Orthodontists are dental professionals who specialize in the bite and alignment of teeth. This can range from simple mildly crooked teeth to complex problems that involve the palate and jaw.
Most people who need the services of orthodontists go because they have teeth alignment problems, and they go to get some sort of braces or similar treatment.
But the braces of today are not the braces of yesterday. Orthodontists are using the newest technologies and space age materials to make braces a different experience than it once was. Beautiful results are being achieved in as little as 6 months, where once it took years.
One option that is often very attractive to patients is known as Invisalign. This system uses a series of retainers to gently shift teeth back into position. This system involves no brackets at all and doesn’t look like traditional braces. The retainers are designed with computer technology to make a logical progression of tooth movement slowly, over time. Once designed, they are formed of a clear plastic material. This type of hardware must be worn 22+ hours a day, but may be removed while eating, taking photos, playing musical instruments, during sports, and during similar activities. That, and the speed at which they can deliver the desired results (6 months!), and the fact that there are no brackets, no gluing necessary, makes this an incredibly popular option among patients and orthodontists alike.
Unfortunately, orthodontists often end up explaining that the level of alignment or bite problem is severe enough that Invisalign just wouldn’t be sufficient to impact the problem. Here, we’ve entered the realm of brackets. But traditional braces don’t really resemble the same ‘traditional’ that most people think of. Braces with brackets now are much smaller, less blocky, more streamlined, and come in a number of colors and materials. This is meant to make them more comfortable to wear, less obvious, and more efficient, ultimately. This is because those new materials include titanium memory arch wire. In the same fashion that the invisalign retainers use computer generated designs to gently shift teeth in a very efficient way, these titanium wires that connect the brackets are pre-formed in a series to gently shift wires. It is simply that they generate more force, more consistently, allow steeper angles, and generally give more flexibility in treatment options for the orthodontists. Those new streamlined brackets, incidentally, don’t require rubber bands to attach the arch wire to…the titanium wires slip right into them. This helps to reduce friction and bulk.
Orthodontists combine engineering and aesthetic values as well as a thorough concern for the basic dental health of the patient. Dr. Yanni is happy to answer questions about orthodontics, and sedation dentistry and explain all the options.