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Dr. Tabakman

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Want to Speed Up Orthodontic Treatment? Meet Propel®!

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Patients are often curious about whether or not they can speed up orthodontic treatment, At Houston Orthodontic Specialists, the answer is, yes you can! We’re a Houston Propel® VPro5™ provider and the technology can improve the fit of your Invisalign aligners, which in turn leads to fewer appointments and refinements. We pride ourselves on embracing proven, safe advances that help our patients see results sooner and with less discomfort and Propel does just that. Here’s everything you need to know about accelerated orthodontics with this revolutionary treatment option.

What is Propel VPro5?

Propel Orthodontics has a line of devices aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of orthodontic treatment. Dr. Tabakman, Dr. Wadler, Dr. Muller and Dr. Bloome offer Propel VPro5.  

Propel VPro5 is a take-home device for patients using Invisalign. The small, portable accessory consists of an activator and a mouthpiece. To use it, you’ll connect the mouthpiece to the oscillator and hit the on-switch to start the vibrations. Then, you’ll bite down on the mouthpiece (it’s hands-free) while wearing your Invisalign aligners as it slowly ramps up in intensity. You’ll use the device for five minutes a day. It will shut off automatically when you finish a session. When you’re done, detach the mouthpiece, rinse it with water and allow it to dry. If the oscillator gets dirty, simply wipe it with a moist cloth. However, don’t submerge it in water.

The high-frequency vibrations the device creates painlessly enhance aligner seating, which is how well your Invisalign aligners fit against your teeth. Aligner seating is the key to effective Invisalign treatment and it ensures the aligners can deliver the proper forces to shift the teeth exactly how we want. The device can make a big difference in just five minutes of use per day and makes treatment more comfortable and faster, while also leading to fewer appointments and refinements and, overall, better results.

How Does Propel Work?

The VPro5 relies on gentle, high-frequency vibrations to essentially shake your aligners into place. Often times with Invisalign, we also use tooth-colored attachments. The vibrations from the VPro5 offer up a super-charged way of getting the aligners to snap perfectly onto the attachments and fit like a glove over your teeth. By having the aligners sit tight against your pearly whites, you get the perfect amount of force, which, in turn, helps teeth shift into place more quickly. Vibration therapy is also associated with decreased discomfort and patients often report less soreness when they switch to a new set of aligners when using Propel VPro5.

Is Propel Safe?

Yes. Propel VPro5 has been cleared by the FDA as a Class I medical device that is safe for use in orthodontics. Studies have shown it can safely and comfortably help you get amazing results. While most patients are a candidate for Propel, every mouth is unique. We’ll let you know if Propel is right for you once we’ve had a chance to evaluate you at your consultation.  

If you’re ready to hit fast forward on your Invisalign treatment with Propel, book a free consultation at Houston Orthodontic Specialists in Bellaire or West Houston today!

 

picture of Dr. Vladimir Tabakman smiling

Get to Know Your Houston Orthodontist Better: 20 Questions for Dr. Vladimir Tabakman

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As a Houston and Bellaire orthodontist, Dr. Vladimir Tabakman is on a mission to offer his patients high-tech, expert orthodontic care that will give them the healthy, beautiful smiles they deserve and the confidence that comes with it. Dr. Tabakman and the team make sure every patient feels like they’re part of the family as soon as they walk through the doors. Well, we decided to play a game of 20 questions with Dr. Tabakman to help you learn more about him and what he’s like when he’s not busy perfecting smiles at Houston Orthodontic Specialists.

  1. What book are you currently reading?

The Miracle Morning and Tribe of Mentors

  1. Did you ever have braces or Invisalign?

Yes, I had braces at age 35.

  1. How would you describe yourself in five words?

Responsible, honest, loyal, generous, and fun!

  1. Why did you decide to become an orthodontist?

As an orthodontist, I can see my patients go through transformations. There is no better feeling than giving others the confidence and the infinite possibilities that the confidence can create. Plus, I wanted to help people look better in selfies! 😉

  1. What’s the most incredible vacation you’ve ever been on?

Snorkeling with my daughter in Mexico

  1. Is there anything your patients would be surprised to learn about you?

I started Bellaire High School as a junior and didn’t speak a word of English.

  1. What’s your favorite part of coming into to work at Houston Orthodontic Specialists every day?

I truly feel that we have an amazing team and amazing patients. I’m blessed to enjoy going to work. If you can even call it work.

  1. What would your perfect Saturday with your family be like?

Spending all day with the four of us on the beach or anything on the water

  1. What sets you apart from other orthodontists?

I have a constant desire to learn and get better.

