The PearlFection Blog

Posts for category: Orthodontics

Here are some Frequently asked questions PearlFection Dentistry gets about Orthodontic Treatment.

  1. I'm an adult over 50, am I too old for orthodontic treatment?

No one is too old for orthodontic treatment.  The benefits of a straight healthy smile last a lifetime, no matter what age you begin treatment.  As long as your gums are healthy, you too can have a beautiful smile!  And remember, orthodontics is not just for aesthetics.  Crowded teeth are hard to clean and can contribute to periodontal disease.  Many patients, over 50, choose to enter orthodontic treatment, some for cosmetic reasons and some for cosmetic and clinical reasons.  Adults make up a large part of our patients getting orthodontic treatment at Pearlfection.

  1. My general dentist says that he can do orthodontics, even braces, wouldn't it be better to use an trained orthodontist? Is there a difference in cost?

An orthodontist is a trained specialist that has a minimum of two years and usually three years of advanced training AFTER four years of dental school.  We are specialists in dentofacial orthopedics, meaning we not only move teeth but can alter jaw growth. A general dentist is simply not qualified or trained in this manner.  Many dentists take a one day or one weekend course to be able to move teeth with an aligner company that uses a computer algorithm to move the teeth.  A one day course is not a substitute for a qualified orthodontist that is overseeing your case, step by step.  Remember, an orthodontist was a dentist first then became an orthodontic specialist.  Orthodontics is all orthodontists do, even though they are fully trained in all aspects of general dentistry and graduated dental school with the same degree as all dentists.  Our strong advice is that anyone considering orthodontics, including Invisalign or clear aligners, seek out a licensed orthodontist to ensure the best possible care of your teeth straightening!  Oh and one more things, usually orthodontists don’t charge more for the same treatment as a general dentist for clear aligners, including Invisalign, but unlike a general dentist, an orthodontist will give you lots of options.

  1. What is faster traditionally braces or Invisalign?

Each individual case should be looked at uniquely.  Many times braces or an aligner system, like Invisalign or 3M, can achieve the same result in the same amount of time.  Consult you orthodontist to see what is right for you.

  1. Is Invisalign or clear aligners cheaper than traditional brace?

Cost of braces or aligner system depends on each individual case.  Costs for traditional braces and clear aligners are usually very similar.  Costs are often a function of how long a patient needs the braces or aligners on.  An orthodontist should be monitoring your progress with office visits on a periodic basis during your treatment and often times after your treatment is completed.  The longer you’re in treatment, typically the higher the cost for orthodontics.

  1. When do orthodontists recommend Invisalign or clear braces over traditional braces?

Orthodontists may recommend traditional braces over an aligner system depending on the person and the case.  Each treatment plan should be tailored to the individual. Many times, a patient may have a choice between the two systems.  It really depends on the patient's preference.  Sometimes braces must be used, for example, in a surgical case.  Often younger patients have a hard time keeping up with removable aligners, so their parents opt for traditional braces.  But invisible aligners, whether they be 3M or Invisalign, can do almost everything traditional braces can do. 

  1. Are there any concerns about a child having removable clear aligners instead of traditional braces?

Younger children usually do better with their treatment if they have traditional braces.  With braces, much of the responsibility is on the orthodontist to provide the treatment because they can’t be removed….at least not easily.  With aligners, almost all of the responsibility falls on the child.  i.e. keeping track of wearing the aligners 20 hours a day and not losing them, or forget to wear them, etc.  There is nothing wrong with a child having removable clear aligners, but they need to responsible.  It is sometimes hard for parents to monitor their kids and kids don’t always tell the truth about how much they are actually wearing the aligners.  This can lead to treatment lasting longer than planned and lead to frustration for the patient and the parents. 

  1. What do braces costs?

Braces vary in cost depending on the severity of the case and the length of treatment time.  There is also a cost difference between a phase one treatment (younger children) and comprehensive treatment (teenagers and adults) Clear aligner treatment cost varies depending on the length of treatment time and area the patient resides in. Some patients simply want very slight movements of their teeth to correct or adjust something minor and only require orthodontic treatment for a few months.  That can cost around $1000 or even less.  While orthodontic cases that might last several years, when extensive movement of the teeth is required.  Cases lasting long periods of time can cost more than $6000.

