Why should I consider orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontics is a specialty field of dentistry. It is concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of malocclusions (improper bites), which is caused mainly by tooth and jaw misalignments. The main aim of orthodontic treatment is to address and fix a range of structural issues affecting the teeth and jaw. Mostly, though not exclusively, this includes problems such as:
Teeth that are overcrowded do not just pose a cosmetic problem, but can pose real health issues to you. Food is more easily trapped in crowded teeth and is harder to remove with regular teeth-cleaning methods. Trapped food leads to tooth decay, gingivitis, periodontal disease, bad breath, and can negatively affect self-esteem.
Gaps in Between Teeth
Gaps in between teeth often indicate that the upper and lower jaw are not fitting together properly. Genetics, thumb-sucking, mouth tissue formation, and other conditions can also cause gaps between the teeth. Closing these gaps not only helps to improve the aesthetics of your smile, but it also can help fix your malocclusion problems.
When we refer to your “bite” we are referring to how your upper teeth and lower teeth meet and interact when your mouth is closed. Improper bite can cause irregular wear of your teeth, jaw issues (TMJ pain) and chronic headaches. Proper speech development can also be impeded when your bite is not functioning properly. Orthodontic treatment improves the function of your smile, and the appearance, benefitting you in numerous ways.
Another important benefit of orthodontic treatment is the aesthetic result that is achieved. Cosmetic improvements to a person’s teeth and smile improve their self esteem and confidence. Often they are described by our patients who have completed treatment as life changing.
Orthodontic treatment certainly can be costly when you look at the monetary value alone, but the long term quality of life it can afford you is undeniably great. Here at iSmile Dental, we provide orthodontic treatment to patients of all ages, at more than reasonable costs with experienced doctors on staff.
Invisalign aligners are a type of orthodontic treatment system that works to straighten teeth through the use of a series of removable, clear, plastic aligners that use gentle pressure to move the teeth into place. They are invisible, removable and comfortable and are an excellent treatment option for a patient with mild to moderate orthodontic need.
The Hawley retainer is a thin, tongue-shaped piece of acrylic molded to fit your mouth, with a wire that holds your teeth in position. The Hawley retainer is simple, durable and easily removed. It is even possible to personalize it by choosing different colors and designs for the plastic arch.
Another popular style of retainer is the clear aligner-type. These retainers are custom-made of thin, transparent plastic which is designed to fit precisely over your teeth. Their main advantage is that they are invisible, with no wire to show. These retainers are also easy to remove, but they may be somewhat less durable than the Hawleys. They are not recommended for patients with certain conditions, like teeth grinding.
Finally, fixed retainers may be an option for some patients, especially on the lower front teeth. As their name implies, they are not removable by the wearer–but they are not visible either. Like lingual braces, this system uses a wire which is bonded to the tongue side of the teeth.
You will be meeting with one of our experienced orthodontists who will determine what treatment is necessary to correct any problems that might be found and when to start treatment. A panoramic x-ray may be taken to see a broad view of the jaws, teeth, and temporomandibular joints. A careful, clinical examination will be performed after which, the treatment options will be discussed as well as the fees and payment options.
Before getting started with your treatment, we will take impressions of your upper and lower teeth, which will be sent to a lab to create digital 3-D computerized models. A skull x-ray, called cephalgraph, and photographs will also be taken. Separators may be placed in order to make a small amount of space needed to fit bands at the next appointment.
Bonding & Banding
The appointment to get your braces on takes about 120 minutes. One of our highly trained orthodontic assistants will assist the orthodontist with the placement of your appliances and answer all your questions. The assistant preps the teeth for the brackets and your orthodontist will carefully position each bracket on each tooth.
Throughout your orthodontic treatment, we will help you schedule routine ortho checks which are brief appointments to adjust your brackets and check progress. Archwires will be changed and modifications will be made to those wires as needed to reach the desired final treatment result. These appointments typically take no longer than 30-60 minutes and take place every 4 to 6 weeks throughout your treatment.
Removing your braces will only take us about 90 minutes. We will remove the braces, remove the cement and polish your teeth. Before you leave the office to show the world your outstanding smile, we will need to take a final set of orthodontic records.
We will make you a set of retainers to hold your teeth in position and will prescribe a protocol for wearing your retainers. Most patients are advised to wear their retainers indefinitely in some capacity. The general rule is “wear your retainers for as long as you want your teeth to stay straight.”