Dietrich & Hilliard Orthodontics

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How long does orthodontic treatment take?

August 28th, 2012

Orthodontic treatments are used to correct malocclusion, a condition more commonly known as a bad bite. The length of treatment time varies depending on the severity of the bite problem.

What is a "bad bite"?
A bad bite occurs when spacing or alignment problems are present. This often includes teeth that are protruding, crowded, or crooked. Sometimes teeth appear straight, but have an uneven bite because the upper and lower jaws do not align properly. Teeth that are irregularly spaced - either too far apart or too close together - can also cause bite problems.

Frequent causes of bite problems:

  • Heredity
  • Thumb-sucking
  • Premature tooth loss
  • Accidents

Benefits of orthodontic treatment:

Appearance -
Correcting a bad bite often creates a more attractive smile, which frequently raises the patient's self esteem.

Preventing Decay -
It also results in a healthier mouth. It is much more difficult to thoroughly clean teeth that are crooked, protruding, overlapped, or crowed. This may allow plaque to build up, which can lead to gum disease, tooth decay and even tooth loss. Orthodontic treatment corrects these conditions, so cleaning can be more efficient.

Avoiding Alignment Issues -
An uneven bite can interfere with the motions of chewing and speaking. This can cause abnormal wear to tooth enamel, which may require pricey cosmetic restorative treatments, such as crowns or veneers, to correct. It can also lead to problems with the jaws. Orthodontic treatment lessens the likelihood of those issues, as well.

 

Types of orthodontic treatment:

- Braces: Metal or ceramic brackets are bonded to the front of teeth. Wires and elastics are attached to the brackets to straighten teeth.

- Invisalign®: Advanced 3D computer images of the patients' mouth are used to create clear, custom aligners that slowly move teeth. They are nearly invisible and are more comfortable than traditional braces. They are also removable, which makes it possible to continue with normal brushing and flossing.

- Retainers: A retainer is a removable piece worn inside the mouth that uses pressure to force teeth to move into proper alignment. They are used after braces are removed.

 

Length of orthodontic treatment:
Treatment typically ranges from 12 - 36 months. Factors include the age, cooperation level, and growth occurrence of the patient. The complexity of the case also impacts the treatment time.

 

 

Burning Invisalign questions, with Hilliard & Dietrich Orthodontics

July 23rd, 2012


Are you wondering what Invisalign treatment is really like, and what effect it will have on your day-to-day activities? Will it slur your speech? Will people know you're in treatment? You're not alone in your concerns!

Dr. Andrew Dietrich, Dr. Keith Hilliard, and our team thought we’d share this list of questions and answers for anyone pondering Invisalign treatment at Hilliard & Dietrich Orthodontics.

How exactly does Invisalign work?
Using 3-D computer imaging technology, Invisalign creates a series of custom-made, clear aligners exclusively for your teeth, based on the treatment plan that we specify for you. Each aligner moves teeth incrementally and is worn for about two weeks, then replaced by the next in the series until the final position is achieved.

Will I experience pain during treatment?
Most people experience temporary discomfort for a few days after a new aligner is placed. This feeling of pressure is normal and is a sign that Invisalign is working by sequentially moving your teeth to their final destination.

Can other people see that I'm in treatment?
One of the benefits of Invisalign is that the aligners are clear. You can straighten your teeth without anyone knowing.

Can I smoke during treatment?
We discourage smoking while wearing the aligners as they may become discolored.

Are there any foods I shouldn’t eat while in treatment?
You can eat normally during the entire course of treatment. One of the advantages of Invisalign is that the aligners are removable. Simply take the aligners out before each meal, brush when you're finished eating, then reinsert the aligners afterward.

What about chewing gum?
We recommend removing your aligners for all meals and snacks, as gum and other chewy substances can stick to the aligners.

How often must I wear my aligners?
Aligners should be worn all day, except when eating, brushing, and flossing.

Will my speech be affected by the aligners?
As with any orthodontic treatment, aligners may temporarily affect your speech. If this does happen, your tongue will adjust within a day or two and your speech should return to normal.

How do I clean my aligners?
The best way to clean your aligners is by brushing and rinsing them in lukewarm water.

How often must I visit the office during treatment?
For most patients, visits every 4-6 weeks are frequent enough for us to determine that your treatment is progressing properly. We will provide you with a specific schedule that supports your individual treatment plan.

If you have additional questions about the Invisalign treatment, please give our office a call, or visit us on Facebook!






Dr. Hilliard, How does Invisalign work?

January 4th, 2011

Perhaps you've wondered recently how Invisalign treatment with Dr. Keith Hilliard straightens teeth without using those metallic traditional braces? The Invisalign system is a state-of-the-art system of clear, removable aligners that we proudly offer.

We encourage you to watch this video, as well as visit our website and the Invisalign homepage for more information about the Invisalign treatment. As always, you can also give our office a call.

Invisalign and how it helps your oral health, from Drs. Hilliard & Dietrich

July 26th, 2010

At Hilliard Orthodontics, we get smart and curious patients who often ask us how Invisalign treatment is so different than traditional braces. Here's our answer: Invisalign, which is a series of removable aligners that are nearly invisible, not only help straighten your teeth, but can improve your oral health as well. Here’s how:

Healthy gums: Straight teeth allow a close fit for gums. This lessens the gum stress that is caused by crowded or widely spaced teeth, thus also reducing red and swollen gums.

