Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that corrects teeth and jaws that are positioned improperly. Crooked teeth and teeth that do not fit together correctly are harder to keep clean, are at risk of being lost early due to tooth decay and periodontal disease, and cause extra stress on the chewing muscles that can lead to headaches, TMJ syndrome and neck, shoulder and back pain. Teeth that are crooked or not in the right place can also detract from one's appearance.
The benefits of orthodontic treatment include a healthier mouth, a more pleasing appearance, and teeth that are more likely to last a lifetime.
How do I Know if I Need Orthodontics?
Only your dentist or orthodontist can determine whether you can benefit from orthodontics. Based on diagnostic tools that include a full medical and dental health history, a clinical exam, plaster models of your teeth, and special X-rays and photographs, an orthodontist or dentist can decide whether orthodontics are recommended, and develop a treatment plan that's right for you.
Your Fremont dentist, Dr. Khajavi-Harvey, will tell you whether your stitches need to be removed. A folded cotton gauze pad placed over the wound will help stop the bleeding.
ClearCorrect™ Clear Braces
ClearCorrect tooth aligners are one of the more popular alternatives for those who find the idea of a mouthful of metal braces and brackets - though effective - too unattractive to commit to.
If you are a candidate for ClearCorrect you don't have to sacrifice your smile while straightening your teeth. Invisalign incorporates a series of invisible (clear) plastic aligners that fit comfortably over your teeth and are designed to move your teeth gradually into the desired position.
The ClearCorrect system, involves a detailed treatment plan that determines how each of your aligners will change throughout your program. When you begin treatment, you'll wear each set of aligners in approximately two-week increments. The aligners gently move your teeth into position, and at the end of each two-week period, you "graduate" to the next set of custom aligners.
As you progress through the series of aligners, your teeth will begin moving, little by little. And you don't have to wait until you complete treatment to see your smile change-you may start seeing positive changes early in the process. You will have occasional checkups-often as little as once every six weeks-in order to gauge your progress. Total treatment time averages 9-15 months and the average number of aligners worn during treatment is between 18 and 30, but both will vary from case to case.
The advantages of ClearCorrect Aligners:
- Removable: So you can eat and drink what you want while in treatment, plus brushing and flossing are no problem.
- Comfortable: Because it has no metal to cause mouth abrasions during treatment. And no metal and wires usually means you spend less time in your doctor's office getting adjustments.
- Aesthetic: These aligners are clear and more aesthetically pleasing than conventional braces. Most people will not even notice that you are wearing any sort of dental appliance.
Special fixed appliances
Used to control thumb sucking or tongue thrusting, these appliances are attached to the teeth by bands. Because they are very uncomfortable during meals, they should be used only as a last resort.
Fixed space maintainers
If a baby tooth is lost prematurely, a space maintainer is used to keep the space open until the permanent tooth erupts. A band is attached to the tooth next to the empty space, and a wire is extended to the tooth on the other side of the space.
An alternative to traditional braces for adults, serial aligners are being used by an increasing number of orthodontists to move teeth in the same way that fixed appliances work, only without metal wires and brackets. Aligners are virtually invisible and are removed for eating, brushing and flossing.
Removable space maintainers
These devices serve the same function as fixed space maintainers. They're made with an acrylic base that fits over the jaw, and have plastic or wire branches between specific teeth to keep the space between them open.
Worn on the roof of the mouth, these devices prevent shifting of the teeth to their previous position. They can also be modified and used to prevent thumb sucking.