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Dr. Carla Spann received her Doctorate of Dental Surgery at  Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry  in Dallas, Texas.  She offers a compassionate and conservative approach to dentistry, believing patient education is paramount to success in both resolving and preventing oral health issues. She is particularly skilled in helping fearful patients relax during their dental care.

Q:    EXPLAIN WHAT AN ORTHODONTIST IS AND THEY TYPE OF WORK THEY DO?

A: Orthodontists receive two-to-three years of additional education at an accredited orthodontic residency program after graduating from dental school. Only those with this level of formal education are entitled to call themselves “orthodontists,” and only orthodontists are accepted for membership in the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO).

AAO members are gifted and highly educated specialists who diagnose, prevent and treat dental and facial irregularities to correctly align teeth and jaws. Whether you are considering clear aligners or traditional braces, orthodontists have the training, the experience and the treatment options to make sure you get your best smile. Many general dentists have additional training in orthodontics as well, and can handle some challenging orthodontic cases or will refer you to an orthodontist that they trust.

Q:    HOW DOES THIS ON-LINE MAIL-ORDER COMPANY WORK?

A: Patients can have a 3D image of made of their smile via an at-home impression kit or you can visit a SmileShop for a scan of their mouth. Next, they send you a preview of your new smile showing how your smile will transform and begin production of your invisible aligners, which are plastic trays made from the mould of your mouth which gradually guide your teeth into alignment. They also send teeth whitening solutions to be used with the aligners.

Q:    WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO GO THROUGH THE TEETH STRAIGHTENING PROCESS WITH AN ORTHODONTIST?

A:Dentists and orthodontists are specially trained to recognize when teeth straightening treatments are necessary. Without proper training, issues such as temporomandiblular joint disfunction (TMJ disorders) can arise. Sometimes jaw surgery or planned teeth extractions are necessary to achieve the optimal results. Only a dentist orthodontist can diagnose these issues.

Q:   WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ADVANTAGES OF THE ONLINE ORDER SERVICE?

A:Affordable, convenient, no visit to dentist necessary.

Q:    ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE UTILIZING IT? AND DO YOU PERSONALLY HAVE ANY PATIENTS WHO HAVE USED A COMPANY LIKE THIS?

A: I don’t think it has taken off yet, but I do think it is going to become a major player in the market place. I do have a patient that uses this service, but most do not have a relationship with a dentist.

Q:   IS THIS TYPE OF COMPANY DOING SOMETHING ILLEGAL BY SELLING INVISIBLE ALIGNERS?

A: It’s not illegal, but I do believe it is unethical, and puts patients health at risk because there is so much more involved in the selection of ortho treatment than simply a picture and mould of where the teeth are.

Q:   HEALTH WISE, WHY IS USING AT-HOME ORTHODONTICS COMPANY FOR BRACES OR INVISIBLE ALIGNERS DANGEROUS?

A: Oral cancer screening, periodontal disease diagnosis, and tooth decay are very important considerations in moving teeth and also in whitening.

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