teeth and a metal wire that is inserted through the brackets. The metal wires are “adjusted” and work together with the brackets to move teeth into the desired positions.
WHAT PROBLEMS CAN METAL BRACES CORRECT?
Many people think that orthodontic work is only performed on teeth that are oddly spaced. In fact, orthodontics can help correct a variety of dental issues including:
- Crowded teeth
- Widely spaced or missing teeth
- Overbite: when the upper teeth extend over the lower teeth
- Underbite: when the lower teeth extend over the upper teeth
- Crossbite: when the upper and lower jaws are out of alignment
With the advances in orthodontic treatment today, there is no need to live with a smile that is imperfect. Galleria Dental Aesthetics is proud to offer the Invisalign® treatment plan for our patients. More than one million people have used Invisalign® to straighten their teeth and improve their self-confidence. The Invisalign® system is a virtually invisible treatment option that achieves the same final outcome as metal braces but without the social embarrassment, discomfort and annoyance of traditional braces. The result of Invisalign® treatment is a beautiful, straight smile that can increase your personal and professional confidence level.
HOW INVISALIGN® WORKS
The team of dentist’s at Galleria Dental Aesthetics are all certified Invisalign providers. After our orthodontists have identified you as a candidate for Invisalign®, we can begin to develop a treatment plan that is custom designed just for you. Impressions of your smile are taken along with photographs that are all placed into a high-tech computer software program to turn your smile into a 3-D image. Once your exact smile is digitized, we can begin to chart exactly how and when your teeth should align throughout the treatment process, even showing you what the end result will be.
This type of two-way communication is revolutionary in the field of orthodontics, and the patients we have helped through Invisalign® have been highly satisfied.
The next step in the process is to have customized clear plastic aligner trays created for each phase of the process. You will wear one set of aligner trays for two weeks, then move on to the next set of trays. The aligners gradually align the teeth into their proper position and not even your closest friends and colleagues will know. Each aligner tray is designed to be worn throughout the day and nighttime hours, but they can be removed to eat, brush and floss.
HOW MANY DENTAL APPOINTMENTS DOES INVISALIGN REQUIRE?
An initial consultation is necessary to determine whether the Invisalign process can correct your dental issues. After this consultation, you will return to the office to begin the first part of the treatment, which includes the dental impressions, photographs and digital imaging of your smile. When the aligner trays have been created, a third appointment will be necessary to check for proper fit of the first set of trays and to discuss how the process will continue. You will need to return several more times over the treatment process to check your progress and see if any adjustments are necessary.
INVISALIGN PATIENT TESTIMONIAL
“I used to cover my mouth whenever I smiled, which made me look more shy than I really was. But even though some of my teeth were too small and I had a gap between the two front ones, I was hesitant to get any work done because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to afford it. Dr. Oh really worked with me. He made me feel very comfortable about the whole procedure and gave me a beautiful new smile. Everyone says I smile more now and seem a lot more confident than I ever did before. I just know I look better and feel better about myself because of it. Thank you, Dr. Oh” – Jocelyn
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO CORRECT TEETH THAT ARE CROWDED OR ODDLY SPACED?
When teeth are crowded, it becomes very difficult to properly clean the teeth, even with daily brushing and flossing. This can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Conversely, when the teeth have too much space between them, the teeth can begin to shift over time. This shifting can lead to a malaligned bite, gum disease, and deterioration of jawbone.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF LEAVING AN UNDERBITE OR OVERBITE UNTREATED?
When the upper and lower teeth do not fit together correctly because of an overbite, underbite or crossbite, your smile can suffer from a variety of problems, including:
SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION
If you are tired of being embarrassed by your smile and feel that orthodontic work may be the right course of action, please call us at (703) 448-1020. Our team at Galleria Dental Aesthetics treat patients living in Arlington, Alexandria, Tysons Corner and the surrounding Northern Virginia areas.
Click here to print the post-operative instructions for orthodontic patients.