Greg Morris

The Truth about Invisalign: Busting Common Myths

May 28th, 2024

Invisalign is a popular and effective clear aligner system used for orthodontic treatment among teenagers and adults. Hester and Morris Orthodontics has a long-standing partnership with Invisalign and has witnessed the evolution of its technology over the years to create an excellent alternative to traditional braces. Dr. J Gregory Morris, the leading Invisalign expert in the area, is among the top 1% of all Invisalign Providers. When it comes to your Invisalign smile, Dr. Morris really knows his stuff!

 However, many myths surrounding it often deter people from considering it. In this blog post, we will debunk some of the most common Invisalign myths and highlight the truths supported by recent information and our experiences in the office.

woman smiling with her invisalign aligners
Perfect Invisalign smiles start with Hester & Morris!

Myth 1: Invisalign Only Treats Minor Alignment Issues

This is not true. Invisalign can correct many orthodontic issues, including complex bite problems. Advanced technology and customized aligners allow for treating cases that were once only manageable by traditional braces.

Myth 2: Invisalign is More Expensive Than Traditional Braces

This is depending on who your provider is. The upfront cost may be higher in some places because of lab fees, but the overall treatment cost is often comparable to traditional braces. The final price varies depending on individual treatment plans and the case's complexity. AT Hester and Morris Orthodontics Invisalign costs are often less than those with braces. Check out more about our financial information on our website.

Myth 3: Invisalign Treatment Takes Longer

Studies have shown that treatment with Invisalign can be completed up to 30% faster than treatment with fixed braces, debunking the misconception that Invisalign takes longer to achieve desired results.

Myth 4: Invisalign Aligners are Uncomfortable

Invisalign aligners are designed for comfort. They are made from a patented thermoplastic material called SmartTrack, engineered explicitly for the Invisalign system. While any orthodontic treatment can cause discomfort due to tooth movement, Invisalign aligners are more comfortable to wear.

Myth 5: Invisalign is Not as Effective as Metal Braces

Invisalign's effectiveness is comparable to traditional braces for most cases. With advancements in technology and aligner design, Invisalign can now treat complex orthodontic issues effectively.

Invisalign aligner with it's case

Facts about Invisalign

- Invisalign has been around for over two decades and has treated over 16 million patients.

- The SmartTrack material used for Invisalign aligners is a medical-grade thermoplastic, ensuring safety and comfort for the wearer.

- Invisalign aligners must be worn for the recommended number of hours per day but can be removed for eating, drinking, and cleaning, which is a significant advantage over traditional braces.

- The biggest takeaway on whether Invisalign is right for you is if you can commit to wearing your aligners. Compliance is the key to success with Invisalign. Simply put, it won’t work if you don't wear it!

- Not all Invisalign treatment is the same. The quality of your smile results is based on your compliance and the experience of your provider. We recommend Invisalign treatment by an orthodontist over a general family dentist. Orthodontists undergo an additional 2-3 years of residency training and focus solely on diagnosing and treating moving teeth and aligning jaws. This makes them smile specialists.

Getting orthodontic treatment can be a big decision, but Invisalign is a great option that can help address various tooth alignment and bite issues. Don't let common myths and misconceptions keep you from exploring this versatile and effective treatment option. Always consult with an orthodontist to determine the best treatment plan for your specific needs. We're here to help, so don't hesitate to reach out and get the smile you deserve!

Invisalign and Patient Compliance

May 14th, 2024

Invisalign has revolutionized the world of orthodontics by offering a clear, comfortable, and removable alternative to traditional braces. We have seen over 3,400 smiles improve at Hester and Morris Orthodontics thanks to Invisalign. However, the success of Invisalign treatment is highly dependent on patient compliance. Wearing the aligners for the recommended time is crucial to achieving the desired results efficiently and effectively.

Hand holding Invisalign Aligner
Invisalign is an excellent option for many wanting a confident smile!

The standard guideline suggests that Invisalign aligners should be worn for 22 to 23 hours daily. This allows the necessary forces to act on the teeth to guide them into their new positions. Failing to adhere to this rule can prolong treatment time and lead to less-than-optimal results. The better the patient wears their aligners, the better the result!

