Orthodontics is a special kind of dentistry for children and adults. It involves the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities.
Without treatment, most situations become worse. Early treatment intervention can help. Our practice involves the design, application, and use of appliances to correct problems of the teeth, jaw and face that, for any reason, have assumed abnormal positions. In the absence of treatment tooth decay, tooth loss, and gum disease are possible results. The increased cost of dental care for these problems may far exceed the cost of orthodontic care now.
As a dentist, we can fix bite problems and effect major facial changes that can favorably alter a person’s smile, profile and outlook on life.
Frequently Asked Questions about Braces
Does it hurt?
Although modern procedures all but eliminate pain, some people still avoid going to the dentist because “it hurts” according to the dentists at Baton Rouge Dentist. Orthodontics is a little different. Often no teeth need to be removed. Appliances are installed and adjusted at regular intervals. With modern technology we also need to see patients far less frequently. Braces are no longer as painful to wear as in the past and we take extra care to be gentle. In fact the majority of patients almost forget they’re even wearing them.
Am I too old for braces?
Many people think of orthodontics as “kid stuff”, but this is not true. An increasing number of our patients are adults who, for a variety of medical and aesthetic reasons, are choosing treatment to improve their appearance, health, or both. Modern appliances (braces) can in many cases all but eliminate the “tinsel teeth” appearance that accompanied orthodontic treatment in the past.
What services do cosmetic dentists offer?
Many provide a wide range of choices to their patients. Some of the braces and cosmetic services they offer include:
* the Lingual (invisible) orthodontic appliance system
* dentist whitening
* the Invisalign® (braceless braces) system
* clear (Ceramic) braces
* at home teeth whitening
* traditional metal braces
* whitening pen
How much does it cost?
Orthodontic fees have risen at a rate significantly lower than the rise in other health care costs. Fees vary depending upon the severity of the problem and the length and method of treatment. Your Dentist will determine and discuss fees with you on an individual and private basis. Many offer payment choices for thier patients and will help you select as comfortable a plan as possible for you and your family. Some dental insurance plans also feature orthodontic benefits. Many Dentists will work with you to explore your insurance options. There is also a no-down payment Orthodontic Fee Plan (OFP®) and many accept most major credit cards.
What can I expect during my first appointment?
During the first appointment, you or your child will be thoroughly examined by a dental hygienist and orthodontists to evaluate your bite. If treatment is indicated, a complete set of diagnostic records will be recommended . The doctor and staff will then help you determine a treatment fee, if indicated, and explain fee arrangements and how to proceed from that point.
Diagnostic records include:
* Molds (impressions) of your upper and lower teeth
* Photographs of your face and teeth
* A panoramic x-ray, which is a full-mouth x-ray revealing all of your teeth (roots, etc.)
* A Cephalometric x-ray, which reveals the relationship of the teeth to the skeletal profile
These records also help dentists predict critical growth and development changes that may occur during your or your child’s treatment.
How can I ensure that my treatment is successful?
Of course, successful treatment requires more than the orthodontist’s skill. It requires cooperation among the patient, parent (in the case of child treatment) and orthodontist. Certain phases of treatment are impossible unless the patient diligently follows instructions, such as wearing elastics or other appliances. Frequent brushing and flossing are also critical. Improper oral hygiene may cause damage to the teeth and supporting structures (gums, lips, etc.). Breaking appointments will lengthen treatment time and possibly affect the results.
How often do I need to wear my retainer(s)?
Retention (the part of treatment after braces) involves the wearing of retainers, either every night or full time depending on the type of treatment. A retainer may either be a Trutain (clear plastic retainer) or a more traditional acrylic retainer. We will, of course, give you complete instructions on the wearing and cleaning of your retainer(s).
After active treatment has ended, we encourage our patients to wear their retainers every single night for as long as possible (forever is great!!!). Those patients who don’t wear their retainers may find they need additional orthodontic treatment in the future because their teeth may shift and alter the smile we worked so hard to achieve. If Post-Retention patients notice changes in their bite, they should call us immediately and we will give them instructions on how to proceed.
