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Why Are Orthodontics Important?
girl getting braces

Every year, millions of kids, teens, and adults go into braces or start clear aligner treatment. For a lot of those people, getting orthodontics doesn’t seem like much of a choice. Their dentist “recommends it” so they go through with it. Beyond aesthetic reasons, most orthodontic patients don’t really know why getting braces or Invisalign is so important. At Stanley Dentistry, we’re all about transparency when it comes to treatment which is why we try to explain to all of our patients that orthodontics isn’t just about getting straighter teeth — it’s also about a healthier mouth.

Braces will keep your teeth cleaner

When you’re wearing them, braces feel clunky and can make brushing and flossing more difficult. Frequently, after finishing orthodontic treatment, teens and adults have a few cavities in areas that they struggled to reach with their toothbrush. There are a few products that can help with keeping your pearly whites clean during braces treatment, but, no matter what you’re using to clean your teeth, the process will be more difficult with braces on.

The good news is, once you finish your braces treatment, it’ll be easier than ever to keep your teeth decay-free. Why? Straight, properly aligned teeth are significantly less likely to need fillings or root canals because there are fewer nooks and crannies available for plaque to accumulate. On misaligned teeth, your toothbrush struggles reach around all those jagged corners. Teeth that are overlapping each other are particularly hard to keep clean. Plaque grows, eventually creating decay which requires expensive — and sometimes extensive — dental treatment.

The best way to keep that from happening? Orthodontics. They may seem expensive at the time, but I promise you, they’ll save you money down the line.

A good bite is a game-changer

Misaligned teeth don’t just make for more cavities — they can also affect how you speak and chew. Your bite — which is how your top teeth meet your bottom teeth — is directly influenced by dental misalignment. If your teeth are crooked, your bite might not feel “even” — meaning your teeth don’t come together perfectly. This can cause difficulties with chewing, speaking, and general jaw alignment. In children, severe misalignment can sometimes cause a blocked airway at night (similar to sleep apnea in adults) because the jaw and neck are not in the correct position. Similar problems can also occur in adults. A few crooked teeth may seem like a small problem, but they can have a big impact on your overall health.

Misalignment can also lead to enamel loss (because the teeth are rubbing together in an abnormal way) which then leads to tooth sensitivity and pain.

Where do I start?

Wondering how to get started on orthodontic treatment? At our office, it begins with a consultation. We’ll go over the different orthodontic options we offer in the office, how much they cost, and which option is right for you. We have a few different financing options in our office to make getting orthodontics more affordable. If you’re in the Raleigh-Cary area, call (919) 460-9665 to set up an appointment. We’ll see you soon!



Why did you make an appointment at Stanley Dentistry?

“I started the process of Invisalign through my career — I felt [my career] necessitated better presentation of myself because everyone judged me by first impressions. So, I needed to show myself in the best possible way. I came in [to Stanley Dentistry] looking for how to get done what I needed to done. I knew I needed a lot of work. So, I [thought] I was going to do traditional braces because I was basically told:
3-4 years in traditional braces, get ready for it.”

When Dr. Bobbi said, “Well, Invisalign would be good,” I thought, “well that’s not possible.” Because [other dentists said I couldn’t do Invisalign]. They said I could do traditional braces for six months and then maybe Invisalign the rest of the time — but I had a lot of work to do. So when I came here and Dr. Bobbi said Invisalign, I thought, “are you sure?” And then they said “no, not three years,” but maybe six months and I was like, “are you sure?” Because I couldn’t believe all this could be done in a way that was just so nonintrusive and non-disruptive to the way that I look — and yet had faster results! Just the whole thing was wonderful. I was pretty impressed. But yeah, I thought it was going to be traditional braces and went through the whole process of analyzing what I needed and how to get where I wanted to be.

Would you recommend Invisalign to friends and family?

I would absolutely recommend Invisalign! Actually, I already have to a few people. It had quick results that didn’t require me to come into the office every week or every couple of weeks. It was something I could do myself. [The trays were] invisible — and not like Scotch tape where they say it’s invisible but you can totally see it. Nobody noticed it until I really opened my mouth. So I would recommend Invisalign to anybody for anything!

