BRACES, CLEAR ALIGNERS, AND RETAINERS
When it comes to orthodontic services that can help you or your child have a healthy and beautiful smile, you've never had this many choices. Talk to our professionals about braces, Invisalign treatment, and ortho retainers — with our personalized orthodontic care, we’ll help you find the right treatment plan for your needs.
What is an Orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a dental specialist who straightens teeth. More specifically, orthodontic specialists are oral health practitioners who works in the field of dentistry that diagnoses overbites, occlusions, misaligned teeth and jaws, and overcrowded mouths.
This is called orthodontics (and also sometimes called dentofacial orthopedics) and it was formerly referred to as orthodontia and defined as a separate field of dentistry that deals specifically with the diagnosis, prevention and correction of malpositioned teeth and jaws.
The correction is the important part as orthodontia is more than just identifying the problems. Instead, it uses a complete braces or clear aligner treatment plan to address irregularities in the teeth (especially of alignment and occlusion) and jaws.
Digital imaging and digital printing have really advanced orthodontics in the last two decades. Digital radiography is a type of X-ray imaging that uses digital X-ray sensors to replace traditional photographic X-ray film, producing enhanced computer images of teeth, gums, and other oral structures and conditions.
The direct method uses electronic sensors placed in the mouth to record images with laser light or sound or other mediums and only using harmful X-rays now when assessing bone matter.
These devices take pictures front and back and run computer modeling programs which put them together and give the dental practitioner a very good look at what’s happening and how to choose between orthodontic treatment options to find the one delivers a healthy smile as quickly and safely as possible.
Who Needs Orthodontists?
People born with awkward bites can have a more difficult life as our appearance and how we eat our food is central to our character and personality. That means practically anyone can benefit from seeing an orthodontist and getting treatment.
Patients that have crooked teeth, or crowded teeth, or teeth that stick out too far are affected by the way their smiles look, and the way their mouths perform masticating food and enunciating words.
Orthodontic treatments not only improve the look of patients’ smiles, but also their mental and physical health. Straight teeth are easier to clean and less likely to suffer tooth decay or injury. If you are not happy with the way your teeth look or work, orthodontic treatment may help.
What is Orthodontic Treatment?
Orthodontic treatment straightens your teeth so they appear more attractive and function more effectively. While metal braces were once the only choice, today there are treatments options which are both faster and more discreet.
While each person's orthodontic journey is unique, nearly all of the treatment options work the same way: they gently put pressure on teeth over a number of months or years, gradually moving them into the correct positions. An orthodontist is required to determine how much pressure and how much time is required to achieve the correct position.
Invisalign and Clear Aligners
Looking for a comfortable alternative to braces? You'll want to ask one of the dental assistants about clear aligners during your next checkup.
Clear aligners, also known as clear braces, are a type of transparent, plastic form of dental braces used to adjust teeth. At Oliver Park Dental we offer Invisalign treatments for our patients — its one of the most popular brands for clear aligners not only because it's discreet, but also because it's evolved to address a range of orthodontic needs.
Generally speaking, Invisalign treatment is quite effective at helping correct moderate crowding of the front teeth, but it can be less effective than traditional braces for certain issues.
They're also a great option for people who have previously completed orthodontic treatment and just need a little bit of touch-up orthodontic care to keep their smile looking and feeling great.
Keeping teeth in place after treatment is important, as human teeth are never set in any one position. They are always subject to pushes and pulls and force from tongue, jaw and mouth muscles.
Whether you get braces or clear aligners, once your orthodontic care is complete, a retainer is typically needed to keep all your teeth in their new positions. Retainers are fixed (attached to the teeth) or removable. They may need to be worn all the time, or just some of the time, and its an orthodontist who makes that decision.