How Orthodontic Treatment Works
Orthodontic appliances can be made of metal, ceramic, or plastic. They may be removable or they may be brackets bonded to the teeth. By placing a constant, gentle force in a carefully controlled direction, braces slowly move teeth to a corrected position. This is a great time to wear braces! Gone are the days when a metal band with a bracket was placed around each tooth. You can choose brackets that are clear or metallic color. You can choose the color of the ties that hold the wire in brackets. Wires are also less noticeable than they used to be and the latest materials move teeth faster with less discomfort to patients.
Duration of Treatment
Treatment time typically ranges from six months to three years, depending on the growth of the patient’s mouth, face and the severity of the problem. Patients grow at different rates and will respond variously to orthodontic treatment, so the time to case completion may differ from the original estimate. The patient’s diligent use of any prescribed rubber bands or headgear is an important factor in achieving the most efficient treatment. Interceptive, or early treatment procedures, may take as few as six months.
Orthodontic 1st visit / Consult
We are always excited about meeting new patients during their first visit at Lancaster Dental Arts Orthodontics . Your initial appointment will consist of a thorough examination and a discussion of potential treatment options. This important 45-minute visit will give us insight into your orthodontic needs. We know your time is valuable, so to expedite treatment, we may also reserve time following the exam for diagnostic records. The records include X-rays, photos and impressions for study models and are necessary for developing the appropriate treatment plan. This additional appointment will last approximately 30 minutes.
During the initial examination for each patient, we will address the following questions that cover the basics of orthodontic treatment. We encourage you to ask questions as well.
What are my payment options?
While we can often answer these general questions about treatment during the initial examination, we will address specific areas after careful analysis of the diagnostic records. We feel it is important to analyze each patient’s specific needs, because in-depth planning leads to superior results and higher patient satisfaction.
We insist that our patients leave the office with a clear understanding of their specific needs, what the treatment will consist of and how long it will take. Also, we will answer any additional questions.
When is the best time to begin orthodontics?
Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment. Beginning treatment at this time ensures the greatest result and the least amount of time and expense. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but vigilant examination can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment.
What are the benefits of early orthodontic evaluation?
Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Prudent intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later. When orthodontic intervention is not necessary, an orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal.
Why is age 7 considered the optimal time for screening?
By the age of 7, the first adult molars erupt, establishing the back bite. During this time, an orthodontist can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. For example, the presence of erupting incisors can indicate possible overbite, open bite, crowding or gummy smiles. Timely screening increases the chances for an incredible smile.
What are the advantages of interceptive treatment? Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment are:
Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth
Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
Preserving space for unerupted teeth
Reducing the need for tooth removal
Reducing treatment time with braces
Are you a candidate for orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontics is not merely for improving the aesthetics of the smile; orthodontic treatment improves bad bites (malocclusions). Malocclusions occur as a result of tooth or jaw misalignment. Malocclusions affect the way you smile, chew, clean your teeth or feel about your smile.
Why should malocclusions be treated?
According to studies by the American Association of Orthodontists, untreated malocclusions can result in a variety of problems. Crowded teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss. This may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease. Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping. Cross bites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear. Open bites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments. Ultimately, orthodontics does more than make a pretty smile it creates a healthier you.
Adult Orthodontic Treatment
Braces aren’t just for kids anymore. Tooth alignment can be changed at any age if your gums and bone structure are healthy. We offer a variety of treatments that are designed for different age groups , including adults. A new smile can begin today.
Orthodontic treatment at later stages in life can dramatically improve your personal appearance and self-esteem. Improving the health of your teeth and gums is equally important. Crooked teeth and a bad bite can contribute to gum and bone loss, tooth decay, abnormal wear of the tooth enamel and surfaces, headaches and jaw joint (TMJ/TMD) pain.
The new techniques and appliances we use at Lancaster Dental Arts greatly reduce discomfort levels, decrease the frequency of visits, shorten treatment time and may allow you to choose from several options. Your options may include metal braces, translucent braces or transparent aligners that can be worn at night to improve mild cases of misaligned teeth.
During the initial examination, we will be able to determine the best possible treatment for your individual needs. During this initial examination, we can outline the treatment plan, time of treatment expected and the approximate cost.
A large percentage of our patients at Lancaster Dental Arts orthodontics are adults, and they agree that it’s never too late to improve their greatest asset, their smile.
Invisalign is a series of clear, removable teeth aligners that both orthodontists and dentists use as an alternative to traditional metal dental braces. The aligners are completely transparent, therefore far more difficult to detect than traditional wire and bracket braces. You can smile more during the treatment and after as well. Invisalign is made with 3-D computer imaging technology and has been proven effective. You can take them off while eating and brushing, and they won't cause tooth decay like tradition braces. To learn more click here.
For most people, a beautiful smile is the most obvious benefit of orthodontics. After your braces come off, you’ll feel more self-confident. During your treatment, we want you to feel as comfortable as possible.
When we remove your braces, we will begin the retention stage of your treatment. The retention phase lasts for a minimum of 24 months. Your final orthodontic result depends on your retainers, so follow through with the hard work you’ve put in so far. Remember to remove your retainer before brushing, and brush your retainer before placing it back in your mouth.
Bonded lingual retainers are cemented directly to the inside surface of your lower canines (eye teeth). This is one of the best ways to prevent your lower teeth from shifting as it is permanently attached! Patients with bonded lingual retainers must be careful with their bite as the bonding material may break due to incorrect biting and cause teeth to shift quickly. As with removable retainers, it is important to keep them clean. When brushing, make sure to carefully clean the inside of your lower teeth as well as the wire.
The Essix retainer is a transparent removable retainer that fits over the entire arch of teeth. Similar to Invisalign trays, Essix retainers have no wires. They are inexpensive and easier to wear. They can be used for other treatments as well, including tooth movement and bridges.
The Damon System is not just a new product, it’s a whole new way of treating patients. Conventional treatment often requires removal of healthy teeth and/or the use of palatal expanders to make space. This approach is often uncomfortable, takes longer, and can leave a narrower arch and a flat profile. Damon smiles are full, natural 10-tooth smiles achieved with light biologically-sensible forces, and are specifically designed to improve the overall facial result of each patient.
Braces are the beginning, but the system makes the smile.
Certified Damon System doctors combine three key components, which when used together, deliver faster treatment, fewer appointments, greater comfort, and consistent high-quality results:
Damon passive self-ligating braces that eliminate the need for elastic or metal “ties”. With Damon tie-less braces you can experience treatment without tightening.
Light high-technology shape-memory wires that move teeth faster and require fewer adjustments.
A new clinically proven treatment approach that aligns your teeth and enhances your facial aesthetics – usually without extractions or rapid palatal expanders.
Damon braces are designed to be discreet, comfortable and easy to keep clean. Without the elastic ties which attract and collect plaque, Damon braces make dental hygiene easy during treatment.
Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that uses special appliances, such as braces, invisalign, expanders, etc to move the teeth, jaw and lips into their ideal position for CHILDREN and ADULTS.
Our team of well trained orthodontists at Lancaster Dental Arts are ready to give you the smile that you have always wanted.