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Philly Dentistry

Category: Invisalign

October 6, 2017
1 year ago

You may or may not have heard of Invisalign treatment through a friend, family, dentist, or TV commercial. Invisalign is an exciting advancement in dentistry in which we are able to straighten teeth with clear aligners and leave metal braces in the past. The process will often be faster than alignment with metal braces and take less than a year to happen.

Before starting Invisalign treatment it is important to understand how it works and what is required from you for it to work properly. Here is a list of 10 facts you need to know before beginning treatment:

  1. Invisalign trays are virtually invisible

Invisalign is so invisible to the eye that you likely have spoken to someone going through Invisalign treatment and did not even know it! Initially the feeling of the tray to your tongue may cause your speech to slightly lisp, however, after only a day or two this E68CB3C7-E721-4B2C-90A4-55188ABC6FA3_pub_thwill subside. When your trays are over the teeth they will often look whiter, brighter, and straighter to others since the plastic gives a slight shine. This is great for wedding photos- believe it or not many patients prefer to have the trays in rather than out for these photography sessions!

  1. You must wear the trays all the time

Invisalign treatment is a commitment. If you want your teeth to move into the right place and become straight you have to wear the trays all day and all night for a minimum of 22 hours per day. You can take them out to eat your meals but once you are done eating, rinse the trays and place them back on. This may seem difficult; however, once a habit is formed it becomes second nature for most patients.

  1. Your oral hygiene will likely improve

Since you will be taking the trays out in between meals you will need to brush your teeth before putting the trays back in. This will mean that you are brushing more often than normal. Also as the teeth are moving new spaces open up which traps food differently. This encourages most to floss more regularly so food is not trapped under the Invisalign trays. Many patients invest in mini toothbrushes and floss to carry around so throughout the day they can be sure to keep their teeth clean

  1. You may (unintentionally) lose weight

With Invisalign trays in place most patients tend to snack a lot less. Patients will find themselves with their clothes fitting better and tell us that their mindless snacking has drastically reduced.

  1. Coffee intake may decrease

Drinking coffee with the trays in place will stain the trays to look yellow. We tell patients to use a straw however even with this trick the stain still builds on the tray. This leads patients to think again before having a cup of coffee, cutting down caffeine intake.

  1. Your dentist may send you to a specialist

Invisalign treatment is designed to move the teeth just like metal braces do. There are some cases that may require a combination of metal braces AND Invisalign, which could mean your dentist refers you to a specialist, an orthodontist. This depends on your specific case and how much movement is required

  1. It is practically painless

You may remember metal braces being extremely painful and uncomfortable as a kid, especially when you needed to go and get the braces tightened. Invisalign is nothing like this throughout treatment. For the first few days in your trays, the teeth will go through shock and feel sore, however, this only lasts a short while. As time passes your teeth become used to the trays and patients even tell us that they “miss having the trays in” once they are done treatment!

  1. Do not brush the trays with toothpaste

Toothpaste has abrasive ingredients that can damage the Invisalign trays. Your eye might not see the scratches however you EB85A714-3496-43E2-B06D-D8141FFE38F9_pub_thwill notice the trays will stain more. Sometimes they can get an odor too from toothpaste. It is better to clean your trays with mild soap and water, or purchase retainer cleaning tablets at the drug store.

  1. Treatment is often shorter than straightening with metal braces

The way the Invisalign trays are engineered will more often than not allow the trays to move teeth more quickly than metal braces. Your dentist will be able to give you an approximate timeline on treatment and most treatment is completed in one year or even less than one year

  1. It is WORTH IT

Patients tell me all the time how happy they are they moved forward with Invisalign treatment. They are more confident with their smile which improves confidence in every aspect of their lives. Patients are also able to keep their teeth healthier since straight teeth are easier for them to clean and for their dental hygienist to clean too.

If you have been thinking about Invisalign treatment call us to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Ken Cirka and Dr. Jessica Meier at 215.568.6222 today! We look forward to meeting you.

August 26, 2017
1 year ago

Many patients when starting orthodontics wonder why they need to continue seeing their general dentist for check-ups and cleanings regularly since they are seeing the orthodontist every month. Dr. Cirka and Dr. Meier stress to each and every patient that is seeing us or seeing the orthodontist for braces or for Invisalign that it is extremely important to continue with regular check-ups and cleanings.

