What is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics, the process of moving teeth into a more aligned position, is a treatment that can be performed on patients of all ages. In addition to the cosmetic benefits of orthodontics, this process can improve your oral health by adjusting your bite to distribute even pressure across the entire mouth. When your bite is in proper alignment, you relieve uncomfortable symptoms and prevent uneven wear and tear on your teeth. Dr. Haynes offers orthodontic treatment at Radiance Smiles Center in Durango, both as a stand-alone treatment and in combination with other restorative procedures to help you create the healthy, beautiful smile you have always wanted.
Orthodontics consists of appliances designed to straighten teeth and correct bite problems. The benefits of orthodontics can be far-reaching. Crooked teeth and a misaligned jaw can lead to difficulty eating and speaking and make it difficult for you to practice proper oral hygiene. A bad bite, also known as malocclusion, can cause chronic jaw pain, clenching and grinding of the teeth and even recurrent headaches. Orthodontics address both the cosmetic and the physical issues associated with malocclusion, improving both your appearance and your quality of life overall.
Orthodontics are commonly performed on children to use future jaw growth as a tool in correcting malocclusion and crooked and crowded teeth. Treatment can begin on children as soon as a bite problem becomes evident, which can be as early as seven. While procedures tend to be quicker and more efficient in younger patients, you are also never too old to take advantage of orthodontics. In fact, one in every five patients in braces today is an adult.
Reasons to Consider Orthodontics
There are different reasons why you might consider orthodontic treatment:
- An overbite that causes the front teeth to protrude
- An underbite that leaves the upper teeth too far back and the lower teeth too far forward
- Crowding that limits space for all the teeth
- Upper and lower teeth that do not match up when the mouth is closed
- There are gaps between the teeth because the teeth do not fill up the mouth
Dr. Haynes will perform a thorough examination to diagnose your particular issue and recommend the best treatment option for you. There are different choices in orthodontic procedures today that allow for treatments to be tailored to the precise needs of each patient. With both fixed and removable appliances available, Dr. Haynes can customize your treatment to one that will fit your desired outcome and your lifestyle.
Options in Orthodontics
If braces are in your future, you now have a variety of appliances to choose from today:
The traditional choice continues to be one of the most popular. Metal braces consist of silver brackets affixed to the surface of the teeth, which hold a thin wire that extends across the arch of the teeth. Advances in metal braces have made them more comfortable than ever before, and an assortment of colored bands make the process more fun and stylish for younger patients.
Ceramic braces are clear, which allows them to blend in with the natural color of the tooth. The arch wire is still metal, but this is the only part of this appliance that is obviously visible. Clear braces can be a good choice for younger patients that are self-conscious about their looks or adult patients that want to minimize the appearance of their corrective appliance.
Lingual braces are just like the standard metal brackets and wires, but they are placed on the inside of the teeth rather than the outside. This unique placement allows for the full correction to occur without any obvious signs treatment is taking place. The customized brackets used for this appliance must be created in a lab, using impressions of the teeth as a guide.
Serial aligners are a popular choice for adults that want correction without the cosmetic appearance of traditional braces. The other advantage to aligners is that you can remove them for eating, drinking and brushing your teeth, ensuring enhanced oral hygiene throughout the correction process. Aligners are made in a series to produce the desired movement in the teeth. Each series is worn for about two weeks before the next set is introduced.
Is Orthodontics Right for You?
Both children and adults can be good candidates for orthodontics if their gums are in relatively good health and they are willing to commit to the correction regimen. If you have signs of gum disease, this will need to be treated before braces can be placed. When a child undergoes orthodontic treatment, it is essential for at least one parent to be involved in the process to oversee the child’s oral hygiene while the braces are being worn.
Orthodontics is an investment usually taking many months or even years to complete. After orthodontic treatment, you will need to wear a retainer for a period to ensure your teeth don’t move back to their original position. However, you will see a substantial return on your investment with teeth that are beautifully straight and an aligned bite that will improve your function as well as your appearance.
Crooked teeth and a bad bite can lead to embarrassment and even physical pain. Now is the time to contact Radiance Smiles Center at 970-247-9549 to find out if orthodontic treatment is right for you.