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Everything You Need To Know About Clear Aligners

Here at Icon Orthodontics, we’re proud to offer multiple treatment options to patients of all ages. These range from traditional metal braces to clear aligners, allowing us to achieve long-lasting results in a variety of ways. If you’ve been considering orthodontics but aren’t sure if braces are a good fit for you, clear aligners could be the perfect solution for your smile! To learn more about clear aligner therapy, keep reading below. 

What is clear aligner therapy?

Orthodontists have been using clear aligners to straighten teeth for the last twenty years, but similar trays were used for decades before that as post-treatment retainers. We’ve known for a long time how effective they were at keeping teeth in place, and now we know they excel at moving teeth in the first place, too! 

Instead of brackets and wires, this treatment option uses cutting-edge technology to create a series of customized clear aligners. These aligners are made of a special thermoplastic material and fit comfortably over your own teeth. Although they look very different from braces, aligners use the same gentle pressure to gradually move the teeth where we want them to go. Today’s aligners can correct many common orthodontic problems just as successfully as braces.

Clear aligners can work just as quickly as braces do 

Braces are what we refer to as a fixed orthodontic appliance. The brackets are affixed directly to the surface of the teeth, and only an orthodontist can remove them. Clear aligners, on the other hand, are a removable orthodontic appliance. Because no part of the aligner is attached to the actual surface of the tooth, patient compliance is essential for the best results! 

The aligners must be worn for 20-22 hours each day throughout the treatment process to be effective. Each aligner will also need to be switched out for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks, which allows them to keep up with the movements the teeth are making. Failure to do so can affect the final results and may lead to longer treatment times as well. 

One of the most frequent things patients ask about is how long treatment will take. Every smile is unique, and each patient will respond to treatment in their own way, so there’s no “one size fits all” answer for this, whether you’re in braces or clear aligners. In general, however, the total treatment time for clear aligners tends to be anywhere from 9-15 months. That’s actually slightly faster than the average time a patient spends in braces!

Everything You Need To Know About Clear Aligners

Clear aligners are comparable in cost to braces

Like most new technology, clear aligners were pretty expensive when they first came on the orthodontic scene. As they’ve become more accessible over the years, the cost has come down to a much more reasonable level. These days, clear aligners tend to cost just about as much as braces do. Be aware, however, that multiple factors go into determining the cost of any treatment plan. This includes a patient’s specific needs, the materials being used, and the estimated length of treatment, among others.

Icon Orthodontics is committed to providing our patients with exceptional service at an affordable price. We offer a variety of  customized options to suit any budget, including:

  • Limited Treatment (minor movement of only the teeth of concern) starting under $3,000
  • Early Orthodontics (space creation and bite correction for children who still have some baby teeth) starting around $3,000
  • Comprehensive Treatment (correction of bite and full alignment of all teeth for adolescents and adults) starting in the $4,000’s

We also have several financial incentives available, such as:

  • No-interest financing available
  • 5% Full-payment/cash upfront discount
  • Multi-family member discount
  • 5% Military, fire, police, and teacher discount
  • Start Treatment for as low as $99 down, $99/month (some exclusions apply)

For your convenience, Dr. Sarpotdar and Dr. Sun offer an automatic draft from checking accounts or credit cards. We also accept all PPO insurance plans. Our team is happy to review your insurance coverage and file the necessary paperwork on your behalf.

Clear aligners offer extra flexibility

Thanks to their removable design, clear aligners come with a bit more freedom than traditional braces. An excellent example of this is food restrictions, which can be one of the biggest learning curves for braces patients. To protect the brackets and wires, they need to avoid crunchy or chewy foods throughout treatment. It can be frustrating to miss out on some of your favorite snacks and foods, even though it’s temporary.  With clear aligners, you can continue eating everything you love! You simply remove the aligners any time you want to eat, then put them back in again when you’re done.

Removable aligners also make it easier to keep your teeth and gums clean throughout the treatment process. Carefully cleaning around the brackets and wires that come with braces can be time-consuming, especially in the beginning. Clear aligners are taken out before you begin your normal dental hygiene routine, allowing you to brush and floss the same way you always have. Caring for the aligners themselves is pretty simple, too! There are special kits designed to clean them, or you can gently brush them using water and a soft toothbrush.

Clear aligners can be a great choice for many patients (but not everybody)

There’s a lot to love about clear aligners, but they aren’t always a good fit for every patient. In particular, cases that are complex or severe may

require more precise tooth control than a removable aligner is able to achieve. You’ll also need to be capable of keeping up with wearing the aligners as directed and switching them out on a regular schedule. If you’re not sure you can handle that, a fixed appliance like braces may be a better option for you!

