Everything You Need to Know About Orthodontic Services
Because it is so important to both your oral health and your overall health, you really should know all your options when it comes to orthodontic services. It comprises so much more than you realize and it is not just for tweens and teens.
More Than Metal Braces
The field of orthodontics has come a long way since the days when the only braces option was metal wires and brackets. Here are some of your options today:
- These are permanently adhered to your teeth and can only be taken off by the orthodontist at the end of treatment
- The orthodontist tightens the wires during treatment to help shift the teeth
- There are certain food and drink restrictions with this treatment
- May have to wear them for 3 or more years depending on how your treatment goes
- Most bite and alignment issues can be treated by metal braces
- They are clear plastic aligners that can be easily removed
- Can be removed to eat and to brush and floss your teeth
- Treatment includes a new set of aligners every two weeks as your teeth shift into proper alignment
- Invisalign can also handle both simple and complicated alignment issues
- Lingual braces are braces that are attached to the back of the teeth instead of the front making them practically invisible to the people around you.
- They are made up of brackets and wires like traditional braces, but because of their positioning they are more discrete.
- Patients with a deep overbite are not good candidates for lingual braces because the overbite might put too much pressure on the brackets leading to the brackets falling off.
- They can be more difficult to clean properly because it is on the back of your teeth which is harder to reach.
- You may have difficulties with speech. Because the braces are on the inside of your teeth, it will feel a little strange at first and you may experience some speech difficulty like a lisp until you get used to them. Because your tongue will be hitting up against the brackets, you may also develop sores on your tongue.
- Just like metal braces, but instead of metal brackets, the orthodontist puts on ceramic braces that are tooth-colored.
- They are less visible than the metal braces, but you need to be careful of foods and drink staining the ceramic.
Retainers Are a Must
If you are undergoing orthodontic treatment, at some point you will probably end up wearing a retainer. It is common after your braces come off to have to wear a retainer either on top or bottom or both for at least six months to hold your newly shifted teeth in place. Sometimes if your alignment issue is minor then you might just need to wear the retainer and not have to get braces at all.
Orthodontics for Everyone
Another important thing for you to realize about orthodontic services is that they are not for just tweens and teens. Most adults up into their 70s and 80s can benefit from orthodontic treatment. As long as their teeth and gums are in good condition and can withstand the pressure of the braces on the teeth, then there should be no problem. With people living into their 100s, isn’t nice to know that you can still get a smile that you are proud of at any age?
Surgical Options Available
Orthodontics services comprises more than just different types of braces. There are surgical options as well. Surgery can help accelerate your orthodontic treatment. Teeth-straightening surgery works best for people with an overbite or underbite or jaw misalignment. If you only have a couple of crooked teeth surgery really isn’t necessary to get the results you are looking for.
The surgery requires only local anesthesia and involves repositioning the gums and bones which hold the teeth in place. While it is a minor surgery, it is still surgery so there is always a slight risk of complications, including pain, swelling, bleeding and infection.
In addition, there is orthognathic surgery. If your crooked teeth result from misalignment of your jaw, your dentist might suggest corrective jaw surgery which will fix any skeletal deformities to realign your jaw. This surgery must be done in a hospital setting by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and typically involves surgical plates or screws and wires.
Accelerated Treatment Available
There are other accelerated options as well. AcceleDent is a FDA-cleared medical device that you can use at home to stimulate the bone remodeling needed to properly align your teeth. The SoftPulse technology used in the device allows a consistent gentle pressure to be applied to the teeth. This pressure in conjunction with the pressure being asserted by the braces allows the repositioning of teeth to happen more quickly. Most patients see results after using it for just 20 minutes a day. You can cut your treatment length almost in half with this device.
Propel Chairside Excellator is another accelerated orthodontic treatment option. This one has to be done in the orthodontist’s office though. Sometimes your doctor can use it during your normal orthodontic appointments, but that is not always the case. Ask him or her if you need to set up a separate appointment to take advantage of this treatment. The Propel system also accelerates the bone metabolism and shortens the duration of treatment.
Of course your orthodontist will be the one to guide you on what type of orthodontic services you will need. This is why it is important to not only find an orthodontist who is skilled at the most comprehensive range of orthodontic services, but one who really cares about their patients. Chairside manner is important. Orthodontic care can be a little daunting so you want someone who will soothe your anxiety away and really listen to your concern.
Orthodontics Limited offers comprehensive orthodontic services in their Hatboro, Center City and Northeast Philadelphia locations. Contact them today for an initial consultation and get on the road to a healthier smile.