Our Blog

Thanks to Invisalign®, you can have a perfect smile without metal wires or brackets!

May 22nd, 2016

When it comes to straightening your smile, our team at Allen Whole Health Dentistry knows that having a mouth full of metal braces may not be your idea of fun. Luckily for you, Dr. Namrita Singh can offer a cosmetic alternative: Invisalign!

Using a series of clear, comfortable, and completely customized aligners, you can get the smile you’ve always wanted without traditional braces.

Since Invisalign aligners are discreet, they’re hardly noticeable when you speak and smile, and because they’re removable, you can eat and drink whatever you want. Just remember to brush and floss before putting your aligners back in! Treatment with Invisalign is just as effective as with metal braces, and the results are just as amazing!

Not having metal wires poking your cheeks or brackets that fall off at the most inopportune time resulting in an emergency trip to your orthodontist, is just one advantage of using Invisalign.

The one burning question every orthodontic patient has is 'When are these braces coming off?'  I can tell you  from personal experience as my daughter asks me that exact question before every visit to the orthodontist. She hates her braces because she is restricted in what she can eat, it takes her forever to brush and floss her teeth around all her brackets and wires, the wires poke into her cheek, her teeth are sore after the wires are adjusted, and her most important reason, she is conscious about her looks and smile. In fact I don't have a single smiling picture of hers since she got her braces. I don't blame her for wanting them off, but I can't tell her when they will be off, and neither can her orthodontist. You may ask, Why is she not getting Invisalign? That question will be answered a little further down in this blog. The point I would like to make at this time is that unlike traditional braces, where the end result remains a mystery until the brackets and wires are gone, and one is always wondering (like my daughter) which visit to the Orthodontist will be the last visit, Invisalign uses a technology that shares the end result with you by using a series of  virtual  3D images. Not only can you see the virtual model of your teeth as they look before treatment, you can see individual tooth movements at two week intervals until the final result is derived with the last set of aligners giving you the exact date of treatment completion.

As I mentioned earlier , Invisalign uses a series of clear aligners to move your teeth until the desired results are achieved. Treatment with Invisalign begins with taking patient records. In layman terms, these records are a collection of pictures, radiographs and molds taken of the face and teeth as they are in their current condition. These records are then sent to Invisalign Laboratories. A virtual model of the patient's teeth is made with specialized computer software which can design aligners that can move teeth in stages. Each aligner moves specific teeth to a certain positions in a two week duration. The next aligner is then designed to fit over the previously moved teeth and move them and other teeth further for the next two weeks. All the aligners are designed in a similar fashion until all teeth are finally moved to their desired position. The virtual model with all its stages is available online so that the patient can see the end result. Only after the dentist and patient look over the entire treatment sequence, are satisfied with the end result, and know the exact duration of treatment, does the dentist approve the case and the aligners are manufactured and mailed to the dentist to be delivered to the patient.

The aligners are numbered and delivered in sequence and depending on how comfortable the patient begins to feel about changing them out every two weeks, they can be given for the next four to six weeks, especially  if the patient prefers to have lesser visits to the dentist.

The visits are short and easy and require minimum intervention from the dentist as the next set of aligners is tried on and delivered to the patient.

Having given you all the major advantages of Invisalign, let us look at some of its limitations. whether one can call this a limitation or not, I leave up to you, but it is important to note that unlike traditional braces which can not be removed and require little patient compliance other than keeping good oral hygiene, wearing elastics etc, patient compliance is of utmost importance for invisalign to be successful. The aligners can only do their job if they are proactively put on and kept on the teeth for at least 18-20 hours a day. They should only be removed for eating and drinking. Before investing in getting Invisalign, a patient needs to understand that it requires self motivation and discipline to keep your aligners on all the time and not misplace them or forget to put them on.

The second limitation of invisalign  answers the question about why my daughter wasn't a candidate for it. Invisalign is only recommended for adults and children over the age of 12. Many children need orthodontic intervention at an earlier age for better and faster results, and my daughter was one of them.

The last caveat, and perhaps the most important one. Invisalign is not the miracle cure for every patient wanting straight and beautiful teeth. One can be  assured, that if your ultimate goal is to have a beautiful, healthy smile, cosmetic dentistry has advanced enough to give anyone the smile they have always dreamed about.

For more information about Invisalign, cosmetic dentistry, TMJ disorders can be helped with Invisalign, contact our office to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Singh.

Good Overall Hygiene Can Impact Your General Health

February 18th, 2016

There are many ways in which your oral health has an impact on your overall general health. There are naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth. Some of those bacteria, including strep and staph, are harmful, while other bacteria are essential for the balance of intestinal flora. The healthier your mouth is, the less likely it is the harmful bacteria will travel to other parts of your body to infect it and make you sick. There is much more to good dental hygiene than brushing and flossing.

Historical Methods of Maintaining Oral Health

Ancient civilizations relied on natural remedies for maintaining oral health. Around 250 AD, the Kemetic Egyptians used myrrh and other herbs as antiseptics for treating infected gums. Two centuries later, the Nubians, who lived in the Nile River valley, drank beer to ease the pain of infected teeth. That probably sounds crazy, but their beer was effective because they used grains that were contaminated with the same bacteria that produce the antibiotic tetracycline.

