Would you look better with straighter teeth? Or does the alignment of your teeth bother you? If so, you should straighten your teeth in the safest, most cost effective way possible. We can help you decide whether clear aligners or traditional braces would work best for you.
Dr. Cranford and Dr. Robinson at Cranford Dental in Rock Hill, SC have worked with patients to straighten teeth for over 35 years. They evaluate the teeth and gums of each patient before recommending orthodontics. This includes talking to patients (and their parents, for younger patients) braces or aligners.
We refer children to an orthodontist who is a good match for their needs. And for adult patients, our office offers SureSmile Clear Aligners in combination with cosmetic dental procedures to perfect our patients smile.
Consult with Cranford Dental if you want to begin a plan for braces or clear aligners. We will advise you on the best time and place to begin orthodontic treatment.
Initial Evaluation for Orthodontic Treatment
If you are a regular patient at Cranford Dental, our dentists and hygienists are examining your teeth and gums at each dental visit. They update your records on problems with alignment, crowding, or jaw problems. Also, they listen to your concerns with your smile.
For new patients, the dentists note any problems or concerns at the initial exam. At this time, let the dentist know if you are bothered by the alignment of your teeth.
Timing of orthodontic treatment is important. Thus we evaluate the development of teeth at each visit so that the dentist and specialist can address your problem at the most ideal time.
Here are reasons your dentist may refer you to an orthodontist or other specialist:
Cosmetic Problems with your Teeth
The most common reason that we begin to address crooked teeth in adults is that they do not like the way their teeth look. Thankfully, with modern dentistry, we can greatly improve your smile using a combination of cosmetic and orthodontic procedures.
As a result, this will increase your confidence in business and social situations.
Your dentist will work with you to figure out exactly what bothers you about your teeth. Then she will discuss options, including time involved and cost, as she advises you on the smartest way to fix your smile.
If you are a parent with concerns about your child, talk to your dentist about the optimum time to consider orthodontic treatment. Understandably, we want the treatment to keep the teeth straight into adulthood.
Overbite or Underbite
If there is a gap between the top and bottom teeth when the mouth is closed, this needs to be evaluated while the jaw is still developing.
Parents—if your child sucks thumb or pacifier for a long time period, this could lead to this gap. Or the gap could be created by the natural way that the teeth and gums develop.
The time that this is addressed depends on the severity of the problem and the maturity of the child.
Crowding of Teeth
Teeth that are crowded may cross over each other and be hard to keep clean. Often this leads to decay and other dental health issues. In addition, crowded teeth tend to look worse as a child ages and additional teeth come in.
Your dentist will discuss the solutions for crowded teeth. Obviously, the best time to adddress this depends on the health of your teeth and gums and how much this bothers you.
Discrepancy in Jaw Sizes
If your dentist notices alignment problems that appear to be related to jaw development, she will work with an orthodontist on a plan to address this before the jaws have fully developed.
Properly aligned teeth are easier to care for. And aligning them at the right time avoids future problems with occlusion and bite.
Orthodontics: Treatment Plan
Depending on your age and the general health of your teeth, your dentist will recommend a plan to straighten your teeth. We partner with some amazing orthodontists, who we refer to if you need traditional braces or if your plan is complex.
We generally refer a child to an orthodontist who is a good match for his situation and personality. Then we follow up with information from our records that may help the orthodontist treat this child.
This is truly a team approach as we want the orthodontic treatment to enhance the planned cosmetic dentistry and the patient’s dental health.
At Cranford Dental, we use SureSmile Clear Aligners for our adult patients who want to straighten their teeth. This system uses clear plastic aligners that are precisely fitted to each patient. They straighten teeth by carefully using force to move teeth into the correct position.
Here are advantages of SureSmile Aligners over Traditional Braces:
- Keep Teeth Clean – The patient can remove the aligner to brush and floss teeth.
- Invisible in Mouth – As a rule, people who talk to you will not realize you have aligners in your mouth.
- Easier to eat – You can still eat an apple or pizza, which may not be possible with traditional braces.
- Comfortable – Aligners will not puncture your gums or irritate the tissues like braces can.
- Protect teeth – Wearing aligners at night will protect your teeth from wear due to grinding or clenching teeth.
