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Orthodontic Treatment (Braces)

The benefits of orthodontic treatment often go beyond the obvious physical changes of an improved bite and straighter teeth; it’s also a great way to improve a person’s overall self-image.   While having beautiful straight teeth is important, even more important is the need to alleviate any potential health problems associated with the teeth or jaw.  Crooked teeth or jaw problems may contribute to improper cleaning of teeth, leading to tooth decay and, possibly, gum disease or total tooth loss.  Orthodontic problems that go untreated can lead to chewing and digestion difficulties, speech impairments, and abnormal wear of tooth surfaces.  Over time, excessive strain can affect the jaw joints leading to problems such as headaches or face and neck pain.

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children receive an orthodontic evaluation no later than age 7.  Though orthodontic treatment can be done at any age, timely treatment ensures maximum dental health. 

With all of the recent advancements in orthodontics, wearing braces has never been easier.  State-of-the-art appliances and treatments are now available, from traditional metal braces, to clear and tooth colored brackets, to NASA type wires that are heat activated and require fewer adjustments!  Some patients may even be candidates for treatment with Invisalign®, a revolutionary way to straighten teeth using clear, retainer type aligners that require no braces or wires!

If treatment is deemed to be beneficial, we will thoroughly discuss which treatment option is best suited for you!

Reasons for orthodontic treatment (braces) adults & children:

  • Breathing or swallowing problems – Mouth breathing can lead to snoring and sleep apnea.  Abnormal swallowing problems can cause shifting and spacing of teeth.
  • Crossbite – One or more upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth (towards the tongue).
  • Crowding – Involving extra teeth or malpositioned teeth.
  • Deep Overbite – The lower front teeth bite into the upper tissue behind the upper front teeth.
  • Disfigurement of the face & mouth – From abnormal development of the jaw or jaws which can affect the position of the teeth--the cause is usually genetic.
  • Jaw & jaw joint pain - The correlation between jaw and joint pain and tooth alignment is not well understood.  In most cases, aligning the teeth is not expected to necessarily improve jaw or joint pain issues, although in some cases, it does.
  • Missing or extra teeth – Due to tooth decay, injuries, or inherited problems.
  • Overjet (protruding upper teeth) – Upper teeth that protrude beyond normal and are usually associated with a short lower jaw.
  • Self-image – An attractive smile can boost a person’s self-image and confidence.
  • Spacing between teeth – Teeth are missing, misaligned, or may be too small.
  • Speech, chewing or biting problems
  • Underbite (lower jaw protrusion) – Lower jaw is longer than the upper jaw.

Specific to children:

  • Finger or thumb sucking – These habits can cause protrusion of the upper incisor teeth, a space between the upper and lower teeth, and mouth breathing.
  • Teeth erupting out of position – Can be guided to proper alignment.

What does orthodontic treatment involve?

Orthodontic treatment involves three phases:

1.  Planning Phase – Your first couple of visits may include the following:

  • A medical and dental history evaluation.
  • Castings or “molds” of your teeth.
  • Photographs of your face and mouth.
  • X-rays of the teeth and jaws.

After careful planning, Dr. Schach will design and apply braces or fabricate custom-made appliances for you.

2.  Active Phase – Active treatment involves visiting your orthodontist on a regular basis for adjustments and following specific treatment requirements to ensure successful treatment.

3.  Retention Phase – When treatment is completed, the braces and/or appliances are removed and new appliances are made.  Usually the upper retainer is removable and the lower one consists of a small wire that is glued behind the front teeth where it can not be seen.  The retainers are designed to maintain the changes that have been made to your teeth. It is important to wear them as prescribed until the teeth and bone are stabilized in their new positions.

Treatment and retention times vary depending on each individual case.  Dr. Schach usually will follow each patient for at least 2 years after removing the braces to optimize the treatment results.

Orthodontics can not only help straighten your teeth, giving you an appealing smile, but can greatly contribute to the health of your jaw, teeth and sometimes your overall health.

Testimonials

Dear Dr Schach & Staff
Thank you for your caring and professional care for our daughter throughout the years! Her smile is beautiful

The C Family

Dr. Schach,
We would like to thank you for the excellent, as well as personal care you have given our daughter. You have gone over and above the job as her orthodontist. We truly are fortunate to have had such a wonderful orthodontist. Thank you.

The O Family

Dear Dr. Schach,
Thank you for giving me a beautiful smile on my wedding day! More importantly thank you so much for making arrangements to take my attachments off after the hurricane. I realize you didn't have to do that but you have no idea how much I appreciated it. Because of you, I was able to smile for literally thousands of pictures with confidence. You are the best!

L.N.

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