Orthodontics 101


Orthodontics 101

A visit to the dentist or the orthodontist can often feel scary or uncomfortable, especially for our younger patients because it is full of unknowns. Our Priority is to earn everyone’s trust by creating a comfortable and welcoming environment. We do that by not masking or hiding anything. Our belief is that the more open and transparent we are, the better it is for everyone. We take our time to explain things carefully and we follow up to make sure there aren’t any residual questions. When there are too many layers to a decision, it can get confusing. Our goal for every treatment plan is for each patient to see it as being done ‘with them’ rather than ‘to them’.

Together We Create SMILES and Transform Lives! 

Our greatest goal is to give you the healthy, straight, and beautiful smile you’ve always wanted. We understand that choosing to receive orthodontic care is a big decision, and we respect your reasons for wanting to improve the way you look and feel.

Our practice will work with you every step of the way to make sure your orthodontic care is as rewarding as possible. We utilize the latest technology, and offer a variety of safe and gentle treatment options to give you the customized, individual care you deserve.

There are many advantages to well-aligned teeth, including easier cleaning, better oral hygiene, clearer speech and a more pleasant smile.  Though orthodontic treatment can be effective at any age, the American Orthodontic Association suggests that an orthodontic assessment should be performed around the age of 7. When an orthodontic assessment is done around 7 years old, growth and development can be monitored closely and only if and when treatment is needed, will treatment be recommended. However, it is never too late for an assessment and we would love to meet you at any age.

What problems can be treated with orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a versatile branch of dentistry that can be used alone, or in combination with maxillofacial or cosmetic dentistry.

Here are some of the common conditions treated with orthodontics:

  • Anteroposterior deviations – The discrepancy between a pair of closed jaws is known as an anteroposterior discrepancy or deviation.  An example of such a discrepancy would be an overbite (where the upper teeth are further forward than the lower teeth), or an underbite (where the lower teeth are further forward then the upper teeth).
  • Overcrowding – Overcrowding is a common orthodontic problem.  It occurs when there is an insufficient space for the normal growth and development of adult teeth.
  • Esthetic problems – A beautiful straight smile may be marred by a single misaligned tooth. This tooth can be realigned with ease and accuracy by the orthodontist.  Alternatively, orthodontists can also work to reshape and restructure the lips, jaw or the face.

Orthodontic Solutions

Orthodontics is a technologically advanced field which offers many sophisticated solutions to malocclusions and other cosmetic problems.  The orthodontist will generally perform a visual examination, panoramic X-rays, and dental scans (bite impressions) in order to assess the exact nature of the discrepancy.

When a diagnosis has been made, there are a variety of orthodontic treatment options available.

Here is an overview of some of the most common treatments:

  • Fixed orthodontic braces – A metal or ceramic dental base is affixed to each tooth, and a dental wire is inserted through each base.  The orthodontist is able to gradually guide the teeth into proper alignment by regularly adjusting the wire.  When the desired results are achieved, the fixed dental braces are completely removed.
  • Invisalign® – removable brace system or aligner that is completely transparent.  Invisalign® does not interfere with eating because of its removable nature, and mechanically works in the same way as the traditional braces. 
  • Removable appliances – There are a wide range of removable appliances commonly used in orthodontics, including elastics and springs that improve overbites, retainers that improve the position of the teeth or hold the newly achieved position, and facemasks which are used to correct an underbite.  Retainers that are used after treatment are provided to ensure that the teeth do not begin to move back toward their original positions.  

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