Improved speech and chewing: Properly-aligned teeth don’t have the discomfort or compound speech impediments that can be caused by crowded teeth or a deteriorating jawbone.

Easy cleaning: Invisalign is removable, therefore brushing and flossing is easier and you are able to maintain a healthy mouth. These habits are vital to avoiding tooth decay, plaque, and gum disease.

If you have any questions about Invisalign, just ask Drs. Hilliard or Dietrich the next time you visit for an appointment. Or, you may post your question on our Facebook page, and we'll do the best we can to answer your question about this revolutionary treatment!

Happy Monday!

Straight Talk About Invisalign From Dr. Hilliard

May 8th, 2009


More than half a million patients can boast experience with Invisalign treatment. While this invisible method of moving teeth is proven to be effective, many would-be candidates for Invisalign treatment have confusion about whether it’s right for them. Here are some common questions and concerns about Invisalign, with straight answers from Dr. Hilliard.

Have you been told that Invisalign won’t fix your bite?

There are certain movements that are more successful with Invisalign than with braces – it just depends on the type of bite that you have. Invisalign statistics show that over 80% of bad bites (malocclusions) can be corrected by Invisalign. The other 20% can be corrected in conjunction with Invisalign by using braces that are hidden behind the teeth.

Are you worried that Invisalign is expensive?

The cost of Invisalign in most cases is comparable to traditional orthodontics. We do offer affordable financing options with low monthly payments. If it’s important to you to have straight teeth and a more confident smile, we will help make Invisalign affordable for you.

Have you heard that Invisalign doesn’t work?

Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that requires special technique and product knowledge. Our office is well trained in this system and we have successfully treated a broad range of patient types.

Are you concerned about your speech being affected?

Most patients will not notice a significant change in their speech. Certain patients may take a couple of days to a couple of weeks to become accustomed to their aligners. The tongue typically adapts more quickly in patients who speak two languages.
Smiling patient

Have you heard that you can’t drink liquids (including alcohol) with Invisalign?

You can certainly drink liquids while you’re in treatment. However, we recommend that when you do, you take the time to brush your teeth and clean your aligners afterward. If you’re away from home and don’t have access to your toothbrush, it’s best to rinse your aligners with water when your drink is finished. You can drink coffee and tea, but stay away from drinks that are too hot and drinks heavy in sugar.

Have you been told in the past you are not a candidate for Invisalign treatment?

Come in to Dr. Hilliard's for a consultation. We have treated a wide variety of Invisalign cases and are comfortable with the technique. Most likely we can show you an example of a case similar to yours that we have treated successfully.

Is Invisalign® Really Customized for Each Patient?

November 13th, 2008

Yes, it is, and that’s part of what makes it work. To find out if you are the right candidate for Invisalign treatment, the first thing we do is to take an impression of your teeth as they are now and digitize it. Using special software, we look at the current positioning of your teeth and compare it to the way your teeth should look.

Next we use special software to map out the exact path your teeth will take from the beginning of your treatment to the end. Based on the results, a set of custom aligners are created just for your teeth. Throughout the course of treatment, you will be required to wear these clear, removable aligners one at a time; each one moving your teeth closer and closer to their final, perfectly aligned position. And since the aligners are virtually invisible, nobody around you will even know you are wearing braces!

Dr. Hilliard is a certified Invisalign provider. If you have questions about Invisalign, or would like to find out if you are a candidate for Invisalign treatment, give us a call at 863-644-0430.

The Cost of Orthodontic Treatment

September 25th, 2008

Dollars and Sense

Dollars and Sense the cost of orthodontic treatment from flordia orthodontist Dr. HilliardThe cost of treatment depends on the severity of the patient's problem. You will be able to discuss fees and the down payment options before treatment begins.

We have orthodontic treatment payment plans to suit different budgets, including a no-down-payment option for those who decide to finance treatment through Capital One.

We provide a patient payment option with no interest and, for our patient's convenience, we accept all major credit cards.

Our office goal is to help each patient and family reach the goal that they have for orthodontic treatment and to have that treatment fit within their budget.

Your First Visit to Our Lakeland, FL Invisalign Orthodontist

February 29th, 2008

Your First Visit

From the minute you call us, you'll notice a difference!

Your First VisitOur friendly and knowledgable administrative staff members pride themselves on guiding our patients through the new patient process with ease. They will explain each step of the process and schedule a new patient exam at a convenient time for you. Our team's sole responsibility is to assist you with whatever appointment, payment or insurance needs you may have.

At your first visit, Dr. Hilliard and his Treatment Coordinator will complete a comprehensive orthodontic examination. If orthodontic treatment is recommended, some or all of your diagnostic records will be taken. In addition to your medical/dental history, and clinical examination, diagnostic records include photos of the patient's face and teeth and two different types of x-rays. This information is used by Dr. Hilliard to develop a custom treatment plan for each patient. These records are also helpful in tracking the progress of treatment as the teeth move under orthodontic care.

In most cases Dr. Hilliard will be able to discuss his recommendations with you at the initial visit, as well as the costs involved. In some instances, you may need to return for an additional consultation visit after the doctor has further evaluated the records.

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