Ensuring good habits and avoiding behaviors that may interfere with the effectiveness of the treatment are also essential. Patients are advised to minimize excessive snacking, as it requires removing the aligners more frequently, which can reduce wear time. Additionally, it's essential to stay on track with orthodontist visits and aligner changes to ensure the treatment progresses as planned.

Invisalign treatment is popular for correcting misaligned teeth, poor bite alignment, and gaps between teeth. However, it is not suitable for everyone. If your child or teen is against the idea of wearing aligners at the start, it's unlikely they will put forth the effort needed in compliance.

In conclusion, while Invisalign offers a more aesthetic and comfortable alternative to traditional braces, it requires a high level of patient compliance to be successful. Following the recommended guidelines and maintaining good oral habits, patients can achieve their dream smiles with Invisalign. Our orthodontic team would love to answer all of your questions you may have about Invisalign. Call us or email us for more information!

Dr. Morris and his team.
Dr. Morris is South Georgia's #1 Invisalign Provider.

When should my child visit the orthodontist?

October 18th, 2023

We are often asked, 'At what age should I bring my child in to be evaluated for braces?". We treat all ages: children, teens, and adults. But some indicators might help you decide whether your child is ready to visit our office.

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that children should be going to see an orthodontist around age 7.

Why is it important for kids to visit the Orthodontist at Age 7? At this age, Drs. Hester and Morris can conduct a thorough orthodontic evaluation, identify potential dental issues that may arise, and recommend appropriate solutions.

Because there is a mix of primary and permanent teeth in a child's mouth at this stage, the orthodontist can determine if there is or will be a need for early treatment. Early treatment may be recommended to avoid more invasive treatments in the future.

Even if early treatment is not indicated, the orthodontist can monitor the child to give you an estimation of when it will be time for braces or Invisalign. At Hester and Morris Orthodontics, we have a six-month check-up plan that continues to monitor your child's growth and development. These visits allow us to assess your child's bite and eruption patterns and determine the best time to begin treatment. This is done at no cost to the patient.

If you have questions about your child's development or if your child is having social concerns at school over their smile, please don't hesitate to call us. We are always here to help!

So what should parents look for in their child's smile? Here are a few common concerns that we see in our office:

1. Early or late loss of their baby teeth.

2. Mouth breathing.

3. Speech impediments due to teeth placement or jaw alignment.

4. Protruding upper front teeth that could risk injury to the child.

5. Difficulty chewing or biting. Including cheek biting.

6. Jaw clicking, popping, or pain.

7. Oral habits such as tongue thrusting or finger/thumb sucking.

8. Social concerns for the child include teasing or embarrassment due to their smile.

Patients do not require a dental referral to see an orthodontist.

However, with younger patients, your child's dentist is a great resource to help determine if a visit to the orthodontist is necessary.

There is no cost for our consultation appointments. We do everything at our office at your child's first visit to determine if your child is a candidate for treatment. We take X-ray panoramic images, photographs, and digital scans of their teeth and do a comprehensive exam. Parents are always invited to join us for the appointment; we encourage it!

After gathering all the information, the doctor will sit down with you to discuss the findings. If treatment is recommended, we will discuss the plan, financial options, and any treatment concerns you may have.

We treat younger patients with braces and Invisalign First at Hester and Morris Orthodontics. Treating your child with space maintainers or expanders may also be possible. The doctor will discuss all treatment options with you and your child.

If your child is not quite ready for treatment, we will give you an idea of what to expect when they are ready and will continue to monitor their growth and development. Having your child come to see us and become comfortable in our office is helpful.

Thank you for considering Hester and Morris Orthodontics for your child's smile needs! For more information on orthodontic treatment, please check out our website.

What NOT to do... With Invisalign!

August 22nd, 2023

Invisalign is a popular teeth-straightening treatment that uses clear, removable aligners. They are very popular in our office, and we love recommending Invisalign for our teen and adult patients to help them achieve their dream smiles.

If you're considering Invisalign, following your orthodontist's instructions closely is important for the best results. While the aligners are convenient and discreet, they require your careful attention.

