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Is Invisalign Right for Me?: Top 6 Signs You’re a Good Invisalign Candidate

Bone grafting might sound like a new procedure, but the technique has actually existed for over a hundred years. Today, bone grafting has many useful medical applications, including the dental bone graft. Who needs a dental bone graft? If you have jawbone issues, you might be a candidate for dental bone grafting. The procedure may sound scary, but it's actually a great way to get your dental health on track. The more you learn about what to expect, the less nervous you'll feel. In this guide, we'll teach you everything you need to know about a dental bone graft. If you're curious about this procedure, read on for more! What Is a Dental Bone Graft? A dental bone graft is actually a relatively minor procedure. Your dentist will make an incision to expose the bone of your jaw, then graft new bone material to it. Your bone creates new bone cells around the grafted material, building up bone right where you need it. Bone is actually a more malleable material than you might think. You make new bone cells and get rid of old ones on a regular basis. These changes are usually a good thing. But sometimes, you can end up without enough bone in your jaw, which might mean you need a bone graft. Do You Need a Dental Bone Graft? If you've lost an adult tooth, or had gum disease, there's a chance you'll need a dental bone graft. When you don't have one of your adult teeth anymore, the bone around your teeth starts to disappear. Gum disease can also cause the jaw bone to recede. The bone loss from just one tooth might not be noticeable. But if you lose multiple teeth, or have advanced gum disease, your bone loss can actually affect the way your face looks. You may start to have sagging facial features because there's not enough bone left to support them. Bone grafting helps restore your appearance. It also ensures that any tooth replacements you get will stay in place. Types of Dental Bone Grafting There are a few different varieties of dental bone graft -- let's take a look at which ones you might need to get. 1. Block Bone Graft In this type of bone graft, your dentist will use bone from the back of your jawbone, near your wisdom teeth. This is a good option if you have serious bone loss that needs to be addressed. 2. Socket Graft A socket graft is the type of graft you can get at the same time as you get a tooth extracted. This prevents bone loss usually associated with adult tooth loss. Your body won't be able to reabsorb the bone near where the tooth was, because of the socket graft. This keeps your jaw ready for the dental implants you'll get to replace the missing tooth. 3. Sinus Lift This bone graft is useful if you've lost some of the molars on your upper row of teeth. Part of the sinus may actually start to reach downward, filling in the gap left by the teeth. A sinus lift restores the sinus to normal, while repairing the gap with a bone graft instead. Bone Grafting Procedure Now, let's look at what you can expect if it's determined that you need a bone graft. The procedure depends on what you need the procedure for. If it's associated with a dental implant, you'll start by having the old tooth taken out. Then, the bone graft will be done so you're ready for implant surgery. After the graft, there will be a stable base for the new tooth. Most of the time, bone grafts are done with bone from your own body. It might come from the back of the jawbone, or from another body part. However, human and even animal donors can also be a good source of bone graft material. This bone gets sanitized so it's totally safe to use. Some people prefer this option, because it means they won't need a second surgical incision to get the bone. Once the bone graft is done, you'll probably need to wait for a matter of months before you can have your implant added. It takes time for your bone to develop new bone around the graft, so the implant will stay in place. Bone graft surgery usually takes less than two hours. You'll get it done in your dentist's office, and then you'll need to go through a brief healing process. Bone Graft Healing Process You'll probably feel some pain after the bone graft is complete. However, the pain won't be too extreme. You can manage it with ice, and your dentist might also recommend medications to keep the swelling down. The swelling will be one of the most noticeable effects during your recovery. It's important to work on reducing the swelling, since it can get in the way of your healing process. You'll also need to take care with what you eat while you recover. Some procedures will restrict you to a liquid diet during recovery, while others may allow a variety of soft foods. However, it will be a while before you can eat anything hard or crunchy. When you sleep, you may need to keep your head elevated, so blood doesn't gather at the surgical site and cause more swelling. And it's important to avoid strenuous activity for a while so nothing harms the site of the graft. Is a Dental Bone Graft Right for You? There's a short list of specific reasons why you might need a dental bone graft. Most people will never need this kind of procedure. But if you have bone loss due to tooth loss or gum disease, you may very well need a dental bone graft. As you can see, there's nothing to be afraid of. This is a fairly small procedure that you'll mostly recover from in a matter of weeks, even though it can take months for the bone to completely grow back. Do you need dental services in the St. Louis area? Don't delay -- contact us to get the dental care you need!
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Is Invisalign Right for Me?: Top 6 Signs You’re a Good Invisalign Candidate

invisalign candidate

Four million people in the United States have braces at any one time. According to statistics, 25% of them are adults.

