#AdultBraces #Orthodontics #Braces

Misconceptions About Orthodontics

August 31st, 2020

While everyone understands that a dentist takes care of teeth, not everyone is aware of what an orthodontist does. This confusion sometimes leads to misunderstandings about what our practice does for our patients and how exactly we can help them. Let’s take a closer look at a couple of the myths and misconceptions about orthodontics.

Perhaps the biggest misconception about the orthodontist is that we’re just like your family dentist. The truth is, we are actually very different. While it’s true that both orthodontists and dentists care about helping you enjoy a lifetime of good dental and oral health, we go about achieving this goal in different ways. For instance, if you need to have a cavity filled, you probably won’t make an appointment to see us. Dentists are the health professionals to see if you’re concerned about a cavity or need a filling. Actually for any sort of restorative procedure, including crowns, bridges or veneers, a dentist is the correct professional to see. A dentist can also treat gum disease, tooth decay, toothaches, and other common oral health problems.

People see an orthodontist for very particular services. Most of the patients we see on a daily basis are here because they have braces or clear aligners, or they need to be fitted with braces, aligners or another form of tooth-straightening device. In other words, they consult an orthodontist when they are concerned about the alignment of their teeth. Correcting misaligned teeth not only results in the important esthetic benefit for a beautiful smile, but as importantly allows your teeth and gums to remain healthy as your bite is properly balanced, and you can more easily care for your smile. As a child grows up, his or her teeth may grow in crooked or have gaps between teeth. This can happen for a number of reasons, so it’s important for an orthodontist to take a look at a child’s teeth at about seven years of age. At that age, it’s possible to detect any problems that have not become too advanced and more easily treat those. Your family dentist may also refer your child to an orthodontist once the adult teeth have fully grown in.

Another common misconception about orthodontists is that we only treat children. It’s true that when you visit an orthodontist you’re apt to see some young kids, but you’ll also see teenagers, college students, and adults. Because crooked teeth can be caused by a number of different factors, it’s entirely possible for someone to require orthodontic treatment at any age. In fact, at Linaker Orthodontics, our number of adult patients is growing exponentially.

If you want to know more about the practice of orthodontics or what Dr Linaker can do for you, we invite you to simply ask us. It’s best to get answers to your specific questions directly from the person who will be treating you. While you’re sure to find Internet resources helpful, there really is no substitute for the personal attention you’ll get during your appointment at our practice.

You can call us at 520-531-1496, email to info@linakerorthodontics.com or head to our home page and click 'Virtual Consultation' or 'Appointment Request'.  We can't wait to speak with you.

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Digital Scans Instead of Impressions? Yes Please!

March 10th, 2020

If you've ever had dental impressions taken for your diagnostic records you know how much fun it is to have a gooey mouthful of impression material. ?

Well we have good news! We are now taking a digital scan instead of impressions for diagnostic records on all patients. Our Orthodontic Clinicians, Lisa, Diane and Reba and our Treatment Coordinator Traci have all trained and become masters with our new ITero® Digital Scanner.

What is an iTero® Digital Scanner?

“Intraoral scanners from iTero® scan the mouths of patients, capturing images to create three-dimensional dental images in minutes.”* That means instead of using impression material that sits on the teeth for up to 2 minutes and pouring the impression up to make a plaster model of your teeth, we will simply take a digital scan which will generally take less than 5 minutes and you will immediately be able to see 3-D images of your teeth, gums and bite.

Why would we need a Digital Scan?

Orthodontists must have an accurate representation of what your teeth look like before beginning treatment in order to keep it as a record and plan your orthodontic treatment. “Digital Scanners help orthodontists diagnose orthodontic problems and develop the best treatment plans.”

How does a Digital Scanner Work?

“Intraoral scanners feature a small wand,” (much smaller than cumbersome wands associated with the first scanners from 2007) which our clinicians manipulate around a patient’s mouth. In the newest version which we have now, “the wand captures thousands of frames per second which are pieced together to create a three-dimensional visualization of the patient’s mouth. Intraoral scanners also have screens which display the digital dental images as they’re captured in real time.”*

What is the Benefit to the Patient Besides no Gooey Impressions?

“Orthodontists can scan their patients with an iTero® intraoral scanner, then show them how their Invisalign® or other Orthodontic treatment will look. This technology improves the patient experience because patients can know what to expect and feel more confident in their diagnosis and treatment plan.”* Often patients had no idea what their teeth and bite actually looked like prior to seeing their scan on the screen.

The best news for you is that your scan, along with your initial consultation, is completely Free. We also have interest free in office financing available for all of our treatment options.

Give us a call today at 520-531-1496 or click 'Contact Us' and 'Appointment Request'  on our website.  We can’t wait to meet you!

Linaker Orthodontics - Where Tucson Comes To Smile

* https://www.123dentist.com/itero-intraoral-digital-scanners-everything-you-need-to-know/

No Dentist Referral Needed

January 24th, 2018

Recently, we received a phone call from a parent who had been referred to us by their General Dentist. During the conversation we asked if there was anyone else in the family who would like to be seen. This mom seemed confused and told us that she has other children but their Dentist has not referred them yet. It occurred to us that there are still many people who are under the misconception that you must have a Dentist referral to visit an Orthodontic Specialist.