  1. How long will my orthodontic treatment take?

Orthodontic treatment time may vary in length depending on the severity of the case.  Many times treatment can take a year or less!  However, with extensive movement of teeth, we have seen cases lasting longer than 2 years.  And most, if not all, orthodontic work requires long term retainers to keep teeth from shifting back to their original position. 

  1. What's an orthodontist and how do you become one?

An orthodontist is a specialist in dentofacial orthopedics and orthodontics.  Meaning we have the ability to alter jaw growth and move teeth within the jaw structure

In order to become an orthodontist in the United States, one must complete four years of college, then four years of dental school, and THEN three years of a orthodontic residency.  This is the same amount of time your pediatrician or your general internist physician spent in school!  Many general dentists these days can prescribe aligners, like Invisalign, but very few have the extensive experience that a trained and licensed orthodontist has. 

  1. Why is it important to have your general dentist and orthodontist communicating? Why is PearlFection better in the communication area than other general dentists?

It is always important to have your general dentist and orthodontist keep an open line of communication in regard to your treatment plan.  Whether a case is simple or complex it is imperative the dentist and orthodontist understand the patient's needs, the overall treatment plan, and the expected outcomes.   This allows for a smooth and enjoyable treatment process. Orthodontists usually want a general dentist to agree that the patient’s dentition is healthy enough for orthodontic treatment and if it is not, get the teeth and gums healthy before orthodontic work is begun.  This usually involves getting any infection under control and address decay.    At Pearlfection, with multiple general dentists and an array of specialists, all needs can usually be met, keeping the treatment in house with a close knit community of general practitioners, hygienists and specialists.  At Pearlfection Dentistry, all your notes, both from general dentists, hygienists, and specialists are in one place, allowing for efficient communication between general dentists and your orthodontist.

  1. Does dental insurance usually cover orthodontics treatment? Does PearlFection help me file a claim?

Dental insurances vary greatly. Some cover orthodontic treatment for all ages and others only cover orthodontic care up to a certain age, say 18.  It’s important to understand your insurance to maximize your benefits.  Most dental insurance have a lifetime benefit up to a certain amount and usually cover about 50% of the treatment up to that amount.  But all insurance companies look at orthodontic treatment differently.  At PearlFection Dentistry we will assign a case manager to you who will help you navigate the world of dental insurance.  We will also determine your benefits before you begin treatment so there are no surprises.  We will submit your claim to your insurance company and we can even submit a predetermination claim before treatment begins so we have a commitment from the Insurance company about how much they will pay.

  1. Does medical insurance usually cover orthodontic treatment?

No, medical insurance does not cover orthodontic treatment unless in certain situations like trauma that results in orthodontic treatment being necessary, but that is extremely rare. Do not expect your medical insurance to cover any orthodontic care.

  1. Do braces hurt when they get put on? Do they hurt when they are tightened?

Sometimes braces and aligners are uncomfortable when they first go on.  Remember we are trying to move teeth through bone, albeit slowly, so that pressure can be uncomfortable sometimes.  If its very painful or extremely uncomfortable, talk to your orthodontist and they will likely slow things down a bit.  Orthodontic treatment should never be painful. 

  1. Does a consultation cost anything?

At PearlFection Dentistry, orthodontic consultations are free, sending predeterminations to determine if insurance will cover anything is free and applying for financing is free. We usually give a full half hour free consultation with out orthodontist to answer any questions and determine what the patient’s options are. 

  1. At PearlFection Dentistry, can I pay in installments? How much every month?

Sure, we at PearlFection are very willing to allow payment plans, sometimes extending out beyond when your treatment ends. We want to do our best to make orthodontic treatment affordable.  Sometime monthly payments are pretty low, under $100 per month, but it depends on the extent of treatment and the length of time in treatment.

