Category Archives: Oral Health

The Times, They Are a-Changin’

As a pioneer in digital orthodontics, I was honored to be asked to write the introduction ​​to the April-May edition of the journal, Orthodontic Practice US​.Here is my perspective on the necessity of orthodontists embracing the latest technology if they are truly committed to elevating the standard of care for their patients.

As specialists, we lead. We lead in innovative diagnosis and therapeutics, implementation of state-of-the-art technology and, most importantly, quality of patient care. I say that as much as a reminder to myself as I do to my specialist colleagues. Because to paraphrase Bob Dylan’s song, “The times they are a-changing.”

So, what’s happening? In the most general sense, much of what we do clinically today involves digital technology, one way or another. From archwires to aligners, from lingual treatment to IDB, there is almost always a digital option for us to choose at every stage of treatment.

There is no question that these new technologies afford us expanding opportunities to deliver predictable and optimal outcomes through enhanced diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities, achieving new levels of efficiency, predictability and precision.

As orthodontists, we tend to be creative and independent-minded as we seek better ways to care for our patients. Direct bonding was a major innovation not so long ago. Now virtually all of us do it. Esthetic brackets formed in plastic or ceramics have become standard, something that would have been hard to imagine in 1970. Wire formulations have become much more sophisticated–and continue to do so–giving us all a broader armamentarium in tooth movement. Even digitally-produced aligners, something many if not most of us resisted back in the day, have become a standard treatment option. Continue reading The Times, They Are a-Changin’

Part 2: When Tooth Removal Is The Healthy Choice

In the 2nd series on tooth removal, let’s take a look at the main reasons when tooth removal is the best and wisest option to achieve an optimal treatment outcome.

Reason #1 Crowding.

Imagine a situation where teeth are crowded and poorly aligned. In this situation, the amount of space required is not sufficient to accommodate the teeth. Either the size of the arches must be increased or the number (or size) of teeth reduced.  Or perhaps space preservation with a space maintainer could be utilized.

Up until the age of about 15, if there is mild to moderate crowding, it can be addressed with expanders and braces alone. After the age of 15, the bone structure is well formed and less plastic and expansion may not be possible or healthy to the surrounding supportive tissues.

When there is moderate to severe crowding and limited gum or bone support, permanent teeth will need to be removed to provide the space required. Failure to maintain the teeth with healthy surrounding bone will lead to periodontal problems down the road.

Continue reading Part 2: When Tooth Removal Is The Healthy Choice

Part 1: When Tooth Removal Is The Healthy Choice

Although I prefer not to remove adult teeth, there are exceptions and situations where tooth removal is beneficial. The pendulum has swung from one extreme to another in regards to removal of teeth. In the very early days of orthodontics the approach was never to extract a tooth, later the pendulum swung in the other direction and tooth removal was the norm not the exception. Over the past 25 years the pendulum has headed back in the other direction. So permit me to take a clear eyed and reasoned scientific approach to the subject.

One of the more common concerns I hear during consultation appointments is the following…you don’t have to remove any permanent teeth do you? We strive for perfection in the smile, a healthy bite and teeth that will last for a lifetime. What if, removal of teeth can help achieve these lofty goals and failure to  remove teeth may cause harm. Continue reading Part 1: When Tooth Removal Is The Healthy Choice

Part 2: Baby Teeth and Braces-What Every Parent Needs To Know

What factors are important to consider when determining whether to remove the remaining primary teeth? If a patient’s overall development is delayed, the decision to remove the remaining baby teeth is determined by several factors.

1. I consider the patient’s age. If they are 14 or 15 years of age, I have no hesitation in recommending the remaining baby teeth be removed so that their orthodontic treatment is completed before they graduate from high school.

2. I examine the development of the roots of the unerupted adult teeth. If the root formation of these unerupted teeth is nearing completion but the associated baby teeth are not loose, extractions are advisable.

3. If the 12-year molars are partially or fully erupted but the baby teeth remain, I will usually recommend having the remaining primary teeth removed so that treatment can begin. Continue reading Part 2: Baby Teeth and Braces-What Every Parent Needs To Know

Part 1: Baby Teeth and Braces-What Every Parent Needs To Know

Dental BracesDon’t we have to wait for all the baby teeth to come out? When is the best time for my child to get braces?

These are very common questions that parents ask me. The short answer is no, one does not have to wait for all the baby teeth to come out.

While it is true that a full set of braces is only complete when all the permanent teeth(including 2nd molars) erupt into the mouth (not including 3rd molars/wisdom teeth) that is not necessarily a reason to delay beginning orthodontic treatment. There are certain types of orthodontic problems when early intervention is beneficial; this is referred to as Two Phase treatment.

