The Memphis Braces Blog

New Employee Spotlight: Latisha and Nicole

By: Dr. Kyle Fagala, DDS, MDS

Dr. Kyle Fagala | Memphis Braces

Our talented team is a huge part of who we are here at SCO, and it's important to us that our patients know how proud we are of each and every member of our team. In that spirit, we've decided to introduce a "New Employee Spotlight" to feature some new faces you may not be familiar with yet. We want you to feel comfortable with everyone you have contact with in our Germantown and Collierville offices, so we've put together a fun Q&A to help you get to know the most recent members of our team a little bit better, and to learn about their backgrounds, interests, and favorite movie quotes!

Since we recently had two clinical assistants start on the same day, we're going to kick this off with a double feature! Read below to learn more about Latisha and Nicole.

saddle creek ortho memphis braces germantown invisalign collierville



Latisha Young
Job Title: Clinical Assistant
Any nicknames we should know about? Tish
Do you have kids? Names and ages? Yes, Liev (2 years old)
Are you from this area? How long have you lived here? Yes. I am a Memphis native!
Where did you graduate high school or college? Southwind High School
Any favorite sports team? Memphis Grizzlies, Golden State Warriors, and Dallas Cowboys.
What is your biggest achievement to date – personal or professional? Becoming a mother.
What does a typical day look like for you and what are you currently working on? Typically I wake up in the morning, then get myself and my daughter dressed. I go to work. Once I'm off work, I go get my daughter, and most evenings we visit family or have play time together. We then eat dinner and to bed we go!
What is on your wish list for your next five years here? I wish to still be employed here. If there is room for growth, I would love that opportunity!
What are your biggest professional challenges? Being too hard on myself.
If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor? My mother. She passed three years ago and there are questions I would love to be answered as I'm experiencing more adult-like issues now.
What do you like most about your job? Working with and helping patients and my work family!
When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried? When my boyfriend Nick and two year old Liev sent me a video of them dancing to 24k magic by Bruno Mars. ūüėĀ
What is your motto or personal mantra? "Love Conquers All"
What’s the most recent app you’ve downloaded and why? I downloaded the StyleSeat app to look for a stylist.
Given a chance, who would you like to be for a day? Michelle Obama
What’s your favorite line from a film? "Nobody puts Baby in a corner." - Dirty Dancing
What is your guilty pleasure? Spicy foods



Name: Nicole Hightower
Job Title: Clinical Assistant
Any nicknames we should know about? Aunt Colie, Colie Olie
Do you have kids? Names and ages? Two. Caleb is 11 and Josh is 10.
Are you from this area? How long have you lived here? Born in Memphis, moved to Munford when I was 12 years old.
Where did you graduate high school or college? Munford High School and Concorde Career College.
Any favorite sports team? Florida Gators! Memphis Grizzlies!
What is your biggest achievement to date – personal or professional? Graduating from college, and being able to travel to the places I've been blessed to see.
What does a typical day look like for you and what are you currently working on? Making smiles brighter daily (cheesy.... but true!)
What is on your wish list for your next five years here? To make this my lifelong career, and to continue learning all the new things Dr. Kyle has to teach me!
If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor? My mom.
What do you like most about your job? It's very hands on, and the staff is amazing!
When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried? Last week at dinner over microwaved cheese. ūüėÜ
What is your motto or personal mantra? Live In The Now
What’s your favorite blog? The Memphis Braces blog! ūüėČ
What’s the most recent app you’ve downloaded and why? Boomerang to record my niece doing funny stuff.
Given a chance, who would you like to be for a day? Jack Sparrow!
What’s your favorite line from a film? I have two:
"Oh yes, the past can hurt. But you can either run from it, or learn from it." - Rafiki, from The Lion King
"Why would you wanna marry me for, anyhow?"
"So I can kiss you anytime I want."
- Sweet Home Alabama
What is your guilty pleasure? Ice cream

saddle creek ortho memphis germantown braces invisalign collierville

Big thanks to Tish and Nicole for giving us a glimpse into their lives! We're so excited to welcome them as part of our SCO family, and can't wait for our patients to get to know them too.

Dr. Kyle Fagala | memphis braces | Saddle Creek Orthodontics
Kyle Fagala, DDS, MDS

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Posted by Kyle Fagala at Friday, May 12, 2017 | 0 comments
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Spring Break Survival Guide

By: Dr. Kyle Fagala, DDS, MDS

Dr. Kyle Fagala | Memphis Braces

We're closing out one of the warmest winters on record in Memphis, and between all this sunshine and the balmy breezes, we can't wait for Spring Break!