  1. Can I get different color braces?

Yes, you can get almost any color you want for your brackets.  Pink, Green, Purple, Red…..whatever you want…within reason.  Just give us a little time to special order.  These days, most people want braces and aligners clear.  We can of course do that.

  1. My friend threw away her invisible aligner? What happens if I do that?

If you throw away your orthodontic aligner, try to find it, but if you can’t it’s not the end of the world.  We can get you a new one and usually there is no cost……within limits.  We usually recommend you go back to your last aligner until we get the new one.  It will delay your treatment a little but not by much.  The aligner suppliers are pretty good these days to get us a replacement quickly. 

  1. How often do I need to come to the office after we start?

After you start Orthodontics, we typically have patients come back about every month or every 6 weeks, sometimes less often.  We want to make sure things are tracking appropriately and make any mid-course corrections as necessary. 

  1. If I don't wear my retainer, will my teeth move back to where they started?

Yes, yes, yes!!! You need to wear your retainer.  Teeth have a natural tendency to move back, at least part way, to their original location.  You need to be diligent about wearing your retainer.  Over time, your teeth get used to being in the new location but a retainer is essential, especially right after you complete your treatment, to keep teeth where we want them.  Over time, a retainer can usually just be worn at night. 

By PearlFection Dentistry
December 30, 2020
Category: Orthodontics

Why are implant-supported dentures one of today's best tooth-replacement options? Just ask the happy patients who wear them. At PearlFection Dentistry in Frederick, MD, our highly skilled team provides All-on-4 dentures, restoring the stability, smile appearance and self-confidence of scores of qualified patients. Learn more about this amazing dental breakthrough.

Conventional dentures

They are suitable in some cases of extensive tooth loss, but frankly, traditional partial and full dentures do not help you retain the bone density and facial contours you had when your natural teeth were in place. Additionally, conventional tooth replacements change how you eat and speak. Plus, Science Direct reports that the biting power of denture wearers is only one-fifth that of people with complete sets of natural teeth.

Enter implant-supported dentures

Dental implants have revolutionized tooth replacement around the world. Small titanium metal screws inserted into the alveolar ridge of the jaw, implants bond with your supporting bone, recreating tooth roots lost to extraction.

After osseointegration is complete, your dentist attaches a metal post and custom-made porcelain crown to finish a single-tooth dental implant. Amazingly, he or she can place multiple implants--typically two to six--to support a bridge or full denture.

This procedure is called All-on-4. Performed with a local anesthetic, the implant surgery usually places two implants at the front of the mouth and two at the back. When the sites have healed sufficiently, you'll receive your permanent, fixed denture which is lifelike, stable and relatively easy to keep clean. Only your dentist can remove it.

Benefits of All-on-4 dentures

1. They stay in your mouth. There is no soaking or denture adhesives.

2. The implants improve the quality and density of your underlying jaw bone.

3. Have full, youthful facial contours.

4. Enjoy a healthy diet with a variety of foods.

5. Have efficient biting and chewing.

Contact PearlFection Dentistry

At our Frederick, MD, office, our dentists deliver the dental treatments you need all under one roof. Our general, cosmetic and restorative dentists are Dr. Jared Lawson, Dr. EJ Stringer, Dr. Tammira Badakhshan, and Dr. Nikta Pashai. Our specialty dentists include periodontist, Dr. Ashley Seals, prosthodontist, Dr. Amos Chi, oral surgeon, Dr. Brian Chang, and endodontist, Dr. Pratik Patel. Dr.Leo Perez DDS, MD is our on-site oral surgeon and general surgeon, and Dr. Leslie Oakes is our board-certified pediatric dentist, and orthodontist, Dr. Stephen Tigani.

Why not call PearlFection Dentistry today for a consultation on All-On-4 implant-supported dentures? Reach us at (301) 663-5550. We are 45 minutes from Washington, DC, and 45 minutes from Baltimore. We serve the areas of Hagerstown and Germantown, MD.

