The Greek translation of the prefix “orthos” means straight or erect and the suffix “dontics” means teeth so the direct translation of orthodontics is to straighten the teeth. That’s our ultimate goal in this branch of dentistry - to improve your smile, health, and teeth function by correcting misaligned teeth and jaws.
Orthodontic problems can cause patients to have an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease because it is difficult to clean between the teeth. Misaligned teeth and jaws can also make it more difficult to chew or speak clearly, and can cause tooth or jaw pain, TMJ disorders, and headaches.
An orthodontist is someone who is specially trained in preventing, diagnosing, and treating misaligned teeth and jaws. We can straighten the teeth, correct a misaligned bite, and encourage proper facial growth and development.
Children - Issues that disproportionately affect children include the premature loss of baby teeth, crooked teeth, and orthodontic problems caused by prolonged pacifier use and thumb sucking. We can correct these issues with early orthodontic screening and phase 1 orthodontics that reduce the need for braces in the future.
Teens - Crooked, overcrowded teeth, gaps between teeth, and a misaligned bite are common orthodontic problems seen in teens. Teens are in a position to qualify for either braces or Invisalign depending on the severity of their alignment issues.
Adults - It is never too late to correct teeth and jaw misalignment. If you’re worried you’ve missed the orthodontics boat, then don’t worry. Adults can correct orthodontic issues such as crooked teeth, open, under, over, or open bites, and TMJ disorders with braces or Invisalign.
It may take a little longer to correct these problems compared to children but the average treatment time ranges from 6 months to 3 years.
Metal Braces - Traditional braces made of metal wires and brackets are still the tried and true gold standard for correcting severe malocclusions, especially a misaligned bite. These braces exert enough pressure to perform complex tooth movements. These braces are made out of sturdy stainless steel and are the most efficient orthodontic treatment for complex movements such as shifting the upper or lower jaws.
Invisalign - An invisible, plastic, and removable alternative to metal braces, Invisalign has become incredibly popular in recent years. While they are more suitable for minor orthodontic problems like small gaps, slightly crooked teeth, and overcrowding, they can be paired with attachments and elastics to correct improper bites.
The aligners are removable so you can eat whatever you want and clean your teeth with ease. The aligners are also transparent so they go unnoticed, and exert gentle pressure for a more comfortable treatment.
Ceramic Braces - Ceramic braces are structurally very similar to metal braces. These braces can perform the same tooth movements as metal braces but they are made of tooth-colored ceramic materials.
This makes treatment for severe malocclusions in adults more discreet, especially when a patient is not a good candidate for Invisalign or is allergic to metal. However, ceramic is not as sturdy as stainless steel and friction can result in a slightly lengthier treatment than metal braces.
Space Maintainers - When a child’s tooth falls out too soon, the surrounding teeth will begin to move and lean into the space where the tooth used to be. This causes problems with the proper eruption of the permanent tooth.
When the surrounding teeth shift over, this can cause the teeth to become crooked. When the permanent tooth is due to erupt, it will no longer have a space to do so. Often, the permanent tooth will erupt at an improper angle, or press against the other teeth.
A space maintainer solves this problem with a stainless steel band that is placed around the tooth next to the space and a wire holds the space open. The space maintainer is removed upon the eruption of the permanent tooth.