Can wisdom teeth cause future crowding of my teeth?
Wisdom teeth (third molars) typical erupt in the mouth between the ages of 18 and 23. Not all patients have wisdom teeth, and while most do the ultimate effect of wisdom teeth on a patient’s bite varies from case to case. We are often able to see wisdom teeth on a panoramic x-ray starting as early as age 10. With the aid of your general dentist, they will help you determine whether your wisdom teeth should be removed. In addition, wearing your retainer(s) may be of great value to help prevent future crowding.
Are there any foods I should avoid while wearing braces?
We do not want to interfere with your nutritional intake, but we do ask that you pay attention to the types of food that you eat. Some types of food can break your bands or brackets, and broken bands and brackets prolong treatment time.
A careful patient can eat a nutritionally balanced diet and cause no harm to his or her braces. The foods listed below are those we have found to be the most common causes of loose bands and brackets and other broken appliances.
Please avoid eating or even chewing on the following items:
* Hard bread, such as pizza crusts, bagels, Italian bread
* Carrots, apples, etc. (may be eaten if sliced into smaller pieces)
* Corn on the cob (must be sliced off the cob)
* Any type of nuts
* Popcorn (half-popped kernels)
* Gum, sticky candy, caramels, taffy, toffee, etc.
* Pen and pencil tops, fingernails, Lego’s
In addition to avoiding the items listed above, you should always be careful when biting into large sandwiches and anything with a bone in it (e.g., chicken wings).
Brush your teeth immediately after eating very sweet food or drinking sweet liquid. If your cannot brush your teeth, rinse your mouth out with water. Although sweets may not damage your appliances, brushing is an important part of good oral hygiene. And good oral hygiene is an important part of your treatment.
Orthodontic Treatment and its Benefits
Orthodontics first appeared in text and its theoretical practice dates back to the ancient Greek era around 400BC where Hippocrates wrote of attempts to straighten teeth. The Greek roots of orthodontics comes from the Greek words orthos meaning straight or perfect and the word dontos meaning teeth. Orthodontic practices have come a long way since then, by the early 20th century the official dental marketing term we know today of “braces” first appeared . Though orthodontics is not just about wires, brackets and rubber bands, there are many benefits that come with a proper bite and most importantly its benefits are long term and help aid in a person’s lifetime of their teeth.
There are many benefits of orthodontics and the straightening of teeth. When a person has malocclusion or an improper bite such as: an under bite, overbite, crooked teeth (crowding), or spacing (gaps) it can cause an array of discomfort and degeneration of dental health.
The physiological benefits of a good bite are prevention of trauma and chipping of the teeth. Straight teeth are easier to clean which will aid against tooth decay and premature tooth loss. If there is crowding in the person’s teeth, there may strain on the jaw muscles and joints. An orthodontist may use dental surgery or oral devices to recover dental health by straightening the teeth. One of the most common procedures used to straighten and improve a person’s bite is braces. Braces are a set of brackets wires and/or rubber bands. The wires or bands are wrapped around each of the patents teeth, while the brackets are usually placed on the front to teeth. Throughout the treatment of the braces the bands are adjusted by the orthopedist once a month for about two years or less. One benefit that a person may not consider, is the improvement of proper osculation of the jaw which aid in proper chewing which contributes to better digestion; in addition, a person will have more comfort talking.
Furthermore, having straight teeth has wonderful psychological effects on a person’s mental health. Smiles are a huge part of a person’s identity. In the sense that it gives people a glimpse of a person’s personality, and overall appearance. So it comes to no surprise, that smiling leaves a lasting impression on others. Having a healthy straight smile promotes a positive self imagine and improved well being. Who doesn’t love a big bright beautiful smile? Human are naturally attracted to aesthetics and well being so it’s important to practice healthy habits and receive dental care for the lifelong benefits of orthodontics and a good bite.
Dr Eckelson and his Boca Raton Orthodontics practice would be happy to provide you with more information on this subject.
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