By PearlFection Dentistry
October 15, 2019
Category: Orthodontics

While you may perceive braces as a way to an attractive smile, also consider this: orthodontic treatment confers health benefits, too. At dental-bracesPearlFection Dentistry in Urbana and Frederick, MD, orthodontics is one of several dental services. Our on-staff orthodontist who splits his time between our two locations, Dr. Stephen Tigani, can show you how your looks and your health can improve through a plan customized to your needs.

Your best path to a healthy, functional smile

For some people, it's orthodontic treatment. The American Association of Orthodontists says that a re-aligned smile is good-looking and also represents inner health and some dramatic changes in both soft and hard tissues. The goal of wearing any orthodontic appliances is aesthetic and functional harmony and balance.

So, what kind of health benefits can you expect from conventional metal, ceramic, or tongue-side braces, clear acrylic aligners or a specialty device such as a palatal expander? Consider these benefits of orthodontics in Urbana and Frederick, MD:

  1. A proper dental bite where teeth line up symmetrically front to back and side to side
  2. More efficient chewing and therefore, a healthier digestive process (fewer acid reflux symptoms)
  3. Correction of jaw joint issues (TMJ/TMD) which cause headaches, earaches and other kinds of facial pain
  4. Clearer speech
  5. Teeth which are easier to clean and are less susceptible to decay and gum disease
  6. More symmetrical facial contours, eliminating protruding front teeth or a receding chin line as examples
  7. Better oral hygiene habits because wearing braces forces you to be careful as you brush and floss
  8. Better dietary habits because you cannot eat sticky, sugary foods while wearing conventional braces
  9. Less wear and tear on tooth enamel as braces correct persistent problems such as teeth grinding and clenching (bruxism)
  10. Increased psychological well-being because you can be confident and happy in showing your newly refurbished smile in both professional and social situations


Take the first step

Contact PearlFection Dentistry to ask any questions about orthodontics or for an orthodontic consultation with Dr. Stephen Tigani. He and his team treat patients of all ages, offering care plans which address the simplest of issues in young children to the most complex of problems which require oral surgery. Dr. Tigani delivers clear aligners, too, for comfortable and invisible treatment in less time.

Call today, won't you? Feel healthier and look your best. Call the office of our Urbana and Frederick, MD, general, cosmetic, and restorative dentists, Dr. Jared Lawson, Dr. EJ Stringer, Dr. Tammira Badakhshan, and Dr. Nikta Pashai, oral surgeons Dr. Brian Chang and Dr. Leo Perez, periodontist Dr. Ashley Seals, prosthodontist Dr. Amos Chi, orthodontist Dr. Stephen Tigani, pediatric dentist Dr. Leslie Oakes, and endodontist Dr. Patik Patel at (301) 663-5550.

By PearlFection Dentistry
December 04, 2018
Category: Orthodontics
Tags: orthodontics  

Whether you’re a preteen or an adult, orthodontic treatment can have a major positive impact on your smile. More adult Americans are opting for braces than ever before, as they comprise approximately 27 percent of all orthodontic patients according to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). Read below to learn more about the benefits of seeing your Frederick and Urbana, MD, general, cosmetic and restorative dentists Dr. Jared Lawson, Dr. EJ Stringer, Dr. Tammira Badakhshan, Dr. Alex Sin Deuk Kim, and Dr. Nikta Pashai, periodontist Dr. Ashley Seals, prosthodontist Dr. Amos Chi, oral surgeon Dr. Brian Chang, endodontist Dr. Pratik Patel and orthodontist Dr. Stephen Tigani for an orthodontic consultation.

About Orthodontic Treatment
Orthodontia is the science of moving and aligning the teeth. Although the teeth are normally firmly entrenched in the gumline, they can be moved slowly using pressure from an orthodontic device. Orthodontics also help to realign the jaw when there is an overbite, underbite, open bite, or when the bite is crossed. Every patient's orthodontic treatment plan is unique and carefully mapped out by a dentist. The recommended treatment type and length of treatment will depend on the severity of the patient's orthodontic problems.

