Treatments & Technology

Technology

Invisalign & Invisalign Teen

Traditional & Clear Braces

Invisalign is a proven effective method of straightening teeth. In most cases, it is at least as effective as traditional braces, but delivers a faster result. It relies on clear plastic aligners that are custom made for you, making them invisible when worn.
Traditional Metal Braces
These are the classic braces design. Because of their visibility, they are most often used with children and teens, though adults may choose them as well.
Clear Ceramic Braces
Clear braces use either clear material or tooth-colored ceramic to make the bracket. This reduces their visibility, making them an attractive choice.
Invisalign is a proven effective method of straightening teeth. In most cases, it is at least as effective as traditional braces, but delivers a faster result. It relies on clear plastic aligners that are custom made for you, making them invisible when worn.
Traditional Metal Braces
These are the classic braces design. Because of their visibility, they are most often used with children and teens, though adults may choose them as well.
Clear Ceramic Braces
Clear braces use either clear material or tooth-colored ceramic to make the bracket. This reduces their visibility, making them an attractive choice.

Appliances

Herbst or MARA

Forsus

Rapid Palatal Expander

Space Maintainer

If your child has an overbite and is still growing, simple treatment with braces will not correct the problem. The HERBST or MARA appliance is used to help the lower jaw develop in a forward direction. This eventually leads to an ideal bite.

The upper and lower parts of HERBST or MARA appliance are bonded to your child’s molars. It also includes a connection between the upper and lower. By adjusting the connection, Dr. Johnson is able to control the lower jaw’s position in relation to the upper teeth. Typical treatment time with a HERBST or MARA appliance is 12 months. Braces can be worn before, during, or after HERBST or MARA use.
We may recommend that some teenagers or adult patients use a Forsus appliance to help correct their bite. The Forsus appliance functions similar to elastic, but is placed by our orthodontist and cannot be removed except by our doctor. It works to eliminate moderate overbites, and improve the fit of the teeth.

The Forsus appliance is made up of a spring that is attached to the upper molar bands. Typically, there is a spring on each side of your mouth. These springs work to move your jaw into the ideal bite position. You may feel some discomfort while your mouth adjusts, but you should not have problems eating or speaking after the initial period of adjustment. Over time, your jaw will move into the correct position, and you will “learn” to bite properly.
A palatal expander is one of several proper orthodontic appliances to correct or prevent malocclusions (bad bites, crossbites, severe crowding, and/or blocked out teeth). Starting during childhood is beneficial because treatment will be more effective during the natural growth period of the child.

The expanders will be custom-made to fit over most of the top teeth in the back of the mouth. The expander will induce tension at the intersection of the two palatal bones to progressively move the two bones apart. Treatment generally takes 3–9 months from start to finish.

Please do not be alarmed if you or your child have any of the following experiences below as it is normal for this type of treatment and is a sign that the expanders are working:
  • Soreness
  • Feeling of pressure
  • Speaking and eating feel a little different at first
  • A small gap between the front teeth
Space maintainers are appliances used in the mouth to preserve and maintain space. They are necessary when one or more primary molars have been prematurely lost due to trauma or disease. Using a space maintainer allows the permanent teeth to erupt or grow into the correct alignment with proper tooth-to-tooth contact.

When properly used, space maintainers can prevent movement of the first molars, preventing loss of space for other teeth, including adult bicuspid and canines, which are permanent. If the permanent first molars are not held in the correct positions they can begin to drift forward, stopping the bicuspid teeth from erupting properly. The first bicuspids may also move forward, blocking the way for the permanent canines to erupt correctly. There are many types of space maintainers that may be used, depending on the location of the tooth and the needs of the patient. Please be reminded that should you wish to discuss a case in more detail, our experienced technical team is here to assist you.

Treatments

Kids

Teens

Adults

When Should Children See an Orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a visit to the orthodontist at age 7 as this is when they have a good mix of baby and adult teeth but also have a lot of growing left to do. If a child is older than 7 and has yet to see an orthodontist, schedule their visit now.

Why Do Some Children Have Orthodontic Problems?

In most cases, they are genetic. However, habits can cause them or make them worse. Things like thumb sucking, overuse of pacifiers, poor diet, and poor oral hygiene can all contribute to them.

Diagnosis and Treatment

To determine if your child needs treatment, we will use diagnostic procedures such as panoramic x-rays, bite impressions, and computer generated models of the head, neck, and jaw. Based on these, we will settle on the best methods of treatment. In most cases, this will involve braces alone, but other appliances may also be needed.

We want your child’s orthodontic experience to be a positive one. Call us to schedule their initial appointment.

Special Considerations for Teens

Traditional braces are usually the treatment of choice for the majority of orthodontic problems. The most common age range for orthodontic treatment is 12 to 15 years. By age 12, most permanent teeth have erupted, and crooked teeth, gaps, and bite issues are easy to identify. These problems will likely not improve without orthodontic intervention.

How long does treatment last?

Teenagers who eat right, practice good dental hygiene, and follow all instructions typically complete treatment on time (generally 1 to 3 years). Once the braces are removed, a retainer is worn to ‘retain’ the beautiful, healthy smile you worked so hard to get!

Benefits to beginning orthodontic treatments during the teenage years.

For most teenagers, this is a time when many of their friends are also undergoing orthodontic treatment. This may help put them at ease and feel better about wearing braces. Teenagers are also still growing. Orthodontists can take advantage of this growth to help move the teeth and correct the bite and alignment.

If the thought of metal braces terrifies your teenager, we offer Invisalign Teen®, ceramic/clear braces, and gold/platinum braces as an alternative. Not all cases can be treated with Invisalign Teen, so Dr. Johnson will perform an examination to determine if it is right for your teen.

Special Considerations for Adults

Orthodontic treatment for adults can be life-changing. However, it is not exactly the same as with younger patients. Here are some special considerations to keep in mind:
Time: When adults enter treatment, it takes longer than it does for teens.
Growth: Because we cannot harness bone growth to tailor results, we may need to consider things like pulling teeth or surgery.
Health: Adults are more likely to have health conditions, gum disease, and tooth decay than children and teens, which can impact care.

Prior to Treatment

We will start by examining your oral health to see what misalignment issues exist and any pre-existing issues. From there, we will craft a treatment plan that includes any dental care needed prior to starting with orthodontics.

Types of Braces for Adults

The look of braces can be concerning for adult patients. We offer discreet options that make adults more comfortable than conventional ones. These include clear braces, ceramic braces, clear aligners, and lingual braces.

We welcome patients of all ages in our orthodontic practice. Give us a call for more information on how we can transform your smile!