Orthodontics is concerned with the study and treatment of misaligned bites, which may be a result of tooth irregularity, disproportionate jaw and maxilla bone development. Its purpose is an improved bite that allows harmony between the teeth and the bone. In order to treat these conditions braces, mini-implants, headgear, retainers and other appliances may be used.
In order to develop a treatment plan, we set up a consultation with the doctors. From there, we set up an appointment (or that same day if possible) to make a study. The study includes necessary x-rays, impressions, questionnaires, photos and clinical examination. Based on these factors, we will prepare a diagnosis and treatment plan for our patients. Many times, it is evident that TMJ dysfunction is at play. If this is the case, we will let you know and recommend the proper steps to follow.
There are several options for braces. We use the DAMON system more commonly but also use the standard metal braces, gold braces and iBraces depending on our patients’ needs.
Gold braces are stainless steel braces coated with 24 karat gold. They have the strength of metal, but blend in with the color of the teeth much better. That is because most teeth have a natural yellow tint.
iBraces is a bracket system that goes in the back of your teeth. For more information on iBraces visit their website at www.lingualcare.com/patient.
The DAMON systems’ mechanism allows for better results in less appointments, and healthier smiles. The DAMON braces use a slide mechanism to hold the wire, which allows teeth to move more freely, quickly and comfortably. This slide mechanism allows us to use far lighter forces to move teeth to their correct positions. Please go to their website for more information: www.damonbraces.com
Other mechanisms may be used during orthodontic treatments. These mechanisms may be planned by Dr. Sánchez/Dr. McCoy during diagnosis or during treatment it may become evident that some of these mechanisms must be used. If this were to occur, we will let you know beforehand.
Removable appliances, unlike conventional braces, are used to retain teeth in their corrected positions and in some cases, to influence growth of the jaws in order to effect changes in facial structure. In addition, they are often used before and in conjunction with fixed appliances. Removable appliances are not utilized to treat all orthodontic problems. Although removable appliances can easily be taken out by the patient, there may be a tendency not to wear them as we have prescribed. This means your teeth, jaws and muscles may move back toward their original positions. Removable appliances require care. Although you may notice an effect on eating and speaking along with an increase in the flow of saliva, you will eventually adjust to the appliance.
Once the active period of treatment is completed, your braces are removed. The next step is called retention. Retainers are utilized to hold your teeth in their new positions until your bone, gums, and muscles adapt to the new teeth positions. You must wear your retainer as instructed, otherwise your teeth may move toward their original positions and the benefit of wearing your braces will be lost.
We will determine how long you need to wear your retainer. Time varies with each patient. Some people may need retainers for an extended period of time in order to eliminate shifting of the teeth. In some cases, permanent retention may be necessary. The retention period is an important part of your overall treatment and should not be neglected! Retainers work when you follow our instructions. Most of all clean your retainers! Handle your retainers with care. Retainers are very easy to lose. If you take your retainers out, always place them in your retainer case for safety.
Our practice provides orthodontic treatment for adults, adolescents and children. We are members of the International Association of Orthodontics (IAO) and are constantly going to seminars and workshops to give our patients’ the highest quality dental care. Many progressive treatments are now available for patients seven to eleven years of age that provide significant benefits, especially when jaw irregularities are present. These treatments may also prevent certain conditions from worsening. Treating children with these types of problems during their growth stages allows our practice to achieve results that may not be possible when face and jaw bones have fully developed. This early treatment can simplify or eliminate additional treatment for the child.
The results of orthodontic treatment can be dramatic – beautiful smiles, improved dental health and an enhanced quality of life for many people of all ages. Treatment typically lasts from 6 to 30 months, depending on age, and the severity of the orthodontic problem. Outstanding results are also dependent on maximizing the coordination of care between you and our practice.