Whether your family is planning a getaway to the beach or just a week at home relaxing, caring for your braces during this time is probably one of the last things on your mind. It's important that you don't ignore the recommendations we've given you for braces care, though.

You can kick back and have some fun and keep yourself on track for a healthy, straight smile at the end of your treatment by following these simple tips we've put together for you.


Keep emergency contact information close

Before you trade your sneakers in for sandals, make sure you've got our number stored in your phone. Unexpected orthodontic emergencies can be upsetting, and calling the team here at SCO can help calm you down. We'll be able to walk you through any steps you might need to take.

In most cases, you’ll be able to wait until you’re home to follow up with us. But if for any reason you need immediate care, we can help you over the phone, or direct you to a nearby orthodontist in the event you do need to be seen while you're out of town.

If you're able to, it's a great idea for you to take a photo of the problem, with flash if possible, before getting in touch with us. A picture really is worth a thousand words in this case! Being able to study an actual image of the problem will allow us to assess the issue much more quickly and accurately.

Memphis Orthodontist | Saddle Creek Orthodontics | Emergency Contact Info Phones



DIY emergency care for common issues

There are many problems that can crop up with your braces that can be dealt with at home. If one of the following occurs and you're not in any pain, consider these tips and tricks that use a few readily available tools.

Protruding wires: If a wire comes loose, and you find it's irritating your mouth, try using the eraser end of a pencil to nudge the wire back against the teeth. You can also place a small piece of wax over the wire to reduce irritation and provide some stability.

Mouth irritation: If there are brackets or wires irritating your cheeks, lips, or gums, simply place a piece of orthodontic wax over the area. Make sure the bracket or wire is very dry first, or it won't stick! Pinch a small piece of wax and roll it into a ball, then flatten it completely. Place this flat piece over whatever area of your braces are causing irritation.

Loose bracket: If you find you have a loose bracket, it's definitely something we need to know about so we can decide on the best steps to take next. In the meantime, however, you can place wax over the loose bracket to provide stability. Sliding the bracket back along the wire to the center of the tooth is also an option.

Lost retainer: We know how annoying we can be when we talk endlessly about the importance of wearing your retainer. But a lost retainer really can be an emergency! After all, once you stop wearing your retainer, your teeth will begin to shift. If you lose your retainer and you're out of town, give us a call. We’ll be able to let you know if you need to head somewhere local to have impressions made, or if it can wait until you get back home.


Take along a travel kit for braces

We're certain that you (or your mom!) will be sure to pack all your braces basics in your bag, like toothpaste, a toothbrush, and floss. But there are several other items we suggest you bring along on your adventures to be even better prepared!

Interdental toothbrush: for those hard to reach spaces between your teeth.
Wax or Gishy Goo: a silicone-based product that acts like orthodontic wax.
Ibuprofen: just in case you find yourself experiencing any mouth soreness.
Pencil: for any pesky protruding wires.

Braces Survival Kit | Saddle Creek Orthodontics | Germantown Orthodontist | Collierville Orthodontist


Don't ignore your Invisalign!

If you're planning on hitting the road with Invisalign, try your best to notify us at least two weeks in advance. If the date you're expected to receive your new aligners falls on a date when you’ll be out of town, we'll want to plan for that by providing the next set ahead of schedule. Worst case scenario, you can keep wearing your last set of Invisalign aligners a little longer and just delay your next appointment until you return.

If you've already got the aligners you need lined up, then there's just a couple of other items we recommend you add to your travel bag!

Invisalign cases: Make it a habit to always put your Invisalign aligners inside their case. You're much less likely to lose them this way.
Current and most recent aligners: You already know how important it is to wear your current aligners an average of 20-22 hours a day. As we've mentioned above, bringing your most recent aligners along can keep your progress on track in case you misplace your current pair.
Denture tablets: You may not be ready for a senior citizen discount just yet, but for on-the-go holiday travel cleaning, portable denture tablets can actually be really convenient and helpful!

Invisalign Retainer Kit | Dr. Kyle Fagala | Germantown Orthodontist | Collierville Orthodontist


Saddle Creek Orthodontics and Spring Break sunshine

However far you travel, or if you're planning on keeping things closer to home, Saddle Creek Orthodontics wants you to enjoy a wonderful Spring Break without having to worry about your braces or Invisalign.

Remember that no matter where you are, we're always here to support you, and to answer any questions or tackle any concerns you might have.

Even if you find yourself a long way away from our Germantown and Collierville offices, we're happy to help guide you through any difficulties so you can get out there and enjoy the sunshine!