When you schedule your complimentary consultation with our Surprise or Glendale office, one of our doctors will assess your smile and determine if clear aligners are a good fit for you. You can trust that our practice will only recommend the treatment method that will work best for your specific needs.

Everything You Need To Know About Clear Aligners

Get a confident smile with clear aligners and Icon Orthodontics

Dr. Sarpotdar and Dr. Sun have many years of experience using clear aligners to create beautifully aligned smiles! If you’d like to learn more about how clear aligners can transform your teeth, get in touch with us today to schedule your FREE consultation

Your Helpful Guide To Adult Orthodontic Treatment

Here at Icon Orthodontics, we’re on a mission to let people know that there’s no age limit for achieving a beautiful smile! Our practice has successfully treated patients from ages 7 to 75, and we’ve seen how treatment can transform smiles and lives. Still, many adults we speak to are worried that the chance for straighter teeth has passed them by. The good news is you’re never too old to improve your oral health with orthodontics! 

Have you spent years feeling uncomfortable with the way your teeth look or function? Would you like a more aligned smile but aren’t sure if traditional braces are for you? Have you been experiencing issues with your teeth or jaw for a while now and aren’t sure what can be done to relieve them? Whatever you’ve got going on with your smile, our expert team is here to help! Keep reading below to learn what we have to offer adult patients like you. 

Your Helpful Guide To Adult Orthodontic Treatment

Your complimentary consultation with us

Your first visit to our Surprise or Glendale office is one of the most important appointments you’ll have. This is our chance to meet and get to know a bit about each other and discuss the concerns you have about your smile. During this complimentary consultation, you can expect our team to:

  • review your dental and medical history forms
  • provide a complete oral examination to determine if treatment is necessary
  • create a customized treatment plan for you based on your specific needs
  • discuss all financial information, insurance options, and any payment plans available to you

We want every patient to feel comfortable with the treatment process, and that begins with this initial consultation! Our team will ensure you’re fully informed about each step in your orthodontic journey, and we’re always happy to answer any questions you may have. You can trust us to provide you with all the information you need to determine which treatment is right for you.

Your investment in a healthier, happier smile 

Once you’ve spoken with our doctors about your concerns, Dr. Sun or Dr. Sarpotdar will perform a painless but thorough examination of your mouth. They’ll create a customized treatment plan based on your unique needs and determine the necessary treatment fee. We’ll outline everything your treatment plan includes and the investment needed for your new smile during your consultation. 

We understand that orthodontic treatment can be a significant expense for any family. However, we believe it’s an important investment in your health and appearance that will pay off in a big way for years to come! Our practice never wants finances to stand in the way of patients receiving the orthodontic treatment they need. To make the best treatment possible for you and your family, we offer the following:

  • Limited Treatment (minor movement of only the teeth of concern) starting under $3,000
  • Comprehensive Treatment (correction of bite and full alignment of all teeth for adolescents and adults) starting in the $4,000s
  • No-interest financing available
  • 5% Full-payment/cash upfront discount
  • Multi-family member discount
  • 5% Military, fire, police, and teacher discount
  • Start Treatment for as low as $99 down, $99/month (some exclusions apply)

For your convenience, Dr. Sarpotdar and Dr. Sun also offer an automatic draft from checking accounts or credit cards and accept all PPO insurance plans. For your convenience, our team is happy to review your insurance coverage and file the necessary paperwork on your behalf! We do whatever we can to eliminate any financial barriers standing between you and a healthy smile.

Orthodontic treatments for adult patients

The cutting-edge technology and efficient techniques available with modern orthodontics allow us to offer adult patients a wide variety of treatment options. These are more comfortable and customizable than ever before and allow our doctors to give you the results you desire without surgery or extractions in most cases. We offer the following treatments for adult patients.

Damon Metal Braces

The Damon system of metal braces features lighter, more comfortable brackets made of high-grade surgical stainless steel. Damon braces can straighten your teeth about 40% faster than traditional braces on average! This unique system also eliminates the need for elastics, putting less friction on your teeth and providing a more comfortable braces experience from start to finish.

Clear Braces

Clear braces work like traditional metal braces but come with the added benefit of clear brackets. When paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored elastics, this option can be an excellent solution for patients who want a discreet treatment method but aren’t a good fit for clear aligners. While these brackets are visually less prominent, they require more oral hygiene attention as they are larger and more brittle than their metal counterparts. For this reason, we tend to recommend them for teen and adult patients only. 

