Dr. Greg Jorgensen
(505) 891-9440
1401 Barbara Loop SE
Rio Rancho, NM 87124

The Jorgensen Orthodontics Blog

Jorgensen Orthodontics is now on Twitter. Is it time for you to take the plunge?

March 10th, 2011

Twitter is a microblogging service that allows users to keep in touch with friends, celebrities, and even their orthodontist. Imagine a worldwide messaging service that allows you to receive text messages from anybody you choose to "follow" for free! You might want to know what’s going on with Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, or even President Obama.

Why in the world would anyone want to follow Dr. Jorgensen’s office? We see Twitter as an opportunity to be helpful to our practice family. Imagine receiving a text on a snowy morning telling you that Dr. Jorgensen’s office is closed until lunch or that there has been a cancellation and the exact appointment you want is now available. Imagine winning a prize or being notified of a new service the office is now offering. Twitter is an easy way to keep tabs of what’s happening at your orthodontist’s office while you are in treatment. And we promise we will never try to sell you anything!

How do you get started? If you are already familiar with Twitter, just go to any page on our practice website (www.gregjorgensen.com) and click on the Twitter icon (the blue "T" in the group of social media icons). That link will take you to our Twitter Page where you can sign in and click the "Follow" button under Dr. Jorgensen’s photo. You’ll then be set!

If you do not currently have a Twitter account, getting one is free and easy. To begin, click the Twitter icon on the practice website. It will take you to the Jorgensen Orthodontics’ Twitter site. Next click on either the "Sign Up" button or the "Join Today" text in orange. Registration will take less than 5 minutes! Once you have signed up, you can then choose to "follow" JorgensenOrtho and receive updates when something important is happening at the office. Between messages from us, you can keep tabs on Ellen DeGeneres and Charlie Sheen.

One of the most useful features of Twitter is that it is optimized for mobile devices (that’s why messages are limited to 140 characters). After getting your account all setup, you can then either download a Twitter app for your smartphone or you can configure your account so that all of your arrive via texts to your phone. To set up your phone, just text "follow JorgensenOrtho" to 40404.

If you ever decide that Twitter is not for you or that you don’t want to follow us anymore, click on any message from JorgensenOrtho to go to our page and press the Unfollow button. We will never be offended. Happy Tweeting!

I Only Want Braces on My Top Teeth

March 8th, 2011

"I only want braces on top teeth; no one sees my bottom teeth anyway." This is a common request, especially with all the recent buzz about Six Month Smiles. Is single arch treatment good treatment?

One-arch treatment is possible and gives excellent results in some patients. The success of one-arch treatment is determined by the starting position of the teeth in both arches and the way they are related to each other (the bite). Any time you align teeth that are crowded, they tend to move forward. This is a wonderful thing if the upper teeth are behind the lower ones (crossbite). If the bite is good in the back but the lower teeth are crowded, aligning only the upper teeth will create an "overbite" that wasn’t there before. This might be a compromise that you are willing to accept to avoid bottom braces; you just need to be aware of how it will turn out before you get started. If you have a little overbite at the beginning of treatment, you should plan on it getting bigger if you only treat the top arch.

In some cases, it is possible to reduce the amount of upper arch flaring by reducing the size of the upper teeth during treatment. Known as Interproximal reduction (IPR), Air Rotor Stripping (ARS), or slenderizing, this is an option that you should discuss with your orthodontist. IPR can be a useful procedure in the right cases, but it is not advisable in everyone.

Braces in the upper arch only can be an excellent treatment in cases where there is space between the upper teeth at the start of treatment, especially if there is an overbite! Closing spaces between the front teeth tends to move the teeth backwards reducing the amount of overbite. In this case, single arch treatment is able to address both conditions at the same time. As long as you are happy with your bottom teeth exactly as they are, single arch treatment in this case is the treatment of choice.

In smiles where the lower teeth look good, there is no overbite, and there are spaces between the upper teeth, the problem may be with the size of the teeth themselves. In these cases, there are a couple of options. Since closing all the space will move the front teeth backwards, doing so is not an option if the bite is good. Instead, we could use the braces to move the front teeth that people see together and move the spaces where they are more hidden. The other option is to have your dentist close the extra space by adding "enamel" (bonding) between the teeth either where they are now or after we line them up. Building up narrow teeth not only makes them look nicer, it will also give you a more stable result.

