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Roanoke Valley Orthodontics

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RVO kicks off school supplies drive to support Rescue Mission of Roanoke

We’ve got Back to School on the brain, and we’re asking for your help!

In just a few weeks, students around the Roanoke Valley will be headed back to school. While it’s a hectic time for everyone, many local families are unable to afford the school supplies their children need.

The staff at Roanoke Valley Orthodontics is pitching in by kicking off our school supplies drive to support The Rescue Mission of Roanoke’s Back 2 School Blast!

The Rescue Mission hosts the event each year in partnership with other local organizations to help area children in need. Families who register for the event may receive a free book bag with supplies, necessary immunizations, physicals for school or sports, and shoes. This year’s Blast will be held on August 12. [Get more information here.]

You can help by stopping by any of our three office locations now through July 27 to donate supplies to the cause. You’ll earn 1 HUB Point for each item you donate. Plus, any patient who makes a donation will be entered to win a basket of school supplies for themselves AND one for their teacher!

The Rescue Mission’s wishlist includes:

  • Loose-leaf paper
  • 1-inch and 2-inch binders
  • Spiral notebooks
  • Crayons
  • Highlighters
  • Pencils
  • Colored pencils
  • Glue sticks
  • Erasers
  • Scissors
  • Pencil pouches
  • Pocket folders

We believe that one of the most important things we can do as a practice and local business is to “Embrace Roanoke” and give back to the community we serve. Thank you for helping us do just that!

Dr. Jones and the Roanoke Valley Orthodontics team

Roanoke Valley Orthodontics celebrates Peters Creek renovation

It was all beautiful smiles last month for Roanoke Valley Orthodontics’ Grand Reopening and Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony at our Peters Creek Road location.

We’ve been so busy this spring! Along with welcoming many patients to The New Smiles Club, we’ve been completing renovations on our Peters Creek Road location. Now that the construction is finished and the dust has settled, we’re celebrating its reopening with our patients, friends and colleagues.

The whole effort came together March 23 when we were joined by the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting. The chamber congratulated Dr. Jones on the renovation and thanked him for reinvesting in the Roanoke Valley.

We also welcomed back some former RVO employees, as well as staff from some of the dental offices we work with, to give them a look at the new digs.

We’re so happy to have completed this project to create a more open, comfortable and welcoming space for our patients and their families. We look forward to showing you around!

The Roanoke Valley Orthodontics team

Orthodontic emergencies you can handle at home

One of the most important parts of our job is to educate our patients about the appliances we use during orthodontic treatment. Knowing how to care for braces is so critical because it has a direct effect on your treatment time and results. That’s why we always ask you whether you’ve been practicing good habits such as brushing your teeth and staying away from certain foods.

From time to time, you might experience a minor problem with your braces that causes discomfort. Usually, you’ll be able to deal with these orthodontic “emergencies” on your own with things you have around your house or supplies we will give you.

In case you do have a problem, we’ve rounded up some of the most common hiccups our patients have with their braces, and the solutions that will ease discomfort, prevent injury and keep your mouth healthy!

Loose band or bracket

This is one of the most frequent problems patients have. Bands and brackets often become loose because of something you’ve chewed or eaten. Your bands or brackets might also be loose as a result of changes in your bite that happen between adjustments.

If the bracket or band is still attached to the wire, just leave it in place and put orthodontic wax on it if it’s irritating your mouth. If a piece comes out completely, hang onto it and bring it with you to your next appointment.

Loose appliance

Like loose brackets and bands, loose appliances are usually caused by eating or chewing something hard or sticky. If the appliance is sticking or poking, place wax on the part that’s bothering you.

Loose or poking wire

If a flexible wire is loose, try first to move it back in place with clean tweezers. If that doesn’t work, you can clip the wire with fingernail clippers behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If you are unable to clip it and it is causing discomfort, a rolled up piece of wax placed on it can usually alleviate the poking.

