For comprehensive orthodontic treatment, most commonly, metal wires are inserted into orthodontic brackets (see dental braces), which can be made from stainless steel or a more aesthetic ceramic material. The wires interact with the brackets to move teeth into the desired positions. Other methods may include invisalign. Invisalign consists of clear plastic aligners that 'level and align', but require more patient compliance than traditional braces.
Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and are more comfortable today than ever before. Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires. With metal braces, you have the option of adding colored elastics (rubber bands), or using our self-ligating bracket which is great for incorporating width and expansion.
Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces. For this reason, ceramic braces are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns. While they are visually less prominent, they do require more attention to oral hygiene as ceramic braces are larger and are more brittle than their metal counterparts. For these reasons, ceramic braces tend to be used more on upper front teeth than on lower teeth.
Invisalign patients wear a series of aligners for about two weeks and remove them only to eat, drink, brush and floss. As each aligner is replaced with the next in the series, the teeth move little by little, week by week, until they have straightened to the final position Dr. Ahrens has prescribed. You'll visit Dr. Ahrens about once every six weeks to ensure that your treatment progresses as planned. Total treatment time averages nine to 15 months and the average number of aligners worn during treatment is between 18 and 30, but both will vary from case to case.
Millions of Americans suffer from chronic facial and neck pain as well as severe, recurring headaches. In some cases this pain is due to Temporomandibular Disorder, also known as TMD. Your temporomandibular joints, or TMJs, connect your lower jawbone to your skull. These joints get a lot of use throughout the day as you speak, chew, swallow, and yawn. Pain in and around these joints can be unpleasant and may even restrict movement.
A Herbst appliance is a device that helps improve the way your upper and lower jaws and teeth fit together (your bite). A Herbst appliance moves your lower jaw forward while pushing the upper jaw backward. This appliance works best in a growing patient. The Herbst appliance has revolutionized the way orthodontists treat an overbite: It uses a tube and rod mechanism to put pressure on the lower jaw to help it grow forward and on the upper jaw to help it grow backwards. The device is attached to the back molars on both sides of the upper and lower jaws and looks like a shock absorber. The appliance does not interfere with the opening and closing of the mouth, so eating is not a problem. Dental braces are usually fitted on the front teeth to straighten them, and after the Herbst appliance is removed, dental braces may also be placed on the molars to make final adjustments.
The palatal expander "expands" (or widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars each time an adjustment is made. Your orthodontist will instruct you about when and how to adjust your expander. When you achieve the desired expansion, you will wear the appliance for several months to solidify the expansion and to prevent regression.
Lingual braces are hidden behind the teeth and are therefore "invisible" when you smile. These braces are utilized for more minor/anterior problems. Lingual braces are a very reasonable option for athletes, models, actors/actresses, musicians who play wind instruments, and adult professionals.
These therapies address skeletal imbalances of the face and jaws. Normalizing a child’s jaw growth is the purpose of first phase dentofacial orthopedic treatments. First phase treatment is normally followed by second phase orthodontic treatment to correct the dental aspects of dental malocclusion or “bad bite”.
In adults, jaw surgeries may be recommended to correct the orthopedic imbalances or skeletal growth deformities. However, at Ahrens Orthodontics, dentofacial orthopedic therapies have been successfully used to treat adults for years and in many cases have eliminated the need for jaw surgery. Orthodontics will often accompany dentofacial therapies or jaw surgery to properly align the teeth and eliminate the malocclusion completely.
Prior to doing surgery there is approximately a year and a half spent for alignment. Surgical orthodontics, also known as orthognathic surgery, is a type of orthodontic treatment used to correct severe cases that include bad bites, jaw bone abnormalities, and malocclusion. Oral and maxillofacial surgery is one of the nine dental specialties, and focuses on treating complex craniofacial cases that involve the mouth, jaw, face, and skull. Your orthodontist will work with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to ensure that if you need surgical orthodontics, you receive the best care possible.
AcceleDent® is a new FDA-cleared option available to be used in conjunction with both braces and Invisalign treatments to speed up the overall process. With AcceleDent® teeth have been moved 50% faster than treatments without AcceleDent®.
In addition to a faster process, AcceleDent® has been clinically proven to reduce discomfort which can occur with orthodontic treatments.