The debate over concerts at Hudson Fields in Milton. Jason Minto/The News Journal/USA TODAY
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A summer of 2017 preview for Delaware’s beaches. Wochit
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Disney will join Fox and the BBC in pulling content from the streaming service. Video provided by Newsy Newslook
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Fans in the gallery for a civil trial over Taylor Swift’s allegation that a former radio personality groped her say the pop star exchanged glances with spectators, and thanked one fan for showing up. (August 8) AP
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See the sights and sounds of Sturgis, from the motorcycles to the bikini competition and everything in between. Trevor Hughes/USA TODAY
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Glen Travis Campbell brought country music to new audiences. He found success as a session musician before embarking on a solo career that included several smash hits. He announced he was suffering with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011. USA TODAY
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A new study shows that you can learn new skills while you sleep. Elizabeth Keatinge (@elizkeatinge) has more. Buzz60
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David Letterman is coming back on Netflix. Buzz60
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Hudson Fields concerts spark debate
New at the beaches for ’17
Disney is cutting ties with Netflix to start its own streaming service
Swift thanks fans for showing up at trial
Sturgis: Inside the world’s largest motorcycle rally
‘Rhinestone Cowboy’ Glen Campbell dies at 81
You can learn while you sleep
David Letterman is back!
For Jessica Keogh, braces were not an option.
The 33-year-old never had them growing up as a kid. She’s always wanted to fix her crowded bottom teeth but hated the idea of sporting braces as an adult.
When her cousin told her about a website where a Wilmington orthodontist will give her a free consult about getting clear, plastic aligners to straighten her teeth, she gave it a shot.
Now, months later, Keogh wears her aligners every day. Most people don’t realize she has them at work.
“Who wants braces,” she said, “Obviously, I’m going to take this.”
Wilmington orthodontist John Nista has developed a new process called “Simply Fast Smiles” that combines new industry concepts and emerging technology. The doctor said through clear, plastic trays, he can straighten some people’s teeth in six months. And the bill is typically about $3,000, half the normal cost of most sets of braces.
“If you say you’re going to the orthodontist because you need braces, the first thing that goes to your mind is that it’s going to be expensive, it’s going to take time and it’s going to be painful,” he said.
“My piece of the puzzle doesn’t have to do that.”
Nista uses a 3-D scanner and printer, as well as advanced software, to create about 25 plastic moving aligners. He prints all of the plastic trays at the same time for the patients, resulting in fewer check-up appointments. The patients wear a new aligner every week, which incrementally straightens their teeth.
While this program can be for anyone with adult teeth, most of his patients have been adults who have had previous dental work.
Nista, who has been an orthodontist for 28 years, said the industry has changed and adapted its practices every couple of decades. But it wasn’t until Invisalign was created in the late 1990s that there has been such a major technological breakthrough in orthodontics, he said.
Invisalign showed orthodontists that clear, plastic aligners can efficiently move people’s teeth while avoiding the severe pain and unattractive look of braces. Forbes reported in April that Invisalign hit its 4 millionth patient last September. In 2016, the company’s sales reached $1 billion for the first time.
In recent years, it has led to the creation of a handful of other clear aligner competitor companies.
The startup SmileDirectClub has received national attention in recent months for its business model of saying it will straighten people’s teeth — without in-person doctor consults and X-rays.
People can get fit for aligners by going to a SmileDirectClub store or ordering a mail-in kit. The aligners are then sent in the mail and cost $1,850. There aren’t any locations based in Delaware.
The American Association of Orthodontists has filed complaints with dental boards and attorney generals in 36 states against the company, saying its service can lead to medical risks.
While Nista is also wary of the company, since there’s no direct contact with a doctor, he said it does signify the changing times of the industry. People don’t want to pay a fortune and invest a lot of time to get straight teeth.
“There is a big wave of this coming,” he said.
The first step of Nista’s “Simply Fast Smiles” is the free online consultation — which is done via selfie.
To see if a patient qualifies, Nista asks people to complete the “Smile Test” by submitting four photos that show different angles of a person’s mouth through his website. The images will be sent directly to Nista’s email. He’ll then determine the amount of work he or she needs and email the patient directly.
The idea to use telemedicine for orthodontics came to him when he watched his niece, a dermatologist, do a consult on her phone while on the beach during a family vacation. There’s no reason he couldn’t do the same thing, Nista recalled thinking.
“Everyone knows how to take a selfie,” he said.
Nista said it only takes orthodontists a couple minutes (at most) to decide if the aligners can properly straighten a person’s teeth in a short period of time. Looking at images via email saves time for both him and potential patients, he said.
Telemedicine applications have become increasingly popular because doctors can treat patients in the comfort of their own homes reducing costs including travel time. The Medical Society of Delaware and Nemours/Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children have encouraged their doctors to use this technology in the past year.
In addition to orthodontic X-rays and photographs, Nista uses software that takes a digital scan of a patient’s mouth. The computer program then shows what it will take for the teeth to get into a “goal position.”
It also creates the design of the 25 plastic aligners which are then 3D printed at the same time. Whitening gel is also included in the individual aligners.
For most patients, the aligners are changed about once a week. Additional aligners can be printed over the course of the six months if necessary, Nista said.
Unlike other patients, Keogh has about 40 aligners due to the amount of work she needs on her teeth. She said the whole process was a lot easier than what she imagined, especially with the payments.
She was still quoted a total of about $3,000. That’s about $800 less than what her mother paid for aligners at another practice. Since Keogh paid for it upfront, she said she doesn’t need to worry about for copays or charges for follow-up appointments.
Now at the halfway point, Keogh said she’s seen progress in her bottom teeth. It’s already boosted her confidence, she said.
“I can’t wait till they’re all the way straight,” Keogh said.
Contact Meredith Newman at (302) 324-2386 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @merenewman.
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