Dr. Kyle Fagala | memphis braces | Saddle Creek Orthodontics
Kyle Fagala, DDS, MDS

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Posted by Kyle Fagala at Monday, March 13, 2017 | 0 comments
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SCO Now Open in Collierville!

By: Dr. Kyle Fagala, DDS, MDS

Dr. Kyle Fagala | Memphis Braces

Did you know that SCO is now serving Collierville with a new state-of-the-art orthodontic office?

Saddle Creek Orthodontics opened in Germantown by the Shops of Saddle Creek in June of 2013. Our second office, located in Collierville at 3394 S Houston Levee Road is conveniently located near the Poplar and Houston Levee intersection, directly in front of Lifetime Fitness. We’ve got plenty of parking to offer, and we’re easily accessible. Bonus: we’re not located on a busy thoroughfare! We know Memphis traffic is no joke.

If you haven't visited our Collierville office yet, we wanted to share a few photos and reasons to convince you of what you're missing out on. 

Saddle Creek Orthodontics Front of Building | Braces and Invisalign for Collierville | Dr. Kyle Fagala

If you’ve spent any time with us at all, you know that SCO believes that an orthodontic office should be modern, clean, and conveniently located. We kept all that in mind when we built our new location from scratch! Our Collierville office is close to several area schools including Houston Middle School and High School, Dogwood Elementary, Bailey Station Elementary School, Schilling Farms Middle School, Collierville High School, and Crosswind Elementary School. We are also just around the corner from the Briarcrest and St. George's East campuses. This makes daytime appointments a breeze!

Orthodontic Waiting Room | Saddle Creek Orthodontics Collierville, TN | Braces

Just like our Germantown location, our new Collierville office utilizes state-of-the-art digital records hosted on Mac computers, above-standard sterilization methods, and comfortable treatment chairs. We even have Dippin' Dots for patients who get braces on! Our goal is to provide the best possible orthodontic experience - where every detail has been considered with your best interests at heart. But that’s not the only good stuff we’ve got going on!

Orthodontic Clinic | Open Braces Clinic | Saddle Creek Orthodontics Collierville, TN

In an effort to bring the prep work associated with getting braces up to speed with our digitally-driven locations, we're proud to announce that we've acquired an iTero Element Intraoral Scanner. We know it sounds kind of space-age, but this device will eliminate the need for the old school, messy, gag-inducing impressions you’re used to, and will provide the most accurate and detailed look into your treatment needs.

The iTero Element scanner works by scanning each of your teeth and the layout of your gums and mouth. The whole process only takes 10-15 minutes, and it quickly provides an extremely accurate 3-D view of your mouth. See? Space-age, right?  Once the scan is complete, we’re able to view the images together. You can even see a simulation of your braces or Invisalign treatment!

iTero Element Scanner Orthodontics | Digital Orthodontic Technology | Orthdontist Dr. Kyle Fagala

This data is then sent wirelessly to Invisalign or to a number of other orthodontic labs with the click of a button. They’ll print a 3-D, stereolithographic model, create the appliance, and have it back to us in about a week. This means less appointments which saves YOU time! We've also noticed the models we're getting back are much more accurate and the appliances we create are fitting better than ever. What THAT means is we’re more equipped than ever before to give you the brilliant, beautiful smile you’ve always wanted.

And now we’re able to provide this kind of stellar service and technology in two convenient locations!
Orthodontic Front Desk | Reception Desk at Orthodontic Office | Saddle Creek Orthodontics Collierville  
So whether you’re closer to our original Germantown location, or our new Collierville office, great orthodontic care is only a few minutes from your home, work, or school. Get in touch with us today to set up a free consultation at either location, and come take a look around at what we have to offer!

Dr. Kyle Fagala | memphis braces | Saddle Creek Orthodontics
Kyle Fagala, DDS, MDS

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Posted by Kyle Fagala at Monday, February 20, 2017 | 0 comments
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How 3D Printing Offers An Improved Orthodontic Experience

By: Dr. Kyle Fagala, DDS, MDS

Dr. Kyle Fagala | Memphis Braces

A year ago, we posted a blog about bringing the innovative new iTero Element Intraoral Scanner to our Germantown and Collierville orthodontic offices. At the time, we were the only orthodontics office in Memphis using this new iTero technology, adding an extra element of ease to the process of preparing for treatment with braces and Invisalign. To kick off 2017, we’re proud to announce another exclusive first in Memphis orthodontics - using 3D printing to create tooth models and retainers for our patients onsite.

