West Maitland Dentistry Blog

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Thinking of straightening your teeth but don’t like the idea of metal in your mouth?  Invisalign®  treatment may be the right option for you then!  I’ve listed some common questions I receive from patients before they start the Invisalign process.
What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is an orthodontic system for gradually moving teeth with series of customized removable plastic aligners.  The aligners are thin and fit snug around your teeth.  The aligners, in most cases, replace the need for traditional metal braces.

Who can wear them?

Invisalign is great for teenagers and adults.  Compliant wear can help obtain a healthier and straighter smile.  During your initial consultation we can determine whether it is a good option for you or if traditional braces is a better idea.

How does the process work?

Your first visit is a consultation.  We offer either virtual or in person consultations.  At this appointment we also take any records that may be needed, such as x-rays, photographs and a virtual scan of your teeth.  The virtual scan will make a 3D computerized model which will aid in determining possible results that can be obtained from the treatment.

After this first consultation, I take all the information to map out a customized digital treatment plan for a step by step transformation of your smile.  Once approved we will let you know when we receive your aligners.  You then will come back into the office and we will make sure that your aligners fit well and are comfortable.

How does wearing them work?

In order for tooth movement to occur we recommend that our patients wear the aligners 20 to 22 hours a day.  You will change out your set of aligners every week or two weeks depending on your customized plan.  Periodically you will have routine visits with Dr. Dhaliwal to check how your teeth are moving and to make sure the aligners are still fitting well.

How long will your treatment take?

Although you may be able to see some changes to your teeth in the first few weeks, most cases take on average 12-18 months.  Depending on how simple or complex your treatment needs are it may take less or more time.

From what material are Invisalign aligners made?

Invisalign aligners are a clear flexible plastic.  They are FDA approved and do not contain BPA, latex or gluten.

What are the advantages of Invisalign over traditional braces?

The most obvious advantage of Invisalign is the cosmetic ability to move your teeth without having metal showing.  But just as important if not more is having the ability to brush and floss easier than with traditional braces.  Since there are no wires to trap food and debris there is a less likely chance of getting gingivitis or a cavity .  Finally having the ability to remove those aligners means you don’t have to give up some of your favorite foods that are typically avoided with braces.

Why should I straighten my teeth?

Liking how your teeth look is extremely important but it is not the only factor when it comes to recommending teeth straightening.  One of the key factors is taking in consideration problems that can occur from a misaligned bite.  An uneven bite can lead to wear on teeth, fractured teeth, issues with the jaw joint and tooth pain. 

Straight teeth are easier to clean, lessening the chances of developing gingivitis and periodontal disease.  Making your teeth easier to clean can also help prevent cavities as well.

What happens after you’re done with Invisalign?

Just like any orthodontic treatment, retainers are a must to prevent teeth shifting. The retainers will help keep your teeth from shifting back to what they were before.  Nightly wear of retainers is recommended after completion of your Invisalign.

If you have any questions about your straightening your teeth and Invisalign, check out the Invisalign website or for a free consultation contact us!


May 29, 2019 Cosmetic Dentistry


According to the American College of Prosthodontists 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. There are many reasons that people can lose their teeth, such as cavities, periodontal disease, trauma or genetics. Missing even one tooth can cause a gap in your smile leading to an unwanted appearance.

Although a missing tooth can affect your confidence when smiling, did you know it can also affect your ability to eat and can also cause permanent damage to other teeth in your mouth? Here are some ways these spaces can impact the remaining dentition:

  • More Stress…the adjacent teeth have more stress on them now. This lack of support can cause bone loss, mobility or a fracture in the tooth and can eventually lead to another extraction and more lost teeth!
  • Totally a Drift…since there is nothing for the adjacent tooth to contact, it will start drifting forward into the missing space. This can cause difficulties in keeping the area clean and can lead to decay.
  • Gravity Takes it’s Toll…if the missing teeth are on the bottom, the opposite tooth on the top will start drifting down.  Gravity will cause the top tooth to move down since there is nothing to stop it.  Eventually, the tooth can drift down so much that with enough bone loss the tooth will need to be removed.


The good news is there are several ways to replace missing teeth. The most common options are an implant, bridge, or partial denture. All of these options can stop the impacts of the missing teeth while also improving your smile and chewing capabilities.


Check out this case below and how Dr. Dhaliwal helped this patient with a missing tooth.



This patient was concerned about the missing tooth.  The tooth broke off under the gum line and wasn’t able to be saved.  The patient didn’t care for the look of the gap when she smiled.  Also, she found it difficult to chew in that area.