How was your experience with the Stanley Dentistry team?

Invisalign results
Brandon’s smile before and after Invisalign

My experience with Brenda and Dr. Bobbi has been absolutely everything I wanted. I mean, I wanted a personalized experience. I didn’t want to be fit into a template or a mold that says, “well this is the way we know how to do it so we’re going to get you into this mold so that we can do it the way we want to.” I wanted more of, “what do you need and let’s take what we know and to apply it to a personal experience to help fit it into what you need.”

When I looked into Invisalign, a lot of people were saying, “Well you can do Invisalign but a lot of people aren’t that experienced with it, so they will do the molds and they’ll send it in and you’ll get your Invisalign.” They said it’s best if you know somebody who can kind of tell [the Invisalign lab] what they should do. Because these people (your dental team) know you and Invisalign doesn’t. When I found out that Dr. Bobbi was going to be looking at my teeth and instructing [the Invisalign lab] on how to go along with it, that’s exactly what I was looking for. I wanted somebody who knew me to be telling other people [who don’t know me] how to go about it. I thought that was great.

Would you recommend Stanley Dentistry?

I would absolutely recommend Stanley Dentistry to anybody, honestly. From children to adults and older, I would absolutely recommend them every single time. I couldn’t have had a better experience. [Everyone was] more willing to work with me.”

Interested in Invisalign?

Our practice has helped hundreds of people get straighter, healthier smiles. Dr. Bobbi Stanley and her orthodontic team can tackle most any kind of misalignment so don’t be afraid to book an appointment and learn about your options. While Invisalign is not capable of straightening every smile, it can do quite a lot. If you’re interested in getting Invisalign or another kind of orthodontic treatment, call (919) 460-9665 or schedule a complimentary consultation online here.

We’ll keep showing up for you

“We know that these past few weeks have been the most challenging that many of us have seen in our lifetime. In our twenty-five year history, we’ve seen a lot of changes but the uncertainty and complexity facing us now seem bigger than ever. But even during these challenging times, we never lost sight of what was most important: our patients.

Now more than ever, we want to say thank you. Thank you for letting Stanley Dentistry be a part of your healthcare team and a part of your lives. Thank you for continuing to show up for us even in the midst of these trials. Thank you for being a part of our family. And a part of being family means no matter how difficult this is, we will continue showing up for you and that’s our promise. To protect you, to care for you, and to keep you healthy. We’ll show up for you and we won’t stop. While you’ve been away, we’ve been implementing new and innovative ways to keep you and your loved ones safe. We’re eager to serve you and your family. We’re here and we’re ready to help you find your smile.”

Your health and wellness come first

Making sure you and your family feel safe when coming into Stanley Dentistry is our team’s number one concern. We know these are scary, uncertain times which is why we’re going the extra mile to create a safe space where you can get the dental treatment you need. A few of our new COVID-19 prevention methods include:

Missed an appointment?

Have you missed an appointment or are you looking for a dentist in the Cary-Raleigh area? You can sign up for a virtual exam here or you can call (919) 460-9665. We’ll see you soon!

braces invisalign

If you had braces earlier in life and now, once again, have some dental misalignment, is it possible to get Invisalign? Absolutely. This is actually a really common phenomenon in our office. After orthodontic treatment, you have to be diligent about either getting a permanent retainer or wearing your removable retainer every single night. Many of our patients lost or stopped wearing their retainers after their teenage years. Without that retainer keeping the teeth in the correct position, they gradually move back. Ten years without wearing a retainer can have surprisingly dramatic consequences. In severe cases, the misalignment is just as bad as it was pre-braces.

I cannot say for sure that you will be a good Invisalign candidate without an exam. Invisalign can fix many orthodontic problems but it still can’t do everything traditional braces can do. Tightly packed misalignment oftentimes requires braces. If you do need braces (after going through braces treatment once before), the length of treatment will most likely be shorter than your first stint with braces. Modern braces are smaller and faster than older ones. In most cases, adult patients are in and out of braces within a little over a year.

What’s the first step?

