More and more adults today are seeking orthodontic treatment to improve their smile. Often times, because adults usually are more compliant in their orthodontic treatment, their results turn out far greater than with a child and/or a teen. Orthodontic treatment is not only designed to improve your smile's appearance, but also, to improve the health of your teeth and gums. If you have crowded or overlapping teeth, you may be unable to reach those areas and run the risk of severe tooth decay, gum and bone loss, irregular wear of tooth enamel and possible TMJ/TMD pain. Recent improvements in traditional braces have resulted in smaller, stronger, more efficient and less conspicuous brackets. Conventional braces with metal brackets are the most familiar; however, clear and tooth-colored ceramic and plastic brackets are now available.
Translucent 'clear' braces and tooth-colored ceramic brackets provide a very aesthetic alternative to traditional metal braces. Today's clear braces provide the same quality of treatment as metal braces but are simply less noticeable.
Looking for an alternative to braces?
ClearCorrect is the clear and simple choice. No wires. No brackets. Just clear, convenient comfort. Every reason to smile!
What Is ClearCorrect?
ClearCorrect is the clear and simple way to straighten your teeth without wearing braces so you can show off your smile! With ClearCorrect, your dentist or orthodontist can straighten your teeth using a series of clear, custom, removable aligners. Each aligner moves your teeth just a little bit at a time until you eventually get straight teeth.
Powerprox is generally less expensive or at least no more expensive than traditional braces, but straightens teeth in just six months rather than the traditional one-two years treatment process. Powerprox uses the latest in arch-wire technology to move teeth just six months. Powerprox arch-wires move teeth without the traditional brace pressure on a tooth that damages the tooth ligament and require bone absorption, which requires healing time between adjustments. There are no bulky braces because Powerprox braces are almost invisible. Traditional after treatment generally requires an unsightly retainer so Powerprox provides an almost invisible retainer or provides a bonded retainer behind the teeth.
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MTM No•Trace System is the completely unseen treatment that works behind the scenes for individuals requiring only minor tooth movement. Unlike traditional braces, MTM No•Trace brackets are mounted to the back of the teeth and can achieve optimal results in just 12 to 24 weeks. Getting MTM No•Trace brackets is easy and patient upkeep is all but effortless. When it comes to esthetic orthodontic treatment, get the out-of-sight, out-of-mind experience of the MTM No•Trace System.
When closing a diastema (gap between teeth), differing amounts of movement of the two teeth is often needed. In this appliance, coil springs are placed to the side of each tooth. An arch wire acts as a guide and keeps the teeth from tipping as the space is closed.
Braces are bonded brackets, archwires and elastic bands that move crowded or spaced teeth into the proper position for appearance and function.
Over a period of time, teeth will shift if constant, gentle pressure is applied. Brackets are bonded to the front surface of each tooth and wires are attached to the brackets with elastic bands. The slight tension on the wire is gently transferred to the bracket through the elastic band.
Today's orthodontic treatment is faster, comfortable and more fashionable than ever for children, teens and adults.
Dr. Lee, an Invisalign® dentist in Hayward, often recommends an Invisalign® procedure rather than traditional braces. Invisalign® is the breakthrough technology that lets you have the smile you've always wanted without the hassle of braces. By using a series of clear, removable aligners, Invisalign® straightens your teeth with results you'll notice sooner than you think. The course of treatment involves changing aligners approximately every two weeks, moving your teeth into straighter position step-by-step, until you have a more beautiful smile. Unlike conventional braces, these clear aligners can be removed while you eat and brush your teeth as usual. An average Invisalign® course of treatment takes about a year.
|Effectively treats a wide variety of cases, including crowding, spacing, crossbite, overbite and underbite.||X||X|
|Straightens your teeth||X||X|
|Average cost is about $5,000*||X||X|
|Allows you to eat whatever foods you enjoy||X|
|Lets you remove the device when you want||X|
|Lets you enjoy virtually invisible teeth-straightening||X|
|Allows you to brush and floss your teeth normally for better periodontal health||X|
|Consists of smooth, comfortable plastic instead of sharp metal that is more likely to irritate your cheeks and gums||X|
|Frees up your busy schedule, with office visits only every four to six weeks||X|
|Invisalign® Teen: Provides up to six free replacement aligners if lost or broken.**||X|
* November 2010 Invisalign® Patient Survey
** Invisalign® Teen Only
A lower lingual arch is a space maintainer for the lower teeth. It maintains the molars where they are and it does not move them. It keeps the molars from migrating forward and prevents them from blocking off space of teeth that develop later. Used when early loss of baby teeth or when lower teeth are slightly crowded.
Anterior open bite refer to a condition in which the top and bottom front teeth are not in contact (they do not touch each other when the patient bites). The origins of open bites can be traced to habits that patients have or had in the past and occasionally to discrepancies between the sizes of the jaws. Since most open bites in children are associated to an existing habit, treatment usually addresses the habit itself and is most effective when done at an early age. Many appliances are available for treating this condition, and your dentist will discuss in detail the risks and benefits of treating an open bite in children.
Class I - A malocclusion where the bite is okay and the top teeth line up with the bottom teeth, but the teeth are crooked, crowded or turned.
