Today’s Orthodontic treatment is simple, convenient and affordable. People of all ages can benefit from the rewards of straight teeth, a great smile, improved self-confidence and better dental health. Tooth alignment can be changed at any age if your gums and bone structure are healthy. 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, headaches and jaw joint (TMJ/TMD) pain. Many of our patients are adults and they agree it’s never too late to improve their smile. Quality results can be obtained, usually without removing teeth, creating beautiful smiles.
For children, the initial Orthodontic evaluation should be no later than age 7. Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. By carefully monitoring each child’s growth and development, we are able to:
- create room for crowded, erupting teeth
- create facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth
- reduce the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
- preserve space for un-erupted teeth
- reduce the need for tooth removal
- reduce treatment time with braces
A Typical Orthodontic Appointment Sequence Is As Follows
- Orthodontic Consultation: Orthodontic treatment begins with a complementary Orthodontic consultation, examination, and x-rays (as needed). We look at the patient’s mouth, facial structure and personality to determine the appropriate Orthodontic treatment options. If treatment is for a minor, we determine the best timing and course of treatment with the parent. A Treatment Plan is presented which outlines the timing and costs associated with each patient’s treatment.
- Orthodontic Records: At this appointment, we take pre-treatment photos, x-rays and models. Detailed case notes are made and consent forms are completed. When Orthodontic separators are needed, they are often placed during this appointment. These small elastic bands help “make room” for the Orthodontic bands to be placed a week later at the Banding appointment. A Records fee is collected at this appointment.
- Orthodontic Banding: At this appointment, Orthodontic bands, brackets, archwires and elastic ties are placed. Detailed written instructions on the care of teeth in braces and what to expect are provided to the patient. Special toothbrushes and supplies for braces are also provided at this time.
- Orthodontic Adjustments: Orthodontic adjustment appointments occur every six weeks during the treatment cycle. They are approximately 30 minutes in length. During these appointments, the colored ties are changed, home oral/hygiene care is evaluated and patient questions are addressed. When needed, archwire changes are made and rubber band wear is practiced. The number of Orthodontic adjustment appointments needed is dependent upon the individual case.
- Orthodontic Removal & Final Records: At this appointment, the braces and bands are removed and teeth are polished. Final photographs, x-rays and models are taken. Impressions are also taken for temporary retainers. We make the temporary retainers in the office and the patient comes back later that day to pick them up. Temporary retainers should be worn to bed at night beginning that day – the first day braces are removed. These retainers hold the front teeth straight and let the bite of the back teeth “settle in”.
- Impressions for Permanent Retainers: Two weeks after the braces are removed, we take impressions for the permanent retainers. Permanent retainers are custom retainers that are made by an outside laboratory. During the time they are being made at the lab, the patient needs to continue wearing the temporary retainers.
- Delivery of Permanent Retainers: At this appointment, we fit and adjust the permanent retainers. Instructions are given to the patient about wearing the permanent retainers.
- Retainer Check: At these appointments, we adjust the permanent retainers, as necessary. Usually, “night time only” wear begins at the first retainer check. Each patient is unique. However, retainer check appointments are usually needed to stabilize Orthodontic results over time.
What You Need To Know Before You Have Braces
- Having braces is a fairly painless procedure. There are generally no injections involved and the braces are glued on. However, often during the first week of wearing them, you will experience sore teeth. You will be given instructions about how to deal with any discomfort you might experience.
- Once we start, we are committed to moving you through the process as quickly as possible to minimize the time you have to wear braces. The general time for wearing braces is less than 18 months, but the time frame depends upon each patient.
- At Alpha Dental, we do all we can to create a payment structure that works for you. We provide monthly payment plans, can work with your insurance plan and we provide discounts for family referrals. Discounts for payment in cash is also offered.