If you’re tired of your post-braces misalignment, schedule a virtual consult at our office. You can submit a few photos and I’ll send back a video explaining what treatment option might be best for you.

After the virtual consult, you’ll schedule an in-person appointment at our office in Cary, North Carolina. Invisalign appointments are very fast since all we need is a quick digital scan of your teeth. The scan takes a few minutes and is 100% pain-free. It’s sort of like getting an x-ray done — except even easier since no radiation is used to produce the image. We then send that scan off to the Invisalign lab. Within a week or two, they’ll send us your first batch of clear aligners.

Getting a straighter smile

Invisalign typically takes between six to twelve months to complete. Patients go through a series of clear aligner trays, changing them every week or every other week. We keep a close eye on every Invisalign patient’s progress to ensure a perfect final result. If you’re not happy with your smile at the end of treatment, Invisalign offers complimentary realignment trays to refine any minor flaws.

We want your smile to last a long time which is why we always strongly encourage our patients to get retainers. Our office offers both removable and fixed retainers. I’ll take a look at your case and recommend one or the other. I typically prefer to put fixed retainers on my patients since it ensures long-lasting alignment. Removable retainers work well — but it’s difficult to remember to take them in and out.

Ready to schedule?

Want to take the first step to getting the smile of your dreams? Make an online appointment here or call (919) 460-9665 to set up a complimentary consultation.


Adults getting metal braces

“Hi, Dr. Bobbi here at Stanley Dentistry. We have many adults in our practice who would like to straighten their teeth and, for one reason or another, clear aligners are not an option for them.

Are you an adult who would like to straighten your teeth, but you’re concerned about wearing metal braces? Don’t be. There are many adults today who are straightening their teeth with metal braces. It’s accepted in our society, and it’s really fast and really convenient. The results that you will get after straightening your teeth with metal braces will be well worth the short time that you are wearing the braces. Today, with the technology that we have, we’re able to make the metal braces fairly invisible and definitely non-invasive. So, please come see us at Stanley Dentistry and let’s talk about your straightening options.”

What different kinds of braces do you offer at Stanley Dentistry?

For adults, we always push for Invisalign since they’re invisible and removable. However, there are a variety of cases where clear aligners just won’t work for a patient. When that happens, we look into traditional metal braces. When adult patients hear the word “braces,” they begin to panic a little because they have in mind the braces that were common twenty years ago. Those are not the braces we offer at Stanley Dentistry. We use self-ligating braces (which are very small and very fast) and ceramic braces (which are a little bulkier but sometimes required for particular cases). Here’s a full list of the different types and characteristics of braces. Patients are typically in and out of these braces within a year or two (or less).

Set up a consultation

Want to know if clear aligners or traditional braces are right for you? We can do a quick, complimentary exam to see which kind of orthodontics will help straighten your smile. Call (919) 460-9665 or go here to set up a consultation.

An Invisalign tray

It’s not easy, navigating the clear aligner market nowadays. A lot of new clear aligner brands have popped up in the last few years. It’s difficult to tell which ones are worth your time and which ones aren’t. SmileDirectClub, Strayt, Byte, and SnapCorrect are just a few of the new at-home clear aligner brands that I’ve seen appear recently. These brands (particularly SmileDirectClub) have done a brilliant job marketing themselves as current, trendy companies that can give their customers straight smiles overnight.

For some people, these brands, or any of the other at-home clear aligner brands, work wonderfully. They go through the treatment, paying in monthly installments, and end up with a beautiful smile. But, for a lot of people, these companies are unable to deliver on their promise of a healthy, straight smile. It’s not because the aligners aren’t high quality (a lot times, they are). It has to do with not being under a doctor’s care.

Clear aligners require an exam

Just because you have misalignment that you want to correct doesn’t mean you’re a perfect candidate for clear aligners. I give all of my patients who’re thinking about going into Invisalign a full exam. We do this exam to make sure their teeth and gums are healthy. If someone has cavities or needs an extraction, I want to do that before they go into Invisalign.

