Posts for: December, 2016

By Stephen R. Harris, DDS
December 30, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Invisalign  

Traditionally, orthodontic treatment meant metal braces attached to your teeth. However, Invisalign eliminates the need for metal in your mouth and cuts down on the number of times you need to see your dentist throughout treatment. Learn more about Invisalign with Dr. Stephen Harris at Advanced Dentistry in Farmington, MI.

Invisalign vs. Traditional Braces
Invisalign uses plastic aligner trays to move the teeth rather than metal brackets and wires. The trays are made from sturdy, clear plastic. Invisalign is also totally removable. This important trait eliminates the need to avoid certain foods or use special floss to thread between your brackets and wires. Before eating or brushing, patients just remove their trays and perform these tasks the same way they would before braces.

Caring for Invisalign
Invisalign does not require extra steps in your oral care routine. However, all good at-home oral care routines have at least two things in common: brushing and flossing. To give your teeth the best basic care, brush them at least twice a day using a soft brush and short back and forth motions. Floss between each tooth at least once a day remembering to include the back side of your last molar. To clean your Invisalign trays, simply rinse them with water before replacing them back into your mouth.

Invisalign Treatment in Farmington
Invisalign’s laboratory uses a 3D rendering of your mouth to design your plastic aligner trays. However, before physically creating your trays, the laboratory creates a video showing how and where your teeth will move throughout the treatment process. This unique feature of Invisalign allows you to see your final results before you even start treatment. After getting you and your dentist’s approval, the laboratory will create your aligner trays and send them back to your dentist’s office. Your treatment begins when you insert the first aligner tray in the series.

For more information on Invisalign, please contact Dr. Harris at Advanced Dentistry in Farmington, MI. Call (248) 478-4755 to schedule your appointment for Invisalign today!


By Stephen R. Harris, DDS
December 23, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: teeth whitening  
4ReasonsyoumaywantYourDentisttoWhitenYourTeeth

With the advent of home whitening kits, you no longer have to go to the dentist to have your teeth whitened. DIY kits are relatively safe and effective, if you follow the directions carefully.

So, you might be thinking: why have a dentist whiten my teeth? Actually, there are good reasons why you might. Here are 4 of them.

We'll make sure your teeth are healthy first. Your teeth may need some attention first, such as treatment for dental disease, before we undertake whitening. We'll also determine why your teeth are stained, which could impact how they're whitened (more about that in a moment).

Our application could take less time and last longer. Bleaching agents in home kits make up less than 10% of volume, much weaker than the applications we use. While it often takes several applications at home to achieve the desired brightness, you may only need one or two sessions with us. Our stronger solution may also extend the “fade time” — when the whitening begins to diminish — than what you may encounter with home whitening.

We can be more precise achieving the right shade. There are different shades of teeth whiteness — what looks good for someone else might not look good for you. We have the training and expertise to achieve a color that's right for you. What's more, we also have techniques and equipment like UV lighting that enables us to color match more precisely than you can with a home kit.

Your DIY kit can't alter some forms of staining. Home kits bleach only the outermost layers of tooth enamel. That won't help, though, if your discoloration originates inside the tooth. This intrinsic staining requires procedures only a dentist can perform to bleach the tooth from the inside out.

Even if you'd still like to use a home kit we'll be happy to advise you on purchasing and application. It's also a good idea to have us check the staining first to see if a home kit will work at all. In the end, we share the same desire as you do: that your teeth are as healthy as they can be and bright as you want them to be.

If you would like more information on tooth whitening options, 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 “Tooth Whitening Safety Tips.”


By Stephen R. Harris, DDS
December 08, 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.”




Contact Us

Stephen R. Harris, DDS

Farmington, MI Dentist
Stephen R. Harris DDS, PC
34024 W 8 Mile Rd., Ste. 106
Farmington Hills, MI 48335
(248) 478-4755
(248) 478-1139 fax
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