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C. MICHAEL
WILLOCK, DDS

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C. MICHAEL WILLOCK, DDS

861 Willow Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Telephone: (919) 942-2154
www.willockdds.com


A holistic approach to oral health and wellness.

Dental Rehabilitation with Invisalign

Is it true that straight teeth make an important contribution to overall health? Dr. C. Michael Willock, a noted holistic dentist in Chapel Hill, answers that question with a strong affirmative response.

Dr. Willock frequently introduces educational means and methods to help patients understand their personal dental issues. Here Dental Assistant Lisa Cooper demonstrates the use of the practice's newest intra oral camera, which provides invaluable information to patient and dentist alike about a patient's dental needs, transferring images in real time to the nearby monitor. The patient in this instance—for illustrative purposes—is Dr. Willock himself.

“The simple truth is that straight teeth enable you to chew food more easily and they improve your bite. When your bite isn’t even, you can get excessive wear on your teeth and possible jaw bone problems. In addition, straight teeth contribute to a longer life because they are easier to keep clean and flossed, preventing gum disease. Studies have shown that people with gum disease are up to 35 percent more likely to suffer coronary heart disease. Importantly, teeth that are straight and healthy enhance a person’s self-esteem and confidence.

“In short,” says Dr. Willock, “straight, healthy teeth are an important foundation in overall health. And, when teeth are minimally crooked and in need of minor adjustments, there is a relatively painless, highly effective procedure now available—called Invisalign®. It is in the forefront for creative use of digital technology and a great choice for patients who can benefit from minor orthodontic work.”

Measurable Improvement

 “As the name implies,” explains Dr. Willock, “Invisalign is an inconspicuous method of aligning teeth without the use of traditional braces.

“Because it doesn’t rely on the use of metal or ceramic brackets and wires,” Dr. Willock notes, “Invisalign significantly reduces the poor aesthetics and other limitations associated with braces. Instead, it utilizes advances in 3-D imaging technology to create a series of customized plastic aligners. Patients simply wear each aligner for a few weeks, removing them only to eat, brush, and floss. While wearing Invisalign, patients can eat anything, but not chew gum. After using as few as 12, or as many as 48 nearly invisible aligners, the procedure is done. The results with this method are consistently good. Patients typically finish the process in a year or less because they are engaged in minor movement. And no more ‘railroad tracks,’ as the kids call traditional metal braces.

“Invisalign is increasingly beneficial in cosmetic and aesthetic work,” he notes. “The beauty of this procedure is that it really is virtually invisible. And teeth can be whitened as they are straightened. Using Invisalign saves tooth structure, and allows for correction of gum heights. By moving a tooth forward, you can actually raise the gum height, and if the tooth is pushed back, it can lower gum height on the tooth.”

For Young and Aging Teeth

“Another advantage of Invisalign,” notes Dr. Willock, “is that it works for both young and aging teeth. In patients 45 years and older, you may be dealing with problems of occlusion—the normal spatial relation of the teeth when the jaws are closed. Quite commonly, patients notice that as they age their teeth start to shift and food gets caught between them. Occlusion is high on my list for oral correction. Sometimes teeth shift so much that they become unsightly. Invisalign can move these teeth into an attractive, healthy position, improving the bite.”

The nearly invisible, hard plastic Invisalign aligner.

Younger patients, he notes, “love Invisalign because it is invisible and thus they are not tormented with unsightly metal braces lining their teeth. We all remember that the teen years are traumatic enough without the addition of metal braces. Some youngsters pretend that they are not undergoing a tooth straightening procedure, but a key issue is compliance. When teens consider the benefits of Invisalign, they typically get invested in its success. I tell my patients that Invisalign is not really a full-blown orthodontic procedure. It’s meant to realign a few uneven teeth. We are doing a minor alignment here. I’m not an orthodontist who specializes in moving teeth around the jaw and spreading the jaw to fit the teeth. When you need that type of extensive oral work, that’s when you need to visit an orthodontist, who specializes in that field.”

Exploring Dental Ideas

An ardent student of dental history and progress, Dr. Willock invites his patients and readers to join him in his ongoing studies by visiting several websites—a sampling:

  • www.Youngevity.com – Dr. Joel Wallach, DVM, ND. He is both a veterinarian and naturopathic physician. Notes Dr. Willock: Search YouTube for many of his free seminars. Look for “Dead Doctors Don’t Lie
  • www.drcolbert.com, a holistic MD in Florida who specializes in anti-aging medicine and healing by diet . . . “every single degenerative disease has inflammation as the foundation. Every single one of them.” Let Food be Your Medicine, page 57

Dr. Willock is, however, a student of homeopathy, specifically as it relates to oral health. He approaches his practice with a broad, holistic perspective and is an accredited member of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT). Some time ago, he completed an 83-hour, post graduate course in environmental medicine for the health care professional at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Scottsdale, Arizona.

“It’s also well-understood,” he says, “that there is a problem with amalgam in terms of expansion and contraction with temperature changes in food. Dental amalgam, over time, causes fractures in teeth and itself becomes brittle and breaks. What we now understand is that with temperature changes, mercury expands and contracts almost three times the rate of natural tooth structure and this is one of the main causes of tooth fracture. (see photo, right)

“When patients are considering the removal of amalgaining in the safe removal of amalgam fillings.