Orthodontics is the art of using appliances to straighten and align teeth. Fuller Dental provides complete orthodontic services in Burlington, NC, for children and adults. Your orthodontic treatment is tailored to your unique oral health needs and cosmetic concerns. Your dentist will suggest the treatment that will support your dental health for the long term. We also provide additional dental services for common dental health problems.
The Importance of Straight Teeth
Having straight teeth isn’t simply to achieve a pretty smile. It is actually important for your oral health. With crooked teeth, you are at risk of developing dental problems and bite disorders. These types of issues can affect your health and your overall lifestyle. Straight teeth have less chance of getting dental cavities, gum disease, and TMJ disorders.
Orthodontic Treatment Options
There are several types of orthodontic braces available to patients. This includes traditional metal braces, ceramic “tooth-colored” braces, as well as clear plastic aligners.
Clear Braces use brackets made of monocrystalline sapphire. This makes the braces nearly see-through except for the thin arch wire. Next, to the Invisalign system (below), clear braces are the closest thing to invisible braces.
Metal Braces are the most economical and traditionally used type of orthodontic treatment. They are also ideal for those with more extensive realignment needs. It involves the use of braces to move teeth into proper positioning. With this method, your dentist will bond brackets to the teeth and then thread arch wires through the brackets. The arch wires act as a track, guiding each tooth to its proper position.
Retainers are appliances made from plastic and stainless steel to custom-fit your mouth. They act as a guide to hold your teeth into place after you do with braces. The retainer holds your teeth in place so your surrounding gums and bone can adjust around them. This allows you to maintain your new, straight smile. Although the time you must wear a retainer will vary, many orthodontists recommend wearing a retainer into the early 20s. This is when the bone in your jaw and mouth stops growing.
Invisalign clear aligners work by first creating a series of clear, almost invisible trays. These trays will gently and gradually move your teeth until you see the beautiful end result you want. At the end of each two-week period, you will switch trays.
Throughout the process, you will visit Fuller Dental every six weeks to ensure treatment is progressing as planned. Once your treatment is complete, you will likely wear a clear retainer at night to ensure your new smile stays in place.
As with all orthodontic appliances, the cost of Invisalign varies according to the complexity of the case. However, Invisalign is generally more costly than braces. Insurance policies generally cover Invisalign to the same extent that they cover traditional braces.
The Invisalign treatment consists of a series of clear, snap-on, custom-fit, removable mouth trays that apply a controlled amount of force to your teeth, forcing them to shift. The system provides the same beautiful results as traditional braces, but since the trays are made of clear plastic, they are virtually invisible.
In addition, because Invisalign trays are removable, you can take them out to eat, drink, and brush and floss your teeth.
There are various types of orthodontic treatment methods that we offer in our office. Learn more about orthodontics and its different uses.
Can I ask my doctor to end my orthodontic treatment early?
No, you aren’t able to request that your treatment is finished early, even if you feel like your teeth are set in the position you want them to be in. Your teeth and jawbone need time to fully set and heal in their new positions. If you stop treatment too early, you risk orthodontic relapse and may need a second round of treatment to get you back where you want to be.
Can I request Invisalign or SureSmile over traditional braces?
While we’ll take your wants into consideration, it comes down to the treatment option that will be most effective for your unique needs. With severe orthodontic concerns, metal braces, and more intensive treatment options may be necessary. Put your trust in your doctor. We’ll do everything we can to ensure you get the best end result.
How long does orthodontic treatment take?
It all depends on the severity of your condition and what treatment options you require. Clear aligner treatment can be as little as six months for mild orthodontic concerns. More serious problems can require anywhere from 12-24 months. You also may need to wear a retainer to preserve the results after treatment. While the main portion of your treatment will be done, you’ll still need to wear the retainer to ensure your teeth stay in the correct position.
Do I still need dental checkups every six months along with my orthodontic visits?
Yes, it’s even more important that you’re going to these appointments, particularly if you have metal braces. It’s difficult to clean around the brackets and wires, and dental cleanings ensure that the plaque and tartar buildup in these areas is being managed. Without it, you may end up with two-tone teeth when your braces come off, or have problems with plaque and tartar buildup.
Can you be too old for orthodontic treatment?
No, there’s no such thing! We do examine whether your bone and gums are healthy enough for treatment, however. They have to be able to support your teeth and the orthodontic fixtures that are in your mouth. It may take a bit longer too. It’s easiest to shift and move teeth when the mouth is still developing.
Do I need orthodontic treatment?
When patients request orthodontic treatment, they usually have crooked teeth that are visible and cause them problems. But your regular dental visits are also important to diagnose orthodontic concerns. They may notice things about your bite and teeth that you don’t even know yourself. Bite problems can cause further issues with your oral health, like TMJ disorders. You want to ensure you get treatment right away.