Orthodontic treatment refers to the process of straightening your teeth and correcting problems with improper bite alignment. Braces, Invisalign and other tools can be used to give you a permanent, healthy smile and a dramatic improvement in your looks. Patients of all ages can be excellent candidates for orthodontic treatment. If you are self-conscious about your crooked smile, or if you experience pain and discomfort when biting down, ask Dr. Craig if treatment that included orthodontics is right for you.
You can straighten your teeth without metal braces. Invisalign is an FDA approved system that uses clear, removable aligners to incrementally straighten your teeth. There are no uncomfortable brackets or wires, and because you remove the aligners to eat and drink, there are no food restrictions or problems with brushing or flossing.
Invisalign uses 3D computer imaging to map out your entire treatment plan in advance, allowing you to see what your teeth will look like before you begin treatment. Then, using the imaging, a series of custom aligners are created that will move teeth incrementally. You will replace each aligner every two weeks with the next aligner in the sequence. Average treatment time from initial teeth position to brilliant, straight smile ranges from 9 to 15 months. The best part is, most people will never notice that you are undergoing treatment!
During initial consults, Dr. Craig will examine the teeth and jaw to determine if the patient is a good candidate for braces. Next, we will take all necessary radiographs (X-rays) and pictures of the teeth and jaw. A mold of the teeth will be taken and a plan of action will be developed.
In order to move teeth, metal brackets are affixed to the front of each tooth. A metal archwire is threaded through the brackets. This wire is progressively tightened, resulting in the teeth slowly being moved by force. As the teeth move, new bone is generated in the space formerly occupied by the tooth. Some patients may complain about some mild discomfort from metal brackets rubbing against the gums and lips. Dental wax can be placed over the brackets to alleviate this discomfort.
The amount of time it takes to achieve the desired results can vary greatly. The severity of the problems, and the amount of adjustment, will largely determine how long braces must be worn. You will need to visit the dentist every 2-3 weeks to make these adjustments.