  1. What achievement are you most proud of?

I believe I have achieved many things professionally, but my family is what I’m the most proud of.

  1. What’s your favorite restaurant in Houston?

I am obsessed with sushi!

  1. What was the first concert you ever went to?

My first concert after moving to America was AC/DC!

  1. What do you think the most important benefit of orthodontic treatment is?

Orthodontic treatment is life-changing and the most rewarding thing as an orthodontist is to see a patient gain self-confidence and start smiling.

  1. What was the last great movie you saw?

The Post

  1. If you could be a fictional character for 24 hours, who would you be?

James Bond

  1. What’s the best piece of advice you can give orthodontic patients?

Be genuine and true to yourself. A positive attitude can overcome any challenges.

  1. What sport do you enjoy playing the most?

Soccer and tennis

  1. What was the most challenging part of your orthodontic training?

Getting into an orthodontic residency is very competitive. The biggest challenge was doing well enough in dental school to be able to be accepted.

  1. What’s your favorite thing about the Houston area?

We live in an awesome city where things are very easily accessible and you can see a professional sporting event during the day and go to a concert in the evening!

  1. What’s on your bucket list?

Going on an African safari with my family.

To get to know Bellaire and Houston orthodontist Dr. Tabakman in person, schedule a free consultation at Houston Orthodontic Specialists today!

 

woman thinking with hand on chin

What are the Different Types of Braces and How do I Choose the Right Kind?

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Your smile is as unique as you are. In fact, just like fingerprints, no two people have the same set of teeth. That’s why you won’t find a one-size-fits-all approach at Houston Orthodontic Specialists. We create personalized treatment plans and offer a wide variety of options for braces and Invisalign in Houston and Bellaire. We want you to be able to choose the treatment that will bring about the best results while also fitting your lifestyle, so you feel confident and comfortable during the process. So, what are the different types of braces and how do you pick the best one for you? Here’s what’s on the menu at our practice and some key things to consider about each type to help you decide:

  • Conventional Metal Braces – When you think of braces, you probably immediately think of the conventional metal ones. They’ve been around the longest of all of the types of braces and they’re still the most widely used worldwide. Today’s metal braces are nothing like the bulky ones of the past and are a lot more low profile. Made of stainless steel, this type of braces relies on brackets and archwires to move the teeth. Small elastics are also used to secure the wires to the brackets.  

Conventional metal braces might be right for you if you like the idea of showing off your braces and you want to wear colorful elastics to match your personality, the holidays, your school colors or even your mood. Of the different types of metal braces, these are often the most popular with our younger patients.

  • Conventional Clear Braces – Just like metal braces, conventional clear braces rely on brackets and wires to shift the teeth and elastics to hold the wires in place. The key difference is that the brackets are clear and they blend in with your smile, making them less noticeable than their metal counterparts. Years ago, they were considered one of the types of braces for adults because they required more care since they stained and were susceptible to breakage. That’s not the case anymore. The modern clear braces we use at Houston Orthodontic Specialists, resist staining and are very durable, allowing us to treat patients of all ages with them.

Conventional clear braces could be your perfect choice for orthodontic treatment if you want the straightening power of braces but would prefer a less visible treatment option. Some adults and teens feel self-conscious about having stainless steel brackets, which is where opting for clear braces can be beneficial. If you’re interested in an aesthetic option but don’t want to have to keep track of aligners, clear braces may be the ideal alternative. The brackets are bonded to your teeth and stay put throughout your treatment.

  • Self-Ligating Braces – For self-ligating braces we offer metal and clear Damon™ braces and metal and clear Carriere® SLX™ braces. Both the SLX bracket system and the Damon braces system have streamlined brackets with little doors that hold the thin, shape-memory archwires in place. They don’t require tiny elastics or ties, technically known as ligatures, to secure the wires. The teeth are able to move more freely and naturally into place, which can translate to faster results. Since Carriere SLX and Damon braces are tie-less, they don’t need to be tightened and they’re easier to clean because you have one less component that can trap plaque and food debris. Additionally, self-ligating braces create less pressure and friction and the brackets have smoother edges, making treatment more comfortable.

Self-ligating braces, such as Carriere and Damon braces, might be the best teeth-straightening solution for you if you want braces but you’re interested in getting results more quickly and comfortably. The brackets are small and smooth, so many patients are fine with the metal version but for discreet treatment, you may prefer clear self-ligating braces.

