Orthodontic Treatment Options

Orthodontic Treatment Options

Ofir Orthodontics in Downey, CA

Many people think that dentistry solutions merely refer to repairing teeth that are decayed or damaged. However, not all dental problems develop as a result of trauma or poor dental hygiene. Some issues occur completely naturally. This is normally the case when it comes to orthodontic issues, which typically arise due to your own genetics or owing to a habit such as sucking one’s thumb or prolonged pacifier use.

Orthodontics is a type of dentistry that aims to improve the position, function and overall appearance of teeth that are crooked, twisted or otherwise abnormally arranged. It is most often associated with adolescents who are the most common demographic to undergo orthodontic treatment. However, there is an orthodontic solution for every misalignment problem irrespective of your age.

Not all orthodontic treatments are the same. For this reason, we have put together this basic guide to the orthodontic options that you have when it comes to realigning your smile.

What issues can orthodontic treatment help to resolve?

Orthodontic treatments can be used to help resolve a variety of dental issues that can have cosmetic, functional or health-based repercussions. These include the following:

  • Correction of teeth that are crooked or twisted

  • Closing small gaps that are present between teeth

  • Correction of your bite so that front and back teeth meet evenly

  • Reducing the risk of damage to prominent teeth

  • Improving your facial structure

  • Improving your overall appearance including your smile

Orthodontic treatment options

In the past, there was only really one method of correcting orthodontic issues with teeth, and that was to wear braces, although there were different types available. Today however, there is an alternative. Here is what you need to know about traditional orthodontic braces and their rival solution – Invisalign.

Orthodontic braces

The word ‘braces’, when used relating to teeth or dentistry, automatically conjures up images of thick, metal brackets and wires attached to the teeth in both the upper and lower arches. These are known as ‘train tracks’ and are still the most commonly used type of brace since they are effective at correcting even the most severe orthodontic problems. However, their design has evolved, and modern braces are now sleeker and more lightweight than before. The brackets themselves can even come in different colors, enabling you to personalize your look.

Braces work by applying pressure to the teeth and arches so that they move into a better position. If you have overcrowding in your mouth due to having too many teeth, you may first need these excess teeth removed before you can have your brace fitted. Elastics and wires are used to control the position of your teeth and jaw, and these are regularly adjusted by your dentist.

The entire treatment program for braces usually takes between 12 and 24 months. During this time, you will have to take particularly good care of your teeth, using special tools to clean around the brackets and wires. You will also have to follow a fairly strict diet so that you do not damage your teeth. Following your treatment, you will need to wear a retainer, which is a clear plastic aligner, over your teeth at night so that they don’t revert back to their original position.

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Invisalign is an innovative new way to address orthodontic problems and is extremely popular thanks to its unique design. This is because rather than metal or ceramic brackets and wires and elastics to put pressure on your teeth, Invisalign uses a series of plastic aligners that sit over the top of your teeth in the same way as a retainer. However, each aligner in the series is slightly different, ensuring that continual pressure is applied to your teeth and jaw to encourage them into their new and improved position.

This series of aligners are created using cutting edge mapping technology which tracks the route that your teeth and jaw need to make to move from their original position to the new one. It then uses this information to create the custom-designed aligners. Each must be worn for a minimum of 22 hours each day, only being removed for eating and cleaning. At the end of each stage, you simply move on to the next aligner in the series.

Again, Invisalign treatment usually takes between 12 and 24 months depending on the individual. Popular benefits include the discretion that it affords patients, the removability of the aligners which makes it easier to keep your teeth clean, and a comfortable fit.

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If you are suffering from dental alignment issues and would like more advice on the treatment options available to you, please get in touch with our office in Downey, CA where our team will be happy to help.