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Posts for tag: braces

By John Sartorio, D.M.D.
March 11, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
LadyGagaWasntBornThisWay

Sometimes, looking at old pictures can really bring memories back to life. Just ask Stefani Germanotta—the pop diva better known as Lady Gaga. In one scene from the recent documentary Five Foot Two, as family members sort through headshots from her teen years, her father proclaims: "Here, this proves she had braces!"

"If I had kept that gap, then I would have even more problems with Madonna," Lady Gaga replies, referencing an ongoing feud between the two musical celebrities.

The photos of Gaga's teenage smile reveal that the singer of hits like "Born This Way" once had a noticeable gap (which dentists call a diastema) between her front teeth. This condition is common in children, but often becomes less conspicuous with age. It isn't necessarily a problem: Lots of well-known people have extra space in their smiles, including ex-football player and TV host Michael Strahan, actress Anna Paquin…and fellow pop superstar Madonna. It hasn't hurt any of their careers.

Yet others would prefer a smile without the gap. Fortunately, diastema in children is generally not difficult to fix. One of the easiest ways to do so is with traditional braces or clear aligners. These orthodontic appliances, usually worn for a period of months, can actually move the teeth into positions that look more pleasing in the smile and function better in the bite. For many people, orthodontic treatment is a part of their emergence from adolescence into adulthood.

Braces and aligners, along with other specialized orthodontic appliances, can also remedy many bite problems besides diastema. They can correct misaligned teeth and spacing irregularities, fix overbites and underbites, and take care of numerous other types of malocclusions (bite problems).

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that kids get screened for orthodontic problems at age 7. Even if an issue is found, most won't get treatment at this age—but in some instances, it's possible that early intervention can save a great deal of time, money and effort later. For example, while the jaw is still developing, its growth can be guided with special appliances that can make future orthodontic treatment go quicker and easier.

Yet orthodontics isn't just for children—adults can wear braces too! As long as teeth and gums are healthy, there's no upper age limit on orthodontic treatment. Instead of traditional silver braces, many adults choose tooth-colored braces or clear aligners to complement their more professional appearance.

So if your child is at the age where screening is recommended—or if you're unhappy with your own smile—ask us whether orthodontics could help. But if you get into a rivalry with Madonna…you're on your own.

If you have questions about orthodontic treatment, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Magic of Orthodontics” and “Orthodontics For The Older Adult.”

HowShawnMendesandMileyCyrusGotTheirStellarSmiles

The 2019 Grammy Awards was a star-studded night packed with memorable performances. One standout came from the young Canadian singer Shawn Mendes, who sang a powerful duet of his hit song "In My Blood" with pop diva Miley Cyrus. But that duo's stellar smiles weren't always quite as camera-ready as they looked that night.

"I had braces for four and a half years," Mendes told an interviewer not long ago. "There's lots and lots and lots of photo evidence, I'm sure you can pull up a few." (In fact, finding one is as easy as searching "Sean Mendes braces.")

Wearing braces puts Mendes in good company: It's estimated that over 4 million people in the U.S. alone wear braces in a typical year—and about a quarter of them are adults! (And by the way: When she was a teenager, Miley Cyrus had braces, too!)

Today, there are a number of alternatives to traditional metal braces, such as tooth-colored braces, clear plastic aligners, and invisible lingual braces (the kind Cyrus wore). However, regular metal braces remain the most common choice for orthodontic treatment. They are often the most economical option, and can be used to treat a wide variety of bite problems (which dentists call malocclusions).

Having straighter teeth can boost your self-confidence—along with helping you bite, breathe, chew, and even speak more effectively. Plus, teeth that are in good alignment and have adequate space in between are easier to clean; this can help you keep your mouth free of gum disease and tooth decay for years to come.

Many people think getting braces is something that happens in adolescence—but as long as your mouth is otherwise healthy, there's no upper age limit for orthodontic treatment. In fact, many celebrities—like Lauren Hutton, Tom Cruise and Faith Hill—got braces as adults. But if traditional braces aren't a good fit with your self-image, it's possible that one of the less noticeable options, such as lingual braces or clear aligners, could work for you.

What's the first step to getting straighter teeth? Come in to the office for an evaluation! We will give you a complete oral examination to find out if there are any problems (like gum disease or tooth decay) that could interfere with orthodontic treatment. Then we will determine exactly how your teeth should be re-positioned to achieve a better smile, and recommend one or more options to get you there.

If you have questions about orthodontic treatment, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Magic of Orthodontics” and “Lingual Braces: A Truly Invisible Way to Straighten Teeth.”

By John Sartorio, D.M.D.
December 13, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: orthodontics   braces   invisalign  

Braces aren't the only way to straighten your teeth. Invisalign completely eliminates metal wires and brackets, making it possible to change invisalignyour smile without calling attention to yourself. Pittsburgh, PA, dentist, Dr. John Sartorio explains how the Invisalign process works.

A straighter smile with absolutely no wires

Moving teeth with steady pressure is the foundation of every orthodontic system. The pressure can come from metal or ceramic braces or the removable aligner trays that the Invisalign system uses. If you opt for Invisalign rather than traditional braces, we'll take digital impressions, photographs and X-rays of your teeth in our Pittsburgh office, then combine them to create a computerized 3D representation of your mouth. The 3D image is used to devise a straightening plan that will completely transform your smile. A few weeks after your photo and X-ray session, you'll receive the series of trays that you'll wear throughout your treatment. Each set of trays in the series is usually worn for two weeks.