Here's why: Your doctor provides specific instructions for your treatment plan, which you should follow closely to ensure the best possible outcome.

Disregarding their advice can lead to complications and lengthen your treatment time.

You've likely heard before that patients must wear their aligners full-time or at least 22 hours daily. This includes while you sleep and when you're at school or work.

But did you know that there are some other smaller things we recommend you do NOT do with Invisalign aligners? While these may seem minor, they can greatly impact your treatment.

So here are 4 things you should not do with your Invisalign aligners:

1. Don't wrap your Invisalign aligners in a Kleenex (or napkin)!!!

So many people forget their Invisalign aligners are in their napkins.

The problem is, when you do this, you may forget them on the table or someone else may take your aligners, thinking it's trash, and throw them away.

Put them in their case. Keep a back up if you have to!

This is actually a really big and common problem. We see it all the time.

2. Don't put your aligners in your pocket!!!

Along the same lines, don't leave aligners in your pocket. Doing so can cause them to break or get damaged; they could even fall out of your pocket and be lost.

We have found lost aligners in parking lots many times.

3. Don't eat candy or any foods when you're aligners are in!

While we want you to wear your aligners as much as possible, you should not eat food or candy while wearing them. Take out your Invisalign to enjoy a snack or a meal.

Eating food with aligners can bend or break the plastic in the aligners, making them not fit as they should. Which means a longer time overall.

4. Don't drink coffee or sugary drinks with your aligners in!

While Invisalign aligners are designed to fit snuggly around your teeth, sugary drinks can get trapped underneath the aligners and can cause tooth decay.

And who wants a mouth full of cavities?

Water is the best option for drinking when you have your aligners in. But if you must drink something else, we recommend you use a straw. And then rinse your mouth out with water after you drink.

These are just a few simple things we hope you will avoid while you're wearing your Invisalign aligners.

If you happen to have any concerns or questions regarding your Invisalign treatment, please feel free to reach out to our office. We're always here to help and provide any assistance you may need.

We take pride in aiding you throughout your treatment!

Your Invisalign Questions, Answered!

March 13th, 2023

Are you considering Invisalign? If so, you're on the right track.

Outside scene with woman holding out Invisalign Aligner

Congrats on taking steps to improve your smile! If you're new to Invisalign, it's important to know that the aligners are made of BPA-free clear plastic, which makes them virtually invisible. They work by shifting your teeth into their desired position gradually and comfortably.

Whether you're a teen or a parent researching Invisalign aligners, you should know a few things before starting your smile journey. In this post, we will answer 10 of the most asked questions asked when considering diving into Invisalign. Let's get started.

Is it painful to wear Invisalign?

If you're thinking about getting Invisalign aligners, one thing to remember is that they require some discipline to wear. Additionally, be prepared for some discomfort or soreness as your teeth adjust to the aligners. This is normal and should go away after the first day or two. It's also normal for some patients not to experience any discomfort or soreness at all. It may help to change your aligners at nighttime so that you sleep in them when they are the hardest to get used to. But always ask and follow your orthodontist's instructions.

How often should I wear them?

Your orthodontist will give you specific instructions on how to wear your new aligners and how often to switch them out for new ones. Generally, you will need to wear your aligners full-time. While they are removable, you must wear them for 22 hours daily to achieve the desired results. If you don't wear them for the optimal time, you won't get the desired results. At Hester and Morris, most of our Invisalign patients wear their aligners for one week at a time and then switch them out for the next set of aligners. The average length of treatment for Invisalign is 12-24 months.

Will I have a lisp with Invisalign?

The plastic material used for Invisalign is very thin, and so many patients do not experience a lisp. It can be temporary; as your tongue gets used to the aligners, any lisp will disappear.

Can I drink coffee and tea while having Invisalign on? Water is the best option for drinking while having Invisalign in your mouth. Coffee and teas can stain your aligners and teeth, so removing the aligners when you drink them is best.

What is IPR, and is it necessary?