This simply is not the case.

If you think you or your child needs braces, you may be surprised to learn most – maybe all – dental insurance plans do not require a referral. You can make an appointment with an orthodontist any time to discuss your orthodontic needs and set up a treatment plan.

Furthermore, if your dentist does make a referral, you do not need to choose that orthodontist. You’re free to see anyone you feel can do the best job for you. This is also the case if you do not carry orthodontic insurance, clearly you can see whomever you choose. (And have no fear, we have affordable zero interest financial plans for any treatment plan.)

At Linaker Orthodontics, we love our referrals. Having the trust of numerous Dentists in our communities who refer to our office is an honor and we in turn refer to these Dentists of whom we have the utmost respect. Many times we have new patients come to us who do not have a local dentist and we’re always pleased to provide them with the name of one our trusted colleagues.

As referrals go, our favorite types are word of mouth recommendations. Patients and parents who are beyond excited and in love with their smiles after treatment in our office, and tell others about us, mean the world to us.

With or without a dental referral, you should bring your child for an orthodontic consultation by age 7, as the American Association of Orthodontists recommends. Examining young children before all the permanent teeth have erupted may enable an orthodontist to correct problems that would be more difficult and costly to address later. Few children will actually require braces at this age but if your child shows certain bite or alignment problems, early intervention may be able to prevent or reduce the need for braces or more invasive procedures in the future. If there are no issues, this knowledge gives parents invaluable peace of mind and we will continue to watch the jaw and dentition develop as their child grows, usually with quick observation appointments every 6 months to a year.

Additionally, more and more adults are discovering that as they gracefully mature, their once straight teeth are shifting, or perhaps, they simply weren’t able to have orthodontic care when they were younger for one reason or another and their bite is worsening. The numbers of adults coming to our office for orthodontic consultations is increasing every month and our number of Invisalign cases is growing comparatively. Adult orthodontics is becoming more and more popular and affordable.

In any case, we would love to see you or child, with or without a referral. Consultations at any age are free in our office. Come in and see if together we can help you to achieve your most beautiful smile.

Orthodontic and Dental Health Resolutions for 2018

January 9th, 2018


2018 is upon us and with a new year usually comes a plethora of articles and posts regarding healthy resolutions. Why should we be any different? Resolutions are a good idea no matter how long they last. Here are some ideas for orthodontic and dental health resolutions that you might want to include in your list for 2018 from us at Linaker Orthodontics.

Linaker Ortho Resolution #1: Excellent oral hygiene every day

Good Oral Hygiene is important whether you wear braces, Invisalign, retainers or nothing at all, but because braces create places where food remnants and bacteria can get trapped, you will need to pay special attention if you are in treatment. Leaving remnants of food and bacteria in your mouth, can cause gingivitis, calcium buildup, and cavities. In more extreme cases, failing to clean your teeth well with braces can lead to demineralization of your teeth.
At Linaker Orthodontics we recommend the Oral B precision toothbrush to get the best results. Your proxy interdental brush and floss threaders are also effective if you are wearing braces. If you need a refresher on how to keep your teeth clean with braces just ask us, we’re happy to go over the best techniques with you again.

Linaker Ortho Resolution #2: Schedule and keep your regular dental appointments

While you are undergoing treatment with us, you need to make sure that your dentist and hygienist see you for your twice yearly hygiene visits too. Occasionally you may need to have an extra cleaning, depending on your oral hygiene circumstances Some dentists require you to have your wires removed for these appointments. No problem. Schedule an appointment immediately before and after your dentist visit, with our office, and we will remove and replace them in no time. This takes some coordination however, so be sure to contact us well in advance.

Linaker Ortho Resolution #3: Wearing your retainers every day in 2018

Retainers are vital to making sure your smile lasts a lifetime, and you’ll need to wear them every day to make sure they’re effective. Remember, it’s not just while you’re sleeping but 10-12 hours every day. If you’ve recently had your braces removed, are getting them off in 2018 or finishing with Invisalign, resolve to wear your retainers exactly as instructed.

Linaker Ortho Resolution #4: Less sugar and more water

If there’s one simple thing you can do to improve the health of your teeth, it’s cutting down on sugary snacks and drinks. Sugar interacts with bacteria in the mouth to form acids that eat away at tooth enamel, which can cause decay. Cutting back on sugar will not only benefit your teeth, but your overall health in general.
Did you know that the role of saliva is to keep your mouth clean, and that drinking water helps encourage saliva production? Water will also help flush pieces of food from your braces. And of course in our Southern Arizona climate, even in the winter, hydration is vital. Drinking more water is a win win.

Linaker Ortho Resolution #5: Keep all of your appointments at our office

We love seeing you and keeping your appointments will help keep your treatment with braces or Invisalign on track. Your smile will thank you!

Your Linaker Ortho Family wishes you a happy and a healthy New Year!

