Orthodontics Blog - Dr. Albert Fontaine

Four Things You Should Consider Before Getting Invisalign Teen

DUNEDIN AND SPRING HILL, FLORIDA – Invisalign Teen is celebrating its fourth anniversary since its debut and has been trending among teens ever since. With its growing popularity, DUNEDIN INVISALIGN specialist, Dr. Albert Fontaine, wants to help teens make sure Invisalign Teen is the right treatment for them.

Having traditional metal braces as a teen can be cumbersome; Invisalign and Invisalign Teen were designed to alleviate the complications associated with conventional braces. For some teenagers though, traditional braces are the only solution.

“Invisalign Teen has helped my patients straighten crooked teeth and fix spacing issues,” says Dr. Albert Fontaine, a SPRING HILL ORTHODONTIST. “I believe it is a great option for the right patient. It works especially well for students who are athletes or musicians.”

A band member who plays a brass instrument will be very happy that his lip is not being pushed into metal braces. In addition, an athlete may experience trauma to the lips with traditional braces, especially in contact sports. Invisalign can actually protect the teeth and a mouthguard can fit right over the Invisalign tray, if needed.

Dr. Fontaine suggests four things you need to consider before getting the Invisalign Teen treatment:

#1. Complying with the Treatment

Are you a rebellious teen or the parent of one? Invisalign may not be the best option for you or your teen. The Invisalign Teen clear aligners have compliance indicator dots to show how often the teen is wearing them, and reassure the parent that they are actually using the treatment. It’s OK if you accidentally miss a little, but to see real change, you have to consistently wear the aligners.

“Parents, if you have a child who just isn’t going to cooperate and wear the aligners consistently, no matter how many dots are on the tray, it won’t work,” says Dr. Fontaine, ADULT BRACES provider in Spring Hill.

Dr. Fontaine also considers forgetfulness as another factor to take into account. If they are leaving their glasses or books everywhere, you may consider regular braces. Invisalign will replace a few lost trays for free, but it can slow the progress significantly.

#2. Treatment Must Last 18 Months or Less

The Invisalign Teen treatment is a worthwhile option for teens in need of fairly minor to normal orthodontic correction. At the maximum, the Invisalign treatment should last 18 months since there is some burnout of co-operation with teens. For orthodontic conditions requiring longer than 18 months to correct, patients should go with the more traditional route of fixed braces. Typically, treatment with traditional braces will take two years.

#3. First Bicuspids Must Have Erupted Before Invisalign

While the Invisalign Teen aligners do have room for erupting adult teeth, Dr. Fontaine recommends ensuring your first bicuspids already have erupted before beginning the Invisalign Teen treatment. This allows the trays to seat fully and maintain the archform.

#4 Gums Must Be Capable of Holding Invisalign Teen Aligners

Your child’s gum tissue can play a role in whether he or she can be an ideal candidate for Invisalign Teen.

“Ever heard of the saying ‘long in the tooth?’ The gum recedes slightly as we age and when you’re younger the gums are higher on the tooth,” says Dr. Fontaine, SPRING HILL ORTHODONTICS provider. “The tray doesn’t hold on as well when there is more gum tissue and less tooth showing.”

If your child has gums resting higher on the teeth, you will probably want to consider traditional braces for orthodontic treatment rather than Invisalign Teen.

A teenager’s oral hygiene routine can also affect the gum tissue. Gums have been known to swell due to lack of proper brushing, which makes it more difficult for the trays to fully seat. However, Invisalign would be preferable to braces if there is a hygiene problem or a lot of fillings.

“In our office, we suggest putting topical fluoride in the trays, if necessary. On the other hand, braces can hold food against the enamel. The best option is to have good home care first,” says Dr. Fontaine.

Invisalign Teen has helped millions of teenagers and teen celebrities since its launch in 2008. If you take these four points into account when deciding between Invisalign Teen and traditional braces, you’ll be on your way to finding the most effective way that will give you a beautiful smile.

“We’ve used Invisalign Teen with our teen patients and it works really well,” says Dr. Fontaine.

If you found that Invisalign Teen may not be the best option for your teeth, Dr. Fontaine’s office offers clear braces or ceramic braces as an alternative to the traditional braces to FIX OVERBITE or straighten CROOKED TEETH.

