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Continued Education for a Lifetime of Forever Smiles

June 3rd, 2019

Dr. Razdolsky’s 2019 Annual Orthodontic Update and Seminar held on May 8 at Maggiano’s Little Italy was another huge success! With a packed house of dental professionals in attendance, Dr. Razdolsky and colleagues presented an outstanding program and learning opportunity which afforded area specialists and hygienists the chance to earn continuing education credits in their field.

Making another return visit to the program were this years’ featured speakers noted area Prosthodontist, Dr. Sergio Rubinstein and Oral Surgeon, Dr. Peter Chemello. An excellent panel, these two amazing speakers helped attendees to learn the proper diagnosis and treatment for difficult cases and the more recent surgical techniques for treating sleep apnea. And of course, Dr. Razdolsky enlighted attendees with the most recent update in proper diagnosis and treatment for specific and unique Orthodontics cases which greatly impact the lives of children.

“I feel strongly about sharing the most current research and findings in orthodontics because it helps dentists and hygienists understand the importance for early treatment,” Dr. Razdolsky said. “While often orthodontic developments are published in journals, general dentists and hygienists may not see the latest research and advancements. This seminar puts that information center stage so we can better help patients for a lifetime of healthy Forever Smiles.”

The Travelling Orthodontist - 100 Years of History & Smiles

May 21st, 2019

Recently Dr. Razdolsky and Anna took an incredible and educational trip to Tokyo, Japan. The height of blooming season for Japan’s national flower, there are more than 200 varieties of cherry blossom which both Anna and Dr. Razdolsky took in along with all the local flavors, culture and heritage.

As a world leader in chemistry, robotics, sushi and skyscraper technology among other things, the Japanese have also been long celebrated as cherry blossom aficionados. As early as the eighth century, the Japanese people have cultivated and admired the delicate pink cherry blossoms known as sakura while indulging in picnics and poetry sessions beneath the blooms.

While the Razdolsky’s took in the history and beauty of Tokyo with its incredible mountain scenery and delicious cuisine with authentic sushi offered everywhere you turn, they also strived to discover more about the city’s ties to their own personal history. You see, one of their own orthodontic adhesive manufacturers has its origins in Tokyo. In fact, this is where three young Japanese chemists laid the foundation in 1921 for what is one of the world’s largest and most successful suppliers of dental products today, GC Corporation.

GC develops high-quality, products, such as the adhesives Dr. Razdolsky uses to chemically bond the brackets to your teeth in orthodontics. The reason this particular company is so important to Forever Smiles, and you, is that the product affords easy cleanup after bracket removal. This means little to no staining and a lot less scraping is required once you have your braces removed! The secret is in the addition of a continuous fluoride release which protects enamel with gel conditioners. This prevents demineralization or build-up of white-spot formations that damage enamel like other bonding agents. It’s important to note however, that if a patient’s hygiene is not up to par the decalcifications are still possible even with this cement.

“It is exciting to know the products we have been using for years are developed from such extensive research and over so long a time,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “This manufacturer has been producing products like this one for almost 100 years!”

That’s right, GC is steeped in research and tradition, and has been setting benchmarks in dentistry by focusing not only on developing quality products and the latest scientific knowledge but also in respecting and honoring their humble beginnings.

As a dental product manufacturer of global standing, GC constantly seeks to produce original products that are not only patient friendly, but environmentally friendly as well. Their story began in the heart of a little neighborhood of central Japan, where now stands the GC Prostho Museum Research Centre. Initially the home to their first factory and research facility, GC converted the building to a museum which showcases the history of dentistry and reimagined the architecture as inspired by cidori, an old Japanese toy made of wooden sticks.

More than six thousand pieces of cypress wood make up the elegant three-dimensional lattice work which is both beautiful and functional. At nine meters high, the lumber is sculpted into shape without requiring the use of bolts, glue or nails for the joints. Hence the building, which emphasizes a handmade, local approach, looks like thousands of small cidori toys connected in a giant grid.

“It is almost like looking at the intricate design of orthodontics in its functionality and scientific engineering,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “Seeing how it works from the inside and shapes the outside, as well as balances the light and airiness reminds me of how a patient’s smile is often transformed from the inside out.”

It’s a Leaf Expansion Revolution!

April 17th, 2019

Last month we shared with you the necessity for some patients to receive treatment with palatal expansion for proper spatial development of the palate and in some instances to allow for successful orthodontic treatment. The importance of expansion to correct for maxillary constriction or crossbite is not only important to allow ample spacing for incoming teeth, studies find that this constriction can also be a factor in airway restriction in children resulting in decreased nasal airways and impaired respiratory function.

Further studies show that treatment of palatal developmental problems become more complex with age. Therefore, younger patients are more responsive to early orthodontic intervention with expansion as less pressure is required to achieve the desired result. However, in the past, orthodontic treatment with a palatal expander relied heavily upon the patient and at a great cost.

A Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE) is a device bonded into place using the patient’s teeth as anchors. It can markedly increase the width of the upper jaw allowing upper and lower teeth to fit together. For some patients, this additional room may prevent the need for extraction as more space is created for the permanent teeth to come in. The device is connected by a screw in the middle which joins the two sides. Over time, and at doctor prescribed intervals, the patient or their parent uses a “key” to turn the screw - expanding the palate and therefore creating the necessary space for proper dentition. As the jaw expands, new bone fills in between the two halves of the palate in a process called distraction osteogenesis.

Following the prescribed treatment is critical to success with palatal expansion,” said Dr. Yan Razdolsky of Forever Smiles. “The learning curve is often too great, and the burden placed upon the patient and parent is often too much.”

