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ALong-TermOrthodonticStrategyCouldHelpEnsureanAttractiveSmileLaterinLife

Orthodontics relies on certain mechanics in the mouth to move teeth to better positions. As the specialty has advanced, we've become ever more precise in moving teeth with braces, the “workhorse” of orthodontics, and other specialized appliances and techniques.

But although cooperating effectively with the mouth's natural ability for tooth movement is crucial for success, there's another aspect to consider if that success will be long-term: the growth and development of oral and facial structure. And not just development during childhood and adolescence: indeed, facial structure continues to change throughout a lifetime, including the senior years. Research has shown that although the rate of growth slows over time, it doesn't stop even for someone 80 years or older.

Our emerging understanding in this area has had an important impact on how and when we perform orthodontic treatment. As we develop a treatment strategy for an individual patient we consider not only the immediate outcome of a treatment, but also how it may change their facial appearance in the future. By taking continuing facial growth into consideration, we're more likely to achieve a new smile appearance that remains attractive later in life.

A key factor is to be sure we're initiating treatments at appropriate ages. We may detect developing bite problems as early as age 6, which might prompt preventive treatment at that time to diminish or even eliminate the problem. But it may also be prudent to wait on full-scale orthodontic treatment until late childhood or puberty. Furthermore, some form of orthodontic treatment might need to continue into early adulthood to ensure the most optimal outcome.

By taking a longer view of the treatment process, we're better able to work within the natural growth and development taking place now and in the future. As a result, a person is more likely to enjoy an attractive and youthful appearance even in their later years.

If you would like more information on aging factors for cosmetic enhancement, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Understanding Aging Makes Beauty Timeless.”

By Dr. James M. Maragos, DDS, PC
June 14, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: orthodontics   braces   Invisalign  

Invisalign is the virtually invisible way to straighten your smile. Invisalign effectively corrects a variety of orthodontic problems, including: invisaligncrooked teeth, an overbite, protruding teeth, underbite, cross bite, overcrowded teeth, and gapped teeth. Dr. James Maragos is one of the finest dentists in LaGrange, IL. He offers orthodontic treatment with Invisalign to his patients. Read on to find out Invisalign works to straighten your smile.

What are the aligners made of?

Over the course of treatment, you will be supplied with a set of nearly invisible, removable aligners. The aligners are made of a thermoplastic material uniquely developed for your Invisalign treatment. The aligners are custom-made specifically for your teeth. The aligners are worn for about two weeks. Then you switch to a new set of aligners. 

How does Invisalign straighten teeth?

Invisalign aligners accomplish their goals using the same orthodontic approaches that dental professionals have always used. Invisalign aligners straighten teeth through the placement of controlled force on the teeth. The aligners gently and continuously move your teeth in small increments. You will need to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours every day.

What are the benefits of Invisalign?

Invisalign is for anyone who wants a smile they will absolutely love. Invisalign can be as effective as conventional braces for the most common teeth-straightening issues. Many people love the fact that Invisalign aligners are nearly invisible and that they work with their lifestyles.The aligners are comfortable to wear, so you will be able to wear them for about 22 hours a day without much effort. 

How long does treatment take?

The average length of your treatment can only be determined by your Invisalign dentist. However, the average case takes about one year for adults. Before you start treatment, you will know exactly how long your treatment will take and what your teeth are expected to look like at the end.

How do I get Invisalign?

At your first consultation, your Invisalign provider will discuss your needs, evaluate whether Invisalign treatment is suitable for you, and answer any questions you may have about the process.

Say goodbye to that less-than-perfect smile. You deserve a smile you absolutely love. Don't wait another minute- call our dental office at 708-352-7358 right now to schedule an Invisalign consultation in LaGrange, IL. If you want a beautiful smile, the Invisalign system is the clear path forward.

By Dr. James M. Maragos, DDS, PC
October 18, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: orthodontics   braces   Invisalign  

What Invisalign from your LaGrange, Illinois dentist can do for your smile

You want a straighter smile, but you don’t want to wear metal brackets and wires for years. It’s time for you to discover the state-of-the-art invisalignmethod of straightening your smile; it’s called Invisalign! Dr. James M. Maragos in LaGrange, Illinois wants to help you straighten your smile without impacting your life.

Invisalign orthodontic appliances are different from conventional methods of straightening your smile. With Invisalign, you avoid metal brackets and wires; instead, you can straighten your teeth with aligners that are virtually invisible, with minimal time involvement, and far fewer visits to your dentist. Your dentist in LaGrange wants you to know about the many reasons people choose Invisalign. With Invisalign, you will experience treatment that is:

  • Virtually invisible, because the appliances are clear plastic
  • Speedy, because Invisalign treatment takes only 9 to 15 months
  • Comfortable, because Invisalign has no sharp metal parts, only smooth plastic
  • Convenient, because you can remove the appliance when you want
  • Enjoyable, because you can eat the foods you love without worry
  • Healthy, because you can clean your teeth normally, including brushing and flossing

Your Invisalign treatment in LaGrange begins with your first set of trays, called aligners. You wear this first set for two weeks and change to another set, which you wear for another two weeks. You change aligners every two weeks as your teeth slowly and comfortably move into perfect alignment. Your Invisalign treatment is complete after 9 to 15 months. That’s it!

