About Ortho Treatment

Common Treatments | Dentofacial Orthopedics | Surgical Orthodontics | For Children and Adult | Two-Phase Treatment

Common Treatments

Crowding of the Teeth

Spacing of the Teeth

Deep Bite

Open Bite

Open Bite due to Thumb Sucking

Under Bite

Phase I Tx due to Under Bite

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Dentofacial Orthopedics

While the focus of orthodontic treatment is to correct malocclusions or bad bites, dentofacial orthopedics involves the use of specialized appliances, such as headgear and expander, to guide facial growth and development.

If jawbone structures are developing too small, resulting in crowding or the lower jaw is underdeveloped, causing an overbite, appropriate wear of functional orthopedic appliances can greatly improve the alignment of jaw structures and create a balanced facial profile. In some cases, orthopedic treatment is initiated before braces are placed. However, often orthodontic and orthopedic treatment occurs at the same time.

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Surgical Orthodontics

What is surgical orthodontic treatment?

While the focus of orthodontic treatment is to correct malocclusions or bad bites, surgical orthodontic treatment (also known as corrective jaw surgery or orthognathic surgery) corrects abnormalities of the facial bones, specifically the jaw. Often, these abnormalities cause difficulty associated with chewing, talking, breathing, sleeping and other routine activities. Surgical orthodontic treatment corrects these problems and, in conjunction with wearing braces, will improve the overall appearance of the facial profile. Both the jaw and teeth alignment will be corrected.

Who is a candidate for surgical orthodontic treatment?

Typically, adult patients who are finished growing and have aesthetic concerns about their malocclusion are good candidates. For girls, jaw growth is usually completed by age 16, and for boys, jaw growth is completed by age 18. In order for surgical orthodontic treatment to be effective, patients must be finished with growing as a growth spurt can affect the results of the surgery. Teeth straightening, however, can be completed in the years beforehand.

What does surgical orthodontic treatment entail?

When undergoing orthodontic treatment, your teeth will be moved into their corrected positions by braces. As your teeth move, it may seem as though your bite is getting worse rather than improving. This is likely not the case because once your jaw is properly aligned with surgical orthodontic treatment, your teeth will be in their perfect positions.

An oral surgeon will perform the orthognathic surgery in a hospital. The surgery can last for several hours depending on the severity of your situation. Typically with the lower jaw, the bone directly behind the teeth is separated, and the portion of the jaw with teeth is either moved forward or backward. With upper jaw surgery, the jaw can be moved in four directions: forward, backward, lifted or lowered. With this surgery, bone is usually added or removed to help accommodate the moving of the jaw. Other facial bones may also be altered or shifted to complete the facial alignment.

After surgery, you can return to school or work after only two weeks. You will need approximately four to eight weeks for healing, and after the healing period, your orthodontist will tweak your bite. If you have braces, they are typically removed within six months to a year after the surgery. After your braces are removed, you will wear your retainer for the prescribed amount of time.

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Early Treatment

Children should have an orthodontic exam by age 7 to see if early treatment is needed. Usually by this age, the first permanent molars and incisors have erupted, and crowding, crossbites and other bite problems can be evaluated. Early treatment allows the orthodontist to guide jaw growth and incoming permanent teeth. Also, early treatment enables the orthodontist to regulate the width of the lower and upper dental arches, ensure there is enough space for the permanent teeth to erupt, prevent the need for extractions, correct thumb and finger sucking, reduce the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, and correct abnormal speech and swallowing problems. Simply put, early orthodontic treatment can correct problems before they become more serious, which can simplify future treatment.

To find out if your child is a candidate for early interceptive treatment, contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Adult Treatment

Braces aren't just for kids anymore. Tooth alignment can be changed at any age if your gums and bone structure are healthy. A new smile can begin today.

Orthodontic treatment at later stages in life can dramatically improve your personal appearance and self-esteem. Improving the health of your teeth and gums is equally important. Crooked teeth and a bad bite can contribute to gum and bone loss, tooth decay, abnormal wear of the tooth enamel and surfaces, headaches and jaw joint (TMJ/TMD) pain.

Good news! The new techniques and appliances we use greatly reduce discomfort levels, decrease the frequency of visits, shorten treatment time and may allow you to choose from several options. Your options may include metal braces, translucent braces or transparent aligners that can be worn at night to improve mild cases of misaligned teeth.

During the initial examination, we will be able to determine the best possible treatment for your individual needs. During this initial examination, we can outline the treatment plan, time of treatment expected and the approximate cost. Adults, it's never too late to improve your greatest asset – your smile.

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Two-Phase Treatment

Two-phase treatment occurs when a patient is evaluated and needs intervention before starting regular orthodontic treatment, resulting in two separate treatment plans.

The first phase of treatment, Phase I, usually occurs when the patient is a child and still has his or her primary teeth. The Phase I treatment plan can include preventive, interceptive or modifying treatment. Orthodontic appliances may be placed to prevent a problem from occurring, correct a current problem or help direct jawbone growth. Multiple problems with tooth alignment, gums, jaws and facial problems can be corrected with Phase I treatment. Another common added benefit of Phase I treatment is less Phase II treatment time.

Typically, Phase II treatment is normal orthodontic treatment. This involves placing braces on the patient once his or her permanent teeth have erupted. The braces straighten the permanent teeth and finish correctly aligning the patient's jaw.

Patients who have undergone both Phase I and Phase II treatment are more likely to have lasting results. Our goal for your two-phase orthodontic treatment is to give you correctly aligned teeth that provide ideal jaw function and a great smile!

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