Class II - A malocclusion where the upper teeth stick out past the lower teeth commonly referred to as an "over bite," "over jet," "deep bite" or "buck teeth."
Class III - A malocclusion where the lower teeth stick out past the upper teeth called an 'under bite'.
A posterior cross bite can appear at an early age; and depending on its cause (mal-positioned teeth or misaligned jaws,) treatment may be warranted early. It can involve one or both sides of the molar area and in some cases it can cause a "shift" of the bite. Many appliances are available for treating the condition. Your dentist will discuss in detail the risks and benefits of treating a posterior cross bite.
A palatal expander is an appliance placed in the roof of the mouth to widen the upper dental arch, which allows the arch to be painlessly separated and spread. A treatment used for younger patients. Many times a palatal expander can be used to create a proper alignment of the arches so permanent teeth have room to erupt in a natural position. Often, the use of an arch expander early may eliminate the need for braces later.
A space maintainer is a removable or fixed appliance designed to maintain an existing space. They are usually fitted to children when they have lost baby teeth early. The gap left from losing this tooth needs to be held open for the permanent tooth to erupt in its correct position.
A spring distalizer is utilized when one molar is caught under the edge of a second primary molar. Its purpose is to gently move the erupting molar into the proper position by attaching a spring to both teeth and gradually correcting the alignment.
After completing orthodontic therapy, it is not uncommon to still need a little fine tuning of tooth alignment. This is particularly true in patients who have undergone extensive orthodontic therapy and are simply "burned out."
This retainer is useful in correcting minor rotations and crowding. When worn, the spring action of the wires provide a light force to align the teeth. The appliance is constructed to the "ideal" setting and the patient's teeth adapt to their new position.
Arch (the 'arc' line created by teeth in normal position development) is a collective term that describes a variety of appliances used to gain both arch width and arch length. These appliances range from simple appliances with lap springs to high-speed, rapid palatal expanders. They may utilize orthodontic movement and/or orthopedic movement and may be either fixed or removable.
When a patient's arch is v-shaped and needs widening only in the front of the mouth, an appliance that expands only in the anterior (front) region is necessary. An expansion screw in conjunction with a separate posterior (back) hinge in this appliance allows for the gain in anterior space without affecting the posterior bite relationship.
The orthodontic Twin Block for overbite treatment is a removable functional appliance consisting of two bite blocks (twin blocks), upper and lower, that are designed to interlock at 70 degrees in such a manner that the mandible (lower jaw) is held in a more protrusive position. Over time, the repositioning of the lower jaw forward eliminates the overbite (horizontal projection of upper teeth beyond the lower teeth). When treatment with the Twin Block is complete, teeth in the upper and lower jaws will interact normally.
When the desired objective of a treatment plan requires bodily tooth movements, significant tooth rotations, root torquing or leveling, aligning, and rotating of entire arches, it is necessary to utilize full arch fixed mechanics. The Wilson 3D system utilizes a series of precision arch wire systems to enhance the efficiency of most fixed appliances. These snap-in modules fit into lingual tubes that attach to molar bands. Rapid results from using the Wilson 3D system are possible due to the twenty-four hour per day wearing time. This system is effective in a variety of movements and tooth positioning.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child receive an initial orthodontic examination as early as age 7. The timing of orthodontic treatment is extremely important and greatly affects the treatment result. Early diagnosis and treatment by a specialist can help prevent more serious problems.
Orthodontics is not just for children. While most people tend to associate orthodontics with children, adults are also prime candidates for treatment. Approximately 25% of all orthodontic patients are adults. Advances in technology and the introduction of more indiscriminate, clear braces make the benefits of orthodontics a must for any adult.
How much do braces cost?
Every mouth is different. There is no standard fee. The doctor needs to do an exam to evaluate orthodontic needs on an individual basis.
Does Orthodontic Treatment hurt?
There may be a little discomfort after adjustments, but Tylenol or Advil can usually remedy any discomfort.
Why do you need braces if teeth are straight but the bite is off?
Orthodontics isn't only for pretty teeth. A good, healthy bite helps eliminate other health problems in later years. It also helps save teeth from wearing.
How long do I have to wear my braces?
We let our patients know their estimated completion date and let them know that if they miss or reschedule appointments, don't wear their elastics, and do not cooperate, it will take longer.
How long do I have to wear my retainers?
For the first year you need to wear them all day and all night. After that, retainer wear depends on your individual treatment and the difficulty in holding the teeth in your corrected position.
What is a bite plate?
A bite plate helps to correct a deep bite and it keeps you from biting into your lower braces.
Can the fee for Orthodontic Treatment be financed?
Yes, there are several different payment options. See our "Payment and Insurance" link for more details.
Do I continue to see my Dentist for regular visits during Orthodontic Treatment?
Yes, you will need to continue to see your dentist for regular checkups.
How long is full Orthodontic Treatment?
Treatment is 18-30 months, depending on the difficulty of the case and amount of treatment needed.
Lawrence C. Lee, DDS would love to meet you and your family and provide you with the dental care you need and give you all the smiles you deserve! Our office provides the dental care you need to achieve the beautiful, natural look you seek. We can even reshape your natural teeth to make them straighter and more youthful. Our office is easily accessible and makes it convenient to those living near Hayward to get the care they deserve.