IPR stands for Interproximal Reduction. Sometimes when you have Invisalign, and mainly when you have crowded teeth, this method is used to help create tiny spaces between your teeth so that your teeth can shift more quickly and ultimately into the proper position. It's not done in every treatment case; when it is done, it is for a specific reason. Ex. To eliminate dark triangles in the smile.

What if I lose an aligner?

Hopefully, you will not lose any of your Invisalign aligners, but occasionally it happens. If you happen to lose one of your aligners, contact our office for instructions. Most of the time, you may be able to progress on to the next set of aligners, but since each treatment case is unique, it's best to let us know what's happening so we can advise you accordingly. We also recommend keeping your last set of previously worn aligners in case you need to return to them temporarily. We would hate for you to lose any progress!

How do I keep my aligners safe?

The best way to keep your Invisalign safe is by keeping them in their case or your mouth! Never, never, never wrap your aligners in a napkin or leave them out. Someone could very quickly come along and throw them away accidentally. Also, be sure to keep your aligners in a safe place when you are not wearing them, where pets cannot reach them. Our aligners smell like us, which attracts pets to them and can lead to the loss of your aligners! In our Valdosta, GA, orthodontic office, we often suggest patients have a backup case for their backpacks.

What are attachments, and why do I need them?

Invisalign are aligners that you place on your teeth, and to help the aligners fit as snugly as possible, attachments are added to specific teeth. They are clear and bonded when you get your aligners. This gives the aligners extra leverage in moving your teeth.

How should I clean my aligners?

When it comes to cleaning your aligners, nothing fancy is required. A good old toothbrush and toothpaste will work just fine. If you want to take it a step further, try using an Invisalign cleaner like the cleaning crystals that come with your Invisalign starter kit. This will remove all the bacteria from the aligners and keep them fresh and clean.

What happens after my Invisalign treatment is finished?

After your Invisalign treatment is finished, you'll want to keep and maintain that beautiful smile with a retainer. Retainers are used to hold the teeth in their new positions, so they do not shift. At Hester and Morris Orthodontics, our Invisalign patients are now being given a Vivera retainer to wear after treatment to hold their teeth in place. Vivera is the next generation of retainers, made by the same company that makes Invisalign.

Invisalign is an excellent treatment option if you want a straighter smile. Read more about why we think Invisalign is the clear winner here! Dr. Morris is South Georgia's premier Invisalign provider. His experience and commitment to superior patient care will ensure that you or your child will receive the highest quality orthodontic treatment with the convenience of Invisalign and the confidence that comes from knowing you are in the trusted hands of an orthodontic expert.

Photo of Dr. James Gregory Morris
Dr. James Gregory Morris

Saving Money On Braces

February 9th, 2023

Are you thinking about starting Braces or Invisalign?

Both are a significant investments and will ensure you have a beautiful, healthy smile for years to come.

Orthodontic treatment can also provide many other benefits, such as protecting the teeth from additional wear caused by misaligned teeth, reducing the risk of cavities, and improving speech and chewing. Not to mention, a beautiful smile boosts confidence!

Orthodontic treatment can help you or your child in the long run, providing an aesthetically pleasing and functional smile. Not only that, but undergoing orthodontic treatment can also reduce the chances of future dental issues, such as crooked teeth or gum disease.

Braces can be expensive, but it's important to remember that proper orthodontic care is an investment in your long-term health. Braces are a complex medical process, and the cost reflects the amount of time and expertise that goes into ensuring that the work is done correctly.

Orthodontists must undergo extensive education and years of training to provide the best possible care for their patients. The braces cost also includes purchasing materials and equipment needed to perform the procedure and additional office visits and follow-up care.

It's important to remember that the cost of braces is an investment in your oral health, which can positively impact your overall well-being.

Getting Invisalign or braces can be expensive for any family, but there are ways to save money on your child's braces. With careful planning, you can ensure your child gets the best orthodontic care without breaking the bank.

If you're worried about the cost of braces, there are a few simple steps you can take to save money possibly.

1. Take advantage of our Complimentary Consultation.

Many orthodontic offices, offer a complimentary consultation before starting treatment. At Hester Morris Orthodontics, we encourage our parents and patients to come in and get the specific information for their unique treatment needs. This visit includes photos, x-rays, and time with our doctors -- All of this comes at no cost to you.

