Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that corrects teeth and jaws that are positioned improperly. Crooked teeth and teeth that do not fit together correctly are harder to keep clean, are at risk of being lost early due to tooth decay and periodontal disease, and cause extra stress on the chewing muscles that can lead to headaches, neck, shoulder and back pain. Teeth that are crooked or not in the right place can also detract from one's appearance.
The benefits of orthodontic treatment include a healthier mouth, a more pleasing appearance, and teeth that are more likely to last a lifetime.
Orthodontic treatment usually involves wearing a brace (appliance). This puts gentle pressure on specific teeth to move them into the right place. If you have any decayed teeth, these will need to be treated by your dentist before orthodontic treatment starts.
Silver metal braces are the most commonly used in orthodontic treatment, and are made of a durable mixture of stainless steel, nickel and various other metals in small amounts. There are hundreds of variations of these braces, but all have the key characteristic of having overhanging edges, or “wings”, around which a metal or elastic tie is used to hold the orthodontic wire in place.
Clear braces serve as a cosmetic alternative to traditional metal braces by minimizing the visibility of the braces on the teeth. Typically, these clear orthodontic braces are made of ceramic or plastic alloys, but function in a similar manner to traditional metal braces. Most commonly chosen by adult patients, clear elastic ties and white metal ties are available to be used with these clear braces to help keep the appliances less noticeable. Usually, clear braces cost more than metal braces.
By using a series of clear removable aligners, Invisalign straightens your teeth right before your eyes. Change them about every 2 weeks, your teeth will move—little by little, week by week—until they have moved to the final position your orthodontist or dentist has prescribed. Comfortable to wear, our aligners are also removable so you can eat, drink, brush, and floss as usual.
Many different types of appliances, both fixed and removable, are used to help move teeth, retrain muscles and affect the growth of the jaws. These appliances work by placing gentle pressure on the teeth and jaws. The severity of your problem will determine which orthodontic approach is likely to be the most effective.