Category Archives: orthodontics

Why Are Straight Teeth Important? | Dallas Dentist

porcelain veneersNature doesn’t always provide straight teeth but there’s ample evidence that having straight teeth delivers extra benefits to your health and well being. Whether you’re born with straight teeth, or straighten them with orthodontics, read on for reasons why this is a smart idea and a great health investment.

Straight teeth provide the correct foundation for chewing.  When your bite doesn’t align properly, it can cause pain along with dental problems. To check your bite in a mirror, expose your teeth, bite normally, and observe whether the uppers and lowers align normally. Each tooth should more or less line up with its twin. Misaligned teeth (crooked or crowded teeth) can cause issues from chronic jaw or tooth pain to excessive wear on tooth enamel.  A poor bite increases stress on teeth and contributes to a shortened “life span” where teeth begin to crack and develop other signs of fatigue.  If you want your teeth to last a lifetime (and who doesn’t?) a healthy bite is the best way to ensure this.

Cleaning straight teeth is much easier than cleaning crooked teeth, which offer a multitude of hard-to-get-to hiding places for plaque and tiny bits of food.  Not cleaning these hiding spots properly will first lead to excessive cavities. The next stage may be gingivitis, or an inflammation between the teeth and gums.  Today science links chronic inflammation with a variety of health disorders including heart disease and cancer, so dealing with ANY inflammation when it appears is essential. If you don’t deal with it, an ongoing toxic mix of bacteria and inflammation can then progress to periodontitis, a very serious disease which causes tooth loss. In worst case scenarios, periodontitis may even contribute to heart attacks and strokes.

On a practical level, any toothbrush has an easier time brushing a nice straight tooth surface. The more contact your toothbrush makes with the entirety of the tooth face, the cleaner your teeth. Flossing straight teeth is simpler too. Crowded teeth often require hand acrobatics to get the floss between teeth, and even then, with some teeth, it’s impossible.

In our culture, we associate straight teeth with beauty, vitality, health and even status. Being born with perfectly straight teeth is actually rare. It’s typically achieved through orthodontic treatment. So people who have straight teeth are often assumed to be more wealthy and successful than their peers with crooked teeth.  For many parents, the ability to provide orthodontic treatment for their kids has a strong emotional component, because they want their children to have every advantage.  And straight teeth and a great smile do provide a self-confidence boost in social settings.

Curious about whether your teeth could benefit from straightening?  Set up an appointment for a consultation. Today advanced technology like Invisalign means straight teeth can be achieved in a fraction of the time it used to take. And even better, the invisible aligners ensure no one will even realize you’re doing it.

If you think that you may be ready for a more perfect smile, contact Dr. Gary Alhadef, DDS to schedule a consult today. Visit our website at to learn more about veneers.

Dr. Gary Alhadef, DDS proudly serves Dallas and all surrounding areas.

Importance of early intervention orthodontics for your kids

From age six to twelve, your kids’ mouths are very busy places.  They will shed twenty baby teeth, which they acquired by age three, enroute to building a finished, full set of 28 adult teeth. Their jawbones and new teeth grow while their baby teeth fall out to make room. It’s a wonderful process to witness, and to celebrate with visits from the Tooth Fairy.

Most kids’ teeth do not come in perfectly straight. It’s very common to see new adult teeth crowded by other teeth, especially in a still-growing jaw.  Bite misalignments may appear that cause awkward chewing and even jaw pain or teeth damage. Early intervention with orthodontics is a great way to stay ahead of problems and make the transition to permanent teeth a happy one.

In the past, dentists typically waited for patients to enter adolescence before intervention, but today’s technology allows pre-emptive treatment in children as young as six or seven.  When the first signs of crowding appear, dentists can proactively help incoming adult teeth emerge into better positions in the mouth and sometimes even avoid pulling teeth.  Children with crossbites, protruding teeth and small dental arches are good candidates and work done earlier may shorten the treatment term.

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that kids be screened for problems at age seven.

Of course orthodontics provides cosmetic enhancement as well as medical benefits, and avoiding braces during the sensitive high school years is an added bonus. With early intervention, your child could have their beautiful smile completed ahead of schedule.