InBrace Lingual Braces

InBrace lingual braces are similar to metal and clear braces, but instead of being affixed to the front surface of your teeth, the brackets are placed behind them for a truly hidden orthodontic experience! InBrace uses innovative GentleForce technology to provide gentle pressure that moves your teeth more comfortably and efficiently than other treatments. In some cases, patients will begin seeing results in as little as a few weeks. 

Invisalign clear aligners

Instead of brackets, bands, and wires, the Invisalign system uses a series of clear aligners to move your teeth into the desired positions. These aligners are made from a unique SmartTrack material that is strong and durable but still made to fit comfortably over your own teeth. Since the aligners are invisible and removable, you can eat and drink whatever you want while you’re in treatment. Brushing and flossing are a whole lot easier, too! Our adult patients love the freedom and flexibility Invisalign offers. 

Keep in mind that every option will have its own list of pros and cons, and not every treatment will be suitable for all patients. Working with experienced orthodontists like Dr. Sarpotdar and Dr. Sun will ensure you receive only the most appropriate treatment for your particular smile.

Your Helpful Guide To Adult Orthodontic Treatment

Find your best smile at Icon Orthodontics

If you’ve been waiting a lifetime for a beautifully aligned smile that feels as good as it looks, you’ve come to the right place! Icon Orthodontics will create a customized treatment plan based on your specific needs, lifestyle, and goals. Our skilled and experienced staff are committed to providing you with a rewarding orthodontic experience from your first visit with us to your last. Get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation with our Surprise or Glendale office and take the first step towards the confident smile you’ve always wanted! 

Why Your Child Should See An Orthodontist By Age 7

Not so long ago, braces were seen as a kind of rite of passage for tweens and teens. These days, however, patients of all ages are benefiting from orthodontic treatment, including kids. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children receive an evaluation by about the age of 7! 

Why? There’s usually a good mix of primary and permanent teeth present by this time, offering a glimpse at any current or potential orthodontic issues. We can use this to our advantage! Correcting or improving these problems in the early stages can simplify or even eliminate future treatment. To learn more about the benefits of early orthodontic evaluations, keep reading below. 

Early childhood evaluations with Icon Orthodontics

When you schedule a complimentary consultation for your child with our Surprise or Glendale office, we have two skilled orthodontists on hand to assess the development of their smile. Dr. Sarpotdar or Dr. Sun will examine your child’s mouth, looking at their bite, jaw growth, oral habits, and the eruption of their permanent teeth to determine if early treatment is recommended. 

Even if immediate treatment isn’t necessary, these evaluations are still valuable! 

Most children will develop all their permanent teeth between the ages of 11 and 13. By the end of their teen years, the jaw bone hardens and stops growing. Orthodontic treatment after this point can take more time and involve more serious measures like tooth extraction or oral surgery. 

Early treatment can help patients avoid invasive procedures like these. If additional work is needed in their teen or adult years, the total treatment time may be significantly reduced. This proactive approach makes comprehensive treatment faster and more effective, and also gives children the benefit of a healthier smile as they grow! Let’s take a look at some of the common issues our doctors will be looking for when you schedule an orthodontic evaluation for your child. 

Tooth loss and eruption

Baby teeth usually fall out in a fairly specific order. If your child deviates from this pattern, it may signal a developmental issue that needs our attention. By the age of seven, most children will have at least four permanent molars and two to four permanent incisors. If your child has more or less than this, it could be due to missing, crowded, or extra teeth.

Problems with crowding or spacing

By the time a child is seven, their first adult molars are coming in, which helps establish the back bite. This allows an orthodontist to assess it front-to-back and side-to-side, identifying any problems with excessive crowding or spacing. These may include premature tooth loss, teeth that are too small, and those that are spaced too close or too far apart.

Misaligned teeth and jaws

Crooked teeth are more difficult to clean, increasing a child’s chances of developing cavities and tooth decay. They’re also susceptible to uneven damage and wear, which may compromise the shape and position of the surrounding gum tissue. In addition, these misalignments can cause discomfort, headaches, and a variety of other symptoms.

Overbites

Front teeth that noticeably protrude are often seen as a cosmetic concern, but they can also increase the risk of injury to a child’s permanent teeth and may even affect how they speak. Although we can’t permanently correct an overbite until the child’s mouth has finished growing, we can help reduce the severity of the issue in the meantime. 