Extractions are particularly important because, when you get an extraction, the remaining teeth begin to move to fill in that gap. If a dentist extracts one of your teeth after your clear aligner treatment (and you don’t immediately get a dental implant or bridge), the time and money you put into your straight smile will go to waste. Within a year, the teeth will become misaligned again. If you go back to the dentist a year or so after an extraction and you want to get a dental implant, chances are you will have to go into a clear aligner again. Your teeth will have moved and there won’t be enough room to place a natural and long-lasting implant.

Making sure your teeth are decay-free before clear aligner treatment is important. However, it’s even more important to make sure your gums are healthy. A huge number of Americans have periodontal disease (gum disease) and don’t even know it. Periodontal disease occurs when bacteria gets underneath your gums, causing bleeding, inflammation, and, in severe cases, tooth loss. The bacteria encourages the gums to pull away from the teeth (gum recession), weakening the bond between tooth and gums.

Clear aligners and dental mobility

When the gums become too recessed to hold onto the tooth, the tooth falls out. If someone with periodontal disease goes into clear aligners, they exponentially increase their chances of dental mobility (loose teeth). Clear aligners work by gently but persistently pushing teeth into the desired position. If the gums are healthy, this process works well. But, if the gums are already weak, the clear aligners will be too forceful. The teeth will become loose (and potentially fall out) instead of aligning.

This is an extremely dangerous consequence to at-home clear aligners. Even if you think your gums are healthy, please make sure to visit a dentist before starting treatment — or, better yet, get Invisalign. Dental mobility is frequently treatable but it isn’t something anyone would want to go through. Waking up to a loose tooth is terrifying. With Invisalign, a doctor will be monitoring your case, making sure everything is healthy and progressing correctly. Just having that peace of mind is, for most of my patients, reason enough to get Invisalign instead of an at-home aligner brand.

Self-made impressions aren’t always good impressions

Patient getting an Itero scan done

The first step when you’re getting Invisalign is either impressions or an Itero scan. Up to around five or so years ago, dental impressions were the preferred way to gather accurate 3D “images” of the teeth (which we need in order to create clear aligners). Taking an impression involves placing a putty-filled tray inside the patient and having them bite down and wait for the impression to set. It’s a difficult process that’s uncomfortable for the patient and only offers moderately accurate information.

This is why our office uses Itero scanners instead of traditional impressions. Itero scanners allow a dental assistant to quickly and easily digitally scan a patient’s mouth. The scan is an exact 3D image of the patient’s teeth which means it’s very, very accurate. When we send the scans to the Invisalign lab, we’re confident that the trays they send back to us will be perfect for the patient. The process is pain-free and takes less than a couple of minutes. The transition from taking impressions to scanning was truly monumental for our office. It made the orthodontic process exceedingly easier for patients.

If you do a 100% at-home clear aligner process, you will have to do your own traditional impressions. They will send you an “impressions kit” with the needed tools and instructions. Once you’re done, you will mail it back to the company’s lab. The lab techs will use those impressions to make your clear aligners.

Go Itero

On paper, all of that sounds fine. That is, until you begin to think about how difficult and uncomfortable it is to take an accurate impression. Offices train dental assistants (who still use impressions) to know exactly how to do a perfect or near-perfect impression. Expecting someone who’s never done it before to do it (with limited materials and instructions) is a little ridiculous and very risky. If the impression is done incorrectly, it could mean either a longer process for the patient or ill-fitting trays that only create further misalignment. A poor impression can mean, at the end of your treatment, having a smile that is less aligned than the one you started with.

Invisalign encourages all of its doctors to use Itero scans since it realizes the fallacies of traditional impressions. All those scans are done by a trained dental assistant in a dental office.

Don’t cut out your doctor

We know no one likes going to the dentist but, if you want a straight smile, it’s something you need to do. If you need a blood sample, you go to the doctor to do it. They don’t send a kit to your house and ask you to do it yourself because there are a host of risks involved in doing that. At-home clear aligner brands have made people feel like getting mail-delivered trays is the same thing as going to the dentist for treatment but it isn’t. It carries with it a lot of potential dangers like dental mobility and further misalignment.

