Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that helps to diagnose, prevent and treat dental abnormalities or irregularities such as crowding, crooked teeth, spacing, overbite, underbite, crossbite, alignment, open bite or the protrusion of upper teeth. Not only can crooked or misaligned teeth be unsightly, but they can also increase the risk of tooth decay or periodontal disease.
To rectify these common irregularities, we use various appliances, such as traditional braces, to move the jaw and teeth into alignment. Treatments help patients on a functional and aesthetic basis, leaving them with a healthy, happy smile. Typically, patients that undergo orthodontic treatments will find that their self-confidence has improved, and they will no longer have to hide their smile.
There are many benefits of orthodontic treatment for patients of all ages. While treatment is generally recommended and more effective at an early age, adults can still be treated for dental irregularities too. We recommend that children get an orthodontic exam around 7-10 years of age. This will help us detect and treat any problems to ensure the best possible results. Treating these conditions early will help prevent serious health problems like tooth decay, gum disease, jaw misalignment, headaches and pain. Aside from preventing serious dental problems, orthodontics also improves aesthetics. It helps to straighten teeth and create a perfect smile.
Traditional Braces vs. Invisalign
One of the most common treatments for aligning teeth is metal braces. Braces have been around for many years, and have been proven to straighten teeth effectively. So how do they work? Brackets are first adhered to the patient’s teeth. Once all the teeth are affixed with the brackets, a wire is then linked along each bracket, applying minor pressure. This pressure gradually shifts the patient’s teeth into their appropriate position. Braces have been proven to work on even the most severe alignment issues.
However, some patients prefer to avoid braces due to aesthetics. Invisalign is a popular alternative to aligning teeth because they are completely clear next to your natural teeth. This makes wearing them less noticeable. A 3-D imaging program maps out the oral topography of your mouth and designs a custom set of aligners. Each aligner is only supposed to be used for a specific amount of time. Generally, it is two weeks for each aligner. These aligners slowly move your teeth into place.
The Benefits of Using Invisalign:
Individuals that are searching for a way to avoid traditional braces will look to Invisalign as a near invisible alternative to fixing teeth. The 3-D imaging helps to map your mouth and design a specialized plan of treatment with a series of custom-made aligners. You will wear each one of the aligners for around two weeks as they slowly move your teeth into their proper position.