Hart Orthodontics

Dr. Patrick Hart
Dr. P. Sheamus Hart

Phone 703-491-4278
Office 12600 Lakeridge Drive
Woodbridge, VA 22192

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Archive for January, 2014

How Braces Can Work at Any Age

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Are you an adult who is considering getting braces? Perhaps you’ve had them before, but over the years that dental work has been reversed. Or maybe you’ve never had any orthodontic work done, but are considering braces for the first time. In either case, Hart Orthodontics can help you enjoy straighter teeth, an improved bite, and a more beautiful smile. If you are considering getting braces, here is what you need to know about adult orthodontic work from Dr. Patrick Hart.

Can braces work for adults?

Absolutely! Braces work for just about anyone. However, there are several different types of braces, and not all of them may work for you. Different types of orthodontic treatments include:

  • Ceramic braces
  • Metal braces
  • Self-ligating brackets
  • Lingual brackets (braces behind the teeth)
  • Invisible braces
  • Rubber bands for bite correction
  • Headgear and other appliances

By scheduling a consultation, we can determine which treatment or combination of treatments would be best for your specific needs.

How do I get started?

Getting braces can be a little bit daunting. At first glance, the process may appear expensive and time-consuming. However, if you take it step by step, getting braces can be a simple and relatively pain-free experience. Here are the first steps you need to take to get on the road to straight teeth:

First, you need information. If you are nervous about getting braces, or are having trouble getting started, learning more about the process can help ease your mind. Here are a few sample questions to ask:

  • What kind of braces do you recommend for my teeth?
  • How long will the treatment take?
  • How often will I need to come in for adjustments?
  • What is the total cost of the treatment? Do you accept insurance? Will you require the full amount up front, or do you have payment plans?

Asking these types of questions will help you understand what to expect during the entire process, which can aid your decision on the proper course of action.

The next step is to complete any prerequisite treatment. During your first meeting with Dr. Patrick Hart, we’ll need to take some X-rays and molds of your teeth, and then help you determine an appropriate treatment plan. Recommendations may include some preliminary dental work before you get your braces, which can be an important step in making sure your orthodontic treatments are effective.

Once you have completed these steps, you are ready to get started! After you’ve chosen a treatment plan and undergone any necessary prerequisite dental work, you’ll be able to get your braces. Just like that, you’re on your way to a better smile! If you’d like to get started right away, call our Woodbridge, VA location today!

What role do elastics (rubber bands) play in orthodontics?

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Wearing orthodontic braces may be the best choice for correcting your teeth and improving your smile, and that’s why you’ve come to see Dr. Patrick Hart at Hart Orthodontics. Braces, which consist of brackets and wires, work by gently applying pressure to the teeth, and that pressure causes them to move into the correct position. In some cases elastics, or rubber bands, are used to apply additional pressure needed to move your teeth.

The Purpose of Elastics

Customized for each patient, the rubber bands typically stretch over tiny loops on the top and bottom brackets. If worn consistently, and every day, these tiny elastics will apply the steady pressure needed to guide your teeth into the correct position.

These elastics are crafted from medical-grade latex, which is safe to be in contact with your mouth. It’s common to remove the elastics during meals if opening your mouth wide enough to eat is difficult. Our staff will demonstrate how to affix the elastics so it will soon become second nature to replace them.

The Do’s and the Don’ts

DO – Get in the habit of carrying around extra rubber bands and replace them as soon as one breaks. By consistently wearing the elastics, you may shorten the overall time needed to wear braces.

DON’T – Double up on elastics as this will cause too much pressure on the tooth or teeth and can actually harm the root of the tooth.

DO – Always wash your hands before removing or replacing the rubber bands.

DON’T – Overstretch the rubber band or it will lose its strength and it will be ineffective.

DO – Call us if you run out of rubber bands.

DO – Have fun with your braces and elastics. There are many different colors available that can let you show off your soon-to-be perfect smile.

Rubber bands are a key part of your orthodontic treatment, and learning how to remove and replace them is an important part to maintaining your braces. Before we set you on your journey to a perfect smile, we’ll make sure you understand all there is to know about how to take care of your braces. Of course, if you have any questions about your orthodontic treatment, or orthodontics in general, be sure to contact our Woodbridge, VA office, and our staff will be happy to assist you!

Get to know Dr. Shea Hart!

Friday, January 17th, 2014

Shea photoWe are so happy and excited to welcome Dr. Shea Hart to the Hart Orthodontics family! In today’s blog, we wanted to share with you all a little bit more about the newest Dr. Hart.

Dr. Hart is thrilled to have the opportunity to serve our patients and carry on the Hart Orthodontics dedication to providing exceptional orthodontic treatment and patient care. “I am incredibly excited to return to Hart Orthodontics. Having once been a patient, I know what a fun and enjoyable experience it is for everyone involved in the treatment process. I am looking forward to developing beautiful smiles and lasting relationships with my patients and their families.”

Dr. Hart begins his journey of being an orthodontist after completing a prolific academic career that included very significant awards for excellence, including the Omicron Kappa Upsilon William S. Kramer Award of Excellence. This award is given to only one outstanding senior dental student! In this past December, Dr. Hart graduated from the University of Oklahoma with his Maser’s of Science in Orthodontics, focusing on the surgical management of patients undergoing orthodontic therapy. Before that, Dr. Hart completed a stellar Doctorate of Dental Medicine degree at the University of Las Vegas in 2011.

He looks forward to getting to know all of our patients and families and delivering nothing short of the happiest and healthiest of smiles! Next time you’re in the office, don’t hesitate to say hello to Dr. Shea Hart!

What are the benefits of Invisalign®?

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

A popular option for straightening teeth at Hart Orthodontics, Invisalign can be a great method for improving your smile, and can help patients with crowded teeth, crossbites, overbites, underbites, and more.

Invisalign, which is different from traditional braces, works by applying a series of clear, retainer-like aligners in order to eventually move your teeth into their ideal positions. Patients typically swap aligners approximately every couple of weeks.

At Hart Orthodontics, we have lots of experience using this technology to give our patients the beautiful and healthy smile they’ve always wanted. During your initial visit at our Woodbridge, VA office, the first thing we do is take an impression of your teeth as they are now and digitize it. Using special software, we look at the current positioning of your teeth and compare it to the way your teeth should look.

Not only are the aligners invisible, they are also removable, so you can eat and drink what you want, and brushing and flossing are easier. Invisalign’s aligners are also comfortable, with no metal to cause mouth abrasions during your treatment. And, no metal and wires usually means you spend less time at our office getting adjustments. With Invisalign, you can view your own virtual treatment plan when you start, so you can see how your straight teeth will look when your treatment is complete!

Depending on the severity of the problem, Invisalign treatment may take anywhere from three to 18 months to complete. You should be aware that Invisalign is not as effective as traditional braces in treating bite problems, teeth that are lower or higher than others, or severely overcrowded teeth. Both teens and adults are now great candidates for Invisalign, so we invite you to contact our Woodbridge, VA office to set up an initial consultation and learn more on how Invisalign can give you the smile you’ve always wanted!

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