Read below to learn about this exciting, new technology, how it is changing the way we do orthodontics, how it is better for you, and most importantly - don't miss the video where I describe a part of the process that looks *exactly* like a dance club. ;)

3D Printing and Orthodontics | Dentistry and 3D Printed Dental Models | Orthodontics Memphis, TN


The iTero Element Scanner scanning process

saddle creek ortho itero scanner memphis braces invisalign

As a digitally-driven office, SCO is always looking for ways we can make the orthodontic process more streamlined and less invasive. Acquiring an iTero Element Intraoral Scanner in 2015 was a big step towards that kind of efficiency. Traditionally, before braces are put into place, there’s prep work involved, such as multiple x-rays and intraoral photographs, as well as the goopy, gag-inducing alginate impression so many patients hate. These are important steps that can’t be skipped, because they allow the orthodontist to create an individualized treatment plan on a case-by-case basis.

Several patients require auxillary appliances to reach an ideal outcome. Traditionally, for appliance fabrication, we would take an alginate impression, use plaster to make a stone model of the teeth, then send those models through the mail for construction of the expander, space maintainer, or Herbst appliance. This traditional process is reliable, though less accurate than more modern methods, and it ultimately adds 2 to 3 more appointments for patients. Enter iTero digital scanning!

The iTero scanner works by scanning each tooth, as well as the layout of the gums and the mouth. The whole process only takes 10-15 minutes, and it quickly provides an extremely accurate, 3-D view of the mouth. Once the scan has been completed, we are able to view the images together with the patient, and can even see a simulation of the braces or Invisalign treatment being considered. This data can then be sent wirelessly to an orthodontic lab, where they print a 3D stereolithographic model, create the necessary appliance, and have it back to our office in about a week.


3D printing comes to Memphis

saddle creek ortho memphis braces invisalign 3d printingThe iTero scanner was just the beginning of SCO seeking out the best technology available to make the orthodontic treatments we offer as effortless and comfortable as possible. In recent months, we’ve added a FormLabs Form 2 Desktop SLA 3D Printer to our all-star lineup of equipment. Not only are we now able to save our patients time, we’re able to provide a better, more accurate fit by combining the iTero scanner with our new 3D printer, all within the comfort of our own offices.

The best part of our 3D printer is the ability to create the orthodontic clear retainers we need, precisely when we need them, without the traditional goopy impressions. We still send our digital scans to an outside lab for appliances, but your impression data now stays stored in our cloud. This allows us to access that saved impression any time we need to. For example, in the past, if a patient lost a retainer, we would have to take a new impression and fabricate a new retainer. With our new 3D printing process, we have all we need to make a new retainer that same day. What about a tooth that has moved a little bit following treatment? In the very near future, we will be able to adjust that tooth digitally and print a small series of clear retainers to straighten that tooth quickly and comfortably. 

Here's a quick video I filmed to show you a bit of the process in our office:

How high tech can work for you

Whether you’re a patient or an orthodontist, taking advantage of the latest technology available in orthodontics is beneficial.

saddle creek ortho memphis invisalign braces 3d printing scannerFor patients, eliminating the mess and time involved in traditional impressions is a bonus, and we can guarantee a more accurate impression of the mouth, resulting in a better fit of your retainers. Being able to both scan and print devices in our Germantown or Collierville office is convenient, and having ready access to impressions to adjust or reprint as needed eliminates the need for reimpressions. 

For orthodontists, iTero scanning plus 3D printing offers your patients superior service using the latest high tech equipment to give you the most accurate images and fit available. Since these are still relatively new technologies, many areas will only have one or two orthodontists using them, giving your practice an edge when it comes to offering a whole other level of individualized orthodontic treatment.

To learn more about how high tech orthodontics can work for you, contact our SCO team to set up a tour of our Germantown or Collierville office, check out our 3D printing snap story above, or give us a call to schedule a free consultation.

Hope to meet you soon!

Dr. Kyle Fagala | memphis braces | Saddle Creek Orthodontics
Kyle Fagala, DDS, MDS

Posted by Kyle Fagala at Sunday, February 5, 2017 | 0 comments
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Is Your Child Scared of Braces?

By: Dr. Kyle Fagala, DDS, MDS

Dr. Kyle Fagala | Memphis Braces

Breaking the news to your child that they need braces can definitely be a daunting task! We know how nervous both children and parents can feel before setting out on such an important orthodontic journey. It's perfectly natural to feel a little less than enthusiastic about the whole process, considering braces are a pretty big unknown. Most kids are going to feel apprehensive about anything new, especially when it means changes in what they see when they look in the mirror.

SCO is no stranger to orthodontic anxiety, and we're determined to help each of our patients feel as comfortable as possible with this process. In the spirit of turning apprehension into anticipation, and fear into fun, we've put together a handy list of 5 ways to get your child excited about braces!

