Proper tooth alignment can help reduce wear on your teeth by allowing your teeth to work the way they were designed to. It can also make it easier to keep your teeth clean and healthy, reducing susceptibility to cavities.
The first step on your journey to a healthy, beautiful smile is a consultation and records appointment. We will talk through the parts of your smile you like and the parts you want to improve. We will take pictures, x-rays and scans so we can understand your smile and the foundation it rests on. Once we have gathered all of that data, we will put together a treatment plan for you, so you can understand what to expect over the length of the treatment. We offer several options for treatment including: early childhood intervention (phase I), palatal expansion as necessary, comprehensive treatment (traditional metal or ceramic braces), and clear aligners (Invisalign and OrthoFX).
Traditional braces involves bonding small metal or ceramic (clear) braces to the teeth. A stainless steel or Nitinol (nickel titanium) wire engages the brackets to align the teeth according to our design. Monthly appointments involve replacing the wire in a step-wise approach and picking new colors for the rubber ligatures.
Phase 1 Treatment:
For children who do not have all their permanent teeth yet
Phase 1 Treatment (early childhood intervention) is for children before they have all of their adult teeth present. By applying metal or ceramic (clear) braces early, we can correct and guide erupting teeth into the arch. We can also correct larger skeletal issues such as a a narrow palate (with a palatal expander) or a deep bite. Early intervention allows us to guide growth, making intervention during the teenage years easier.
For teens/adults with all or most of their permanent teeth
For teenagers and adults with all or most of their adult teeth present, comprehensive treatment with metal or ceramic (clear) brackets is an appropriate treatment option. Typical treatment times range between 12 and 24 months depending on the complexity of the case and movement of the teeth. For teenagers, traditional comprehensive treatment is often the treatment of choice (over clear aligners below) because it forces compliance by taking away the responsibility of wearing aligners.
An alternative to traditional braces which has gained considerable popularity in the last 10 years is the use of clear aligners. Clear aligners work through a series of aligners, each one progressively moving closer to the final, ultimate design position. For clear aligners to be effective, they must be worn about 22 hours every day. This means they are only removed when eating and drinking and are otherwise kept in place. Clear aligners are replaced every week or two depending on the treatment plan and the movement of the teeth. Clear aligner treatments involve less frequent dental visits (typically every 8-10 weeks or more) depending on the complexity of the case. Compliance (wearing the aligners) is of utmost importance for a successful treatment outcome. We are proud to offer clear aligners from Invisalign and OrthoFX.