Types of Orthodontic Treatment
Our practice offers a number of treatments to help patients of all ages align their teeth, increase oral function, and improve their occlusions. From conventional braces and Invisalign to surgical orthodontics, our doctors can tackle even the most noticeably flawed smiles. Following is a helpful breakdown of a few of the treatments we provide.
Conventional braces are the flagship treatment method for addressing spacing and occlusal issues. Braces consist of fixed oral appliances like brackets, which are bonded over teeth, and wires that can be tightened. Every few weeks, braces will be tightened to maintain consistent pressure on teeth so that they will shift to straighter, healthier positions. Adults and adolescents alike can benefit from wearing traditional braces.
Damon Orthodontic System
Damon Braces is a relatively new, brand-name system for aligning teeth. This system features self-ligating braces with a sliding mechanism that attaches wires to brackets. This mechanism allows wires and brackets to move with teeth during treatment. The self-ligating mechanism of these braces means that most patients will see a reduction in treatment time when compared to conventional braces. Damon braces typically allow patients to schedule fewer appointments with our team for maintenance and adjustments. Since these braces become tighter with tooth movement, less force is needed. This not only assists in an expedient treatment time, it helps reduce discomfort associated with manual tightening adjustments.
An additional benefit to Damon braces is the fact that their brackets are clear. A discreet alternative to metal brackets, clear brackets are favorable for maintaining a beautiful aesthetic during treatment. This system can be worn by adults and teens.
Early Interceptive Orthodontics (Two Phase Treatment)
Early interceptive orthodontics is the first phase of a two-phase treatment option. This means that a child will begin an initial phase of treatment around the age of seven or shortly after. Since the facial bones are still developing, this is an opportune time to guide jaw growth and expand the palate, if necessary. Early interceptive orthodontics can reduce the need for external appliances like headgear later on in a child’s life. It can also reduce the duration of treatment. Later, after most adult teeth have emerged, patients will wear conventional braces to align their teeth to their healthiest positions.
Invisalign is a revolutionary treatment option that straightens the positions of teeth without the need for fixed oral appliances like brackets. Consisting of clear, plastic retainer-like appliances (aligners) patients will see a reduction in spacing issues and an improved bite after treatment ends. Aligners are custom made so that they fit snuggly over teeth and inside the mouth. Their tight fight will apply enough pressure to move teeth over time. Every couple of weeks, patients will begin wearing a new set of aligners, with each subsequent set tighter than the ones before it. Invisalign is clear and almost invisible, making it a very discreet treatment option. The aligners are removable as well, which means that patients can brush, floss, and eat without difficulty. Invisalign is normally reserved for adult patients but sometimes it is suitable for teenagers.
Retainers are removable appliances used to maintain the results of orthodontic treatment. A retainer is very discreet compared to traditional metal and wire braces. It normally attaches around the back teeth with a wire-like component that wraps around the front side of teeth. As the last part of orthodontic treatment, retainers are essential for preventing teeth from relapsing into unhealthy positions. While teeth may be straight after orthodontic treatment, the bone and gums have not adjusted completely to the new positions of teeth. A retainer will help keep teeth straight so that the jawbones and gums can adjust. Retainers are normally worn at night but same patients might need to wear them throughout the day. They are always taken out for meals, oral hygiene, and activities like sports.
Surgical orthodontics focuses on the positioning of jawbones. While teeth can be aligned with braces, misaligned jawbones will need to be corrected through jaw surgery. Orthognathic surgery is corrective in nature, meaning that the lower jaw or upper jaw can be positioned forward or backward to produce smooth mouth movement. Sometimes, the lower jaw can overdevelop and protrude too far outward. The lower jaw can also be raised or lowered to ensure that the TMJ (the joint that connects the lower jaw and skull) is not damaged by improper jaw alignment.
Surgical orthodontics takes place after the jawbones have stopped developing. When jaw surgery is needed, our orthodontists will work with oral surgeons to facilitate high quality, individualized care. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon will perform orthognathic surgery in a hospital setting after patients have worn braces for some time. Once a patient has healed from their surgery, they will wear their braces for another six to twelve months to complete the final phase of treatment.
We are currently accepting new patients. Call our practice to reserve an appointment with Dr. McBride.