Invisalign is the oldest and most highly-rated clear aligner brand for a reason. It allows the dentist to take an active role in the treatment process. This includes monitoring the patient’s progress and making tweaks along the way. At the end of treatment, the doctor can take a look at the patient’s mouth and recommend realignment (more trays) or a particular retainer to keep things straight. For at-home brands, you’re on your own a lot of the time which means you may not be able to keep your straighter smile for very long.

Your smile deserves the best possible treatment. Ask your dentist (or make an appointment here) about Invisalign and get started on your journey to a healthier, straighter smile.

invisalign retainer

You’ve spent twelve months in Invisalign and you’re more than ready to toss your clear aligners. The good news is that you can — you’re technically done with treatment (congrats!). The not-so-good news is that you’ll now need to wear a retainer in order to keep your teeth from moving around again. Your teeth will always want to revert back to the misaligned position they were in before you started treatment. Without the proper retainer consistently reminding them to stay in place, your new smile will not last.

That may sound a little scary but it shouldn’t. Many, many people have removable or permanent (“bonded”) retainers. If they do wear one, chances are you’ve never seen it. Removable retainers are typically clear, just like an Invisalign tray. Bonded retainers just rest behind the front teeth. After getting into a routine, wearing and taking care of a retainer will be like second nature!

What is a removable retainer?

At Stanley Dentistry, we typically recommend that Invisalign patients get a removable retainer post-treatment. Of course, every case is unique so we may recommend something different under abnormal circumstances. We like removable retainers for a few reasons:

As with everything, there are some cons to removable retainers. The most obvious one is that you have to remember to actually wear them. For the first few months, we encourage patients to wear their retainers as much as possible. This means wearing them at night and during the day. After that initial period, patients only have to wear them at night. But, if they forget to wear them for a week or more, they can expect some discomfort when they try to reinsert the retainer. If the patient neglects to wear the retainer for an extended amount of time, additional orthodontics may be needed to regain a straight smile.

Some of our patients grind their teeth at night (bruxism). In these cases, we recommend that the patient get a retainer occlusal guard. These keep the teeth straight and help inhibit dental grinding.

What is a bonded retainer?

Bonded or permanent retainers are just as their name suggests: permanent (or, at least, non-removable). We bond the small metal retainer to the front upper or bottom teeth to help keep them in the right place. The retainer is specially made to facilitate easy brushing and flossing, so you won’t have to worry about any dental hygiene setbacks. However, we don’t always recommend permanent retainers because they cannot do anything for the back teeth and they frequently break (often times without the patient even knowing). If the retainer does break, the teeth can potentially move out of place (once again, without the patient realizing it), requiring, potentially, additional orthodontics to re-straighten.

We recommend bonded retainers for patients who 1) had misalignment only on their front teeth or 2) for patients who struggle with remembering to put in and take out their Invisalign trays. It also depends on the patient’s unique case and dental history.

Ready to start your Invisalign treatment?

Invisalign is the easiest, fastest, and most affordable way to transform your smile. We’re offering complimentary Invisalign consultations that include a free Itero scan so you can get started on your treatment during the first appointment. You can request a new appointment here! We’ll see you soon!

What has your experience at Stanley Dentistry been like?

“I saw you all on the way from work to home — so that was the initial reason. So, just searching for a dentist. We were very lucky. Is it kind of strange to say that you love your dentist? But, yeah, we love it. 

I think an important thing you notice when you come in is that I felt confident. I felt that people knew what they were talking about through the way that they acted. It gave me confidence. So, that’s what I liked.

What was your initial impression of Stanley Dentistry?

Professional. It was a long time ago [his first visit to Stanley Dentistry], eight years ago, but yes, that was the first impression. They’re professionals, they know what they’re doing, I will be good here. 

What kind of treatment did you get done?

It was just a suggestion [to get treatment] from Dr. Bobbi. My teeth in the back had decided to move around a little bit. It was time to do something about it. Sure, I always wanted to do it but there was no reason to do it. So, this time, I went for it.

It was much faster than I thought it would be. So, I thought it would take two years or so. But it was more like ten months — so it was pretty fast. There were some days that it didn’t feel too good but in general I didn’t have to change anything in my life. 

Did you mind having braces?