However, most adults would prefer not to have train track-style braces, as it can impact their self-esteem and detract from a professional appearance. But how can those who don’t want the appearance of braces have their teeth fixed?

Enter Invisalign. With this method, you can fix any crooked teeth without ever looking like you’ve had braces at all. But, not everyone is a candidate.

In this article, we’ll go over some of the signs that you are an Invisalign candidate, and can speak to your dentist or orthodontist about starting the process.

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a series of clear trays that change your teeth’s positioning over time. You’ll get a custom mold made of your teeth and then you’ll receive the first tray. This will shift the shape of your teeth slightly. Then, you’ll receive another tray that will change your teeth ever so slightly even more.

After a series of trays, you’ll have the straight teeth you originally set out to achieve. This way, you get the benefit of braces without having to wear them visibly.

Next, we’ll go over some of the signs that you’re a candidate for Invisalign.

1. Your Case Is Straightforward

Most cases of crooked teeth can be fixed with Invisalign. The system can work for those who have underbites, overbites, crossbites, open bites or those who have gaps or crowded teeth. But, that doesn’t mean it works for everyone.

Your dentist or orthodontist will be able to assess your case and let you know if Invisalign is right for you. In more complex cases, you may require dental surgery, or you may not be able to have your teeth straightened without the use of traditional braces.

2. You’re Responsible

One reason Invisalign is only for people over a certain age is that you must commit to wearing them for them to work. Invisalign trays are removable, meaning you can take them out if you wish. The system relies on you wearing them on your teeth for a set number of hours per day. In some cases, this means you’ll have to wear them all of the time, except when you eat.

Because you can remove them, some people decide they won’t bother wearing them. They may even lose them. These types of people likely won’t progress very far with Invisalign, because they’ll stall their own results.

If you aren’t very committed to changing your teeth, or you know you lose important items easily, Invisalign probably isn’t the solution for you.

3. You’ve Got All of Your Adult Teeth

Most orthodontists won’t treat teeth cosmetically unless you have all of your adult teeth. That’s because they can’t predict how children’s adult teeth will grow in.

In order to have Invisalign, you must have all of your adult teeth. In some cases, there are adults who still have a baby tooth or two that is lingering. If this is the case, you may require further orthodontic work before you’re able to start the Invisalign process.

4. You’ve Got Good Oral Hygiene

Having good oral hygiene is a must for Invisalign trays. Not only must your mouth be healthy, but you must be able to take care of your trays so that they don’t cause infections or further issues.

This goes along with the point that you must be responsible in order to wear Invisalign trays. You must clean them at regular intervals and take good care of the trays. Otherwise, you may have to pay quite a bit to replace them.

Additionally, you will need to ensure your mouth is free of disease or other problems and that you brush regularly before a dentist or orthodontist will consider you.

5. You Don’t Smoke

As your Invisalign trays will be in most of the day, you can’t smoke or use tobacco. This can interfere with the trays themselves, as well as make them dirty. If you smoke too often and remove your trays while you smoke, you may find that your Invisalign isn’t as effective as it could be because you aren’t wearing them for enough time during the day.

Additionally, smoking is incredibly unhealthy for not just your teeth, but your entire body. If you want to have Invisalign and smoke, now might be the best time to quit.

6. You’re Old Enough

Not only do you need to have all of your adult teeth, but you also need to be old enough to wear Invisalign. There is no upper age limit, and you can have your teeth straightened at any point in your life. But, most orthodontists aren’t keen to give sets to young teens or children, regardless of if they have all of their adult teeth.

This is partially because the Invisalign trays are removable and must be looked after. This gives the wearer an added responsibility that they may not have with traditional braces that cannot be removed.

Am I an Invisalign Candidate?

Are you an Invisalign candidate? If you meet the six points listed above, there is a good chance that you’ll benefit from the Invisalign system. Your dentist or orthodontist may have more to discuss with you about your individual case, so be preared when you make your appointment for yourself, or for your teenager. 

After reading this article, if you feel you might be interested in starting the Invisalign system, contact us to set up an appointment. We can assess your situation and discuss whether you’re an appropriate candidate.

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