Dental braces (also known as braces, orthodontic cases, or cases) are devices used in orthodontics that align and straighten teeth and help position them with regard to a person's bite, while also aiming to improve dental health.
An attractive, bright smile can enhance one's self-esteem and confidence. Unfortunately, many people are reluctant to smile due to misaligned, overly crowded or widely spaced teeth. Braces or Invisalign can be done for teens or adults. At River Street Dental we take a conservative approach to tooth movement and avoid removing teeth if possible.
So, when to start? Dentists and orthodontists are in general agreement with the American Association of Orthodontists that once children reach the age of seven, they should at least visit a dentist or an orthodontist for an initial consultation to determine whether braces might be necessary.
Things Begin around Age Seven
This age range is important because research demonstrates identifying and correcting problems is more effective after the arrival of a child's first four permanent molars and first four central incisors – usually around age seven. So, once this milestone has been reached, the goal of the initial consultation is to determine whether or not your child could benefit from a two-phase approach to braces, whether they'll need braces at all, or if expanders are needed.
What are the benefits of early treatment if two-phase orthodontics is recommended?
One major advantage to two-phase orthodontic treatment is addressing jaw development concerns. Because children are growing a lot at this point in their lives, early treatment can be implemented to literally “guide” the development of a child's jaw, so it grows into proper alignment. Doing so early can prevent issues down the line that may even require surgery to correct.
By addressing dental issues that may result in teasing among peers, two-phase treatment can eliminate social difficulties that might disrupt a child's self-esteem early in life. Since orthodontics is largely seen outside of the professional circuit as an aesthetic life-event, it makes sense to address particularly thorny concerns early rather than later.
Invisalign therapy helps straighten the teeth in a speedy, convenient manner without metal braces. Most patients complete the therapy and achieve beautiful smiles in less than one year.
Is Invisalign for me?
Invisalign might be the right treatment for you if you would like to straighten your teeth but do not want to undergo the traditional orthodontics treatment with metal braces. Because Invisalign consists of a series of clear, custom-made aligners, they are unnoticed by most people. In addition, Invisalign clear braces can be easily removed during eating, drinking, and important social and business meetings. Some of the problems Invisalign braces can correct include:
Widely spaced teeth
Overly crowded teeth
How does it work?
Invisalign treatment begins with a carefully evaluation of your oral health and orthodontic problems. The thorough assessment helps determine whether you will benefit from Invisalign therapy. While many patients qualify, some individuals with severe bite irregularities might be better served by traditional orthodontics. After determining that Invisalign is the appropriate treatment, the doctor will take an impression of your teeth and send it to a dental laboratory which will create a set of custom-made aligners.
Typically, during the next appointment, the first set of aligners would be placed over your teeth and you will be provided with detailed treatment instructions. Over the course of the next several months, you will periodically meet with your doctor to monitor progress and make any necessary adjustments. Most patients complete the therapy in less than one year, with some achieving their treatment goals in as little as six months.