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Dolphin Braces

COVID-19 Update

By Practice News

COVID-19 & Your Dental Health

Updated Patient Check-In Procedures

Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines.

While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety. Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice, and you may have seen this during your visits to the office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and staff safe.

Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations.

You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:

  • Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.
  • We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.
  • You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children’s toys, and so forth since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
  • Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.
  • We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice.

To make an appointment, please text (361) 643-2255. Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors, and friends.

5 Truths About Invisalign in 2020

By Invisalign

Invisalign has recieved a ton of press the last few years, becoming a household name in the United States. When people think clear braces, many associate that term with “Invisalign”. For those of you still on the fence about Invisalign and treatment options, here is a primer for you dedicated to dispell a few myths about treatment.

Truth 1 – The aligners need to stay on in order to work to their potential.

The biggest clear-cut difference between braces and Invisalign is the ability to remove the aligners. But you really should only be removing the liners to eat, floss, and brush your teeth. Sure, you don’t have some of the same dietary and snacking restrictions of traditional braces but for optimal results, you need to be wearing your aligners for 20-22 hours each day.

Failing to wear the aligners for the correct amount of time can increase treatment time and cost for additional aligners, or product less than predicted results.

Let’s face it, if you are making the investment in Invisalign, you need to be committed to seeing the process through.

Truth 2 – Clean your teeth

This may be really obvious advice coming from a dentist, but teethbrushing is absolutely a vital step in wearing Invisalign. And we’re not talking about the usual amount of brushing.

In order to reduce or eliminate the opportunity for infection or decay, brushing and flossing need to be part of your routine after everything you put in your mouth. Soda? Brush them. Nuts for protein? Brush them. A super-healthy, antiocident packed kale salad? Brush them, and don’t forget to floss!

We’d highly recommend picking up some travel toothbrushes. Keep one in your messenger bag or purse for quick hygiene on the go!

Truth 3 – Speaking of brushing, no toothpaste on your aligners please.

Every dentist on the planet will tell you that brushing your teeth (with toothpaste) will help prevent bacteria and oral decay. But just as important, we don’t want you brushing your aligners with the same toothpaste.

The ingredients in toothpaste can result in a yellow appearance with your aligners and cause scratching on their surface. That scratching can lead to a build up of unhealthy bacteria as well as cause a lingering odor.

That’s pretty counterproductive to the whole “discreet” concept of Invisalign.

Truth 4 – Realistic expectations, with a caveat.

Invisalign itself isn’t David Blaine. Both are pretty amazing in their own regard, but we’ve got to temper your excitement with truth (isn’t that the whole purpose of the article). Invisalign does take time to work, and just as important it requires time invested by the patient.

With traditional braces, unless you want to go all woodshop class and remove them yourself – you’re stuck in them for the duration of the treatment. Invisalign provides a level of freedom, but also relies on your participation to be successful.  Dr. Martin can’t chase you around for 20-22 hours a day to remind you to brush, floss, clean your aligners, and most importantly put them back in your mouth.

The truth is pretty apparent here as well, Invisalign isn’t for everyone. Invisalign offers some very predictable results if worn and used properly. It also offers typically shorter treatment times that traditional braces. The caveat here is you. Before investing time and money, it’s really important to honestly access your commitment to Invisalign, and whether the short-term routine changes are sustainable to your lifestyle.

Truth 5 – Not all provders are created equal.

For as magical as Invisalign seems, the Invisalign system requires careful preparation, treatment planning, and follow up adjustments. A dentist’s experience and expertise weigh heavily on the outcome of your treatment. It’s important to do your homework and select a dental provider that is equipped to handle your treatment, as well as your questions along the way.

Dr. Martin is a Diamond Plus certified Invisalign provider. She has been recognized by Invisalign directly as a top provider in the United States for treatment.

Trust your smile, and your investment, with one of Invisalign’s top doctors.

What Does Invisalign Cost?

By Costs, Invisalign

Invisalign is the premier teeth straightening option on the market right now. Since 1997, Invisalign has been leading the way with their clear aligner system for straightening crooked/misaligned teeth.

The biggest benefit for Invisalign is, of course, those discreet plastic aligners that are removable and totally invisible.

The numbers on Invisalign

The cost of Invisalign depends on your case, but on average, it is similar to the cost of traditional braces. How much do braces cost? Around $5,000 on average, according to the The American Dental Association’s 2018 Survey of Dental Fees. That may be the upper range: The Consumer Guide to Dentistry estimates average Invisalign cost at between $3,000 and $5,000. The bottom line is that the answer to “how much does invisalign cost?” is super individual.

Beyond cost, there are other things to consider when comparing Invisalign vs braces: Clear aligners aren’t right for everyone. They’re especially great for adults with minor to moderate crowding, and for those who have experienced teeth shifting. But they may not be right if you have a more severe case of crowding or if you have a discrepancy in how your upper and lower jaw fit together. Only a dentist or orthodontist can determine whether clear aligners will work for you.

Another thing to consider: While Invisalign is offered in-office by trained dentists or orthodontists, newer companies allow you to order aligners online, either after being fitted in-person by a dental professional or using an at-home impression kit. While Invisalign requires multiple visits to your provider, other brands allow you to be monitored remotely by a dentist or orthodontist. These may ultimately be cheaper options, depending on your specific case.

Does insurance cover clear aligners?

Yes. Many dental insurance plans reimburse some (but not all) for the cost of Invisalign, especially. If your insurance plan covers orthodontic treatment, it will likely cover at least some of the cost of Invisalign or another clear aligner system.

What if I need traditional braces?

If you’re not a candidate for clear aligners, fear not! Today’s braces are very different from the kind your parents may have worn. Even metal braces — the kind that use metal brackets and connecting brace wires — are less noticeable than they once were. But if you’re still looking for something less noticeable, there are also other types of “invisible braces,” you can look into. For example, clear or ceramic braces are just like metal braces except the brackets are clear or tooth-colored so they’re less noticeable. Lingual braces are another type, in which the metal brackets are placed inside the teeth, thereby reducing their appearance.

Each type has its own set of pros and cons. The cost of invisible braces depends on your orthodontist and your insurance, but they tend to cost slightly more. That’s because of both the materials and the different expertise required.