The Memphis Braces Blog

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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How Much Do Braces Cost?

By: Dr. Kyle Fagala, DDS, MDS

Dr. Kyle Fagala | Memphis Braces

As we close out one year and welcome in another, maybe you're facing 2017 with some orthodontic uncertainty. If you've been told that you or your child could benefit from braces, you probably have many questions and concerns, not the least of which is: just how much do braces cost?

Unfortunately, there's no one-price-fits-all answer to that question. Here at Saddle Creek Orthodontics (and most other orthodontic offices), treatment will generally range from about $2500 to $7500 depending on the case complexity and several other factors. It's understandable that you might be experiencing a little sticker shock at the thought of shelling out that kind of cash on teeth. But consider how often we spend our money on items without actually investing in anything long-lasting, and how we rarely think twice about it. Yet a straight, healthy smile is a priceless and beautiful asset that will last a lifetime! Several studies have shown that a perfect smile produces surprising returns on investment, not only when it comes to personal relationships and overall self-confidence, but also financially.

So, let's take a look at what goes into orthodontic treatment, payment options, and how the investment in braces is undeniably worthwhile! 

How much do braces cost? | How expensive is orthodontics? | Cost of Braces in Memphis, TN

Initial factors

When patients decide to give braces the go-ahead, they'll need to undergo an initial diagnosis and orthodontic consultation. These consultations typically include initial x-rays, photographs, and an evaluation by the doctor, and can cost up to $350. However, Saddle Creek Orthodontics offers a free consultation to anyone interested in braces for themselves or their child.

As we've mentioned, the price of braces will differ depending on several factors. One of the most important factors is the type of braces that will be worn. Saddle Creek Orthodontics offers traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, Invisalign, WildSmiles braces, and lingual braces. Each of these options will come with their own unique price range.

Other factors to consider are the severity of the malocclusion (that's orthodontic jargon for misalignment of the teeth and jaws), its complexity, and the expected length of treatment. The particulars of any given case may increase the overall cost of treatment. Difficult cases, such as patients for whom jaw surgery is required, will naturally involve higher costs. Some mouths are just more straightforward (or complicated) than others!

The first step for you

memphis ortho saddle creek ortho braces germantown invisalign teens colliervilleWhen preparing for any orthodontic treatment, your first step should be checking in with your insurance provider. Children under the age of 18 will usually benefit from orthodontic treatment coverage, or at least partial coverage. However, many dental health insurance plans won't cover the costs of braces for adults over the age of 18.

If your provider does cover the cost of braces, you'll want to plan to stick with the same dental insurance plan throughout the orthodontic treatment, from start to finish. Your insurance benefit does not pay their benefit amount up front but pays incrementally throughout treatment. If braces have already been applied or treatments have commenced before the effective date of your dental policy, these costs may not be covered by your insurance, however many plans do cover pre-existing orthodontic treatment as a "work in progress" and will prorate your benefit for the treatment that you have remaining.

Even if your health insurance will cover the cost of orthodontic treatment, inquire about the percentage they will agree to cover and whether or not there's a lifetime maximum to take into consideration. It is common for dental insurance plans to cover approximately 50% of costs with a lifetime maximum limited to $1,500 per individual.

A quick note about tax deductions

It's important to keep in mind that dental health costs are deductible when they're deemed to be medically necessary. As opposed to elective treatments, like teeth whitening or veneers, wearing braces can be considered medically necessary. As such, braces can be eligible for tax deductions. However, these costs must exceed a specific amount before they may be deducted, so be sure to keep track of every expense related to you or your child's orthodontic treatment! For more specific information on tax deductible orthodontic treatments, you can browse this IRS webpage. Fair warning. It's dense, so don't blame us if you fall asleep while reading.

FSAs and HSAs

If you don't have dental insurance that covers some of the cost of braces, there are other options. You can choose to apply your Flexible Spending Account or your Health Savings Account towards orthodontic treatment. Through your FSA or HSA, you may set up a predetermined amount in pre-tax dollars to cover treatment. You can also apply for reimbursement through these two programs.

Insurance and Financing with Saddle Creek Orthodontics

Here at SCO, we offer 0% financing and low initial down payments, so that treatment is affordable for everyone. Our goal is to provide outstanding value for reasonable fees. After evaluating your case, I'll be able to determine a treatment fee that fits your specific orthodontic needs.

From there, we offer flexible payment plans and automatic bank drafts through OrthoFi. Our dedicated and experienced team are also happy to check with your insurance company for any orthodontic benefits covered under your plan. Our goal is to make sure that our patients' dental problems never turn into financial problems. 

SCO works with the following insurance plans on a regular basis:

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee
Delta Dental of Tennessee (and many other states)
United Concordia
United HealthCare

If your current insurance provider isn't listed above, don't hesitate to contact us at 901.726.3878. Rest assured that we'll do everything we can to accommodate you!

The payoff

memphis ortho saddle creek ortho braces germantown invisalign colliervilleCrooked and crowded teeth are hard to clean and maintain. A bad bite can cause abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, difficulty in chewing or speaking, and excessive stress on the supporting bone and gum tissue. There is also research that links chronic oral problems to bigger health problems like obesity, malnutrition, diabetes, and heart disease. These are serious conditions that can affect your quality-of-life, and without orthodontic treatment, many problems become worse and can require additional dental or medical care later in life.

In addition, your smile is one of the very first things people notice about you. Crooked teeth or a bad bite can lead to a real crisis of self-confidence, particularly among children and teens. There's a lot to be said about being able to look in the mirror and see a healthy, bright, straight smile staring back at you.

Ultimately, orthodontic treatment will pay for itself in no time by improving oral health and increasing self-esteem!


Don't let orthodontics overwhelm you

Saddle Creek Orthodontics is here to help you on your way to a straighter smile! With a friendly, experienced team and the latest in orthodontic treatment and braces technology, SCO is committed to making you feel comfortable from the moment you walk through our door. We have two convenient locations in Memphis, one office in Germantown and one in Collierville, and we offer flexible appointment scheduling, flexible treatment options, and flexible payment options.

If you're just beginning your braces journey, contact us today for information on a free consultation, or come by either location for a tour of the office. We want no smile left behind!

Have a very Happy 2017!

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

Posted by Kyle Fagala at Sunday, January 1, 2017 | 0 comments
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