If a small ligature wire (which is sometimes used to tie the main archwire into a bracket) is poking you, try to push the it down with a spoon or eraser. If you are unable to tuck it back in, place wax on it.

Tooth tenderness or soreness

You will likely experience soreness from time to time as the teeth slowly move into place. This is actually a good thing and means the teeth are moving! Soreness or tenderness is especially common after an adjustment, and Tylenol or ibuprofen are usually enough to alleviate discomfort. If one tooth suddenly becomes very painful, call us immediately.

Ulcer

If a bracket, hook, or wire has been poking the inside of your cheek or lip, it may cause an ulcer. Again, wax is the best thing to put around the poking bracket, hook or wire. To help heal the ulcer faster, use warm salt water rinses two to three times per day (one teaspoon of salt in an 8-ounce glass of water). You can also pick up some topical numbing gel such as Orajel at the grocery store or pharmacy. You can apply this directly to the ulcer to help it feel better.

Broken or lost color tie or power chain

This is generally not uncomfortable. Let us know at your next appointment, and we will replace it at your adjustment.

Notify us as soon as possible if:

  • You experience a blow to the teeth, face or mouth, especially if teeth feel loose or are knocked out.
  • You have sudden, severe pain or discomfort.
  • You encounter any orthodontic problem you can’t handle on your own.

Even if something comes up that you can handle at home, remember to call us to schedule an appointment. If you have an appointment coming up, give us a quick call to make sure we allow enough time to address it.

True orthodontic emergencies are rare, but we want your treatment to be as comfortable and effective as possible. So care for your teeth and appliances as instructed, keep plenty of orthodontic supplies on hand and, as always, call us anytime we can be of help!

—  Dr. Jones and the Roanoke Valley Orthodontics team

Our patients are the best!

If you ask any Roanoke Valley Orthodontics team member what they love the most about working at RVO, they will tell you it’s the patients!  The amount of time a patient is in active treatment varies from case to case, but it’s usually between 18 months and 2 years.  From your first appointment with us to your last retainer check, you are a part of our practice family!  

We are so grateful for the privilege of watching our patients grow and change during their time with us. We often get to celebrate major milestones with them!  For our younger patients, it might be going to middle school. Older patients are going to high school and getting drivers’ licenses. Some of our adult patients are getting married, having grandchildren, or even retiring.

By the time treatment is finished, and the braces come off, we’re as excited to see our patients’ new smiles as they are!  This video shows just how much fun we have on “takedown day”:

That’s why we say our patients are the best. They are why we do what we do — and we especially love getting to do it while dressed like this:

roanoke valley orthodontics

Our mission is to create healthy, beautiful smiles for our patients and to give them the best possible experience while doing it.

If you are or have been an RVO patient and think we delivered our best to you, please take a minute to vote for “Dr. David Jones, Roanoke Valley Orthodontics” under Services in The Roanoker’s 2017 Best of Roanoke poll.

VOTE NOW

If you have any questions about your treatment, please contact us at 540-563-1640 or email us at info@roanokevalleyortho.com.

To schedule your complimentary consultation to determine your treatment options, call us or use our appointment request form. For more information about starting treatment, visit the New Patients section of our website.

Thank you for all your support and for allowing us to provide your orthodontic treatment.

The Roanoke Valley Orthodontics team

How long will I have to wear braces?

So it’s finally time to see the orthodontist, and you’ve scheduled your first appointment. If you’re like most new patients, you’ve got at least two big questions:

  1. Will it hurt when I get my braces? (No.)
  2. How long will I have to wear my braces?

We can tell you that for most patients, treatment time lasts 18 months to two years. Still, every case is different, so to estimate your treatment time, we take several factors into account:

What we find during your initial examination

During the first examination, we check your bite and look for alignment or crowding issues. If all the permanent teeth have not yet erupted, we evaluate whether there is enough space for the rest of them. We determine if a space maintainer or expander may be beneficial or whether any teeth will require extraction. In adults, we also examine existing dental work or any gaps where teeth are missing. [Read more about adult braces.]

