Dr. Kort Igel has been voted “Best Orthodontist” for the past five years, and this year is no exception. A native of Omaha, Dr. Igel graduated from the Creighton University School of Dentistry. The University of Nebraska Medical Center conferred his Master’s Degree and Certificate in Orthodontics.
Dr. Igel’s father and grandfather were both dentists, which peaked his interest. However, the idea of creating beautiful, healthy smiles and increasing people’s confidence with orthodontics was where he felt led. He discovered early on that this was his niche and he could actually picture the result before he started the treatment. Orthodontics is something he is passionate about and he has performed some incredible treatment results over the years.
“Dr. Igel gets to do the “fun” stuff,” practice administrator Linda Lutmer says. “No shots, no fillings, no extractions. Kids actually want braces because all of their friends have them, which is fun for our entire team when we see their excitement on banding day.”
While it’s universally understood that a trip to the orthodontist can stir up some apprehension in any child —or adult, for that matter-- all fears quickly dissipate once they meet Dr. Igel. He’s renowned for making every person who walks through the door feel welcome, understood and comfortable about all aspects of their visit.
The patient’s first visit is always complimentary. The consultation is complete with digital photos and x-rays, allowing Dr. Igel to create an individualized corrective treatment plan, which he can review with the patients and parents.
“Kids want a pretty smile,” Lutmer explains. “Dr. Igel wants not just a pretty smile, but also a functional, healthy smile. These are two different things. The teeth can be straightened, but if the bite (or malocclusion) is not fixed, there can be problems such as TMJ issues, excessive wearing of the teeth, periodontal disease, and ultimately tooth loss.”
Younger patients may require interceptive treatment, also known as Phase I treatment. This treatment is performed at an early age to prevent the development of more serious dental problems over time. An example of this is the use of a palate expander to increase the size of a small jaw and provide adequate space for all the permanent teeth to prevent impacted teeth later.
Comprehensive treatment is focused on aligning the bite with braces, aligners (Invisalign), and functional appliances to gradually move the teeth and jaws. Comprehensive treatment is typically performed after all the permanent teeth have erupted.
Orthodontic treatment also opens airways to hopefully prevent sleep apnea. Today’s braces are much smaller and more comfortable than years ago. Dr. Igel uses the latest technology utilizing the GAC In-Ovation interactive self-ligating bracket system. This clear bracket system enhances patient comfort and shortens treatment time, while also keeping aesthetics in mind.
Many teen and adult patients prefer Invisalign. The Invisalign System is a series of clear overlay templates called aligners that have been generated by computer simulation to gradually move the teeth.
Keeping the patient’s comfort in mind, Dr. Igel also utilizes the iTero digital scanner in his offices. Using the iTero scanner allows him to take highly accurate 3D digital impressions. Better accuracy means more precise results. The iTero scanner is all about keeping patients comfortable, while delivering precise imagery, without the goop or gagging associated with conventional impressions.
“When your mouth is healthy, your overall health is, too,” Dr. Igel says. “We promote great hygiene in our office every day. We believe oral hygiene is so important that we provide every patient with an Oral B electric toothbrush the day they start orthodontic treatment. We give patients feedback on their brushing at every appointment and reward them with points when they have great brushing. Points can be redeemed for great prizes such as backpacks and gift cards. We also reward points to patients for great cooperation, having nothing broken, and for being on time for their appointments, which helps us stay on schedule for all our patients. Patients of all ages love our rewards program. And we love rewarding them for their success because we know their healthy, clean teeth will move faster and they will be happy with their beautiful smile.”
Dr. Igel carefully monitors growth and development and begins treatment when it’s ideal. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of a problem, or no later than age 7. By the age of 7, the first adult molars erupt, establishing the back bite. During this time, Dr. Igel can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. Beginning treatment early, when necessary, ensures the greatest result and the least amount of time and expense. Early treatment can prevent major problems later.
“We focus on greeting every patient who walks in our door with a warm smile, and explain what we are doing every step of the way to ensure patients always feel comfortable at their appointments,” Dr. Igel says. “My team will work with your budget and file your insurance, all with a smile. The teamwork displayed in my office is like no other. It really is all about the patient and ensuring they have a fun experience in our office and a beautiful smile when we are finished. I am one lucky guy to have such a great team. They are a big part of my success. They are what make Igel Orthodontics the ‘Best Orthodontic Office’ six years in a row. We love what we do.”