Dr. Cranford and Dr. Robinson are very upfront about why or why not clear aligners will work for you. Their goal is the most successful orthodontic treatment that will work long term.
Contact Cranford Dental or call 803-324-7670 to get a consult to see what type of orthodontic best suits you.
How we Make Clear Aligners at Cranford Dental
Once our dentist determines that you are a candidate for SureSmile Clear Aligners, he will create a treatment plan for your aligners. This will cover cost, number of appointments, and what is required from you to make the teeth straightening successful.
After you fully understand the process and agree to treatment, here is process we use to straighten your teeth:
Scan entire mouth
Dentists use Primescan intraoral camera to create a precise scan of your upper and lower teeth, including gums and the roof of your mouth.
Then we will store this in your patient account records.
Send records to Digital Lab
Next we digitally transmit the scan to our SureSmile Digital Lab. This is a team of experts that works with our dentists to develop a precise plan for each patient.
The Lab uses advanced planning software to map out a plan to move your teeth from current positions to the ideal alignment that you desire.
Review customized treatment plan
A dental team member will show you step by step how your plan will work over the coming weeks. She will show images of how your teeth will look like at each stage of treatment on the computer. You will understand how your teeth will move and what your mouth will look like as the process moves forward.
Then you will ask questions and the dentist will tweak the plan until you are satisfied with the end result.
Wear mouth trays or “aligners”
Once you and your dentist approve the plan to straighten your teeth, you will sign to order the clear aligners from SureSmile.
You will wear the first set of aligners for two weeks, for at least 20 hours per day. Then you will move to the the next set of aligners and, again, wear these for around two weeks.
After wearing two (or sometimes three) sets of trays, you and your dentist will evaluate the movement of your teeth at our office.
Then at following visits, the dentist will compare your progress to make sure it matches with the treatment plan.
The number of tray changes varies with each patient. Generally, we expect between 12 and 20 changes to arrive at the desired result. Of course, your initial plan will include how many tray changes and how long the process will take.
It is important that you see the dentist regularly during the process to stay on track with treatment and to deal with your concerns and questions. He will also advise on caring for your teeth during the alignment process.
Approve end result
After you have followed through with the aligner treatment plan, you will compare your final smile to the projected result.
Most of our patients are thrilled with how their teeth look. Often the final result exceeds their expectations. However, your dentist will request adjustments if you are not happy with an area of your mouth.
At your final appointment, your dentist will give you clear retaining trays. You will wear these trays every day for two weeks, then cut back to wearing at night as your dentist suggests.
We will keep a record of your retaining tray in case your lose or damage your original retainer.
Teeth whitening using trays
Now that your teeth are straight and you are showing off your smile, you may want to whiten your teeth. We can use the same trays for solution to safely whiten your smile.
General Dentist and Straightening Teeth
Advantages of starting with your regular dentist when you need orthodontics for your teeth:
- Your dentist watches the development of your teeth and jaw over many years.
- He (or she) will keep your teeth clean and healthy as you straighten them.
- She will know how the braces or aligners work with your overall treatment plan.
- For advanced cases, your dentist will refer you to the right orthodontist for your situation.
- Since you will see her for the years following orthodontic treatment, she can help make sure that your teeth stay aligned and looking good.
- The consistency of going to the same office for all your dental treatment may help you keep appointments and comply.
SureSmile Aligners and PrimeScan
The technology behind digital scanning has jumped forward over the past twenty years. We got our first scanner twenty years ago and began scanning the teeth and mouth when we needed precise measurements.
In 2019, Dentsply Sirona released a new generation of scanners, with an advanced method of uploading and transmitting scans to labs. This worked beautifully with SureSmile due to the precision of the scans.
We are very pleased with the accurate calculations for aligning teeth that we get when we combine a PrimeScan with the advanced software and technology that SureSmile offers.
Read about why we work with SureSmile here, or come by our office and let us show you how the technology works.
Make Appointment for Aligners or Braces in Rock Hill
Contact Cranford Dental online or call 803-324-7670 if you want to talk to our dentists about straightening your teeth.
We specialize in preventive dental care and avoiding problems before they start. This includes developing an orthodontic plan that will give each patient the best possible and longest lasting results.
We enjoy seeing the look on patients’ faces when they smile big after completing orthodontic treatment.
We would love to help you love your smile.