Once we complete our assessment, we have a better idea of your treatment timeline. More complicated cases — patients who have significant crowding, a severe bite issue, or a problem with the jaw — will require more time to achieve optimal results.

Age

We recommend that children have an initial orthodontic screening at age 7, even though we typically do not begin treatment that early. However, if a child is a candidate for early orthodontic intervention, starting at a younger age can correct issues that could become worse over time. This early treatment may reduce the total time in braces if a second comprehensive phase is necessary later.

Previous orthodontic treatment

When early treatment is warranted, a successful first stage of treatment can prepare the mouth for subsequent treatment when the child is a little older. Often this two-stage approach can prevent early undesirable growth issues and lead to an overall better smile.

What about products that claim to shorten treatment time?

If you Google “shorten orthodontic treatment,” “reduce time in braces” or a similar phrase, you find listings for products and treatments that claim to reduce your overall treatment time — sometimes by as much as 50 percent.

It’s understandable that you might be interested in learning about these treatments. Who wouldn’t want to get faster results?

But think about this for a minute: Will a faster treatment give you the smile you want, and will the results be healthy and stable?

Our practice’s goal is to give you the healthiest bite and most beautiful smile possible. That means addressing all those problems we found during the initial exam and anything else that keeps you from having the smile you want. The process takes planning and time and requires a whole-mouth approach.  

Can you shorten treatment time with some of the products you’ve seen advertised? Well, technically, the answer is yes, but let’s take a look at some of the options:

Six Month Smiles

Six Month Smiles is a braces system used by general dentists, targeting patients 16 and older. The company claims an average treatment time of six months. There’s a reason the treatment time is shorter, and it’s not because the teeth move faster. On its website, Six Month Smiles says, “the key components of the treatment are the use of unique clear braces and a primary focus of moving the teeth that show when you smile.” The treatment time is shorter because you’re only treating some of the teeth. Furthermore, this treatment is only offered by general dentists, who do not have the specialty training and licensure that an orthodontist does.

Focusing on only front teeth might be OK if you already have a good bite and a little minor crowding. However, for most patients, Six Month Smiles will not deliver the best possible results and could even exacerbate existing problems with the bite and the jaws. Also, since the braces are removed after six months, the results are not always stable.

Smile Direct Club

Smile Direct Club is a mail-order system of invisible aligners that claims to have an average treatment time of five months. The customer makes an impression at home, mails it in, and receives a series of aligners.

Just like Six Month Smiles, this treatment doesn’t address bite and jaw issues, which may or may not be detected when the customer’s impression is submitted and reviewed. It also skips the comprehensive exam that every patient needs before beginning orthodontic treatment to ensure the mouth is healthy enough to proceed. Without an orthodontist to monitor progress or deliver more advanced care if a problem arises, Smile Direct customers are putting their oral health at risk.

Other treatments

Some new orthodontic technologies have promising early results in reducing treatment times, but they also add significant cost. A few examples:

  • Suresmile uses robotic and 3D technology to produce a set of archwires. The company says that the teeth respond more precisely, leading to fewer adjustments and less treatment time.
  • AcceleDent is a device that patients use 20 minutes a day during orthodontic treatment with braces or clear aligners. The device produces vibration pulses that the company asserts will accelerate tooth movement. An important note: There are other devices on the market available directly to the consumer that claim to work in a similar way. Never use any device unless instructed to do so by your orthodontist. You could do serious harm to teeth and dental tissues.
  • Propel is used during orthodontic treatment to make micro bone perforations in the jaws, which Propel says accelerates tooth movement. This procedure is fairly invasive and can be painful and uncomfortable.

As more orthodontists use these technologies, we will learn more about the achieved results and how they can be used with more traditional treatments. We’ll also have better information to weigh benefits against cost.

Is there anything I can do to reduce my treatment time?

Yes! Did you know that just by following our instructions, you can help shorten your treatment time? It’s true. Your compliance directly affects your results. So, wear and care for your braces as instructed. Attend your regular appointments and maintain proper dental hygiene to achieve the best and fastest results! (And earn points for great rewards!)

