What is Orthodontics?
When describing orthodontics, most people just refer to braces.
While the majority of orthodontic cases involve braces, there are
alternatives that may be used for younger children or adults. Arch
expanders for younger children can minimize or eliminate the
need for braces when the problem is treated early enough. Invisible,
clear plastic retainers, instead of braces, can be used by adults
for mild to moderate crowding problems.
What are the Benefits of Orthodontics?
- Reduce the risk of injury - prominent teeth are more prone to
- Reduce the risk of decay - crooked
teeth are harder to clean
- Reduce the risk of developing TMJ problems
- Eliminate the excessive wear on your
teeth that can be caused by a poorly aligned bite
- Straight teeth provide a healthier, more attractive smile
- A beautiful smile increases your confidence and self-esteem
What is an Orthodontic Evaluation?
Orthodontic treatment with braces begins with an evaluation appointment.Dr. Sells and Dr. Pratherwill first visually determine if you are a good candidate for orthodontic
treatment, or if another treatment would be more appropriate. If
you are a good candidate for orthodontic treatment,Dr. Sells and Dr. Pratherwill take impressions of your teeth, special x-rays of your jaw
joint, head and teeth, and very important measurements of your teeth
is a consulting appointment to discuss the treatment plan. The treatment
plan is based on the records taken at the evaluation. The consult
- Specific treatment recommendation
- Expected length of treatment
- Expected cost of treatment
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When should My Child be Evaluated?
If your child develops an "open
bite", or you are otherwise concerned about the development
of your child's teeth, no matter what the age, contact us right
away for a consultation withDr. Sells and Dr. Prather.
Otherwise, children should be evaluated by the age of 6 for orthodontic
treatment. In the past, a child was 11 or 12 before brackets were
actually placed on the teeth to straighten them. This may still
hold true in most cases, but there are new techniques that can correct
problems early, while a child is still growing. This may eliminate
the need for braces in the future, or if the child does still need
braces, the treatment will be less complicated, usually shortening
the period of time in braces.
What is an Arch Expander?
Arch Expander is one example of orthodontic treatment available
for younger patients. Many times an arch expander can be used to
create a proper alignment of the arches so permanent teeth have
room to erupt in a natural position. The use of an arch expander
will generally minimize or eliminate the need for braces when the
patient gets older.
What are Braces?
Braces are retainers, bonded brackets, arch wires and elastic
bands that move crowded or spaced teeth into a "normal" position
for appearance, prevention and function. Patients with poorly aligned
teeth tend to have much more tooth decay, gum disease and jaw joint
problems. Recently invented brackets and new techniques make orthodontic
treatment faster and more comfortable than ever.
How do Braces work?
Over a period of time, teeth will shift if constant, gentle pressure
is applied. Brackets are bonded to the front surface of each tooth
and wires are attached to the brackets with elastic bands. The slight
tension on the wire is gently transferred to the bracket through
the elastic band.
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Are Braces Only for Kids?
Adults are finding that having braces isn't kid stuff anymore.
Many adults are turning to braces to correct problems with their
bite. They recognize the benefits of reduced wear,
reduced incidence of TMJ problems, and increased
self-esteem. Major adjustments must be done with braces, but some
adjustments can actually be done without braces!
The Latest Trend in Orthodontics is No Braces at All!
Adult "invisible braces" (which are not really braces
at all, but clear plastic retainers) are a new technique for adults
to obtain the results of braces without wearing braces! This technique,
which is effective only for mild to moderate crowding, utilizes
a series of retainers (computer generated or lab constructed) that
are worn sequentially until the desired correction is achieved.
wearing "invisible braces" in one of these two photos.
Can you tell which one? It's difficult to tell, isn't it? That's
the whole point!
Please Contact Us if you would like more
information sent to you.
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