  • Lingual Braces – Lingual braces are another of the different types of braces that use brackets and wires to give you your dream smile. However, lingual braces are placed behind your teeth on the tongue side (lingual side), so they’re completely hidden from view. You can’t see them at all when you smile and they’re even less visible than Invisalign. The braces components are customized to your mouth and the braces are smaller than the ones that are bonded to the front of the teeth. Orthodontists have to undergo specialized training in order to offer lingual braces, which is why you can’t find them at every practice. Our Bellaire and Houston orthodontists are trained in lingual braces and we can use them to effectively shift your teeth into place without anyone knowing you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Lingual braces could be your ideal treatment option if you’re image conscious. They are one of the best types of braces for adults or teens who want to keep their treatment under wraps. When considering Invisalign vs. braces, if you lose things easily or think you’d forget to wear aligners for the prescribed amount of time, then add a point in favor of braces. They’re adhered to your teeth and will stay there until we take them off.  

  • Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen – Okay, so technically Invisalign and Invisalign Teen aren’t types of braces at all since they’re hardware-free ways to straighten the teeth. With Invisalign, your orthodontist designs a series of custom, clear, plastic aligners that slip over the teeth. You change the aligners according to our schedule and as you make your way through the series, your teeth move bit by bit into the desired position. Since the aligners are removable and you’ll take them out to eat and brush and floss, there are no food restrictions and oral hygiene is a breeze. Invisalign and Invisalign Teen are comfortable, convenient and, best of all, virtually invisible. As Diamond Invisalign Providers, we’re among the top practices in the country for Invisalign experience and we’re able to treat even complex cases with clear aligners.

You should consider Invisalign if you want an aesthetic treatment option that most people won’t notice you’re wearing. If you worry about giving up certain foods or you don’t love the idea of cleaning around brackets and wires, you could be well suited to clear aligners. Many of our patients who play sports or an instrument choose Invisalign or Invisalign Teen because there’s no hardware to get in the way.

If you’re interested in braces or Invisalign in Houston or Bellaire, book a free consultation at Houston Orthodontic Specialists today! We’ll take complimentary diagnostic records, perform an exam and chat with you about your goals and lifestyle. Then, we’ll let you know which orthodontic treatment option will bring out the best in your smile.

 

I just got my braces off…what happens now?

By | Orthodontics

retainer-blog

Many patients look forward to the end of their treatment with braces and are curious as to the next steps. When it comes to getting your braces off, next comes the retention part of the treatment and getting your retainers.

As a patient, you just spent a lot of time and money on getting the beautiful smile of your dreams. Your orthodontist will most likely recommend you wear your retainers for 24 hours each day for the first several months. This means just about all the time, except when eating or brushing your teeth (don’t forget to brush your retainer if it’s removable). It’s important to wear your retainers as Dr. Tabakman, Dr. Wadler and Bellaire Family Orthodontics recommends, since your teeth are more prone to moving, especially right when you get your braces off. The last thing you want to do is not wear your retainers and lose all the hard work you just went through.

As time goes on, you will be asked to periodically visit your orthodontist for retainer check-up appointments to ensure that everything is staying in place. Once the doctor deems that you’ve been wearing your retainer properly and often, eventually you will probably be instructed to wear your retainer at night.

It’s important to remember that each person’s treatment is different and some patients may be required to wear their retainer more than others. Listen to your doctor’s instructions and you will maintain your beautiful smile for life!

retainer-blog

What type of retainers are available after my Orthodontic treatment in Houston?

By | Orthodontics | No Comments

Congrats! You just finished a long process to get the beautiful smile you’ve always dreamed of! Now you may be wondering, what happens next?

You and your Houston orthodontist will discuss your recommended retainer options that will best suit you. Everyone typically has to wear a retainer, but what may work best is different from person to person. There may be several options to choose from, including:

Vivera retainers
These are thick, Invisalign clear retainers, made straight from Invisalign. You probably will not be able to see them, but they will hold your teeth in place. Your Houston Invisalign orthodontist will digitally scan your teeth to have these made.

Essex retainers
These are also clear plastic, removeable retainers. Your Houston orthodontist will have an impression made. They will hold your teeth in place and allow for great oral hygiene!

Permanent retainer
This type of retainer is typically a permanent metal bar that is glued to the back of your teeth. This is a favorite of many because you don’t have to worry about losing the retainer since it is more or less “permanent” in your mouth. Just be sure to use floss threaders when flossing.

Hawley Retainers
These retainers are made of both acrylic and metal and may be the typical retainer you think of that has a metal bar going across your teeth. Your orthodontist may recommend you wear this on both your upper and lower teeth.

Whichever retainer is best for you, be rest assured these will hold your beautiful new smile in place!