All posts by writeradmin

writeradmin writes blog posts on behalf of Dr. Kasia Lopez

Too Old For Braces

I need to fix my teeth. I have to get back out in the workforce, but I’m having trouble getting a job. My teeth are quite crooked and stained. I suspect my smile is putting them off. I know I need to get them fixed, but feel I’m really too old for braces. Do you have any recommendations?

Margaret D. – New Jersey

Margaret,

I’ve got good news for you. There is now technology that allows you to straighten your teeth without anyone knowing. Invisalign is an orthodontic that works well  for adults. It uses clear aligners that are invisible even at a conversational distance.

In some cases, you can whiten your teeth simultaneously using your aligners. At the end, you’ll have both straight and white teeth.

If you want to change more about your teeth, including their shape and size, you could do porcelain veneers. But, they are more pricey. You mentioned needing to look for work, so that might be something you can do as a reward for landing a great job, if it interests you.

This blog is brought to you by Chicago Holistic Dentist Dr. Kasia Lopez.

What is holistic dentistry?

I keep hearing about holistic dentists. Can you tell me what that is?

Daniel M. – Oklahoma

Daniel,

A holistic dentist considers the whole body in treatment, not just your mouth.  They won’t give a dental treatment that isn’t also good for your body.  For instance, you won’t find a holistic dentist that does silver fillings, because they are made mostly from mercury, which is a known toxin.

They’re also more open to natural remedies, and will sometimes use them in conjunction with more traditional treatments.  Some dentists that call themselves  holistic dentists are really just mercury free. But, true holistic dentists, like Dr. Lopez go further than that. She is also BPA free and takes precautions with everything that enters your body whether by mouth or by breathing.

This blog is brought to you by Chicago Dentist Dr. Kasia Lopez.

New Smile for a New Year

I’m a little disappointed. I wanted to get porcelain veneers before the new year started (yes, I know I got a late start), in order to get a new smile for 2016.  Unfortunately, when I priced it, it was impossibly out of my budget. Here’s my problem. I have crooked teeth and they needed a whiter color. I knew porcelain veneers could take care of both of those. I really don’t want to spend the next few years wearing braces. Please tell me there are cheaper forms of porcelain veneers.

Lizzie A. – Alabama

Lizzie,

Each dentist is different in what they charge for porcelain veneers. I definitely wouldn’t recommend going to a cheap dentist for a procedure such as porcelain veneers. You’ll likely be very disappointed in the results.

Instead, I’m going to suggest two different procedures. First, to straighten your teeth, you no longer need  braces. There is another orthodontic procedure called Invisalign. This uses invisible aligners to straighten your teeth. No one will see them there and they generally work in half the time of traditional braces. Some as quickly as three months.

Additionally, the discoloration of your teeth can be dealt with using teeth whitening. In many cases, the treatments can be done simultaneously, using the invisalign aligners as whitening trays.

This blog is brought to you by Chicago Holistic Dentist Dr. Kasia Lopez.

Do Braces Still Hurt?

I am finally in the financial position to straighten my teeth. I remember all my friends in middle school had braces and I was so jeolous.  However, I also remember them complaining of how much they hurt and they’d show me the cuts on the underside of their lips. Have braces improved over the years or do they still hurt?

Delanie M. – Tennessee

Delanie,

While there have been some improvements in braces over the years, traditional metal braces are still uncomfortable and will still cut the underside of your lips.

However, there is has been an advancements in orthodontics that prevents adults from having to wear braces at all. Have you seen if you’re a candidate for Invisalign?

It uses clear (practically invisible) aligners that you wear for about two weeks at a time. It usually works in about half the time of traditional braces and has none of the discomfort that comes with metal wires and brackets.  Equally awesome is the fact that you won’t look like a middle schooler while you straighten your teeth. In fact, no on will even know you’re wearing them, unless you tell them.

This blog is brought to you by Chicago Holistic Dentist Dr. Kasia Lopez.

Help! I don’t want mercury in my child’s body.

My daughter needs a filling. That much I agree with. But, the dentist absolutely refuses to give her a white filling. He said children have to have amalgam fillings. But, I’ll be hogtied before I let someone put mercury in my little darlin’s mouth. What options to I have? I’d honestly rather pull the tooth.

Stephanie – Delaware

Stephanie,

Please don’t pull her tooth. You can definitely get her a white filling. Just apparently not with your current dentist. It is harder to put white fillings on children, but it is not impossible.

Your best bet is NOT to pressure your dentist into doing this.  If you do, it could end up a disaster.

Instead, go to a holistic dentist who likes treating children. Any holistic dentist will not only place white fillings, they’ll be completely mercury free.  They won’t even offer amalgam fillings.