Underbites

With an underbite, the lower jaw grows too far forward. This can develop due to problems with either the teeth or jaws. As with an overbite, we’ll usually need to wait until the patient has finished growing to permanently correct the problem. That being said, early treatment can still prevent bite shifting or damage to the front teeth! Children who receive early treatment for an underbite tend to be much less likely to need jaw surgery when they get older.

Posterior crossbite

A posterior crossbite can lead to crowding or cause the jaw to shift to one side. Some crossbites can also cause asymmetrical growth of the lower jaw, leading to permanent facial deformities if not corrected at a younger age. In cases like these, we do not recommend waiting until all the permanent teeth have emerged to begin treatment.

Anterior open bites and deep bites

A deep bite can indicate a small lower jaw, with the child’s top teeth covering the bottom ones when biting. With an open bite, the overall bite doesn’t overlap enough. The latter can be caused by destructive oral habits like extended thumb sucking, bottle feeding, or pacifier use. Our team is happy to work with parents to help eliminate these types of habits early on, allowing the child’s dental development to continue normally.

Get your child’s smile off to a great start with Icon Orthodontics

If you have a child around seven years of age, this is the perfect time to schedule their first orthodontic evaluation! Setting up regular visits with an orthodontist now can save them extra visits in the future, and if any problems are present, we can get a head start on treating them. 

The team here at Icon Orthodontics is skilled, caring, and eager to help your child achieve their best smile. Our extensive experience working with children ensures young patients feel comfortable during their first visit to our Surprise or Glendale office—and at every visit after that, too! Get in touch today to schedule your child’s FREE consultation and take the first step towards a lifetime of healthy smiles. 

Recognizing And Treating Your Child's Misaligned Jaw

Recognizing And Treating Your Child’s Misaligned Jaw

If your child has been showing signs of jaw pain lately, you may be feeling concerned. Whether you’ve noticed them rubbing their jaw or enjoying their meals a lot less than usual, seeing your child hurting is never easy. Jaw pain is fairly common in both children and adults, and in younger kids, it’s often related to a misaligned bite. The technical term for this is malocclusion, and the good news is, it can be corrected! The expert team here at Icon Orthodontics can identify and treat your child’s jaw pain, leaving them with an aligned bite and healthy smile! Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about recognizing and treating your child’s misaligned jaw!

How does a misaligned bite cause jaw pain?

Most kids have a pretty big appetite and love to chow down on their favorite foods. Every time they eat, they use their jaws, which are extremely strong muscles. In fact, chewing can generate up to several hundred pounds of force per square inch! If a child has a misalignment, those powerful jaw muscles won’t be able to bite down evenly. This can create an imbalance or place significant pressure on certain teeth. 

In an attempt to correct this, the jaw muscles will often overcompensate. Over time, this can lead to soreness in the child’s jaw. Severe jaw pain can have a knock-on effect. Not only does it make eating uncomfortable, but it can also interfere with the child’s speech, breathing, and sleeping. The joint where the upper and lower jaw meets is complex, so improper functioning can lead to chronic pain in some children, even when their jaw isn’t moving. 

Think about it this way: if you wore a sandal on one foot and a high heel on the other, your back and legs would not be happy with you at the end of the day! That misaligned balance would cause aches and pains even after you took your shoes off. A bad bite works similarly, except there’s no shoe to remove. That means suffering with these symptoms every day or finding a way to treat the problem.  

Recognizing And Treating Your Child's Misaligned JawWhat causes a misaligned bite? How can it be treated?

There are several reasons your child might develop a malocclusion. Bad bites or crooked teeth are often the result of genetics, but this can also occur with:

  • mouths that are too small for their teeth
  • upper jaw and lower jaws that are different sizes
  • the early loss of baby teeth
  • jaw injuries
  • extended thumb sucking or pacifier use 
  • prolonged use of a bottle 
  • tongue thrusting

While you may not always be able to prevent a misaligned bite, there are steps you can take to correct it! Because every child’s smile is unique, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment plan. When you schedule an evaluation for your child with our Surprise or Glendale office, one of our doctors will perform an oral examination and assess your child’s teeth and jaw. 

If treatment is required, we’ll create a customized treatment plan based on your child’s specific needs. This may include the use of one or more orthodontic appliances, something we’ll discuss with you in detail during their visit. Some of the most common treatment options include the following. 

Braces

Braces tend to be the most common way to correct a malocclusion. Our practice offers a range of braces, including:

  • Damon metal braces
  • Damon clear braces
  • INBRACE lingual braces

With braces treatment, brackets are affixed to the front or back of the teeth and connected with a flexible wire. The wire is regularly tightened throughout the treatment process, slowly moving the teeth and jaw into more optimal positions. We may also use elastic bands to apply pressure that will achieve better alignment. Once treatment is complete, we’ll provide the patient with a retainer that will help keep their new smile in place.   