Is Your Child Scared of Braces? | I'm nervous about braces | Orthodontics Memphis, TN


1. Throw a before-braces bash

saddle creek memphis ortho germantown braces collierville invisalignWe won't sugarcoat the truth - braces do come with their share of food limitations and that can be frustrating for kids and teens. Throwing a farewell party lets them say a temporary goodbye to all their favorite soon-to-be forbidden treats. Make it a big blowout and go the whole nine yards with decorations, games, and activities, as well as all the assorted foods your child will have to avoid while they're wearing braces. Guests can dig into big bowls of popcorn, sticky candy, and bubblegum, but don't forget how important oral hygiene is, even before braces. Also, considering I'm a dental professional recommending a candy binge to kids, let me go on the record by saying you should also throw in some party favors like toothbrushes and flavored floss! There. I feel better. ;)


2. There's light at the end of the tunnel

Braces aren't a life sentence! Since every smile responds to treatment differently, we can't guarantee the exact amount of time your child will need braces, but most treatments average about 18 to 24 months. Although that can feel like forever, it will fly by. When things are new or different, it might seem as though they could never be a normal part of life, but before you know it, braces will be just another feature of your child's routine. Remind them that whether it takes one, two, or even three years, at the end of this journey a beautiful, straight smile will be staring back at them in the mirror, and that the wait will be worth it!


3. Show them that they're not alone

Teenage brothers in braces | Saddle Creek Orthodontics | Memphis BracesEven though thousands of kids get braces every year, it can still feel a little bit lonely in the beginning. Did you or someone in your family wear braces? Dig out some of those old photos and let your child see how normal you looked (questionable hair and clothing choices aside, obviously!) There's also a long list of celebrities who have had braces, and seeing how those famous faces achieved their A-list smiles through orthodontic treatment can inspire your tween or teen to feel more at home with their orthodontic treatment. Braces don't necessarily define beauty, but sometimes it can help to make an association between a beautiful celebrity and the braces that got their smile where it is today. Also, there are many kids who are excited to get braces and even young adults who ask me frequently to leave their braces on because they like how they look. Ultimately, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and having a "brace face" should be something to celebrate!


4. We've come a long way, baby

Braces have an understandably poor reputation, given how clunky and obvious they were for much of their history. But modern braces have come a long way since the days of metal train tracks and headgear you could see coming from a mile away! Today's braces can look fun, even if they may not always feel that way. Depending on the type of braces that your orthodontist uses, or the type of braces your child is able to wear, colored bands for their brackets may be an option. In our Germantown office, we carry 24 different types of colors. This allows patients to choose their favorite colors, coordinate with holidays, or even show off their school colors with a smile. Being able to express some individuality through colored ties can definitely help to take a little of the bite out of braces.


5. Play up all that progress

saddle creek ortho memphis braces germantown invisalign colliervilleKeep track of your child's journey by photographing them, or encouraging them to take selfies, starting from before they get their braces on. Make it a point to regularly update their progress with a picture! On the days when they're feeling down, being able to refer back to picture proof of how far they've already come can really help hammer home their continuing improvement, and remind them that the result is absolutely worth the effort! And, if you're really creative, take a photo of your child's teeth every day and then create a time lapse video when the braces are finished.


Braces by Saddle Creek Orthodontics

SCO understands the kind of anxiety that can often surround the decision to put your child in braces. We have an experienced team in place who are committed to working with you and your family, creating the most comfortable and stress-free orthodontic experience we can offer. We don't want you or your child to dread appointments, and we work very hard to make regular check-ups as rewarding as possible!

Whether you're a current patient or if you're looking for an orthodontic practice in Memphis, our team here at Saddle Creek Orthodontics takes pride in staying up-to-date on the latest in orthodontics and braces technology.  We combine state-of-the-art techniques and equipment with comfortable treatments, flexible payment plans, and two convenient locations in Germantown and Collierville to ensure you're getting the very best in orthodontic treatment today.

Choosing to receive orthodontic care is a big decision, and while braces may not be the most popular choice you ever make for your child, it can certainly be one of the best! If you're looking for information on braces or Invisalign for children or teens in the Memphis area, our friendly staff in Germantown and Collierville will be glad to answer any questions you may have, and will provide all the information that you need to determine which treatment is right for your family. Get in touch with our practice today to schedule your free initial orthodontic consultation!

Have a great week!

Dr. Kyle Fagala | memphis braces | Saddle Creek Orthodontics
Kyle Fagala, DDS, MDS

Posted by Kyle Fagala at Thursday, January 26, 2017 | 0 comments
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