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Chmura Orthodontics-More Than Straight Front Teeth

February 23rd, 2016

25 years ago my wife Penny and I moved to Marshall and started its first and only orthodontic practice. Although Marshall was a town of only 6500, it was centrally located and easy to get to and had so many positive attributes, we made it our home. We raised our children here and both graduated from Marshall High School but benefitted from the support of Marshall and the surrounding communities.

During these 25 years, we’ve appreciated the support throughout Calhoun County and we’ve had ample opportunities give back, both with monetary support of causes, providing no-cost treatment through Battle Creek’s Smiles for a Lifetime program, but also in advancing the possibilities of orthodontics to improve health in addition to just aligning teeth. I have been fortunate to spend time with industry leaders, my peers, and some national study clubs (the Schulman Study Group, for example) and I’ve noticed some trends in orthodontics.

One is the trend toward adopting a single philosophy (or “system”) and providing this carte blanche for every patient. While I understand that this “one size fits all” approach is profitable to the orthodontist (lower overhead, smaller inventory, simpler treatment), I am passionate not only about straight teeth, but about the health of the patient. Each of out patients is unique and we design a unique treatment plan for each to address their specific needs.

Another trend is toward elevating the “tools” used to achieve results higher than the diagnosis. This trend began with Invisalign and their national campaign, but has continued with Suresmile, Insignia, Damon, and so on. Through personal investment or as a member of the Clinical Advisory Board for a number of companies, I’m fortunate to have experience with nearly all the tools available (Insignia, Suresmile, Invisalign, Orthocad, Lasers, etc.). In our practice, we strive to first determine the goals of treatment, and then choose the best “tool” to achieve the goals.

A third trend is toward “speed”. We agree that we want your treatment done as soon as possible, but not at the expense of quality. We have adopted tools that allow us to provide both speed and quality. As a member of the Henry Schein Orthodontic Task Force on Orthodontics and Sleep Apnea, I have gained professional knowledge of this disease. As an individual who suffers from sleep apnea, I have personal experience of the day-today lethargy and listlessness that comes when you suffer from it. I have made it a goal to do everything I can to avoid having you or your children suffer these ill effects and it is reflected in my office.

Our Next Gen 3D radiography (we were first in Michigan to offer this), gives me critical information necessary to provide “airway friendly orthodontics” and rule out other possible problems. We evaluate patients as early as age 5 for potential risks of a compromised airway and sleep apnea; then treat to minimize risk, providing better overall health and a great smile for our patients for the best rest of their life… literally and figuratively! We do this because we care.

We are now back in Marshall full time, and here to serve the entire region. We have patients who travel up to sixty miles because they value the individualized care we provide on an everyday basis. Stay tuned to this column in the coming weeks for detailed information on what this all means and how we can help you and the people you love.

Wishing all our moms a happy Mother’s Day!

May 6th, 2014

"Motherhood: All love begins and ends there." - Robert Browning

We would like to take this moment to thank all the great moms out there for being so great during their child’s visits to Chmura Orthodontics. Whether it’s driving their kids to regularly scheduled appointments or for “being there” while their child is treatment, the moms who come to our office are all stellar individuals, so Dr. Louis Chmura and our entire staff would like you to know that we appreciate you all!

Happy Mother’s Day and enjoy your special day!

What’s so great about an orthodontist?

April 29th, 2014

A lot of our patients are curious about the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist. In fact, one of the most common questions we hear at Chmura Orthodontics is, “Dentists and orthodontists are all the same, right?”

A general dentist is your primary dental care provider. Dentists diagnose, treat, and manage your overall oral healthcare needs, including gum care, root canals, fillings, crowns, veneers, and bridges.

Orthodontists, such as Dr. Louis Chmura, are more concerned with diagnosis, prevention, interception, and treatment of malocclusion, or what we call “bad bite,” of the teeth. Orthodontists focus on tooth and jaw alignment and bite problems such as overbites and underbites, and are responsible for straightening teeth via bands, wires, braces, and other fixed or removable corrective treatment options, like braces and clear aligners. Orthodontists treat children as well as adults who wish to improve the function of their bite and appearance of their smile.

Before becoming an orthodontist, doctors such as Dr. Louis Chmura start out in dental school and earn a dental degree, just like your general dentist. After dental school, those doctors who decide they are interested in the orthodontic field, stay in school for a few more years and become experts in orthodontia, which is one of nine specialties within the dental field.

Isn’t it nice to know we have orthodontic experts here at Chmura Orthodontics to help you through any type of treatment your teeth and jaw might need? To schedule your initial appointment at our Marshall, Lansing, or Battle Creek, MI office, please give us a call today!

Earth Day

April 22nd, 2014

The idea for Earth Day was the brainchild of Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin. He envisioned an Earth Day that would be a kind of environmental teach-in. The first Earth Day celebration took place on April 22, 1970, and a surprising 20 million people participated on that day. Ultimately, it became the largest organized celebration in US history.

Earth Day Over the Years

Over the years, the recognition of the day, and the number of people celebrating it all over the world, turned Earth Day into an international celebration. Because it is celebrated throughout the world, it is not only the largest international environmental observation, but it is also more widely celebrated than any other environmental event in the world. Today, Earth Day is celebrated in 175 countries where over 500 million people participate in celebrations.

The Earth Day Movement

The Earth Day movement is credited with developing the idea that people should “think green”. It encouraged congress to enact laws, including one that resulted in the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. It also inspired the passage of the Endangered Species Act.

The Five R's and Their Importance

  • Reduce – Reduce by avoiding unnecessary purchases. Reduce your use of materials that wind up in landfills. Reduce the use of chemicals around your house. Reduce your use of disposable bags, plates, cups, eating utensils, and batteries.
  • Reuse – Instead of using plastic bags for your groceries or purchases, bring your own reusable bags. When you go to buy coffee at Starbucks, take a travel mug so you don't have to get your coffee in a disposable paper cup. Instead of storing food in disposable refrigerator containers, buy containers that can be washed and reused. Don't use regular batteries. Whenever possible, opt for rechargeable batteries that you can reuse.
  • Recycle – Most cities offer a recycling program to collect used bottles, cans, and newspapers. Recycling includes collecting recyclable materials that would otherwise be considered waste, sorting and processing recyclables into raw materials such as fibers and manufacturing raw materials into new products.
  • Re-buy – Make an effort to purchase things that are made through recycling. When purchasing furniture, look for items that are made from reclaimed wood. When buying paper for kids school work, computer printer paper, holiday cards, or anything else, make a point of purchasing recycled paper products. Instead of buying clothing at full retail price, shop for second hand clothing. You will save a lot of money by doing so!
  • Rethink – Rethink the way you do things so that you do them in an eco-conscious way at all times. Instead of driving to work alone, consider taking the bus or going in a carpool. Walk or ride your bike when you're only going a short distance. Plan your shopping trips and errand runs so that you can do everything on one day, and do it in a way where you can save time and gas.

Other ways to "think green" include growing your own food, composting yard waste and food scraps, or by participating in local recycling programs. Join a group like Freecycle so you can share your unneeded and unwanted possessions with people who can use them. Likewise, you'll be able to get things you need or want for free.

Earth Day teaches people that the planet belongs to everyone, so everyone is equally responsible for protecting it. Although Earth Day is an environmental celebration, our team at Chmura Orthodontics wants to remind you that you don't have to wait until then to make changes that will allow you and your family to live a greener life.

Happy Earth Day from the team at Chmura Orthodontics.

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