The most important reason to see the dentist regularly is so that the hygienist can remove the plbracesaque and tartar that builds up. With orthodontic brackets and wires, there are loads more nooks and crannies where bacteria can hide. Not to mention there are areas harder to reach to clean too. The bacteria that stick underneath the gums as well as on the teeth themselves also physically stick to these brackets and wires. These bacteria can cause cavities, gingivitis, and even lead to patients developing infection that affects the jaw bone and overall health of your entire body.

Another important motivation to see the dentist regularly while you are in braces is to protect the teeth from forming white spots on the surfaces. These white spots are called “decalcification” and happen as a result of the teeth losing Calcium, an important mineral that keeps the teeth healthy. These white spots are not only unsightly but they are also weaker and can transform into cavities more easily than other areas of enamel.

By seeing the dentist regularly for cleanings it will also ensure that you stay cavity free. If cavities develop during orthodontic treatment they can significantly delay the treatment time and patients can end up in braces a lot longer than initially expected. When cavities arise during orthodontics, often the dentist must ask the orthodontist to take off all of the wires and metal bands so the dentist can properly access the teeth and clean the bacteria. At regular check-ups and cleanings your dentist and hygienists can provide fluoride treatments, dental sealants, and many preventative measures that help keep the teeth strong and cavity free.

Portrait of a happy patient with braces on the teeth, sitting in the dental chair, in the background a young doctor dentist

Keep in mind that for patients in clear aligner trays like Invisalign it is equally as important to see the dentist and have your check-ups and cleanings done regularly. Bacteria can build up around the attachments on the teeth as well as in addition to the areas where the orthodontist or dentist created space to help the teeth move.

See your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings both during orthodontics and afterwards to keep your teeth looking and feeling their best.

Call us to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Cirka and Dr. Meier at Philly Dentistry at 215-568-6222 today! Hope to see you soon!

January 23, 2017
2 years ago

Often patients come to the office asking to have the spaces in between their teeth closed. Many relate that they do not want to go through metal braces while others specifically ask for them. In dentistry it is helpful that we have many options for patients with different needs.Portrait of a charming patient being not afraid of dental examination

At your free consultation with Dr. Cirka and Dr. Meier they will detail your options and help you figure out the best one to choose.

Below are 4 ways that we are able to close the gaps in your teeth:


Bonding is a process in which we use a composite resin filling material that adheres to the teeth to close the space. This works well especially when the space is fairly small. Often we do not even need to numb patients for this since there is no pain whatsoever. Dr. Cirka and Dr. Meier simply roughen the surfaces of the teeth to create more surface area for the adhesion of the bonding material. Time-wise, this procedure takes about an hour, depending on how many spaces need closed.

When done correctly by a cosmetic dentist, this technique looks very natural and is long-lasting. Dr. Cirka and Dr. Meier have a thorough attention to detail and large knowledge of bonding materials and artistry that create expert work.

If the space is too large for bonding, Dr. Cirka and Dr. Meier will let you know. If bonding is attempted on spaces that are too large then the teeth will look fake and unnatural. If this is the case do not worry because the doctor will let you know the best alternative option to close your gap.


Veneers are another great option to close gaps in between the teeth. Veneers are made of porcelain and last longer than bonding since they are made of a stronger material. They do not chip or stain and look very natural when done by a cosmetic dentist. Another wonderful aspect of veneers is the fact that they will not discolor as time goes on. In only two visits you can close your gap (s) with immediate, dramatic, and long-lasting veneers. Porcelain veneers are more expensive treatment than direct bonding, but in many cases, they are the better way to go.imgres

Dr. Cirka and Dr. Meier will study your smile and advise you if this is the best option. If veneers are best for you then you are in great hands in our office. Dr. Cirka and Dr. Meier have completed thousands of hours of continuing education specifically geared towards porcelain veneers and creating smile makeovers. Check out our smile gallery for some of the fantastic work done here. You can schedule a free consultation by calling our office so they can evaluate your smile.


Another option to close spaces in between your teeth is with clear aligner therapy known as Invisalign.imgres-1 These are clear plastic trays that are designed to move the teeth just like braces; however, they are a lot more cosmetic and more comfortable. Often people cannot even tell that you are wearing anything. The trays physically move the teeth so then there are no spaces in between them. Another benefit is that nothing artificial needs placed over top the teeth. One note to consider is that treatment time is longer than veneers and bonding, usually around 10 months. This however is significantly shorter than the time most patients spend in braces so the time does fly by quickly and easily for patients. If you are interested in Invisalign call to come in so Dr. Cirka and Dr. Meier can evaluate your teeth and let you know how long treatment will take and if this is the best option for you.


