How Safe are Aligners with Impressions You Take Yourself?

How Safe are Aligners with Impressions You Take Yourself?

You may have seen ads that say you can straighten your smile yourself with invisible aligners. Essentially, you would take an impression of your teeth on a mold and send it to the company. After a few days, you receive customized aligners that should straighten your teeth. As a prosthodontist, I have undergone several years of training for restorative dentistry. Such training involves being precise to the millimeter. Here are three ways taking impressions of your teeth might not be the best idea.

1. The impressions are not done correctly

A common instance is the mold is not done appropriately. No fault of your own: trays should be customized to the bite and a perfect impression is tricky to achieve even when a professional orthodontist does it. Getting it right the first time is unlikely, especially since you are unaccompanied by an orthodontist.

Why does this matter? It matters because these impressions will form the shape of your aligner—what you will be wearing for at several months. Your teeth could shift as a result of having improperly designed aligners, requiring expensive treatment to reverse.

2. The people who approve impressions are not necessarily dentists

“Dental professionals” are the people who review the impressions you take at home. It is strange that the term “dental professional” is used rather than a more qualifying title. Therefore, whoever should be a check on your molded impressions may not be a licensed orthodontist.

3. There is no way of knowing whether invisible aligners may be the best course of treatment!

Dentists provide a comprehensive assessment on your oral health. If there is gum disease, weakened gum bone, or any issue that needs attention, a dentist can create a complete treatment plan to address these deficiencies. This includes coordinating with prosthodontists, periodontists, and endodontists. The misalignment of your teeth may be due to one of many reasons. Self-directed, unsupervised treatment with invisible aligners is not recommended.

The mouth is a mosaic, and experts go through many years of training to be able to get the details just right. Be wary of offers that may be too good to be true, especially when it comes to something as important as your teeth. If you want to learn more about our Invisalign treatment, please follow this link that shows our approach to invisible aligners.

Stress and Oral Health

Stress and Oral Health

Taking a little time each day to protect your teeth can go a long way to reduce the effects of stress to your body.

Natural Toothpastes and their Active Ingredients

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Natural Toothpastes and their Active Ingredients

Natural toothpastes offer an alternative to established toothpastes such as Colgate or Crest. We recommend fluoride, aid of fluoride, xylitol and other antibacterials, such as chlorhexidine to remineralize and repair teeth, but knowing what goes into natural toothpastes can help make you a more conscious consumer when you shop for toothpaste.

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Brooklyn Dental Studios Decreasing Environmental Impact with Digital Radiography

Digital Radiography enables dentists to provide better patient care and decrease environmental impact. 

Digital Radiography enables dentists to provide better patient care and decrease environmental impact. 

 

At Brooklyn Dental Studio, we strive to use up-to-date technology to provide the best care for our patients. We would like to highlight one such tool - the portable NOMAD digital x-ray unit. The NOMAD allows us to produce images that can be enhanced to highlight important details, such as early detection of cavities and bone loss. Relative to traditional photography, digital radiography also reduces burdens to the environment and to public health. Here’s how digital radiography improves our practice as well as our environment:

Lower radiation dose

Digital radiography enables about a 90% reduction of radiation compared to conventional film.  Even with this decrease in exposure,  we are able to see your teeth and support structures in crystal-clear definition.

Saves time

Digital x-rays are available for review instantaneously, compared to traditional films, which take time to process.  This reduces the time you have to spend in the chair.  In fact, with all the time saved, we can examine and interpret about three x-ray results using digital radiography in the time it would take to obtain one x-ray using traditional methods.  

Limits effects of Silver

Traditional photography and radiography developing techniques use silver halide in order to “fix” the picture onto the film paper and keep it from being damaged by light. Silver halide that is not “fixed” onto the paper is disposed. Numerous studies have shown silver compounds (including silver halide) accumulate in our soil and waterways. While there is a shift in the photography industry away from using silver, we are also doing our part to limit our impact to Brooklyn’s waterways by not using it. This means happier mussels and microbes in the Gowanus Canal.

Reduction in Water Consumption

The chemicals used to remove the silver from photographs involve dilution using water. These diluted solutions contain high amounts of silver and cyanide. They alter the water chemistry of waterways in the environment into which they are disposed. Digital radiography does not require any water nor chemicals to develop.  

We’d love for you to come check out the NOMAD for yourself!

 

Digital Radiography: Less Radiation, Better Images

Dr. Patt with the NOMAD x-ray unit.

Dr. Patt with the NOMAD x-ray unit.

Perhaps one of the greatest advances in dentistry has been the development of digital radiography.  Images can now be produced instantly with up to 90% less radiation exposure compared to traditional dental films.  Images may also be enhanced to highlight important details, such as early detection of cavities and bone loss.  Brooklyn Dental Studio is proud to feature digital radiography, and does so utilizing the portable NOMAD x-ray unit.  Compared to traditional wall-mounted x-ray units, the NOMAD exposes the operator to less radiation.  In providing digital radiographs with the NOMAD unit, Brooklyn Dental Studio is reducing radiation exposure to both patients and staff.