How Orthodontic Treatment Works
If you are new to orthodontics, you may have some questions regarding what to expect. Orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry that includes the diagnosis, prevention, and correction of incorrectly positioned teeth and jaws. In order to correct these dental issues, orthodontists use special appliances that can be made up of metal, plastic, or ceramic. The appliances may be removable, or they may have brackets that are bonded to the teeth.
Braces are a very popular example of orthodontic work. Braces slowly move the teeth to a corrected position due to a constant, gentle force. In fact, many individuals are benefiting from the braces of today. Gone are the days where braces included a metal band with a bracket placed around each tooth; we can now use clear or metallic brackets, and you can even choose the color of the ties that hold the wire in the brackets! We also used the latest materials, which means that teeth move faster with less discomfort.
Orthodontic treatment times usually range from one to three years, depending on the severity of the issue, and the growth of the patient’s face and mouth. Each individual grows at a different rate and will respond uniquely to their orthodontic treatment. This means that the length of treatment for each individual will vary. It is important that each patient diligently uses any prescribed rubber bands or headgear to achieve their desired results.
Sometimes, a child will need orthodontic treatment. In cases where some baby teeth are still present, we call it “early”, or “interceptive” treatment. This type of treatment can be in your child’s best interest if their dental issue is one that could become more serious over time if it is left unattended to. These issues may include underbites, crossbites, extremely crowded teeth, excessively spaced teeth, or teeth or jaw growth that has been affected by thumb sucking.
Early orthodontic treatment options can vary. The doctor may recommend a removable or fixed appliance. In other cases, no appliances are necessary; instead, some baby teeth may be removed to help permanent teeth erupt more easily. Regardless of the type of treatment that is needed, sometimes orthodontic issues are easier to correct when they are identified and treated early on. In some cases, these treatments are necessary in order to give your child the best chance at a healthy, beautiful smile.
Can You Benefit from Orthodontics?
Many individuals can benefit from orthodontics. This field of dentistry can help you if you are looking to obtain a beautiful smile, have difficulty chewing or biting, have crowded or misplaced teeth, have protruding teeth, grind or clench your teeth, and much more. The best way to determine if orthodontics is right for you is through a consultation appointment.
Overall, orthodontics can be beneficial for anyone of almost any age. If you are interested in learning more about if orthodontic treatment can benefit you, contact our office today!
Common Orthodontic Treatments
Crowding of the Teeth
This patient started orthodontic treatment at the age of 11 and wore braces for 26 months. He loves his new smile!
Open Bite: Front Teeth Don’t Touch
This patient sucked her thumb as a young child. She began treatment at the age of 13. Her treatment consisted of braces and a special appliance called a crib, to retain the tongue, for 28 months.
Deep Overbite: Lower Front Teeth Bite into Palate
This 25-year-old patient required braces and jaw surgery to correct his severe overbite. Treatment took two years to complete. His dental problem could have been corrected without surgery had he been treated before he was a teenager.
Missing Lateral Incisors
This patient’s lateral incisors were congenitally missing. She wore braces for 20 months to move her teeth into the correct position, and then the missing teeth were replaced with bonded “Maryland” bridges.
Underbite: Lower Front Teeth in Front of Upper Teeth
This patient’s underbite was causing discomfort in her jaw joint, as well as excessive wear patterns in here teeth. After about 30 months of treatment starting at the age of 32, she now finds that chewing and smiling is much easier!
Spacing of Teeth
This patient was bothered by the spacing between his teeth. We used braces to close these spaces and gave him an ideal bite in just 24 months. Special glued-in retainers help to keep the spaces closed long-term.
Overjet: Protruding Front Teeth
At the age of 10, this patient had a large overjet, with the top teeth protruding beyond the bottom teeth. She had two phases of treatment. The first phase helped her jaws to grow evenly, and the second phase aligned her teeth and bite. At the age of 13, she was proudly showing off her new smile!
In some cases, braces are not necessary to achieve noticeable improvements in tooth alignment. This patient was first seen at the age of seven for crowding of her lower, permanent teeth. We performed a procedure to reduce the width of the adjacent baby teeth, and the permanent incisors aligned on their own within nine months.
This patient came to see us at the age of eight. His parents were worried about both aesthetics and the health of his erupting permanent teeth. The lower front teeth were crowded and touching the palate, and the upper front teeth were severely displaced from their normal positions. After 12 months of Phase-One treatment using an expander and partial braces, this patient’s appearance and dental function was greatly improved.
Do you believe that you may be able to benefit from orthodontic treatment? If so, contact us today! We would be happy to schedule your initial consultation appointment.