Learn more about treatment time

The best way to estimate your treatment time is to come in for a complimentary consultation. To request your appointment at any of our three locations, please call 540-563-1640 or use our appointment request form.

For more information about starting treatment, visit the New Patients section of our website. We work with all insurances, will help you understand your benefits and will file for you. We also have several payment options and a family care program that includes discounts for additional family members.

The Roanoke Valley Orthodontics team

Don’t let your flexible spending account funds expire

It’s been a busy fall at Roanoke Valley Orthodontics. We held our first-ever Patient Appreciation Day, volunteered time in our community, had a great spirit week and, of course, welcomed dozens of our patients into The New Smiles Club.

With the end of the year coming up, we wanted to take this chance to remind you to check the guidelines on your employer’s flexible spending account if you participate to find out when the funds expire. In general, the money in an FSA has to be used within the plan year, although some employers offer a grace period or allow participants to carry over up to $500 per year.

Remember, a flexible spending account is a use-it-or-lose-it plan. Unless you can carry over, you forfeit any funds left in the account at the end of the year or the grace period. Orthodontic treatment is a qualified expense under federal guidelines, so if you’ve been thinking about scheduling an appointment for your child, now is the time!

If your employer offers a health savings account, or HSA, the funds do not expire. Talk to your employer about setting aside these pre-tax dollars as you plan for future medical expenses, including orthodontic treatment.

Holiday schedule

Our offices will be closed the following days in December:

  • Dec. 1, 5, 6
  • Dec. 23, 26, 27

We’ll be seeing patients during most of winter break from school, but those appointments will go very quickly. The January schedule is getting full as well, so call as soon as possible to confirm an appointment time.

New patients will receive a complimentary consultation, when we’ll discuss your treatment plan and cost. We provide several payment options, including zero down and zero-interest financing, and we have a family care program that includes discounts for additional family members. We also accept CareCredit, and we work directly with your insurance company to get you the best benefit possible.

Call 540-563-1640 or use our appointment request form to schedule a visit at any of our three locations. For more information about starting treatment, visit the New Patients section of our website.

The Roanoke Valley Orthodontics team

Adult braces: Here’s what you need to know

Our favorite thing to post on social media is a picture of one our our patients showing off a brand new smile. Just scroll through our Facebook timeline or check us out on Instagram, and you will enjoy seeing all of our RVO Smiles: Photo after photo of smiling patients who have just finished their braces or Invisalign treatment. If you look closely, you will see that about 20 percent of our patients in The New Smiles Club are adults!

Children and teens continue to make up the larger segment of our practice, but industry-wide an increasing number of adults are seeking orthodontic treatment. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, the number of adult orthodontic patients has been rising steadily since the late 80s. Today, some 20 percent of orthodontic patients are over the age of 18.

Advances in orthodontic appliances and technology have given us so many treatment choices, many of which are perfect for adults. So if you’ve been considering braces but think you’re too old or that you won’t be able to fit them into your lifestyle, neither could be further from the truth. The fact is, there has never been a better time to see an orthodontist for adult treatment!

Why do adults get braces?

Some adults who come to our practice have already had braces. As we age, our teeth tend to shift unless retainers are worn regularly. In other cases, adults who have had braces seek treatment for a misalignment after an injury to the mouth or jaw or the loss of a tooth.

Many adults we evaluate have been referred to us because they are planning an extensive dental procedure following the orthodontic treatment. Pre-prosthetic orthodontic treatment is becoming more important to properly plan for future crowns, bridges, veneers or implants.  In this situation, our goal is to build a strong, healthy foundation to support the future dental work so that it will be long-lasting.

Most adult patients seek orthodontic treatment for a problem they’ve had since childhood that has never been corrected and has usually gotten worse. Whatever the reason for the delay, it is never too late to achieve a healthier bite and more beautiful smile.

What are the benefits of braces for adults?

