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Orthodontics

There are various options available to help you or your child to have a clear, straight smile. Talk to our professionals about Invisalign, and Ortho Retainers. We’ll help you find the best option for your needs.

What is an Orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dental specialist who straightens teeth.  More specifically, an orthodontist is an oral health practitioner 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, but also includes the treatment of irregularities in the teeth (especially of alignment and occlusion) and jaws, including the use of braces and other devices.

Digital imaging and digital printing have really advanced orthodontics magnificiently 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 correct the problems.

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. In this respect, people of any age 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.  In many cases the patient wears braces or other appliances that are employed to apply gentle pressure on your teeth.  The constant push that’s exerted over a number of months or years can move mountains, and can certainly move teeth into another position. An orthodontist is required to determine how much pressure and how much time is required to achieve the correct position.

 

Invisalign and Clear Aligners

Clear aligners, also known as clear-aligner treatment, are orthodontic devices that are a transparent, plastic form of dental braces used to adjust teeth. At Oliver Park Dental we offer Invisalign treatments for our patients.

Generally speaking, clear aligners are quite effective at helping correct moderate crowding of the front teeth, but less effective than conventional braces for several other issues and are not recommended for children. In particular, they’re indicated for “mild to moderate crowding (1–6 mm) and mild to moderate spacing (1–6 mm), and in cases where there are no discrepancies of the jawbone. They are also indicated for patients who have experienced a relapse after fixed orthodontic treatment.

 

After Treatment

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. Once braces have been removed, a retainer is often used to keep all your teeth in the right place. 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.