Invisalign treatment may be different from conventional metal braces, but it can correct all of the same tooth alignment and bite issues as conventional braces, such as:

  • Crossbite or open bite
  • Underbite or overbite
  • Crowding, overlapping, or widely spaced teeth

You can straighten your smile without impacting your life. The answer is Invisalign! Why settle for old school, uncomfortable, unsightly metal brackets and wires when you can straighten your teeth easily and quickly. You deserve a great smile, and Invisalign can help. Call Dr. James M. Maragos in LaGrange, Illinois today and find out how Invisalign can improve your smile and your life!

By Dr. James M. Maragos, DDS, PC
January 21, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
MasterIllusionistBenefitsfromtheMagicofOrthodontics

Magician Michael Grandinetti mystifies and astonishes audiences with his sleight of hand and mastery of illusion. But when he initially steps onto the stage, it’s his smile that grabs the attention. “The first thing… that an audience notices is your smile; it’s what really connects you as a person to them,” Michael told an interviewer.

He attributes his audience-pleasing smile to several years of orthodontic treatment as a teenager to straighten misaligned teeth, plus a lifetime of good oral care. “I’m so thankful that I did it,” he said about wearing orthodontic braces. “It was so beneficial. And… looking at the path I’ve chosen, it was life-changing.”

Orthodontics — the dental subspecialty focused on treating malocclusions (literally “bad bites”) — can indeed make life-changing improvements. Properly positioned teeth are integral to the aesthetics of any smile, and a smile that’s pleasing to look at boosts confidence and self-esteem and makes a terrific first impression. Studies have even linked having an attractive smile with greater professional success.

There can also be functional benefits such as improved biting/chewing and speech, and reduced strain on jaw muscles and joints. Additionally, well-aligned teeth are easier to clean and less likely to trap food particles that can lead to decay.

The Science Behind the Magic

There are more options than ever for correcting bites, but all capitalize on the fact that teeth are suspended in individual jawbone sockets by elastic periodontal ligaments that enable them to move. Orthodontic appliances (commonly called braces or clear aligners) place light, controlled forces on teeth in a calculated fashion to move them into their new desired alignment.

The “gold standard” in orthodontic treatment remains the orthodontic band for posterior (back) teeth and the bonded bracket for front teeth. Thin, flexible wires threaded through the brackets create the light forces needed for repositioning. Traditionally the brackets have been made of metal, but for those concerned about the aesthetics, they can also be made out of a clear material. Lingual braces, which are bonded to the back of teeth instead of the front, are another less visible option. The most discrete appliance is the removable clear aligner, which consists of a progression of custom-made clear trays that reposition teeth incrementally.

How’s that for a disappearing act?!

If you would like more information about orthodontic treatment please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the subject by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Magic of Orthodontics.”

By Dr. James M. Maragos, DDS, PC
September 07, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
EdenSherandtheLostRetainer

Fans of the primetime TV show The Middle were delighted to see that high school senior Sue, played by Eden Sher, finally got her braces off at the start of Season 6. But since this popular sitcom wouldn’t be complete without some slapstick comedy, this happy event is not without its trials and tribulations: The episode ends with Sue’s whole family diving into a dumpster in search of the teen’s lost retainer. Sue finds it in the garbage and immediately pops it in her mouth. But wait — it doesn’t fit, it’s not even hers!

If you think this scenario is far-fetched, guess again. OK, maybe the part about Sue not washing the retainer upon reclaiming it was just a gag (literally and figuratively), but lost retainers are all too common. Unfortunately, they’re also expensive to replace — so they need to be handled with care. What’s the best way to do that? Retainers should be brushed daily with a soft toothbrush and liquid soap (dish soap works well), and then placed immediately back in your mouth or into the case that came with the retainer. When you are eating a meal at a restaurant, do not wrap your retainer in a napkin and leave it on the table — this is a great way to lose it! Instead, take the case with you, and keep the retainer in it while you’re eating. When you get home, brush your teeth and then put the retainer back in your mouth.

If you do lose your retainer though, let us know right away. Retention is the last step of your orthodontic treatment, and it’s extremely important. You’ve worked hard to get a beautiful smile, and no one wants to see that effort wasted. Yet if you neglect to wear your retainer as instructed, your teeth are likely to shift out of position. Why does this happen?

As you’ve seen firsthand, teeth aren’t rigidly fixed in the jaw — they can be moved in response to light and continuous force. That’s what orthodontic appliances do: apply the right amount of force in a carefully controlled manner. But there are other forces at work on your teeth that can move them in less predictable ways. For example, normal biting and chewing can, over time, cause your teeth to shift position. To get teeth to stay where they’ve been moved orthodontically, new bone needs to form around them and anchor them where they are. That will happen over time, but only if they are held in place with a retainer. That’s why it is so important to wear yours as directed — and notify us immediately if it gets lost.

And if ever you do have to dig your retainer out of a dumpster… be sure to wash it before putting in in your mouth!

If you would like more information on retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers” and “Why Orthodontic Retainers?



Call Today (708) 352-7358

4727 Willow Springs Road
LaGrange, IL 60525

James M. Maragos, D.D.S.

Dr. Maragos’ commitment to his community parallels his commitment to his profession. In 2007, he was elected to... 

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