Adults who get orthodontic treatment can improve their health in so many ways, including the prevention or relief of:

  • Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, which can cause tooth, gum and bone loss.
  • Tooth decay, which can occur when crowded teeth are more difficult to brush and floss.
  • Speech impediments caused by crooked teeth.
  • Trouble chewing, which can lead to digestive problems.
  • Irregular wear of tooth enamel.
  • Chipping or breaking teeth, when the teeth protrude.
  • Headaches related to crowding or jaw misalignment.
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD, also called TMJ).

It is also important to note that tooth decay and gum disease have been linked to heart disease and high blood sugar, so orthodontics can have a dramatic effect on your overall health.

Another benefit is a straighter, more pleasing smile, which can make a huge difference in a patient’s confidence and self-esteem. We see it every day. A straighter, better-looking smile has also been proven to have a positive impact on social relationships personally and professionally.

Am I a candidate for adult braces?

The best way to know whether adult orthodontics is right for you is to schedule a consultation. At Roanoke Valley Orthodontics, your initial consultation is complimentary and includes a thorough examination to determine a course of treatment.

During your consultation, we will:

  • Assess the overall health of the teeth, gums and bone. If an adult patient has developed periodontal disease, we’ll work with the patient’s general dentist or periodontist to get that under control before we begin orthodontic treatment. If you have significant gum recession or bone loss, orthodontics might not be the right option.
  • Check your bite for any problems and look for alignment issues, spacing or crowding.
  • Consider your dental history and take a look at any previous work that’s been done.  
  • Discuss a detailed plan that outlines your treatment, goals and estimated fees.

On average, adults complete treatment in about two years. Your own timeline will depend on your particular orthodontic needs, your dental history and the treatment options you choose. We’ll review an estimated timeline during your consultation.

What are the types of adult braces?

Adults sometimes avoid orthodontics because they think they’ll be embarrassed by the treatment or that it will get in their way. However, technology has made braces much smaller and more comfortable, and most adults can qualify for Invisalign treatment.

Metal braces. These are what most people picture when they think of braces, but the braces we use have a very low profile. They are made of high-grade stainless steel and are smaller, more attractive and more comfortable than older-style metal braces. In addition, we rarely use bands that wrap around the entire tooth.

Ceramic braces. We use the highest quality porcelain 3M Clarity Advanced clear braces. They feature a comfortable design and are translucent. They won’t stain or become discolored, and they perform as well as metal braces.  

Invisalign. The Invisalign system is a series of clear plastic templates called aligners that are generated by computer simulation to gradually move the teeth. Our office uses the iTero Element digital scanner, which eliminates the need for messy impressions. After the scan is taken, the doctors prescribe the desired tooth movement, and the aligners are fabricated and shipped to the office.

How much will adult braces cost?

Your initial consultation is free of charge. We will determine the severity of your dental crowding and your bite. The cost of treatment will vary depending on your orthodontic needs, and we’ll discuss this with you in detail at your consultation. We’ll explain how your insurance will work and will file it for you. We will also review our payment options, including zero-interest financing. Our family care program provides discounts when multiple family members are in treatment, and we accept CareCredit.

A comprehensive treatment plan that considers your health and history can produce life-changing results. Contact us now to request your complimentary consultation at any of our three locations. Please call 540-563-1640 or use our appointment request form. For more information about starting treatment, visit the New Patients section of our website.

— The Roanoke Valley Orthodontics team

Facebook audience has Dr. Jones rocking pink for breast cancer awareness

We have the best Facebook audience in the world! You might think we’re just biased, and we are, but ours is a fabulous audience. Here’s how we know:

On Oct. 18 we posted this picture of Dr. Jones on Facebook to raise awareness about breast cancer.
 

We started by saying that if the post reached 100 likes, Dr. Jones would wear a pink tutu for an entire day and donate $100 to the Virginia Blue Ridge affiliate of the Susan G. Komen foundation.

To say we were blown away by the response would be an understatement.  We reached 100 likes in only 30 minutes!