Upper jaw expander

Upper jaw expanders are an orthodontic appliance we can use to correct an underbite. The wire-frame device fits across the upper palate, and a special key is used to widen the expander a very small amount each night. Over time, this will widen the upper jaw and bring the bite into alignment.  

Jaw surgery

In rare instances, jaw surgery may be required to correct a misaligned bite, although this is typically reserved for patients who are struggling to perform everyday functions like eating, sleeping, and speaking. Thankfully, we can usually correct alignment issues in children before they get serious enough to need surgery. 

What are the benefits of correcting a misaligned bite?

Correcting a misaligned bite can relieve jaw pain, but there are other benefits to consider as well! Your child’s teeth will be easier to clean, which reduces the risk of developing tooth decay and cavities. They’ll be less likely to chip their teeth or lose them prematurely, and they’ll be able to speak with more clarity. Appropriate treatment will help increase your child’s self-confidence and give them a smile they’ll be proud to share with everyone around them! 

 

Recognizing And Treating Your Child's Misaligned JawFind your child’s best smile at Icon Orthodontics

Correcting your child’s misaligned bite is an important investment, and one they will reap the rewards of for years to come. With a variety of effective and affordable treatment options available, it’s never been easier to get your child’s smile off to a great start! Our goal here at Icon Orthodontics is to improve your child’s oral health, align their bite, and enhance their self-confidence. Our treatment options can do all three! To learn more about correcting misalignments and achieving a healthier smile for your child, get in touch today to schedule a FREE consultation with our Surprise or Glendale office.

How to Take Care of Your Retainer

Wrapping up your orthodontic treatment is an exciting time! Your hard work is rewarded with a beautiful smile. However, the work doesn’t end here. It is crucial that you continue to take great care of your teeth in order to maintain your new smile. This includes wearing your retainer, which allows your smile to last a lifetime. Keep reading for some advice on retainers from Dr. Andrew Sarpotdar and Dr. Jenny Sun at Icon Orthodontics.

Retainers hold your teeth in their new positions while bone tissue rebuilds around them, stabilizing them. This process takes time, and it is important that you continue to wear your retainer after this process has been completed. Your bite can change over time as bone continues to break down and rebuild. Wearing your retainer will help preserve your smile throughout this process.

Additionally, your orthodontist may have given you a removable or permanent retainer. Removable retainers can be put in and taken out. Permanent retainers are placed and removed by your orthodontist. Each is a custom-fitted wire that is bonded to the tongue-side of your teeth. Your orthodontist will pick the retainer that works best for your teeth.

It is important that you take good care of your retainer once it is in your possession. Here are some good rules to follow:

  • Always carry a retainer case with you – when your removable retainer is not in your mouth, put it in its case.
  • Never wrap your retainer in a napkin – it’s too easy to throw away.
  • Keep your retainer out of the reach of pets – animals don’t realize a retainer isn’t a chew toy.
  • Avoid heat – your retainer can become deformed if it’s left on a heater, a hot stove, or in a hot car.
  • Keep your retainer clean – your orthodontist will give you instructions about this

Now that your treatment is completed and you have your retainer, it is up to you to keep your smile healthy and beautiful. If your retainer gets broken or lost, contact your orthodontist immediately. Feel free to contact our office with any questions about retainers or orthodontic treatment.

Can My Bite Change?

As we go through life, we are in a constant state of change. We age each year, and with that, it is totally normal for our bodies to change too. This includes your teeth as well. Just as the seasons change, you can expect your teeth and bite to change over time. Continue reading for some advice from Dr. Andrew Sarpotdar and Dr. Jenny Sun at Icon Orthodontics about how your bite can change over time.

Teeth are set in bone. Bone is a living tissue, thus it is in a constant state of change. Bone cells are broken down and rebuilt overtime. For bone in the jaws, this is caused by biting, chewing, swallowing and speaking. These actions place force on the teeth which can cause the bones to move and shift. Fortunately, it is a malleability of bones that allows orthodontic treatment to be possible and effective.

Have you noticed a change in your bite? If so, don’t fret, as this is very normal. However, if you have noticed a change, the best place to start is with an orthodontist. Orthodontist’s receive highly specialized training and education in correcting changing bites. They can examine you and help you find the best course of action to treat your changed bite. If your bite is changing, be sure to contact an orthodontist as soon as possible. You can schedule an appointment by contacting our office.