Benefits of Orthodontics
The main benefit of orthodontic treatment is that your teeth will be aligned in a more attractive way. It can close gaps, whether they are between all of the teeth or just the front ones. It can tame protruding teeth so that they fit in with the others, or realign those that are crowded. Choosing orthodontic treatment with your Frederick, MD, dentist is a sign to others that you care enough about your smile to make an investment in it.

Orthodontic Treatments
When most people think of orthodontics, they imagine wearing rigid metal braces and brackets. But there are a few alternate options. Ceramic braces have a color that more closely matches the color of the teeth, so they are less visible during the treatment period. Lingual braces are attached behind the teeth so that only the patient knows they’re there. But when a patient requires maximum flexibility and discretion during an orthodontic treatment, Tigani Orthodontic Aligners aligners should be inquired about. For more complex cases, traditional metal braces may still be the best option available.

Make Time for a Visit
Now that you know more about the benefits of orthodontics, make time to see a dentist for a consultation in the very near future. Call (301) 663-5550 today to schedule an appointment at Pearlfection Dentistry of Frederick in Frederick and Urbana, MD. We are just 45 minutes from Washington, DC and Baltimore and serve patients from all over Hagerstown and Germantown, MD

By PearlFection Dentistry
August 02, 2018
Category: Orthodontics

Find out whether traditional braces are the right approach for a straighter smile.

Dealing with crooked, misaligned teeth? Not only can a crooked smile affect your appearance but also it can negatively impact your oral braceshealth by increasing your chances for decay, excessive wear, and fracturing. Luckily, Our general, cosmetic and restorative dentists Dr. Jared Lawson, Dr. EJ Stringer, Dr. Tammira Badakhshan and Dr. Amadeus Lopez, periodontist Dr. Ashley Seals, Prosthodontist Dr. Vincent Auth, oral surgeon Dr. Brian Chang, endodontist Dr. Pratik Patel and orthodontist Dr. Stephen Tigani in Frederick and Urbana, MD, are here to tell you when traditional braces are the best option for getting the smile you want.

Traditional braces are still the most popular way to straighten teeth in children, teens, and even adults. Traditional braces involve a series of brackets that are bonded to the front of your teeth and connected through wires that apply pressure and force to move teeth and even jaws into proper alignment. If you have more complicated tooth movements (e.g. severe crowding) or if you need to realign the jaws, traditional braces are the only way to do this.

Of course, you may want to choose a more discreet option even if you need traditional braces. In this case, ceramic braces might be a better approach. Instead of stainless steel brackets and wires, our Frederick orthodontist will apply tooth-colored ceramic brackets to the front of your teeth; however, in most cases, a metal wire will still need to be used to link the brackets to one another.

The Pros and Cons of Metal Braces

Modern-day metal braces have come a long way over the decades and now the metal used is more lightweight and compact; however, they are still visible when you smile, which can make some people (particularly adults) more self-conscious about wearing braces. Of course, metal braces are the most affordable orthodontic treatment option, making it ideal for those on a budget, and it may even take less time to achieve results than with other orthodontic options.

The Pros and Cons of Ceramic Braces

As you might imagine, having tooth-colored braces means that your treatment will be less visible. Of course, it’s also up to you to clean and maintain them and to stay away from stain-causing foods or drinks that could leave behind visible stains on your brackets. Furthermore, ceramic braces are often more expensive than regular metal braces.

Clear Braces

Clear aligners are a great option for those who want to straighten their smile but don't like the idea of wearing metal braces. These include Invisalign, Tigani Aligners, and other clear orthodontic aligners. These aligners can be removed so you can brush and floss as normal, and they are easy to clean.

Do you want to find out if traditional metal or ceramic braces are right for you? If you are considering getting orthodontic treatment then call Pearlfection Dentistry in Frederick and Urbana, MD, today to schedule your no-risk consultation. We are conveniently located just 20 minutes from Hagerstownown, 45 mins from Baltimore and 45 minutes from Washington, DC.