Adults, Brace Yourself!

September 29th, 2014

Aside from being prominent celebrities, what do Faith Hill, Katherine Heigl, Gwen Stefani, Tom Cruise, Kate Middleton and Katy Perry have in common? They all opted as adults to treat their orthodontic problems with corrective braces, and according to the American Association of Orthodontists, these celebrities are part of a growing trend.

Today, one in every five orthodontic patients is over the age of 18, and many are in their 40s, 50s and beyond. Academy Award-winner Faye Dunaway was 61 years old when she elected to get braces. A report issued by the Harvard Medical School suggests, “Although childhood is the ideal time to make changes in the positioning of the teeth, more adults are opting for orthodontic treatment and coming away with excellent results.”

In addition to boosting your confidence and self-esteem, orthodontics can correct a variety of dental problems, including misaligned teeth, overcrowded teeth, bite abnormalities, and jaw problems. Without proper treatment for these conditions, you could be at higher risk for cavities, gum disease, ear pain, headaches, and chewing and speech problems, and some of these problems worsen as you age. For this reason, braces can be an important part of maintaining your oral health, no matter how old you are.

In the past, many adults would not even consider orthodontic treatment because they could not imagine walking around with a mouth full of metal. Fortunately, however, several options for straightening teeth exist today that are more aesthetic and discreet than traditional stainless steel braces. In some rare cases, only a removable retainer is necessary to make slight changes. In other rare cases, surgery may be necessary. Most often, however, the treatment will consist of braces or aligners, followed by ongoing use of a retainer.


Orthodontic treatments work by applying continuous pressure to your teeth over time to move them slowly into alignment. As the teeth shift, they loosen from the gum line and move into place, and the bone around the teeth also changes shape to support the new positioning. The process is gradual, generally taking between one and three years, because if the teeth move too quickly they could become unstable. There are several different orthodontic appliances available from which to choose.

Conventional Metal Braces—For metal braces, your orthodontist will attach metal brackets to your teeth connected by wires that apply pressure to your teeth to cause the movement needed to move them into proper position. While conventional metal braces are efficient and relatively inexpensive, adults tend to prefer treatments that are less noticeable.

Clear Braces—Ceramic braces are similar to traditional braces, but their brackets are made of clear composite materials or tooth-colored porcelain so only the connecting wires are plainly visible. It is possible to coat the wires with a tooth-colored coating, but coated wires are typically less efficient than uncoated wires so they are not often used. The composite materials of clear braces are weaker and more brittle than metal braces, but this is generally not a significant problem for adults who tend to be more conscientious with their orthodontic investment than younger people. Because clear braces are discreet and more affordable than some other options, they are a popular choice among adults.

Lingual Braces—Lingual braces are custom-made and attached to the back of the teeth, facing the tongue, so they are not visible when you speak and smile. Your orthodontist constructs these braces by making an impression of your mouth and scanning it into a computer program that designs a plan for braces specifically to fit your mouth. The downside of this option is that, since they are on the backside of the teeth, they can interfere with the movement of the tongue, which can be irritating and uncomfortable, and cause difficulty with speech. Because these braces are custom-made and more challenging to adjust than other methods, this is generally the most expensive option.

Clear Acrylic Aligners—Acrylic aligners are clear, removable appliances custom-made from a mold of your mouth that apply pressure to your teeth to move them into alignment. You wear each set for a few weeks, and once your teeth have adjusted, your orthodontist will fit you for a new set. The advantages of aligners are they are nearly invisible, easier to clean than braces, and are removable during eating. The disadvantages are that they can be costly, often take longer to work than traditional braces, and some people still need a short period of regular braces following the aligner treatment. While this type of treatment can be effective for aligning the teeth, it is not effective for correcting bite problems. Additionally, patients of this type of treatment must be significantly motivated and self-disciplined because they face the constant temptation to remove the appliance, which can greatly slow down the treatment process.

Retainers—After the orthodontist removes the braces or completes aligner treatment, the final step of the process is the retainer, an appliance designed to hold the teeth in their new position while the bones around them stabilize. It is critical to wear the retainer as directed to prevent your teeth from regressing to their original positioning.


If you may be interested in orthodontic treatment, there are factors specific to adults to consider going in to the process.

• The bones of adults have stopped growing, so the realignment process may take longer than it does for younger patients.

• Some structural oral changes in adults are not possible without surgery.

• Adults tend to enter the process with pre-existing dental work and conditions so orthodontics can be more complicated than with younger patients. If you wish to receive orthodontic treatment as an adult, you will likely need to start by seeing your general dentist and a periodontist to ensure that factors such as existing dental work, gum disease or other conditions will not adversely affect your treatment.

If you are considering orthodontic care, your first step will be to schedule an appointment with an orthodontist who will recommend a treatment plan and discuss your options with you to determine which might be best for meeting your needs, time frame and budget. Keep in mind that some medical and dental insurance plans cover at least a portion of orthodontic work, so check with your provider regarding your benefits before you initiate the process.

Adults, Brace Yourself!
By Judy Latta

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