Today's Biggest Dental Hygiene Challenge

In the past, tooth decay was more of an issue because there was no routine dental care, and problems that are routinely treated today went untreated. Thanks to fluoridated water, and toothpastes containing fluoride, tooth decay is far less problematic than it was a century or more ago. Gum disease has replaced tooth decay as the most serious dental problem facing people today. According to the American Dental Association, a staggering 80 percent of Americans over age 65 suffer from some form of periodontal disease.

Ironically, if that infection attacked any other part of your body, especially in a place where it was clearly visible, you would head to your doctor for treatment immediately. People tend to ignore gum tenderness and bleeding. When the tenderness and bleeding aren't treated, the inflammation can turn into periodontitis. The longer you allow the inflammation to go untreated, the greater the likelihood that it will affect other body parts. Make sure to visit Dr. Namrita Singh regularly to be proactive about dental health!

Researchers are now discovering that untreated inflammation in the mouth acts as a driving force for multiple chronic illnesses, including clogged arteries, heart attacks, arthritis, and even cancer. That inflammation is one of many hypotheses that may explain how chronic infections can trigger systemic diseases — and even intensify existing ones. Bacterial overgrowth in the inflamed gum tissue can enter the bloodstream through the food you eat, and from daily brushing.

Caring for your mouth at home influences your health as much as your twice-a-year dental exams and professional teeth cleanings do!

Who benefits from Invisalign®?

February 2nd, 2016

One problem with trying to answer the question as to who benefits from Invisalign is that the simple answer is “almost everyone.” The see-through, almost invisible aligners for straightening teeth are specifically molded to fit each individual’s mouth. Unlike conventional braces, they can be removed when eating and when cleaning the teeth. Because they use less force in straightening teeth than metal braces, the risk of harm to teeth is lessened.

Benefits to adults

Traditional braces are associated with children and teenagers. Many adults want to have their teeth straightened but cannot decide which is worse: having crooked teeth or wearing metal braces. They also worry about having to change their diet by not being able to eat the foods they normally enjoy.

If you are an adult considering braces, our team at Allen Whole Health Dentistry will tell you Invisalign aligners will give you the best of all worlds. Your teeth will be straightened with virtually invisible braces. You can remove your aligners when you eat so you can enjoy any food you normally would consume. You do not have to worry about embarrassing yourself by getting food stuck in your braces. You simply clean your teeth normally after eating and replace your aligners. If there is a special occasion during which you do not want to have any braces at all, you can remove the aligners for a few hours without causing any damage.

Benefits to teenagers

Dr. Namrita Singh  and our team know that teenagers are often involved in contact sports or gymnastics. Others find that having metal in their mouth interferes with their ability to play a musical instrument. Traditional metal braces contain wires and brackets that can cause damage to the mouth and gums; this is not a risk with Invisalign aligners.

For sports that require players to wear mouthguards, the expense of specially constructed mouthguards to fit over braces is avoided. The aligners can be removed during sports activity, and a normal mouthguard is worn. Teenagers who play musical instruments simply remove the aligners when practicing or playing in the band or orchestra.

Teenagers often feel they are too busy to spend time and trouble flossing teeth between the wires and brackets of traditional braces. Since the Invisalign aligners are removable, brushing and flossing are simpler and more likely to be performed.

For more information about Invisalign or Invisalign Teen, or to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Namrita Singh, please give us a call at our Allen, TX office!

Quit Smoking to Save Your Smile

January 18th, 2016

You’ve likely heard that smoking increases risk of lung cancer and emphysema. But did you realize that your cigarette habit also has an impact on your smile? Chronic smokers suffer from increased dental problems that make their smiles unsightly. Understanding how smoking affects your oral health may provide the momentum you need to kick the habit for good.

Cosmetic Changes Associated with Smoking

Cigarettes contain more than 600 ingredients that, when lit, create in excess of 4,000 chemicals. Of these chemicals, many are known carcinogens while others have been shown to have serious negative effects on health. The nicotine and tar in tobacco products are absorbed by the enamel of your teeth. The result is yellowed teeth that look unsightly; with heavy smoking, your teeth may eventually turn nearly brown in color.

The chemicals in cigarettes and cigars also cause your teeth to become less clean. Smoking is associated with a build-up of tartar and plaque on the surface of your teeth. Over time, this increases your risk of developing cavities and other oral health problems. Furthermore, pursing your lips while smoking leads to wrinkles around your mouth, which detracts from your smile.

More Serious Dental Conditions

In addition to having unsightly teeth, smoking can cause serious health conditions. Because of the carcinogens in cigarettes, smoking is associated with an increased risk of oral cancer, which can be deadly. Smokers are also more likely to develop gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss. You may experience an increased loss of bone within your jaw, which will cause significant problems later in life.

Treatment for Smoking-Related Oral Health Problems

Dr. Namrita Singh and our team at Allen Whole Health Dentistry will tell you that the best defense against smoking-related oral health problems is to ditch your nicotine habit. By decreasing the amount of nicotine and other chemicals you consume, you can decrease your risk of oral cancer and gum disease. Remember to mention your smoking habit when you’re at  office. We frequently treat smokers and can recommend smoking cessation programs to help you quit. Dr. Namrita Singh can also advise you about whitening treatments and gum disease prevention activities that ensure you’ll have a beautiful smile for years to come.