© 2012 Master Google and Dr. Albert J. Fontaine. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Master Google and Dr. Albert J. Fontaine are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

Every Case Can Be Treated with Invisalign- Fact or Fiction?

CLEARWATER AND SPRING HILL, FLORIDA- Aesthetic orthodontic treatment options such as Invisalign have done a great job of marketing themselves through the years, which prompts more patients to ask for them by name when they visit our office for an orthodontic evaluation.

But is every patient an ideal candidate for this type of invisible braces treatment? You might be surprised to learn that the answer quite often is yes, says Dr. Albert Fontaine, our resident SPRING HILL INVISALIGN TEEN, Invisalign and traditional braces specialist.

There is a caveat to that “yes,” however.

“We’ve been doing this for the past year in cases that are so far advanced, they’ve been told by another provider they can’t use Invisalign,” Dr. Fontaine says, using his knowledge and experience in providing DENTAL BRACES IN CLEARWATER. “But you frequently can. We may use braces for a couple months and then switch to Invisalign.”

This combination approach allows us to address more complicated cases that can’t be done with Invisalign alone. It has opened up the possibility of a virtually undetectable treatment modality to a whole new demographic.

“I view this as an area where a lot of general dentists don’t realize orthodontists can help their patients by doing both fixed braces and Invisalign at the same time,” says the provider of CLEARWATER TEEN BRACES.

Combination treatment is designed to address the demands of patients who don’t want braces long-term. Instead, we use them short-term in a variety of ways:

At the beginning of treatment for up to six months. This enables us to get different parts of the case worked out, and then we use Invisalign for the remainder of treatment. This is great for severely crowded or overlapped incisors.
In conjunction with Invisalign. We may use braces in the back and Invisalign at the same time. This is ideal for a case where there are some occlusion problems in the back that need addressing.
Braces on the bottom, Invisalign on top. Sometimes we get cases where the lower teeth are too crowded to achieve ideal movement with Invisalign. Braces on the lower teeth are less noticeable, and we use them to get the most severe movement done before making the switch to Invisalign.
Movement that Requires Braces
There are some orthodontic movements that simply are better with conventional braces, Dr. Fontaine says as a CLEARWATER INVISIBLE BRACES provider.

One example of this is a severe, deep overbite. Fixed appliances like braces provide the constant forces needed to move the teeth into their proper position.

In severely crowded cases where teeth are overlapped, we need braces to uncrowd the teeth and get them aligned in a reasonable amount of time.

Treating an underbite also requires more intricate appliances. When underbite is identified early in young patients, tools such as palatal expanders and facemasks can be used to correct this type of malocclusion before the patient gets braces.

Movement of tooth roots requires fixed appliances such as traditional braces. Root movement is particularly important in cases where the patient requires tooth extraction to achieve proper alignment. Aligning the teeth surrounding the extracted tooth or teeth requires the roots to be moved as well, Dr. Fontaine says.

“Orthodontics is a field that continues to evolve as new innovations improve treatment,” he says. “This combination approach to treatment is just one more advancement that creates possibilities for patients who desire a better smile and want to go through the process of achieving that using a method that isn’t noticeable.”

© 2012 Master Google and Dr. Albert Fontaine. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Dr. Albert Fontaine and Master Google are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this article is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

The Truth About the X-ray/Tumor Connection

DUNEDIN AND SPRING HILL, FLORIDA – Dental X-rays and tumors were front and center in the national news recently when results of a study stated that there was a potential connection between dental X-rays and the risk of meningioma.

We armed ourselves with information at our Dunedin and Spring Hills offices, fully anticipating a flood of worried parents wanting their concerns addressed. Although that didn’t happen, Dr. Albert Fontaine still feels it is important to address this study and to share information on the safety and importance of dental X-rays in developing the best ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT plan for each patient.

First, some information about the study: it was published on April 10 in the journal “Cancer,” which is published by the American Cancer Society. NBC News Chief Medical Editor, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, did a segment about the study on the Today Show shortly thereafter.

“My first reaction was that I felt like the whole truth wasn’t being stated,” says Dr. Fontaine, a DUNEDIN INVISALIGN provider. “I felt like the information leading into the story was sensationalistic, and the actual article didn’t jibe with the headlines.”