Two-Phase treatment is recommended in young patients typically between the ages of 7-10 years. When this particular set of problems are not addressed at an early age than the resolution of these problems becomes more challenging and may necessitate more aggressive treatment. At times, a child’s sense of self-esteem is adversely affected by the appearance of their teeth and so they would benefit from early care. Certain bite problems may cause the child’s teeth to be more susceptible to injury, so early treatment is advisable. Continue reading Part 1: Baby Teeth and Braces-What Every Parent Needs To Know

Why Should I Care Whether My Orthodontist is Board Certified?

Oral HealthAt Feinberg Orthodontics we are passionate about the care that we provide to our family of patients. Our mission is to create healthy, beautiful smiles that last them a lifetime. We have a very unique, progressive practice that is dedicated to high-quality treatment. Our patients receive personalized care where customized treatment plans are designed for each patient using Suresmile technology. Suresmile is the most sophisticated diagnostic orthodontic software in the world, and our patients are the beneficiaries. Specifically, they benefit from shorter treatment times with higher quality results and the highest safety profile. We also take pride in the fact that Dr. Feinberg is an orthodontist who is board certified – but we realize that for many of our patients, that term is a mystery. Rest assured, though: it’s an important qualification, and it gives you the peace of mind of knowing that your child will receive the best care.

What Is a Board Certified Orthodontist?
A board certified orthodontist is an orthodontist who has voluntarily gone through hundreds of additional hours of preparation to demonstrate their judgment, skills and knowledge required for providing the highest level of patient care. They have achieved board certification through the American Board of Orthodontics the only orthodontic specialty board recognized by the American Dental Association and in affiliation with the American Association of Orthodontists. Continue reading Why Should I Care Whether My Orthodontist is Board Certified?

10 Early Orthodontic Warning Signs Every Parent Should Know

Oral HealthWhat Can Go Wrong at an Early Age?
As a parent, you may believe that you can look at your child and see if there is a problem with their bite. If the problem is very obvious, than perhaps it will be possible. However, in most instances it is prudent to rely on the trained eyes of a specialist to detect a problem. And this is why it is important for a child to see an orthodontist for an exam.

Here are some of the possible problems that can go wrong at an early age:

  • Thumb-sucking
  • Dfficulty with chewing and/or biting
  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Teeth that are crowded, misplaced, or have been blocked out
  • Upper and lower teeth that do not meet properly
  • Improper jaw alignment
  • Impacted teeth
  • Crossbites
  • Severe crowding, with stripping of the teeth through the gum tissue
  • Tongue thrusting and grinding or clenching of teeth Continue reading 10 Early Orthodontic Warning Signs Every Parent Should Know

Orthodontics, So Much More Than Just Straightening Teeth

Oral HealthWhen you hear the word orthodontist you probably think of the dental expert that has the proper skills and training to straighten teeth. That would certainly be true, but teeth alignment only represents a fraction of the valuable benefits that orthodontics can accomplish. There are two methods that the orthodontist may use to benefit a patient’s oral health. Either traditional braces that are attached to the teeth or removable clear aligners like Invisalign.

Malocclusions or “bad” bites come in different forms and alignment of these teeth can correct overbites and open bites as well as crossbite and underbites which will not only help your teeth to function better but also encourage you to show off your pearly whites. Orthodontics can have a powerful impact on your overall health by reducing pain, and even help improve the quality of your sleep. Continue reading Orthodontics, So Much More Than Just Straightening Teeth

Orthodontist Vs Dentist by Dr. F

Dental HealthOrthodontics: Smiles Are Our Specialty
In an age when we are seeing so many advances in the Health Sciences it is not surprising that Dental Medicine has also participated in this technological leap forward. In fact, our patients have always associated Feinberg Orthodontics with cutting edge orthodontic technology. Given the overwhelming amount of knowledge that is necessary to become a progressive general dentist how can a dentist also become an expert in orthodontics. Well, the short answer is that this is not possible. The reason that I am devoting this blog post to appreciating the difference between an orthodontic specialist and general dentist is because this is one of the more common questions that our patients ask us. In fact, the question is sometimes posed this way, “Dentists and orthodontists are all the same, right?” Continue reading Orthodontist Vs Dentist by Dr. F

Your Child’s First Orthodontic Check-up

check-upMany parents assume they must wait until their child has all of his or her permanent teeth to see an Orthodontist for a consultation, only to discover treatment would have been much easier if started earlier. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontics recommends that an orthodontist examine children by age seven.

To create a smile that lasts a lifetime, your child needs teeth that are straight and jaws that are aligned properly. That all begins with the baby teeth, the way they are aligned, when and how they fall out, and how much room they are allowing or not allowing for the emergence of permanent adult teeth. Continue reading Your Child’s First Orthodontic Check-up