Posts for tag: orthodontics
Think you're too old to have your teeth straightened? While we automatically pair “teenager” with “braces,” at least one in five orthodontic patients are adults. And there's many more that could benefit, as many as three-quarters of adults with a correctable bite problem.
But although orthodontics can be performed at any age, it's not a minor undertaking. It will require time, patience and expense. So, before you decide to undergo orthodontics, here are 3 simple questions to ask first.
Why? Like children and teenagers, adults can benefit cosmetically from correcting a poor bite. But there's another great reason besides a more attractive smile: misaligned teeth are more difficult to care for than normal teeth. Orthodontic treatment is an investment and potential cost-saver in your future dental health.
Why not? Even senior adults can successfully undergo treatment. But braces might be ill-advised if you have either poor oral or general health. Periodontal (gum) disease, for example, can cause bone loss, which makes it difficult to safely and successfully move teeth (and the effort could worsen current disease activity in the gums). Medical conditions like bleeding disorders, leukemia or uncontrollable diabetes could interfere as well. You'll need both a dental and medical examination beforehand.
How? We can use braces — or we might be able to use a newer, more popular option with adults called clear aligners. These are a series of computer-designed clear, plastic trays you wear in sequence until you finish the series. Each tray is slightly smaller than the previous tray, moving the teeth in much the same manner as braces. But unlike braces, you can remove aligners for cleaning or a rare special occasion — and they're much less noticeable than metal braces. Although in some cases braces may still be the best option, it's also possible clear aligners could be the option you've been looking for.
So, are you ready for a new smile and a more maintainable mouth? Visit us for the answers to your questions and see if braces (or clear aligners) can transform your life and health.
If you would like more information on orthodontic treatment for adults, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Orthodontics for the Older Adult.”
Straightening your teeth with braces is a serious commitment which can benefit you and your smile in more ways than one. However, understanding this process and how it works is key in deciding if orthodontic treatment can help you. Find out more about braces and what they can do for you with Dr. Jessica Owens and Dr. Zachary Hairston at Art of Dentistry in Danville, VA.
Do I need braces?
If you have misaligned teeth or bite issues, you can benefit from orthodontic treatment. Though teeth misalignments are more obvious to spot, you may not know how to tell you have a bad bite. However, if your top and bottom teeth do not line up, resulting in the top jaw protruding too far forward of the bottom jaw protruding in front of the top jaw, you have bite issues. If the middle teeth do not meet in the center or you notice that your top and bottom jaw cross each other, you may also have a bite problem. Severe wear and pain-related issues like TMJ disorder or an aching jaw can also indicate that you may require orthodontic care.
What can orthodontic care do for my smile?
Orthodontic care is a powerful tool not only to change the appearance of your smile but also its functionality and efficiency. Braces will move and straighten your teeth, giving you a smile you feel great about and teeth which can easily break down food during meals. Correcting crowding issues provides more surface area on the teeth, making it easier for your toothbrush’s bristles to reach plaque and bacteria. In some cases, wearing braces can even help correct breathing or swallowing issues like sleep apnea.
Orthodontic Care in Danville, VA
If you think you could benefit from orthodontic care, you should talk with your dentist at a consultation. In addition to traditional metal braces, Art of Dentistry also offers clear braces, lingual braces, and ceramic braces. These options allow you to choose the most suitable orthodontic option for your lifestyle and personality.
For more information on braces and what they can do for your smile, please contact Dr. Owens and Dr. Hairston at Art of Dentistry in Danville, VA. Call (434) 792-0700 to schedule your appointment with your dentist today!
We all know Madonna, Seal, David Letterman, Anna Paquin and Michael Strahan (of the talk show Kelly and Michael). What do all of these celebrities have in common? Each has a “signature gap” between their front teeth. Given that they have been in the public eye for quite some time, it's not likely that these famous faces will choose to change their well-known smile. In fact, Michael Strahan has publically stated that he will never close his gap.
However, it is not uncommon for people to desire to fix a small gap in their teeth, particularly in advance of important events, such as weddings. Often times, fixing this small gap requires relatively simple orthodontic movements or tooth straightening. Since the teeth don't have to be moved very far, we can usually use simple appliances to correct the issue within a few months.
In order for us to determine your course of treatment, you'll need to make an appointment with our office for a thorough examination. When we examine you, we'll be looking for a number of items that will affect our treatment recommendation:
- Is there enough room to close the space without creating other bite problems?
- Are the roots of the teeth in reasonably good position to allow for minor tooth movement to close the space? X-rays will be required to make a proper assessment.
- Is there an involuntary tongue habit that has pushed the teeth forward and created the gap? If so, this could be difficult to fix quickly.
- Are the surrounding gum tissues and bone healthy?
Based on our assessment and your individual needs, we may recommend one of the following options:
- Clear retainers, a computer-generated series of clear retainers customized for your bite to move the teeth
- Removable orthodontic retainers to which we will attach small springs or elastics to facilitate the minor tooth movement
- Traditional fixed orthodontic appliances (most commonly known as braces), small metal or clear brackets bonded to your teeth through which tiny wires are used to move the teeth
Regardless of the method we choose, once your teeth have moved into the new position, it is important for you to remember that they must be kept in this position until the bone stabilizes around the teeth. We may therefore advise you to wear a retainer for a few months to a few years, depending on your situation.
If you would like more information about orthodontic treatments, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Minor Tooth Movement.”