Category Archives: Dr. Sparaga

Left untreated anterior deep bites can cause a lot of problems. Upper and lower incisor wear, palatal soft tissue impingement and overlapping teeth, to incisal entrapment and TMD with muscular reaction can all be blamed on deep bites. Since we begin life on a soft diet (Gerber’s, etc.), and chew so little, we frequently develop a deep anterior bite in the mixed dentition phase, e.g. age 8 or younger. This precipitates a Class II skeletal and dental pattern eventually.

Correction of deep bites is slow and can be difficult for the patient, especially with braces since the upper incisors will frequently cleave off the lower incisor brackets when biting down. This also used to be difficult for Invisalign to accomplish, but for a different reason…The aligners are too gentle in grasping posterior teeth from which to apply incisor intrusion or torquing forces. However, aligners have a distinct advantage over braces in providing protective plastic over the incisors when biting as well as propping the bite open due to aligner thickness. Further, with the advent of orthodontic mini-implants, we now can apply traction to aligners to open the deepest of bites successfully.

Below you will see the result of skeletal anchorage applied to deep bite incisors with Invisalign only. Many orthodontists still believe that “Invisalign can’t-do that”, and instead suggest braces treatment. These images demonstrate what Invisalign really does do, every day, right here at Clear Smiles Alaska. Invisalign is not a compromised treatment in orthodontics; rather it is a kinder, gentler tool with which to exert orthodontic forces, just like braces. As in any new technology, training, experience and willingness to embrace the new technology is a must in order to make it work. At Clear Smiles Alaska we are proud to have made that commitment 8 years ago, when we went “Invisalign Only” and have successfully treated over 1100 patients to date, with no full braces. When you contemplate one of your patients who has a need for orthodontic correction of a deep bite, severe or minor, think Invisalign at Clear Smiles Alaska. WE can do it.

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It’s almost time for our yearly Permanent Fund Dividend and as proud Alaskans we want to celebrate that! To help stretch the value of your PFD, for a limited time we are offering $500.00 off of the down payment for your Invisalign or Accelerated Invisalign treatment. Please contact our office staff to receive this celebratory gift and start on your journey towards a beautiful new Invisalign smile!

This offer is for new patients only and expires 12/31/2014.

When is the best time to begin orthodontic treatment? This is a question that is often asked of me by parents, especially as they see other young children in orthodontic appliances. My specialty training in orthodontics placed emphasis both on early treatment (7-10 years old) as well as treatment occurring later with all of the permanent teeth present.

My Answer
I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to treat numerous patients with both techniques and then review them in the following areas: finished results; duration of treatment; a number of appointments; loose appliances; cooperation and patient motivation/enthusiasm. Combining this information with new wire and appliance technology, I have concluded that for the vast majority (approximately 80 percent) of young patients, it is best to delay treatment until most, if not all, the teeth are in.

The Reasons

The five major advantages and benefits of waiting:

  1. Decreased time in braces or Invisalign and fewer appointments, resulting in:
    • Less chance of enamel decalcification and root shortening.
    • Less time absent from school or work,
    • Less opportunity for broken braces or appliances,
    • Generally, less cost.
  2. Bone growth is occurring more rapidly during the adolescent years, increasing treatment effectiveness. 
  3. Understanding and cooperation are better when a child is mature.
  4. Completing treatment in one phase is less costly than a prolonged two-phase program.
  5. More stable results.

The most optimal time to realize these benefits will vary somewhat with the individual child, but for most children, it is usually between the ages of 11 and 12.  Orthodontic treatment begun during this window of opportunity will usually result in braces being on for 18-24 months instead of 3 to 4 years or more.

Exceptions

There are a few orthodontic conditions that do warrant a brief period of early treatment.  These include:

  1. Crossbites causing the lower jaw to shift,
  2. Severe jaw imbalances (such as an upper jaw that is too far back),
  3. Space maintenance for early loss of primary (baby) tooth,
  4. Excessive crowding causing damage to teeth bones and/or gums,
  5. Airway problems.

Additionally, if a young patient is suffering psychologically or socially from crooked upper front teeth, a brief period of partial braces can improve both the smile and self-image dramatically.  Though braces or Invisalign will typically still be needed when all the teeth erupt, I do feel this is a valid treatment indication for some youngsters.

Parting Words

Needless to say, the timing of orthodontic treatment is an important issue that can make orthodontics either a rewarding and enjoyable experience or one that is prolonged and tedious.  Our observation program is set up to allow us to evaluate the patient’s dental and overall development on a regular basis in order to begin orthodontic therapy at the appropriate time.

I hope that this information has given you both a better understanding of our practice and a positive introduction to orthodontics.  Additionally, I hope you can see that waiting is sometimes the best “treatment”.  

Dr. Sparaga placed 2nd in the 2012 Invisalign Summit Shootout.  Invisalign Summit is a premier education event, combining more than thirty presentations and sessions with the excitement of Las Vegas. Doctors gather every other year for this invitation-only, three-day event to discover the latest and greatest clinical and practice development techniques and to learn what’s new in Invisalign product innovation.

A Clear Smiles Alaska patients treatment and the excellent skills of Dr. Sparaga placed 2nd of over a hundred submissions by other elite Orthodontist.  Dr. Sparaga was requested to speak on the treatment of a Dutch Harbor, AK Fisherman’s Invisalign treatment.  The extraordinary treatment with the use of innovative cutting-edge technology can be seen in the following video.