Say Cheese!

It’s never too late for Invisalign® clear braces.

Prior to taking a job as a high-level administrator for a large international water treatment company, Meryl Rosenberg worked as a sales rep for a computer software company pushing one of the first generation of photo editing programs.

Photo by Nerissa Johnson.

Now that Meryl has a camera-worthy smile, she no longer has to fine-tune her photos.

It was while she was selling those software programs that Meryl learned what she considers to be an invaluable skill.

“I used to go into stores and show people how to fix up their photos,” she says. “I showed them how to put borders around them and how to match colors. I even showed them how to take someone or something out of a photo or move it around.”

It was that last skill that came in most handy because for years, Meryl had a gap on the right side of her smile line that showed up prominently in every photo her shutterbug husband took of her.

For years, Meryl solved the problem with the photos by simply cloning an image of another tooth in her smile line and moving it into the gap. That little trick made for a more pleasing family photo album, but it didn’t solve the bigger problem of the gap itself.

To correct that, Meryl first tried Invisalign clear braces, which use a series of transparent, removable plastic aligners to straighten crooked teeth. Despite the fact that her dental insurance was covering some of the cost, Meryl never completed the program.

“I just didn’t stick with it, and I really don’t know why,” Meryl says. “I don’t know if I wasn’t mature enough to handle it or what it was, because I really wanted to be able to smile and not have to worry about that hole in my mouth.”

Meryl was still thinking along those lines early last winter when a filling fell out of one of her teeth one Friday night while she was chewing on a piece of candy. That mishap prompted a frantic search for a dentist who could fix the problem.

“I didn’t have a dentist at the time, and I told my husband, We’ll never find a dentist on a Friday night,” Meryl remembers. “He said, Oh, yeah, just watch me. That’s how we found Dr. Fatmi and Regency Court Dentistry.”

Despite it being a Saturday, Dr. Fatmi opened his doors to Meryl the morning following her mishap. Before that Saturday was out, Dr. Fatmi had not only replaced Meryl’s missing filling, he’d also earned her trust.

“We just hit it off, and I can honestly say it was the first time I’d ever been comfortable with a dentist,” Meryl says. “He’s so gentle, and as we talked, he began talking to me about Invisalign and actually talked me into trying it again.”

Invisalign® and metal braces

Metal or Plastic

Like metal braces, Invisalign clear braces are designed to straighten crooked teeth. The difference is that they are made of a clear, hard plastic that makes them virtually invisible. Unlike metal braces, Invisalign clear braces are also removable.

The plastic aligners are designed to be worn for approximately two weeks at a time, and wearers are advised to take them out when eating, drinking or brushing their teeth. At the end of each two-week period, the aligner is changed out for a new one.

The entire length of time a person needs to wear Invisalign braces and continue changing out the aligners depends on how misaligned the wearer’s teeth are. It’s typical, though, for most patients to be out of them after nine months.

Dr. Fatmi, who has helped more than 100 patients over the age of 40 correct aesthetic imperfections with Invisalign, had good reason to urge Meryl to try the technology again. In addition to the gap in her smile line, she had some other aesthetics that needed correcting.

“She had a lot of space between some of her teeth, and she had what we call a cross-bite, meaning the teeth were overlapping each other, especially on the bottom, where there was a lot of crowding,” Dr. Fatmi informs.

“All of that was causing Meryl some personal issues. As she explained it to me, she was actually afraid to smile because she was very conscious of the way her teeth looked. That’s why she had tried Invisalign once before.”

Dr. Fatmi sold Meryl on the idea of trying Invisalign once again by explaining some of the recent changes that have been made to the product, noting that the braces are just as effective as always but are now more comfortable to wear.

“Invisalign changes its product every couple of years to make sure patients get the proper tooth movement they need and the comfort they want,” Dr. Fatmi confirms. “With the most recent change, the plastic is a little more durable.

“It’s still strong enough to move the teeth, but it’s softer, so it’s more comfortable for the patient. In addition to explaining that, I also took some impressions of Meryl’s teeth and showed her on a computer how they would look after she completed the program.

“I think that made a big difference with Meryl, and once she started wearing the aligners again, she began seeing the results a lot faster. When you see results, it makes you happy and makes you want to wear them more.”

Life-Changing Results

Meryl started wearing her Invisalign clear braces in the summer of 2017. By the following spring, she had completed the program and had graduated to wearing a retainer while sleeping at night to preserve her new smile. She says the results have been life-changing.

“I absolutely love my smile,” Meryl enthuses. “I am so thrilled with it because for so long, I was so very self-conscious about it that I didn’t even want to smile. But now, I have a wonderful smile. It’s like Dr. Fatmi gave me my self-esteem back.”

“It’s like Dr. Fatmi gave me my self-esteem back.” – Meryl

Meryl says most of her previous dental problems stemmed from her hesitancy to visit a dentist until it was absolutely necessary. She says that hesitancy has been erased by Dr. Fatmi, whom she now sees for regular check-ups and cleanings.

“Dr. Fatmi is so personable, and he made me feel good about myself again!” Meryl exclaims. “I mean, I don’t have to clone the pictures my husband takes of me anymore, and thanks to Dr. Fatmi, I’m not afraid to smile.

“I’m so happy that I found Dr. Fatmi, and his staff is just great. They’re all so nice and friendly. I recommend Dr. Fatmi and Regency Court Dentistry to anybody. They’re the best you’ll find.”

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    • Regency Court Dentistry

      Regency Court Dentistry understands the importance of maintaining the health of your smile. This is why they offer a number of comprehensive general health and restorative dentistry services. From regularly scheduled teeth cleanings and den... Read More

    • Naved Fatmi, DMD

      Naved Fatmi, DMD, received his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Florida College of Dentistry in Gainesville. Dr. Fatmi is an adjunct professor at Palm Beach State College. He is a member of the American Dental Society, t... Read More

    • Aurelie Huyghues-Despointes, DMD

      Aurelie Huyghues-Despointes, DMD, is a native of the Caribbean island of Martinique who received her undergraduate degree from Florida Atlantic University and her master’s degree from Barry University in Miami. She earned her dental degree fr... Read More