The study’s lead author was Dr. Elizabeth Claus, of Yale University School of Medicine, and it involved 1,433 patients diagnosed with meningioma. It compared those patients to 1,350 people without this type of tumor, and found that the meningioma group was twice as likely to report “ever having had a bitewing exam, which uses an X-ray film held in place by a tab between the teeth,” according to an ACS article.

X-rays are a source of ionizing radiation, which is a possible risk factor for meningioma.

A major flaw in the study lies in how the information was gathered from the meningioma patients, Dr. Fontaine says. This was a self-reported study, meaning the patients simply were asked to recall the number and type of X-rays they’ve had over the years. Those who conducted the study examined no medical records.

Many professional dental organizations who’ve spoken against the study bring up the concept of “recall bias,” where people simply misremember by overstating or understating the number of dental X-rays they’ve had over the years.

“The trouble doesn’t end there,” says Fontaine, a DUNEDIN CROOKED TEETH fixer. Many of the people who participated in the study had X-rays taken prior to digital X-ray technology, which exposes patients to significantly lower radiation levels.

Shedding Light on Problems
Dr. Fontaine anticipated lots of moms asking about the necessity of taking an X-ray.

“Obviously we have to have X-rays to diagnose what’s going on with our patients,” says the DUNEDIN GAP TEETH remover. “We can’t provide proper treatment without them. But it’s important for patients and parents to note that we don’t do any unnecessary X-rays.”

About a week after news of the study broke, Dr. Fontaine was presented with the perfect example of why and how these X-rays are so important to treatment.

“I had a young man who I took a panoramic X-ray on and I found a cyst in his mandible,” Dr. Fontaine recalls, who is a DUNEDIN UNDERBITE CORRECTION professional. “It was so large, it almost fractured the mandible.”

Prior to the X-ray, the patient had experienced no pain and there were no symptoms that anything was amiss.

“That happens,” Dr. Fontaine says. “It may be only one in a thousand cases, but you wouldn’t want your child to be that one.”

Particularly when treating patients who are growing, X-rays may be required throughout treatment to ensure treatment remains on course.

“We don’t overtake X-rays by any means,” he says. “As infrequent as they are, we don’t want potential patients to be deterred from dental X-rays because of one flawed study.”

© 2012 Master Google and Dr. Albert J. Fontaine. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Master Google and Dr. Albert J. Fontaine are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

Dr. Fontaine Celebrates 20 Years in Orthodontics

DUNEDIN AND SPRING HILL, FLORIDA – This July, we celebrate Dr. Albert Fontaine’s 20th anniversary as a Dunedin and SPRING HILL CHILDREN ORTHODONTIST.

Dr. Fontaine purchased the EAST LAKE ORTHODONTICS practice of his father-in-law, Dr. J. Ellis Rue, in July 1992 and built his office in Spring Hill that same month.

The decision to open the second location at that time was made to address the fact that Spring Hill was a rapidly growing area without many orthodontic practices.

“At the time, Spring Hill was ranked number one in the state for growth,” recalls Dr. Fontaine, a provider of INVISALIGN and conventional BRACES FOR CHILDREN and adults. “We saw opening a practice there as being a real positive for us and for residents of that area in need of orthodontic treatment.”

Dr. Fontaine’s desire to become an orthodontist began early. As a child, his best friend’s father was an orthodontist, and that initially got him interested in the field. Dr. Fontaine earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Florida and went on to graduate from UF’s College of Dentistry.

Rather than going immediately into an orthodontic residency, Dr. Fontaine opted to practice general dentistry for four years- a decision he is glad he made.

“This provided a great opportunity for me to decide what I truly wanted to do,” he says. “Choosing this path gave me a different perspective on dentistry and orthodontics. I now know more about general dentistry than if I had gone straight into the orthodontic field after graduation from dental school.”

Although his friend’s father sparked the interest in orthodontics, Dr. Fontaine’s father-in-law fanned the flame. At Dr. Rue’s urging, Dr. Fontaine agreed to a blind date with his daughter, Melissa. It obviously worked out, since they are celebrating their 25th anniversary.

After completing a three-year orthodontic residency at the prestigious Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, he purchased Dr. Rue’s practice.

“In hindsight, my father-in-law was a great planner,” EAST LAKE TEEN BRACES provider, Dr. Fontaine says with a laugh. “He got his daughter married off and sold his practice to the same guy.”

© 2012 Master Google and Dr. Albert J. Fontaine. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Master Google and Dr. Albert J. Fontaine are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.