Photo credit: Jenn Durfey / Foter / CC BY

How to Know if You Need Cosmetic Dentistry

Common cosmetic dental problems

You might be a candidate for cosmetic or aesthetic dental work if you find yourself focusing on other people’s great white smiles. You think how great it would be if your teeth looked that way. Maybe you tend to cover your mouth with your hand when you smile. Or fix your mouth in a certain position so that you conceal flaws. These are signs that you’re not confident in your smile. You should be! It’s one of the first things people see when they meet you and first impressions count for a lot.

You’re a good candidate for cosmetic dentistry if you find yourself bothered by any of these issues:

  • Missing teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Broken teeth
  • Spaces between teeth
  • Decayed or discolored teeth
  • Ragged edge teeth or pointy teeth
  • Uneven sized teeth
  • Excess gum when smiling
  • Speech problems due to missing teeth

The most common procedures used to treat these cosmetic dental issues are Invisalign clear braces, crowns, veneers and teeth whitening.

The Invisalign system straightens teeth just like metal braces, but uses pop-in, clear trays that gently guide teeth into the right position.

Crowns are used to repair existing teeth by attaching a porcelain overlay. This tooth-shaped restoration is strong, stops further decay and can make a big difference in your life by allowing you to chew easily. Crowns look great and are undetectable from normal teeth.

Veneers are often used to conceal damage and give a regular appearance to not so perfect teeth. These thin porcelain sheaths slip over the tooth in front and can be made in any color or shape.

Whitening is so important for a great smile. Dr. Alhadef offers Zoom whitening in the office, which will brighten your smile in a single visit. Or you can use at home trays which are custom designed and feature much faster results than commercially available whitening systems. You keep your trays and can touch up whenever you want.

The most important thing to consider is how your smile and your feelings about it might be interfering with your life. If your smile makes you self-conscious, if you dread pictures, or have changed your natural smile to one that conceals problems, then you should consider the wonder of aesthetic dentistry. Millions of people have found that fixing their smile gives them new confidence and vibrancy.

If you think you’re a candidate for cosmetic dentistry, give us a call. We’ll set up a personalized consultation that will show you all the techniques which can be used in your particular case to give you the smile you’ve always wanted.

Invisalign Benefits For Teens and Adults over Braces

Clear braces fit over teeth
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No matter your age, most people find the idea of metal braces unappealing.  Teens especially, so sensitive to fitting in, tend to worry about the social costs of “metal mouth.”  Most adults considering braces think about how braces will look to their employers, co-workers, clients, and romantic partners.

Even though traditional braces promise beautiful straight teeth, the typical term (36 months) seems like a lifetime. But there’s another, better option. An orthodontic device called Invisalign works faster than regular metal braces, is nearly invisible to the eye and you can eat and drink whatever you want. Best of all, the cost is comparable to traditional orthodontics.  Really.

The Invisalign system uses a system of comfortable plastic aligners that are custom molded for your teeth.  These plastic trays fit over your teeth and are clear, so no one knows you’re wearing them. Every two weeks or so, you change to the next set of trays in a series designed exactly for you by your dentist. domain dns . Each tray steadily moves your teeth into an ideal position. There are no wires, no tightening, and no pain.

A 2008 study in Aesthetic Dentistry Today found that the average treatment time for traditional braces was 35.9 months and as long as 96 months. Invisalign was found to produce its results within 12-18 months.  Not only was it faster, but Invisalign patients got to enjoy candy, pizza, bagels, breads and many other foods that are banned with traditional metal braces. Hot and cold drinks can also cause problems with metal and have to be avoided. Because you can take Invisalign out at any time, nothing is off the list.

Here’s a look at the benefits of Invisalign over traditional braces.


Invisalign                                             Braces

Can be taken out any time                Are hard wired to your teeth and required painful tightening

Works in 12-18 months                     Typical treatment is 36+ months

Invisible to others                               Obvious metal mouth

Eatanything                                          Must eat from list of approved food/drinks

Average cost $5000                            Average cost $5000

No gum side effects                             Can irritate gums and teeth roots

Very comfortable to wear                   Can be painful

Must wear 20-22 hours a day            Worn 24 hours a day


Want to find out more about Invisalign? Or have you had Invisalign with us and love it? Let us know.