Two hours later we had more than 300 likes. After two days, we hit 1000 likes!  We were so impressed that we increased the donation to $300, and Dr. Jones agreed to wear pink leggings and spray paint his hair pink in addition to wearing the pink tutu!

It was truly humbling to see the community come together to support an amazing cause with a fun incentive. Dr. Jones fulfilled his promise and rocked his pink attire in the office and out to lunch Oct. 27.

Roanoke Valley Orthodontics celebrates Patient Appreciation Day

Dozens of patients and friends joined us Saturday, Oct. 15, at our Starkey Road location for our first-ever Patient Appreciation Day!

The fall weather was a beautiful backdrop for all the fun. We tossed bean bags, got our faces painted, played around in a bounce house, and smiled for the camera in the Star City Photo Booth. Fireman’s Smoking BBQ brought their smoker out and provided a delicious barbecue lunch, and we made snow cones and cotton candy to top it off.

We also had some four-legged guests from the Franklin County Humane Society and Forever Home Animal Rescue. We paid a portion of adoption fees for at least two animals that found new homes!

Mostly, we enjoyed getting to spend the time with our patients and show them how important they are to all of us. They are the reason we do what we do, and we always want to provide them with the very best experience as a part of our orthodontic practice.

To us, our patients are family!

Thanks to everyone who came out to join us for such a great time. As always, get in touch at 540-563-1640 or info@roanokevalleyortho.com if we can be of any help.

The Roanoke Valley Orthodontics team

[Photos by Hadley Chittum]

PS: Check out Dr. Jones’ Facebook live broadcast from the day:

Don’t risk the health of your teeth and smile with DIY orthodontics

A young girl shows the braces she's making during a video demonstration. Screen capture via YouTube.

“Do it yourself” can be a money-saving and educational approach to many kinds of projects, including home improvement, car maintenance or computer repairs. But it’s not a safe approach to orthodontics.

On YouTube, social media and elsewhere, contributors are sharing videos and articles about DIY orthodontic methods they claim will straighten teeth. They use everything from dental floss and rubber bands to paper clips and earring backs.

We can’t stress enough how dangerous this trend is. Just by putting items like these into their mouths, DIYers are risking permanent damage to their teeth and bite. Even a small injury could lead to infection or other complications. Improperly using rubber bands or other devices to try to make adjustments could cause significant and irreparable damage to the teeth, jaw and gums.

In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists has issued multiple warnings about the dangers of DIY orthodontics. In its latest post, the association states:

“Many [do-it-yourself methods] have the potential to cause extensive damage to teeth, bone and soft tissue that could require expensive and extensive restoration by a multi-disciplinary team of dental specialists.”

Recently, a new company called Smile Direct Club has been advertising DIY orthodontics. Although they make this option seem very appealing, many patients who have chosen this option have been very disappointed with the communication and with their results.

When we first see a new patient at Roanoke Valley Orthodontics, we create a custom treatment strategy around the patient’s needs. This process requires us to predict how each tooth will move and how the bite will come together to create the most beautiful smile and healthy, functional bite.

We can only suspect why people try their hands at DIY orthodontics. Are they afraid that getting braces will be painful? They shouldn’t be. There’s no pain when the braces go on. Patients might experience a little soreness after getting braces as the teeth start to move, but this can be alleviated with over-the-counter analgesics such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).

Patients (or parents of patients) who are concerned about cost should explore payment arrangements. At our complimentary consultation, we discuss with you how we will work with your insurance so that you will receive the best benefit possible. We also provide several payment options, including zero down and zero-interest financing, and we have a family care program that includes discounts for additional family members. We also accept CareCredit.

So, please don’t put your new smile in danger. The only way to get beautiful, healthy, lasting results is to work with an experienced orthodontist. To request your complimentary consultation at any of our three locations, please call 540-563-1640 or use our appointment request form. For more information about starting treatment, visit the New Patients section of our website.

The Roanoke Valley Orthodontics team