Patient AR had wanted straight teeth for most of her 60 years and never thought it could be possible. While the top teeth were pretty straight, the lower crooked teeth embarrassed her, especially since the overlap made her teeth collect stain and become very unsightly. Dr. Melissa Tuft advised AR that, not only would straightening her teeth be more aesthetically pleasing, but it would improve her overall dental health. Straight teeth are easier to keep plaque free, which result in better oral health. Seniors often ask Dr. Tuft if it is worth their time and money to invest in dental treatment. In truth, good oral health is even more important as we age. There is a direct correlation between tooth health and longevity which is not surprising considering two factors that impact general systemic health. First, it is a well established medical fact that inflammation of any source deteriorates overall health. Specifically, oral bacteria have been found in arteriosclerotic plaques that make up blockages in the heart vessels causing heart attacks. There is evidence that pathological bacteria is also contributory to brain blockages leading to strokes. Secondly, nutrition becomes even more important as we age and the most nutritious foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetable, require optimum chewing ability.
AR was only concerned with the appearance of her teeth, understandably, but the side benefits are great to be educated on! The first consultation appointment was set for impression, photographs, and to update radiographic images. Sometimes an I Tero scan is made instead of impressions. These records are then uploaded to the computer for careful analysis and diagnosis by Dr. Tuft. The computer model of the proposed treatment is then generated and emailed to the patient for approval. Upon approval, the aligners are manufactured.
Once the aligners arrived, AR was requested for her delivery appointment. At this appointment, some teeth were polished to allow movement and the attachments were placed. The attachments are a small button made of tooth-colored plastic that aids the retention and movement. The attachment is then removed at the end of treatment without damage to the teeth. AR was allowed to leave only after all her questions and concerned were addressed, and that she was confident about removing and placing the appliances. As predicted the first three days were a bit of a trial. There is usually some soreness and it takes some time to just get used to appliances in the mouth. But somehow, magically, on the fourth day, one seems to adapt.
In AR's case, there was one appointment to tooth adjustment and then the final check before ordering retainers. All treatment was completed in less than 5 months and AR is a very happy and healthier patient.
After 5 Months: