Metal Braces Vs Invisalign: Which to Choose?

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Metal braces or Invisalign? This is one of the most frequently asked questions by those looking to straighten their teeth. Both have their benefits, but deciding which one is right for you depends on several factors. To help you decide, let’s take a look at the case for each.

Advantages of Braces

Unlike Invisalign, braces are permanent for the entire duration of your treatment plan. That means they are working 24/7 at getting you a perfect smile. With Invisalign, on the other hand, there is always the temptation to remove the clear plastic trays. If removed too frequently, you may negate any improvements made to your teeth, thereby increasing the duration of your treatment plan. Also, having to remove Invisalign trays every time you eat, drink (except water), and clean your teeth can be seen as a hassle to some.

Advantages of Invisalign

Invisalign braces are clear plastic tray aligners that are specifically designed and fitted for your teeth. Invisalign clear braces are virtually unnoticeable, thus allowing wearers to smile more confidently than they might when wearing traditional braces.

Invisalign feels more comfortable than braces. Braces can irritate or scratch the inside of your mouth. In addition, chunks of food oftentimes get stuck in between the wires and brackets, making eating difficult and uncomfortable. This is avoided with Invisalign because one just needs to remove the clear plastic trays before eating.

Because the plastic tray aligners are removable, teeth are easier to clean. With metal braces, you need to take extra care to gently brush above and below each bracket. In addition, flossing can be a challenge because of the metal wires. One needs to carefully weave between the wires in order to get in between teeth or use a floss leader.

Choosing between Invisalign clear braces or metal braces can often be a difficult, time-consuming decision. However, Centra Dental can make the decision process easier for you. Our Houston dentists and orthodontists are experts at helping patients figure out what is best for them. So contact our southwest Houston office today, and we’ll get you on your way to a perfect smile!

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Why Does My Kid Need Braces?

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Kids can need braces for a variety of reasons. These often include: crooked teeth, overlapping or overcrowded teeth, or a "bad bite" (malocclusion). Malocclusion refers to when the top and bottom jaws are different sizes, resulting in uneven contact between the upper and lower teeth. As a result, overbites and underbites occur. An overbite is when the upper jaw is larger than the lower jaw, while an underbite is when the lower jaw is larger than the upper jaw.

Sometimes losing baby teeth too soon or practicing bad habits like thumb sucking can also lead to tooth and jaw problems. However, tooth and jaw problems are also often inherited. If you or someone in your family have tooth or jaw issues, it is likely that your kid will as well. When left untreated, issues such as low self-esteem, periodontal disease, and improper digestion can occur.

When to Check If Your Kid Needs Braces

There is no exact age for when a child should see an orthodontist for the first time. Some kids go as early as 6, while some go when they are teens. With the popularity of Invisalign clear braces, even adults are now seeing an orthodontist more than ever.

Many orthodontists believe a good time to start seeing an orthodontist is around the age of 7, as this is normally when their permanent teeth start coming in. Once your child’s permanent teeth start coming in, issues such as uneven bite and overcrowding will become apparent. Starting the process early doesn't mean a child will get braces right away. It just means the orthodontist will be able to find problems and decide the best time to start treatment.

Get Your Kid Checked for Braces at Our Southwest Houston Dental Office

Centra Dental is ready to resolve your child’s tooth and jaw issues through the use of 3M metal braces. When you bring your child to our southwest Houston office for a regular visit, our dentists will often be the first to notice any orthodontic issues your child may have. If the dentist feels there are issues that need to be addressed, your child will then see one of our expert orthodontists. The orthodontist will carefully examine your child’s teeth and determine whether or not kids braces are needed.

Centra Dental is committed to giving your child a healthy mouth and great smile. As providers of great dental and orthodontic services, our Houston dentists are ready to help. So contact our southwest Houston office today to book an appointment.

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Health Benefits of Braces

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Braces are often solely viewed as a cosmetic dentistry method to improve one’s appearance. A great smile leads to feeling good about your appearance and greater self-confidence. As important as appearance may be, however, what is often overlooked are the many health benefits of braces. Let’s take a look at a few of them:

Braces Lead to a Healthy Mouth

In addition to the obvious cosmetic improvement of your teeth and smile, straighter teeth are easier to clean, hence better periodontal health. Crooked or gapped teeth make properly brushing and cleaning more difficult, resulting in cavities and tooth loss. In addition, misaligned or crowded teeth make flossing difficult. When teeth are not properly flossed, periodontal disease is likely to manifest.

Braces from Centra Dental in southwest Houston resolves these issues by aligning and spacing teeth out properly. Dental maintenance is greatly improved because brushing, cleaning, and flossing become easier. The result is a clean, healthy mouth.

Braces Correct Jaw Issues

Misaligned teeth cause an improper bite that can lead to jaw issues such as temporomandibular (TMJ) disorders. TMJ disorders affect the muscles and joints surrounding the jaw, often causing headaches and pain around the face and ears. People suffering from TMJ disorders may also experience dizziness and a ringing in their ears.

TMJ disorders often make biting and chewing difficult. This can lead to improper digestion and increasing the chance of large chunks of food getting caught in the teeth and gums, thus leading to bad breath and gum disease.

Braces from our Houston dentists will move your teeth back into their correct position. Once this happens, the TMJ will shift back to its proper alignment, thus relieving you of your symptoms. In addition, you will be able to bite, chew, and even speak better.

Contact Centra Dental for Your Braces Consultation

Our greatest concern at Centra Dental is your overall health. Obviously, a great smile is an added bonus. Straight teeth greatly contribute to both of these things, so contact our office in southwest Houston today for a braces consultation. Let us help give you a great smile and better oral health!

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What an Invisalign Smile Will Do For You

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One of the greatest factors in determining a person’s perception of you is your smile. Smiling not only makes you look more attractive, but it also has many social and health benefits. With so many benefits, smiling more greatly contributes to a happy, healthy lifestyle.

People often cite feeling self-conscious or ashamed about their smile because of crooked or misaligned teeth as reasons for not smiling more. Through the use of Invisalign clear braces, Centra Dental in southwest Houston resolves these issues and will get you smiling more in no time. Here are a few things an Invisalign smile will do for you:

An Invisalign Smile Will Make You More Approachable

Upon meeting people for the first time, a warm, genuine smile makes others feel at ease. A strong, confident smile radiates warmth and opens the door to engagement, while making a great first impression. There is a real physical attraction factor linked to the act of smiling that draws others towards you, while negative expressions such as frowns and glares push people away.

Invisalign gives patients a smile they can be proud of showing. In addition, Invisalign plastic tray aligners are barely noticeable. Therefore, even while wearing the plastic trays, patients will feel more confident in smiling more, because they know their teeth are getting straighter each day.

An Invisalign Smile Will Help Elevate Mood

When we feel great, a smile should come naturally. It's a physical sign of joy, happiness, amusement, or contentment. Although it's not natural to smile when we're sad or upset, research has shown that smiling, even fake smiling, can be the best thing to do when you're looking to brighten up your mood. The old adage of “fake it ‘til you make it” holds validity, as scientists have found that smiling on purpose changes brain chemistry.

Unfortunately, feeling self-conscious about one’s smile gets in the way of smiling more, thus creating an obstacle to feeling the positive emotions associated with smiling. Thankfully, clear braces from Centra Dental removes this obstacle. Invisalign patients will feel free to smile naturally and as often as they want, thus allowing them to experience the positive emotions associated with smiling.

Contact Centra Dental for Your Invisalign Consultation

Centra Dental is committed to giving you a smile you can be proud of. If you live in or around the southwest Houston area, contact our office today for an Invisalign consultation. We look forward to helping you achieve an amazing smile that elevates not just your own mood, but the mood of those around you as well!

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Nu-Crowns: The Best Method for Dental Crowns

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Dentistry continues to develop new technologies that help patients preserve their teeth and overall oral health. At Centra Dental in South Houston, we utilize these new medical breakthroughs to better serve you and your family. It is our primary goal to ensure you have a beautiful and healthy smile. One of those dental breakthroughs is the usage of Nu-Crowns.

For patients with weak teeth or deep cavities, Nu-Crowns can strengthen and revitalize a smile. Dental crowns are one of the most common types of dental procedures performed. Crowns are used to save existing teeth from further decay and enable a patient to return to the normality of chewing and speaking as if their teeth had always been healthy.

Dental crowns have allowed patients the opportunity to save their existing teeth on a long term basis, rather than having to opt to have their teeth pulled due to decay.

WHAT DO NU-CROWNS DO?

Nu-Crowns have taken the existing dental crown technology and expanded it to simplify the process of utilizing crowns. Here are several ways Nu-Crowns have simplified the dental crown procedure:

  • Dental Margins - Nu-Crowns provide extreme accuracy when it comes to aligning new dental crowns to the rest of the existing teeth. Due to excess resin in these crowns, our dentists are able to choose from two or three different crowns to fit each tooth. This allows for more accurate fitting.
  • Close Contact - Teeth need to be close together in order to help prevent food particles from becoming stuck or from allowing individual teeth to become weakened. Close neighboring teeth strengthens all of the teeth, and this is one of the benefits of Nu-Crowns. Nu-Crowns ensure there is close contact with neighboring teeth.
  • Occlusion - When the mouth closes, both jaw lines should be aligning correctly. There should be no unevenness with the teeth, which is called malocclusion. Malocclusion can cause stress on certain teeth in the mouth due to all of the pressure being placed on them. Due to this, those teeth can become weakened and even begin to break down. Nu-Crowns helps create a perfect alignment and alleviates those problems.
  • Faster Procedure - Since Nu-Crowns allow for dentists to choose from several crowns, it enables the procedure to be performed quicker. Along with the dental procedure being conducted in a more timely manner, Nu-Crowns also are more economical.

ARE YOU IN NEED OF DENTAL CROWNS?

If you are suffering from deep cavities or weak teeth, then Nu-Crowns may be exactly what you need. Our Centra Dental dentists will provide a thorough examination of your teeth to conclude precisely your dental needs. You may simply need dental fillings or you may require dental crowns. Our dentists will discuss what is needed for you to continue with the best oral health possible. Contact our office today and schedule your dental appointment.

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What to Do with Wisdom Teeth

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Wisdom teeth. It’s strange that we call them this since more often than not, we recommend having them removed. Although we are figuratively removing wisdom, at Centra Dental, we think it’s a really smart move.

Wisdom teeth are molars at the end of the line on all four corners of the jawline. There are various reasons why our dentists at Centra Dental recommend these teeth being removed.

Reasons to remove wisdom teeth:

Out of Line - Wisdom teeth often become problematic for our dental patients because they can grow too high compared to the other molars. When this happens, it creates trauma to the teeth and gums. Patients often complain of pain from the wisdom teeth.

Crowding - Sometimes the wisdom teeth can cause crowding of the molars, which can lead to discomfort, pain, and swelling of the gums. The problem could worsen by causing a shift in the teeth. If your wisdom teeth are creating havoc on your other molars, then we recommend you coming in soon to have them removed.

Hard to Maintain - Wisdom teeth, since they are so far in the back of your mouth, can be difficult to reach and properly clean. When teeth aren’t properly cleaned consistently, plaque begins to build up, food particles are missed, and cavities begin to take root. Cavities that go untreated can lead to much bigger problems and can become very painful. If your wisdom teeth aren’t receiving the proper care because they are difficult to reach and maintain, then you may want to consider having them removed.

Post-Orthodontic - There have been times that wisdom teeth come in late, after someone has received braces. Because of the force of these teeth, they can negate the positive results of having had braces. They can actually move your teeth back to being misaligned or crooked, requiring dental patients to receive further orthodontic work.

ARE YOUR WISDOM TEETH A PROBLEM?

Your wisdom teeth may be a problem and you don’t even know it. Some patients don’t even notice their wisdom teeth until it they become a problem. Having our dentist at Centra Dental examine your oral condition and conduct an X-ray to see the status of your wisdom teeth can ensure your teeth and gums remain healthy.

If your wisdom teeth are hurting you, then contact us today and schedule your dental appointment to have them removed.

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Sedation: The Calming Effect for Dentistry

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Patients are typically nervous when they come to the dentist. For that reason, we specialize in providing various forms of sedation to help our guests relax.

At Centra Dental, our primary goal is to ensure that every Houston dental patient has a great experience. Our staff works hard everyday to make the process of receiving dental care easy and seamless. From appointment to procedure, our patients know they are in good hands regardless of what oral needs they have: be it a dental cleaning, dental fillings, dental crowns, or oral surgery.

WHY WE USE SEDATION

During many of our dental procedures that come with the possibility of pain, we numb the affected area so the patient won’t feel anything during the procedure. Although we remove the possibility of pain in the area, it doesn’t always remove a patient’s nervousness or anxiety.

Depending on the patient and their needs, we apply certain levels of sedation to calm the guest so that they can be at ease throughout the entire procedure. The age ranges of dental patients at Centra Dental are vast. From small children to senior citizens, we are certain to ask about their levels of nervousness before the start of the procedure. After ascertaining this information, we apply our sedation accordingly until the patient is ready to begin the procedure.

It is Christmas-time, but we promise our sedatives aren’t anything like what the Grinch offers. Our sedation methods are pain-free experiences.

The reason we take such measures is because we understand the value of first impressions. We want every dental patients’ experience to be a positive one, regardless of how many times they’ve come to see us and regardless of what procedure it is. Every impression is important, but ensuring the first impression is a positive one creates a strong sense of immediate trust and comfort. Achieving this and then building upon that experience is paramount to us.

MAKE YOUR APPOINTMENT TODAY

If you are in need of dental work, even before Christmas arrives, contact us today and make your appointment.

 

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