When they put it on [the braces], I embraced it. I always wanted it to be very colorful…there’s no way to hide it, right? So, I made it very bright! I knew it was for a while so I embraced it, I was fine with it — and everyone else!

Would you recommend Stanley Dentistry?

I always felt very good. I came in, they knew what to do, there was no guessing that would make you insecure. It was always very nice. I spend very little time here, very often, so…it was always pretty fast. I have nothing to complain about. It was a really good experience. I would recommend Stanley Dentistry, definitely. The professionalism of Dr. Bobbi and Dr. Rob, it gives you that safety — that you know that everything will be fine when you come here.”  

Ready to get started on your dental treatment?

Whether you’re experiencing dental pain or a lack of self-confidence because of your smile, we can help. Our team of dentists is able to cover a wide spectrum of dental specialties including orthodonticscosmeticsoral surgeryTMJ treatment, and pediatrics. Schedule a new patient complimentary consultation online by clicking here. We’ll see you soon!

Removing Invisalign trays

Everyone wants a beautiful, straight smile but not everyone thinks they can afford it. See, orthodontics have a bad (and untrue) financial reputation. People see them as purely a luxury item. They think orthodontic services are incredibly expensive (and not always covered by dental insurance). This is why tons of people opt to ignore misaligned or crooked teeth.

While misalignment may seem like a purely cosmetic problem, it can actually wreak havoc on your dental health, especially as you get older. Even minor misalignment can make brushing and flossing difficult (or just less effective), which leads to more fillings, root canals, and extractions. As you get older, minor misalignment will always become more severe. A case that would take only a few months in Invisalign can take over a year if the patient chooses to wait a decade before looking for treatment.

Getting orthodontics is something everyone should consider — no matter their budget. The health benefits of a straighter smile are worth the cost of orthodontics. Why are we able to say that so confidently? It’s simple: anyone can finance braces or Invisalign.

Making Invisalign Affordable

When you first come in for an Invisalign consultation (one of our most common consultations), we’ll take a quick scan of your mouth. Just that simple scan will let us know the exact cost of the treatment. Invisalign is great because it comes in package pricing so you know just how much you have to pay at the beginning. This price includes any adjustments needed at the end of treatment so there are zero hidden fees.

That initial number may sound like a lot but, once our financial coordinator breaks it down into monthly payments, you’ll realize just how manageable it is. We offer Invisalign financing based on how many months your treatment takes. If your treatment takes twelve months to complete, you’ll have to make twelve payments. If your treatment takes six months, you’ll make six payments. Once we break down the numbers, you’ll be surprised how low your monthly payments can be.

If you’re still struggling with costs, we can set up a time for you to talk to our financial specialist. She can guide you through some of our other financing options.

Now’s the time

With how easy it is to take dental scans nowadays, Invisalign is faster and more affordable than ever. If you’ve been considering clear aligners, now’s the time to go ahead and schedule a consultation. That initial consult is completely complimentary but it’ll give you a good overview of what your smile can look post-treatment and how much it’ll cost. We’ll see you soon!

What has your experience at Stanley Dentistry been like?

“Very professional, very caring, very warm. In tune with all of your questions and needs. You don’t feel like, when you ask a question, that they’re tired of you asking questions. They’re willing to address any concerns you have. They’re very thorough and their attention to detail is amazing — which includes your personal feelings and comfort while you’re here.

When you come in, and you’re greeted by the staff until you make it back and upon your exit. It’s a very warm feeling, I feel like everyone knows me. There’s a connection, if you will, in the way that they’re treated. Very professional. Very high-quality. You feel very relaxed at this place. You know, the dentist hasn’t always been my favorite place to go — nothing about the person themself, just the culture of a dentist’s office. But here, you feel very relaxed and at ease. I would totally recommend this office and I have recommended this office.” 

Ready to get started on your dental treatment?

Whether you’re experiencing dental pain or a lack of self-confidence because of your smile, we can help. Our team of dentists is able to cover a wide spectrum of dental specialties including orthodontics, cosmetics, oral surgery, TMJ treatment, and pediatrics. Schedule a new patient complimentary consultation online by clicking here. We’ll see you soon!

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