Traditional braces are another option you can use to close spaces between your teeth. If you do not think that you would be compliant with the Invisalign trays then the best option for you to close your gap(s) might be braces.

Dr. Cirka and Dr. Meier work with excellent orthodontists in the Philadelphia area that will be able to have an additional consultation with you to go over treatment with traditional braces.

Newer ceramic braces are more esthetic than older metal braces and there are many new techniques, such as speed ligation brackets, that can help move the treatment along more quickly.

After either Invisalign or braces it is extremely important to wear your retainers because teeth have a memory and want to go back to where they used to be positioned. If you have questions about retainer therapy or need new retainers let us know.

We look forward to seeing you for a consultation. Call us at 215.568.6222 to schedule.

November 13, 2016
2 years ago

Why get Invisalign?

Straightening the teeth has a lot of benefits besides cosmetics. The straighter the teeth are, the healthier the mouth is. This is true for young patients as well as adults.

In the past, traditional metal bracket braces were needed to straighten teeth. Now dentists are very successful in treating patients with clear aligner therapy to correct malocclusion (a bad bite).

Malocclusion can come in many forms and cause various problems for people. It is important to have your dentist and hygienist evaluate your bite and determine whether you would benefit from alignment of your teeth. (more…)

August 21, 2016
2 years ago

You want straight, healthy teeth?  Here’s how to understand exactly what to ask your dentist!


When choosing a dentist or orthodontist to complete your clear aligner therapy, you want to make sure that they have a lot of experience with Invisalign. The more cases that have been completed by the dentist, the more knowledge the dentist has and the better they can help you and more predictably treat your case. When visiting a dentist and considering Invisalign, make sure to ask the following questions during your consultation: (more…)

December 14, 2015
3 years ago

Is Invisalign the Right Cosmetic Solution for You?

As part of your free cosmetic consultation, Dr. Cirka and Dr. Meier will evaluate your teeth to find out if clear aligner therapy through Invisalign is the right solution for you.

As premier providers in the greater Philadelphia area, Dr. Cirka and Dr. Meier are leaders in Invisalign therapy. At your consultation they will study your smile with a critical cosmetic eye and envision how the teeth will predictably move. With aligner trays the teeth gradually and gently shift into place, creating beautiful smiles. (more…)

June 23, 2015
4 years ago

Online dating tinder smileWhether you’re dating online, or “dating” a different way with apps like Tinder, your photos matter. In the case of Tinder, they’re all that matters since people decide whether or not they’re interested in you based solely on photo alone. Maybe you’re not especially photogenic, but you’re going to post your most flattering shots of yourself whether the camera loves you or not. The question is: Will your teeth be making an appearance in these featured images, or will you be trying to hide something behind a close-mouthed smile or serious expression?  (more…)

May 19, 2015
4 years ago

College graduate smile makeoverCollege graduates leave their university with diploma in hand and, ideally, a job too. For those who aren’t gainfully employed, there’s one more thing you can add to your resume besides a degree that will give you a boost in every face-to-face interview or networking event: a smile makeover. (more…)

April 10, 2015
4 years ago

Invisalign by the numbersMost people are aware that Invisalign is a method of orthodontia that involves wearing a series of clear trays over your teeth to straighten them. But there are plenty of other details that set Invisalign apart from traditional braces, and many of them involve a numbers game. (more…)

March 20, 2015
4 years ago

Career successYour resume is the first thing a potential employer sees about you. When your qualifications are all on paper you can impress just about anyone. But what will your potential employer think of you when you finally meet face-to-face? Are your teeth in tip-top shape for the interview? Because if they’re not, your career could feel the impact. You might not get hired, you might lose a promotion, or you may just bomb with a client who was otherwise a sure thing, and all because your smile could look better, much better. (more…)

Try us out at no risk by scheduling your FREE first visit!215-568-6222

or contact us today for a free consultation with Dr. Cirka, Dr. Meier, Dr. Jeon or Dr. Smith in our Center City, Philadelphia office.


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