Dr. Greg Jorgensen is a board certified orthodontist providing braces and Invisalign to children, teenagers, and adults in Rio Rancho, New Mexico and Westside Albuquerque.

How many hours do I need to wear my orthodontic retainer?

March 1st, 2011

How Long Should I Wear My RetainerMy orthodontist told me to wear my retainer every night but my friend has to wear hers 24/7 for the first 6 months. Why the difference? Is there any research to support one approach over the other?

There is no happier day for an orthodontic patient than the day your braces come off. It is the culmination of months of difficult brushing, flossing, watching what you eat, and wearing those pesky rubber bands. The last thing in the world we want is for the teeth to move. So how much retainer wear is really needed?

As I’ve discussed in previous posts, there is no perfect retainer for all patients and no retainer exists that will keep the teeth exactly like they were when the braces came off. In summary, genetics, wear, tongue position, and regular use cause changes that cannot be completely prevented. The purpose of retainers is to minimize these changes.

In the spirit of doing the best we can, what is the optimum number of hours of retainer wear for the least amount of movement? According to an article in the European Journal of Orthodontics by Drs. Thickett and Power, there was NO SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE between the amount of tooth movement when full-time and part-time (10 hours per day) retainer wear were compared. That was really good news to me since I have always prescribed that my patients wear their upper retainers nights only after an initial break-in period of 48 hours. It is good to have some research that confirms what I’ve seen clinically over the years.

Is it possible to wear your retainer too much? In some patients who use the vacuum-formed clear retainers over the front teeth, full-time wear can lead to an anterior openbite (a space between the upper and lower front teeth). The openbite that develops is the same size as the plastic covering the teeth. Typically the teeth will settle back together after you are given a wrap-around retainer that does not cover the biting edges while it is worn.

Remember that all patients are individuals and nothing works for everyone. Be sure and follow the specific instructions that your orthodontist gives YOU! He or she is the best one to evaluate your specific needs.

Dr. Greg Jorgensen is a board certified orthodontist providing braces and Invisalign to children, teenagers, and adults in Rio Rancho, New Mexico and the Albuquerque Westside.

Help, I’m wearing my orthodontic retainer, but my teeth are moving!

February 24th, 2011

The most exciting day for an orthodontic patient is the day that their braces come off. Getting a smile that is as close to ideal as possible can be a long and involved process, and everyone, including the orthodontist, wants that smile to last the rest of the patient’s lifetime. But is that realistic?

Believe it or not, although the teeth may look great on the day the braces are removed, they will look better and be healthier a few months after the braces have come off. One reason for this is that the gum tissues, which suffer during treatment because brushing and flossing are so much more difficult, will actually get healthier after the braces are gone. A second reason is that with the wires and brackets off, the teeth can "settle" and come together more evenly and naturally. This settling is desirable on the side and back teeth, but not up front where these changes would be noticeable.

To keep the amount of movement up front to a minimum, all patients in our practice are given retainers the day their braces come off. As we’ve discussed in previous articles, there are many styles of orthodontic retainers, each with strengths and weaknesses. They all have one thing in common however. None of them can prevent all changes that occur as the mouth ages. Just as our eyesight, our hairline, and our figure changes with age, so do our teeth.

Changes in the alignment of your teeth will occur for a variety of reasons. First, if you are still growing, your genetic instructions (DNA) were not changed by our treatment and they still influence how you’ll "turn out." Second, oral habits (where you rest your tongue or if you clench your teeth) will continue to put forces on the teeth that may cause them to move. And third, the normal wear that occurs when you use your teeth will require that your teeth adjust their positions so they can still come together. For these reasons you should expect that your teeth will continue to change after your braces come off.

So what is the take-home message? If you want to keep the natural changes that occur to a minimum, wear your retainers daily as prescribed for as long as you want your teeth to stay straight. You will need to accept some natural change, but there is no reason why your teeth can’t continue looking awesome for the rest of your life!

Dr. Greg Jorgensen is a board certified orthodontist providing braces and Invisalign to children, teenagers, and adults in Rio Rancho, New Mexico and the Albuquerque Westside.

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