About Orthodontics

What are the benefits of Orthodontic treatment?  Orthodontic treatment is performed for two reasons:

1) Cosmetics: A beautiful smile is the most obvious benefit of orthodontics. After your braces come off, most people feel more self-confident about their smiles and about themselves.

2) Function: Today we are living longer than we lived in the past, and we are trying to keep our teeth as long as we live! Since your teeth have to last longer than they did in the past, it is important that they fit together like puzzle pieces. If your teeth do not fit together properly, you may suffer problems with your teeth, your gums, and/or jaws.  When we fit the teeth together properly, we can better distribute the forces created as you bite amongst all of your teeth. It’s like putting the tires on your car in proper alignment. When your teeth fit together properly, they should last longer with fewer problems.


How orthodontic treatment works:

Orthodontic appliances can be made of metal, ceramic, or plastic. They may be removable or they may be bonded to your teeth. Teeth are made to move by placing light, constant forces in carefully controlled directions. Orthodontic forces slowly move teeth to their corrected positions.

Treatment is different today than it was in the past: This is a great time to wear orthodontic appliances! Gone are the days when a metal band with a bracket was placed around each tooth. Today, you can often choose brackets that are clear or metallic, and you can choose the color of the ties that hold the wire to the braces. Wires are also less noticeable than they used to be, and the latest materials move teeth faster with less discomfort to patients.  There is also a new technique called Invisalign® that is available for certain types of cases that allows us to move your teeth with a series of clear plastic “retainer-like” appliances called “aligners.”

Duration of treatment: Treatment time typically ranges from one to three years, depending upon growth and the severity of the problem. Patients grow at different rates and will respond variously to orthodontic treatment, so the time until case completion may differ from the original estimate. The patient’s diligent use of any prescribed rubber bands and avoiding appliance breakage are important factors in achieving the most efficient treatment.