What does an orthodontist do?

When should a child first see an orthodontist, and are there signs parents should watch for that would indicae their child needs to see an orthodontist?

 

How old are most people when they begin orthodontic treatment?

Is a referral necessary?

How important is proper occlusion or “bite”?

How does a dentist test for proper occlusion?

Some people experience occlusion problems after new caps or crowns.  How is this corrected?

Are night guards important and what type of dentist should fit a patient for a guard?

What are the newest braces?

Are the situations where braces cannot help correct jaw placement or occlusion?

Are there now invisible braces that can be worn like a retainer?

What are recent advances in orthodontics?


What to do if...

 

Is is necessary to pull teeth for orthodontic treatment?


 

 

 

 

What does an orthodontist do?

An orthodontist is a dentist specializing in correcting the bite, position of the teeth, and jaw problems in children and adults.  An orthodontist is a person who has completed dental school followed by a full time extensive specialty program encompassing two to three years following the completion of dental school.

 

 

When should a child first see an orthodontist, and are there signs parents should watch for that would indicate their child needs to see an orthodontist?

How old are most people when they begin orthodontic treatment?



Is a referral necessary?

Fortunately in our office we have developed a reputation that many of our patients refer their family, friends and neighbors.  Often the general dentist gives a referral, but a referral is not necessary to have an orthodontist perform an evaluation.



How important is proper occlusion or "bite"?

The long-term effects of a “bad bite” are unpredictable.  At times the patient is fortunate enough to have little or no problems.  At other times, the patient may suffer sever TMJ problems and wearing down of the teeth, which are hitting improperly.



How does a dentist test for proper occlusion?

There are many ways to test for a proper occlusion.  Some of those tests can be completed while the patient is in the office.  Various types of registration materials are utilized so that the dentist can evaluate the pressure and contacts of the upper teeth against the lower teeth.  There are selected cases where patients requires more comprehensive evaluation of their bite or occlusion.  These evaluations can range from more sophisticated models of the patient’s teeth, radiographs or other studies.  A combination of models, radiographs, and muscle studies can be utilized to evaluate a patient’s occlusion to determine the changes necessary to achieve the desired occlusal relationship.  An orthodontist is trained to correct occlusal problems.  The orthodontist is the specialist that often works with the general dentist to improve the position of the teeth so that the general dentist has a much more precise ability to create an ideal bite or occlusion for the patient.  The orthodontist moves the teeth into a better position allowing the general dentist the ability to restore the teeth to the best possible occlusal relationship.

 

Some people experience occlusion problems after new caps or crowns.  How is this corrected?

Most of the problems associated with the occlusion after new caps or crowns are temporary and can be rectified by the person who placed the new caps or crowns.  It is very important for the patient to return to the dental office that has completed the new restoration should the patient feel that the occlusion is uncomfortable or uneven. The restorative dentist that has completed the restorations is best equipped to adjust the occlusion to its proper position.

 

Are night guards important and what type of dentist should fit a patient for a guard?

Night guards should ideally be made by an orthodontist in patients who are conteplating tooth movement.  Many patients who are not anticipating tooth movement can have the occlusal guard made by the dentist who will ultimately restore the teeth to their final position with crowns, fillings, bridges, or implants.

 

What are the newest braces?

The braces today are very small and are available in stainless steel, porcelain (clear), or gold. There are also new brackets that are made so that they do not require a metal or rubber band to secure the wire. Often times, these self-litigating brackets reduce the treatment time by a significant amount.  There are carious names of these appliances made by various companies.  Often patients are familiar with Smart Clip or Damon brackets. The arch wires that are secured into the brackets are made of stainless steel and some titanium.  Titanium wires are very useful in easing discomfort to the patient by providing very gentle and continuous forces.

 

Are the situations where braces cannot help correct jaw placement or occlusion?

There are certain situations where braces will not be totally successful in achieving the desired result.  Often times, braces require supplementing with other types of dental treatment.  There are cases where jaw surgery is recommended to achieve the best occlusal relationship.  There are also cases where a combination of braces and restorative treatment will be best suited.  Sometimes this restorative treatment can involve fillings, crowns, bridges, or implants.

 

Are there now invisible braces that can be worn like a retainer?

Invisalign is the new system made by computers.  These computers create a virtual simulation of tooth movement and will make the aligners to that anticipated tooth movement.  While these aligners are invisible they are used on very simple tooth movement.  Major tooth movement may not be suitable for Invisalign aligners.

 

What are recent advances in orthodontics?

What to do if...

 

Is it necessary to pull teeth for orthodontic treatment?