Come ready to ask questions! We encourage it!

This is the appointment where you get all the details for you or your child, some specific treatment, including time of treatment, length of treatment, and financial costs; our treatment coordinator’s goal is to help get you ready to begin braces or Invisalign and set you up with a payment option that is best for your budget. So ask away. That's why we are here!

2. Use the dental insurance.

If your dental plan has an orthodontic benefit, then a portion of your treatment may be paid through your insurance coverage.

Our office is happy to verify any orthodontic benefits you may have, so when you come in for your complementary consultation, you already have that information available.

Every insurance policy is different, so be sure to check with your HR person if you have questions about age limits or lifetime maximum of your orthodontic benefit; it’s essential to review the terms of your plan to understand if there is a benefit and whether the orthodontist you choose is in the network of your insurance provider.

3. FSA may be an option.

Many companies and corporations offer Flex Spending Accounts or healthcare accounts for their employees. Check with your orthodontist to see if this may be an option for covering the cost of treatment.

In many cases, this is money already designated for your use, so it would be a shame to not take advantage of that opportunity to help lower the cost of orthodontic treatment. Often, people with monthly payment plans have the money deducted through their flex spending accounts.

4. Pay for your braces with cash.

Like many orthodontic offices, Hester Morris Orthodontics offers pay-in-full discounts off the cost of treatment. In our office, we give a discount of 10% for those paying in full with cash or card.

Check with your office to see if you can save money by paying for the entirety of your treatment upfront.

5. Ask about our in-house discounts.

Many orthodontics practices offer discounts or run promotions. Our office provides a family discount to thank you for your continued support.

If someone in your immediate family has been treated by our office in the past, following future patients will receive 5% off the cost of their treatment.

Additionally, as a thank you to the many who serve our community, we offer a teacher discount and a 10% discount for our active duty military.

6. Enroll in our in office no interest financing.

Most people choose to set up monthly payments through our office to make the cost of orthodontic treatment more manageable.

Patients who do not choose to pay in full, will put down an initial investment at the onset of their braces or Invisalign treatment. The remainder of the fee that is owed can be divided up monthly during the entirety of the months our office is treating you.

Our treatment coordinators, who you will meet at the complimentary consultation, are experts at navigating the monthly payment process. They can also factor in any insurance, spending account information, and discounts that may apply.

7. Start early.

As it is with many situations in the medical and dental field, early intervention is essential.

This is true, especially for children with a mix of permanent and primary teeth, because sometimes early intervention can be helpful to both the patient and your pocketbook.

For example: Don’t wait for those permanent canines to become impacted before seeking treatment if braces for crowding could be accomplished with early intervention.

Your orthodontist will go over their findings of your smile and can help guide the conversation on when the best time to begin treatment is.

In conclusion.

We know that deciding to begin braces, or Invisalign, is significant. We’re hopeful that by having these tips to help guide the process along financially, you’ll be more prepared as you decide when the time to start treatment is right for you, and as always, if you have any questions about costs or treatment, finances, please give our office a call, or send us a message here. Our goal is to try to make having braces or Invisalign as affordable as possible for as many people who can.

SMILEOWEEN is coming soon!

October 18th, 2022

October is here, and that means Halloween is on the way! 

The Hester and Morris team hopes you will join us on Thursday, October 27, from 4:30 to 6:00, as we partner with our neighbors from Southland Children’s Dentistry for our annual Smile-O-Ween event!

What is Smile-O-Ween?

Started in 2020, Smile-O-Ween is a drive-through Halloween event in Valdosta, Georgia, started by a collaboration between Hester Morris Orthodontics and Southland Children’s Dentistry. 

During the pandemic, options for children during Halloween were limited, and we wanted to give back to our community and provide a fun little outing for our younger patients. We gave out a lot of candy and put smiles on many faces!

Smile-O-Ween has been such a success these past two years that we’ve decided to continue it again this October! 