This blog is brought to you by Chicago Dentist Dr. Kasia Lopez.

My jaw is clicking

I fell down the stairs. Ever since then my jaw has started clicking whenever I open it.  It’s a little uncomfortable and distracting. Is this a dentist problem or doctor problem?

Jennifer L. – Lexington, Kentucky

Jennifer,

It could be either one. The clicking makes me think it is TMJ, but the fall could mean your done some additional damage too.  My first course of action would be to go to your dentist and have him do an x-ray as well as run other tests to determine if it is TMJ or something else.

You want to be sure you don’t just go to any dentist.  You’ll want one who has specific neuromuscular training and is experienced in treating TMJ.

There isn’t a recognized TMJ specialty, so anyone can call themselves a TMJ Dentist. You’ll really want to know about their training. For instance, Dr. Lopez attended the  International Academy of Cranio-Facial Pain and the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental studies.  No dentist should be offended if you ask what their TMJ training and experience entails.

This blog is brought to you by Chicago Holistic Dentist Dr. Kasia Lopez.

Safely removing mercury fillings

I need to remove some amalgam fillings from my mouth. I’m having health problems and getting the mercury out of my mouth is something I can actively do.  My only concern is that they be removed without me inhaling the mercury vapors, which my dentist said would be more unhealthy than leaving them there.  Am I doomed to keep the fillings in?

Mary Q. – Cincinatti

Mary,

It is a legitimate concern, but any mercury free holistic dentist, like Dr. Lopez, will tell you that there is a sanitary way to remove the amalgam fillings.

Using a rubber dam and alternate breathing source, you can be safe from swallowing and of the fillings or breathing any of the vapors.

If your dentist doesn’t know how to do that, and it doesn’t sound like he does, then you’ll need to go to another dentist for your filling removal.

This blog is brought to you by Chicago Holistic Dentist Dr. Kasia Lopez.

Need new teeth for a job

I want to get a promotion, but it entails doing T.V. interviews.  I have a crooked smile.  I’m qualified for this job, but I imagine my boss would want someone with a more attractive smile.  It just makes sense.  However, I dread the idea of wearing braces at my age. They always look ridiculus on adults.  What options do I have?

Mary Q. – Maryland

Mary,

You have a couple of good options.

Your first option, if you’re wanting to actually straighten your teeth then I suggest you use Invisalign.  They are more efficient than braces.  But, the best part for someone in your situation is that they are completely invisable while on your teeth, even at a conversational distance.

Another option will work a little faster, but doesn’t actually straighten your teeth. Though, it will make them look straight.  There is an additional benefit, but only if there are other things about your teeth you’d like to change. Porcelain veneers can change the shape, size, and color of your teeth. They are more expensive though.

I would talk to a good cosmetic dentist about both Invisalign and porcelain veneers. He or she will examine your smile and go over your options with you.  Some will even do a complimentary consultation.

This blog is brought to you by Chicago Holistic Dentist Dr. Kasia Lopez.

I can finally afford to fix my teeth, but am too old for braces!

All my life I wanted braces, but my parents couldn’t afford them.  Now, I’ve worked for years, but then my children needed them.   My kids are all done with braces, and now I can finally straighten my teeth, but my job is very public.  I cannot do a mouth full of metal.  Are there any options for me? Porcelain veneers are way out of my budget.

Morgan L. – Idaho

Morgan,

I love that even though you had a dream of a straight bite, you still put your children first.  That shows you are a caring, selfless mother.  You deserve to have your smile now!

There is a good option for you. Have you looked into Invisalign?  It is an orthodontic treatment that is invisible, even at a conversational distance.  Instead of using wires and brackets,

It’s not a good fit for everyone, but I would look up local invisalign dentists in your area and have them look over your bite and see if it will work for you.

This blog is brought to you by Chicago Holistic Dentist Dr. Kasia Lopez.

I don’t see TMJ specialists listed on my insurance

I was trying to find a TMJ specialist, but it doesn’t seem to be listed on my insurance.  I don’t mind paying, I just need to figure out how to locate a TMJ specialist.

Penny C. – Indiana

Penny,

The reason you’re having a hard time finding a TMJ specialist, is there isn’t really a recognized specialty in TMJ.  Any general dentist who treats TMJ can call themselves a TMJ specialist.

However, it really is specialized care, so you’ll want to find a dentist who has significant post-graduate training. If you click here, you can get an idea of what kind of training you want in a dentist who is going to diagnose and treat your TMJ.

This blog is brought to you by Chicago Holistic Dentist Dr. Kasia Lopez.