RPE treatment often requires several appointments and expansion can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Treatment includes impressions, followed by the seating of the appliance and follow up visits for progress checks. Compound that schedule with extra visits due to the inability of patients or parents to perform proper home treatment… then patients can expect more visits. Indeed, that can be a challenge to treatment!

However, Dr. Razdolsky has discovered a great treatment alternative for Forever Smiles patients in the self-activating, leaf-spring expander.

“Once in a while, an invention appears which fundamentally changes the whole game. Leaf is a game changer,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “Once we started using it, we quickly realized the benefit both to treatment and the patients.”

The Leaf Self Expander is a product of Leone Orthodontics of Florence, Italy, a company with which Dr. Razdolsky has held a close professional relationship with the head engineer Gabrielle Scommegna since the late ’90s. The design of the Leaf Self Expander is similar to that of a conventional rapid palatal expander, but instead of a midline jackscrew it uses double nickel titanium leaf-shaped springs (see Fig. 1). When placed, the springs are compressed with an applied force so that as the spring recovers or returns to its original curve-like shape during deactivation which results in a strategically calibrated expansion of the upper arch (see Fig. 2-5). What’s better is that according to the manufacturer, the Leaf Self Expander requires no effort on behalf of the patient and perhaps only minor clinical observation throughout treatment to confirm results are on track!

Pre-loaded to the patient’s unique needs each spring’s super-elastic and flexible properties release predetermined, controlled, and continuous forces throughout treatment as they decompress. Therefore, expansion therapy with this self-activated device relies solely on a pre-defined course of treatment.

“We see a number of patients every day. With the Leaf Expander we can cut down on unnecessary appointments and save our patients extra trips and aggravation,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “This also results in improved clinical efficiency. With the Leaf Expander, we only have to see a patient every 6-8 weeks. It just makes the whole experience so much better.”

“We like to think our patients love us, but maybe now they can love us even more,” he added. “Fewer appointments and less time in the chair is a win, win for everyone.”

“Plus, parents do not have to activate the RPE expander on a daily basis and no further action on part of the patient or the doctor is necessary once the appliance is activated,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “That is revolutionary.”

March 15th, 2019

Make Room for Forever Smiles!

While all our patients know Dr. Razdolsky is the best Orthodontist for Children and Adults, but what many of you may not realize is that Dr. Razdolsky also works very closely and collaboratively with other interdisciplinary specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of dentofacial

orthopedic abnormalities. Sounds pretty complicated, and it is! But dentofacial abnormalities are not always so easy to spot and, in some instances, patients and their families do not even see or recognize there is a problem.

While there are many orthodontic appliances available to correct problems like crooked or misaligned teeth, sometimes these appliances need a more solid foundation in order to be truly effective. The palatal area at the roof of the mouth, for example, must be also be considered. The palate, jaw and the available space required to properly align teeth is often an issue which must be addressed long before a patient can even have braces. This is why Dr. Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles team advocate early diagnosis and treatment because, in the case of dentofacial orthopedics, pre-adolescent treatment is more often the least invasive and offers the greatest opportunity for successful orthodontic treatment when the time comes.

We have shared with you the negative consequences of a small upper palate; however, growing evidence suggests that maxillary constriction left untreated can also be a factor in airway restriction starting in childhood and continuing through adulthood. It is even suggested that the effects of a maxillary or palatal expansion through treatment with a rapid palatal expander (RPE) can help increase nasal airway and improve overall respiratory function including air intake, better sleep, and even long-term health.

“We place great emphasis on early detection and prevention,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “I have been in practice for 32 years and would estimate we have treated more than 40,000 RPE cases to date.”

In its earliest development, the palatal area at the roof of the mouth of a pre-adolescent is still adaptable with hardening into bone only beginning and continuing throughout the teens. Therefore, the roof palate of younger patients is much more responsive to the orthopedic treatment with an appliance and less pressure is needed to achieve the desired result. When less pressure is used, we reduce the risk of negative consequences.

For example, use of an expander while a patient still has some baby, or primary teeth along with permanent teeth, allows the use of the baby teeth to serve as anchors for the expansion appliance. You see, expansion appliances use the strength of the roots and surrounding bone of the teeth to which they are attached. It is those teeth and supporting bone that carries the lateral pressure of the expansion as the palate opens. When baby teeth are used to support the expander, the newly-erupting adult teeth do not bear any of the expansion pressure and instead receive benefit from the additional space.

In most cases, the reason for expansion is because of a crowded upper roof palate resulting in crooked or protruding teeth, jaw misalignment or crossbite. New and permanent teeth that come into the mouth with adequate bone and soft tissue support benefit from the ideal scenario for long-term stability and more sound periodontal health. For patients with a crowded, developing mouth, the plan is to create space for the teeth to come in straight without the risk of future gum-related issues or tooth damage. In treated patients, an expansion appliance is placed into the roof of the mouth as high as possible without negatively affecting palatal tissues. As a result, patients sometimes experience temporary difficulties with speech and swallowing, similar to that caused by a retainer. This inconvenience usually passes quickly as patients grow accustomed to the device.

“This is an exciting time,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “My colleagues and I are discovering many new treatment options for what in the past had been deemed too challenging or even hopeless cases. We have attended several conferences and poured over hundreds of clinical studies. The interdisciplinary approach to oral treatment and study means so much more is being explored.”

“In fact, I have some very significant findings I am to present to my colleagues at a seminar in May regarding this very topic,” Dr. Razdolsky added. “I look forward to sharing it with my patients as well, so keep an eye out for that!”

The result of all this collaborative effort said Dr. Razdolsky, is a more successful treatment and better long-term results for a lifetime of beautiful Forever Smiles.

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