Simply drive through the parking lot between our two offices, and our team will be dressed in costume and handing out candy bags. No getting out of the car is needed! Our neighbors from Southland Children’s Dentistry will join in on the fun.

While they last, we'll have candy, kids' coloring books, and a toothbrush in trick-or-treats bags for children in attendance.

Costumes are not required but are encouraged! 

Check our Facebook Event Page for more info.

Enjoy these photos from past events, and make plans to join us on October 27 for Smileoween!

 

What is National Orthodontic Health Month?

October 11th, 2022

October is national orthodontic health month! It’s a special time of year when we spend more time educating our patients and the community about the wonderful benefits of a beautiful smile, straight teeth, and perfectly aligned jaws. 

The benefits of orthodontics are not just cosmetic. Straight teeth are much easier to clean and floss, resulting in fewer cavities and healthy gums. Jaw issues can be corrected or even prevented by orthodontic care. And as we age, our teeth tend to shift, so proper alignment of your teeth can help prevent enamel wear over time.

The idea of having well-aligned teeth is not new. As far back as the ancient Egyptians and ancient Roman times, there has been an interest in shifting teeth into new positions.

In the 1700s and 1800s, horseshoe shape devices and wires were used to help move teeth into better alignment. In the early 1900s, dentists began rapping different materials such as wood, ivory, or even gold and would wrap them with bands that would help press the teeth into position.

Using stainless steel wires, the braces we are more familiar with today gained popularity in the 1970s.

Invisible braces and aligners started to become popular in the late 1990s, as well as clear retainers to help hold teeth properly in place after completing orthodontic treatment.

Orthodontists are dentists who, in addition to their dental school training, complete extra years of schooling, specifically in moving teeth and aligning jaws.

The average number of years that an orthodontist attends school is 11.

This extra education time gives them the knowledge and expertise to properly move teeth through bone and create pleasing and well-aligned smiles.

Dr. Wayne Hester and Dr. James Gregory Morris started their careers in south Georgia as dentists and then returned for further training to become orthodontists.

Dr. Hester has treated patients in south Georgia with braces for over 30 years. And Dr. Morris is South Georgia’s number one Invisalign specialist.

Both doctors have the education and experience necessary to give patients the best smile possible. Combining advanced techniques with individualized treatment plans, the doctors ensure each person achieves the beautifully healthy, confident smile they deserve!

Check out our other blog posts and social media during October for more tips and information about national orthodontic health.

Why Orthodontics Is A Game Changer

April 19th, 2022

Local orthodontists in Valdosta, GA standing outside of their location.

You’ve probably noticed that people who have great smiles often seem to be happier than those who don’t. But what you might not realize is that orthodontics can do even more than that – it can improve your life in ways you might not even realize. For example, orthodontics can improve your self-confidence, which can have a positive impact on your relationships and your career. It can also improve your oral health, which has far-reaching health implications.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of orthodontics, though, is that it makes getting that beautiful smile much easier than it used to be. Invisalign is one of the most common forms of orthodontics, and it uses clear plastic aligners to help you straighten your teeth without any metal wires or brackets. Invisalign is a great option for people who want to get straight teeth but don’t want to wear metal braces every day. It’s also a great option for keeping your oral health in great condition because patients take aligners in and out for brushing and flossing. Parents of children also are choosing Invisalign because it means fewer trips to the orthodontist and no need for emergency visits, like so many of our patients with braces.
Our practice is fortunate to have one of the leading Invisalign providers in the state of Georgia, Dr. Greg Morris! In fact, Dr. Morris is the most experienced orthodontist in all of South Georgia when it comes to treating kids, teens, and adults with Invisalign. Of course, whether Invisalign or braces are recommended for you or your child, you can be assured that they will receive the highest quality of care with the most dedicated team. We look forward to helping you achieve the smile of your dreams!

Welcome to Our Blog

April 19th, 2022

Thank you for taking the time to visit our blog. Please check back often for weekly updates on fun and exciting events happening at our office, important and interesting information about orthodontics and the dental industry, and the latest news about our practice.

Feel free to leave a comment or question for our doctors and staff - we hope this will be a valuable resource for our patients, their families, and friends!

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