Invisalign offers more than just cosmetic benefits

Because your aligner trays are clear, most people won't be able to tell that you're undergoing orthodontic treatment. Many people choose Invisalign because it offers a more discreet option, but the system also offers other important advantages, including:

  • Convenience: You can remove your trays when needed, unlike metal or ceramic braces that must remain attached to your teeth until your treatment ends. Want to look your best for your wedding or prom? Simply take out the trays before the big event and reinsert them when it's over. The trays can also be removed when you play sports. Although you can take out the trays occasionally, it's important to wear them for at least 20 hours most days.
  • Comfort: There are no wires to cut your mouth or painful adjustments when you straighten your teeth with Invisalign. Invisalign aligner trays are constructed of clear, comfortable plastic designed to prevent irritation.
  • Easy Care: Aligner trays are removed when you brush and floss your teeth, making it simple to continue your usual hygiene routine. Since you'll take out the trays when you eat, you won't have to worry that food will become trapped in them.

Ready to find out if Invisalign is a good choice for you? Call Pittsburgh, PA, dentist, Dr. Sartorio at (412) 831-8700 to schedule an appointment.

WhyemBigBangTheoryemActressMayimBialikCouldntHaveBraces

Mayim Bialik has spent a good part of her life in front of TV cameras: first as the child star of the hit comedy series Blossom, and more recently as Sheldon Cooper’s love interest — a nerdy neuroscientist — on The Big Bang Theory. (In between, she actually earned a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA…but that’s another story.) As a child, Bialik had a serious overbite — but with all her time on camera, braces were just not an option.

“I never had braces,” she recently told Dear Doctor – Dentistry & Oral Health magazine. “I was on TV at the time, and there weren’t a lot of creative solutions for kids who were on TV.” Instead, her orthodontist managed to straighten her teeth using retainers and headgear worn only at night.

Today, there are several virtually invisible options available to fix orthodontic issues — and you don’t have to be a child star to take advantage of them. In fact, both children and adults can benefit from these unobtrusive appliances.

Tooth colored braces are just like traditional metal braces, with one big difference: The brackets attached to teeth are made from a ceramic material that blends in with the natural color of teeth. All that’s visible is the thin archwire that runs horizontally across the teeth — and from a distance it’s hard to notice. Celebs like Tom Cruise and Faith Hill opted for this type of appliance.

Clear aligners are custom-made plastic trays that fit over the teeth. Each one, worn for about two weeks, moves the teeth just a bit; after several months, you’ll see a big change for the better in your smile. Best of all, clear aligners are virtually impossible to notice while you’re wearing them — which you’ll need to do for 22 hours each day. But you can remove them to eat, or for special occasions. Zac Efron and Katherine Heigl, among others, chose to wear clear aligners.

Lingual braces really are invisible. That’s because they go behind your teeth (on the tongue side), where they can’t be seen; otherwise they are similar to traditional metal braces. Lingual braces are placed on teeth differently, and wearing them often takes some getting used to at first. But those trade-offs are worth it for plenty of people. Which celebs wore lingual braces? Rumor has it that the list includes some top models, a well-known pop singer, and at least one British royal.

So what’s the best way to straighten your teeth and keep the orthodontic appliances unnoticeable? Just ask us! We’d be happy to help you choose the option that’s just right for you. You’ll get an individualized evaluation, a solution that fits your lifestyle — and a great-looking smile!

For more information about hard-to-see (or truly invisible) orthodontics, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Orthodontics for the Older Adult” and “Clear Aligners for Teenagers.”

By John Sartorio, D.M.D.
February 18, 2016
Category: Invisalign

Discover all that these nearly invisible braces can offer your smile.

Ready to find out what benefits you’ll really reap when you get Invisalign from your Pittsburgh, PA cosmetic dentist Dr. John Sartorio?invisalign

Your Appearance

You may think that a smile full of metal is unsightly and unattractive. For many of our older patients, they are looking to skip the awkward metal braces even though they still desperately want a straighter smile. Invisalign does exactly what many patients want: these aligners straighten teeth but do so without other people noticing. No wires, no brackets and no metal, just clear, comfortable aligners that fit over your teeth.

Fitting into Your World

Many of our patients lead busy lives and they need a treatment that will fit into their schedule. With traditional braces, you often have to see your Pittsburgh dentist more routinely. But with Invisalign, you’ll come in less frequently (about every six weeks) to make sure everything is going according to plan.

Offering Superior Comfort

It probably goes without saying that metal braces don’t look all that comfortable. Having wires and metal in your mouth can be irritating to sensitive tissue like your gums, cheeks or tongue. With Invisalign you’ll get a flexible, comfortable aligner made out of thermoplastic. Each aligner is custom-made to fit your teeth so you’ll get an ideal fit every time.

Keep Some of Your Habits

Do you enjoy biting into a juicy steak? With traditional braces, certain foods are absolutely off limits, as they can possibly damage your braces. But with Invisalign you can still eat all of your favorite foods. Just take your aligners out before eating and you’re good to go.

Also, the same rule applies to your oral care regime. Most patients find it a challenge to brush around all that metal in their mouths and trying to pay close attention to all those little crevices. But with Invisalign you can take out your aligners and brush and floss like you have been. No need to change your comfortable routine!

If you are ready to take the next step toward a straighter smile then it’s time to schedule a consultation. Call our Pittsburgh dental office today and let us know you are interested in getting Invisalign.