After an evaluation, Dr. Dhaliwal and the patient both agreed that a bridge would be the best treatment option.  The bridge not only took care of the missing tooth but also replaced a broken crown in the tooth in front of the missing space and helped strengthen the tooth behind the missing space that had a large failing filling.  Both the patient and Dr. D were super excited with the results.


Improve the health of your mouth and schedule your consultation with Dr. Dhaliwal today to discuss what options you have in replacing your missing teeth!






February 25, 2019 Cosmetic Dentistry

This week our topic of conversation is on orthodontics. Dr. Dhaliwal will go over everything you need to know about braces, from when your child should get them to how they can keep them clean.

Why do Kids Need Braces

There are numerous reasons why your child may need braces. When a dentist recommends braces it is usually to improve the child’s oral health and not necessarily for cosmetic purposes only. If your child’s teeth are overlapping, crooked or overcrowded then it can be difficult for them to keep them clean.

If your child’s teeth are protruding out, they can damage them if they fall or get hit in the mouth. It may also make it harder for them to close their lips all the way or make speech difficult.

An open bite, where the front teeth don’t hit each other will make it difficult for your child to bite down on foods, such as apples. Often open bites are often caused by extended use of the pacifier or a thumb-sucking habit. With early intervention, this can often be corrected.

What Age Should my Child Get Them?

There is no right or wrong answer when your child should get braces.  Every child has different dental issues or none. If you start seeing any crowding or alignment issues, it is never too early to discuss with your child’s dentist about the possibility of braces. The American Academy of Orthodontists recommends a consultation at age 7 to discuss the need for orthodontics. A typical age that an orthodontist will start treating children is between 10 to 14. This age will facilitate the teeth shifting faster since the child is growing faster which can mean less time in braces for them.

If you notice issues early on talk to your child’s dentist about getting a consult sooner. Some orthodontists can provide an early orthodontic phase to help your child not be in braces as long when they get older. Although your child may have to be in braces twice, less time in braces means the less likely your child will get cavities around them.

Seeing an orthodontist early does not necessarily mean that treatment will start right away. The orthodontist will determine a course of action and figure out the best timing for your child.


Types of Braces


There are several types of braces now. All of them use some sort of pressure on your teeth to shift them into a correct position.

The most typical type of braces consists of metal brackets and bands.   The brackets attach to the front of the teeth and the bands wrap completely around the molars. With metal braces, often rubber rings and bands are used. The metal brackets can sometimes even go behind the teeth, depending on what type of movement is needed.

The metal braces can also come with a white coating over them or can be ceramic to mask the metal look. These will still provide the same force as the metal ones but are more esthetic.


bracesA more popular type of braces in recent years are clear removable aligners.  These are plastic trays, also known as aligners, that the patient takes in and out of their mouth. Aligners are great for maintaining oral hygiene since the patient can brush and floss normally. These types of braces only work if they are in your mouth.  Patient compliance can determine whether these are a good alternative for you or your teenager.


How to Keep Your Teeth Clean with Orthodontics

Patients with braces need to pay a little extra attention to their teeth.  Flossing daily and brushing after each meal can help prevent cavities.  Brackets and wires are food traps and need proper cleaning with brushing, flossing, and a water pik can help as well. An addition of fluoride mouth rinse or fluoride treatments can help prevent staining and cavities.


Things to avoid are hard and sticky foods, such as popcorn, ice, gum, and caramels, which can pop off the brackets or bend the wires. If any part of your braces becomes damaged make sure to call your orthodontist right away. Avoid drinking excessive amounts of juices and sodas which can cause cavities.

For patients that are wearing the clear aligners it is important to take them off before eating. Also, it is important to not drink anything besides water when wearing the aligners.


Will Braces Hurt

Braces work by applying a small amount of pressure to the tooth in order to move it. At each visit, the orthodontist will tighten the wires which will apply more pressure. This pressure, especially at the first appointment can cause mild discomfort. Taking over the counter pain medications before and after your appointment as well as a soft food diet can help alleviate the discomfort.

Sometimes the ends of the wires or brackets can cause some irritation of the lips or cheeks. Using orthodontic wax to cover any sharp edges can really help cut down on the irritation. If your encounter extremely sharp edges that are painful make sure your orthodontist is aware.


Orthodontics can be a long process but in the end, a lifetime of a corrected bite is worth it. Call to make an appointment with Dr. Dhaliwal if you have any questions about braces for either you or your child.


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