Repositioning Teeth with Orthodontic Appliances

Malocclusion (or bad bite) and teeth misalignment are extremely common and treatable problems for many individuals. Failure to seek care for the improper alignment of the teeth and jaws can result in poor aesthetic and impaired chewing, biting and speaking functions. Malocclusion can also cause a wide range of dental and physical problems including:

Tooth Loss and Decay – Periodontal disease (gum disease) is a common, progressive condition which can eventually results in severe tooth decay, bone erosion and tooth loss. If teeth are crowded and your hygiene routine is impaired, you are at a higher risk for decay and soft tissue infection.

TMJ – Temporomandibular joint disorder is the overstraining of the jaw joint due to the improper alignment of arches. Symptoms of this disorder include neck pain, jaw pain, earache and grinding teeth. Jaw alignment can be improved with the application of orthodontic treatments.

Uneven Tooth Wear – Malocclusion can cause the teeth to wear in an unusual pattern. Instead of sharing the wear evenly, some teeth are forced to perform additional rigorous chewing and biting functions. Not only do these worn teeth look unappealing, they may need to be restored with dental prostheses.

How Teeth are Properly Repositioned

There are many orthodontic treatment methods that can be employed to move and realign the teeth. Orthodontic devices that correct irregularities are generally divided into two categories: fixed and removable appliances.

Fixed Appliances

The most common type of fixed appliance are traditional dental braces. These appliances utilize brackets made from a variety of materials, including metal and tooth-colored ceramic, which are bonded to individual teeth and linked by an archwire. Orthodontic elastic bands may also be applied to the braces to add additional pressure to specific teeth.

At every orthodontic adjustment appointment, the elastic bands and wires are gently tightened until the teeth have moved into ideal alignment. In the case of overcrowding, a tooth or several teeth may need to be extracted prior to placement of braces, in order to maximize available jawbone space.

Removable Devices

There are several different types of removable devices an orthodontist may recommend, based on a thorough examination, bite impressions and a diagnosis of current conditions.

Invisalign® – Invisalign braces use a series of clear plastic trays to gently move the teeth. Every few weeks, new trays are provided to ensure that continual gentle pressure is exerted on the teeth.

Headgear – Headgear is a dental appliance attached to a metal framework and is most commonly used to correct growth and developmental problems. When upper jaw growth is significantly slower than lower jaw growth, reverse pull headgear may be needed. Conversely, when lower jaw growth is delayed, high pull headgear may be used to properly align the teeth.

Retainers – Retainers are usually used after braces to maintain the proper alignment. Retainers ensure that the jawbone forms into the desired position and helps straight teeth remain that way over time.

If you have questions or concerns about the realignment of your teeth, please contact our office.

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Dr Johnson put braces on me a little over a year ago and I honestly can't say anything but good stuff about her and her staff. She's a straight shooter that shoots from the hip and tells you like it is and let's you know upfront what the process will be like and what she'll try her best to accomplish but she will tell you that she's not a magician either. For me that sealed the deal and won my business and friendship then and there. She doesn't over promise and under deliver, instead she's realistic about things and tells you she'll do her best which is all anyone can do or expect someone to do. I am extremely pleased with her best thus far and I still have a little bit left before they come off. She's made my entire process as convenient and painless as possible and I've yet to have anything break, come loose, or poke me. In fact the worst part was figuring out how to eat the first few days of having them on and not being able to bite my nails after 39 years of doing so. Dr Johnson is first class all the way around and does top notch work! I highly recommend her to anyone of any age that is needing braces. She had her work cut out for her with me when she did her initial consultation and 14 months after putting them on she's already over delivered from what I was expecting and she's not finished yet! I have no doubts whatsoever that I chose the perfect orthodontist for me everytime I look in the mirror and smile, or someone else compliments her work when I have my regular cleaning and check ups with my dentist. Siler City is a better place because of her and her services being there for those who need them!

Chris C.

Dr Johnson explain every step they are going to do. My granddaughter was not scared at all. Rosa is a very pleasant and caring person with the kids she also explains the steps that will be going on.

Betty M.

I made an appointment with Chatham Orthodontist for my 6 yr old who has an underbite and grinds her teeth. The receptionist was very friendly when I called to inquire about treatment. She explained to me how my insurance would work and what my option would be. When I arrived she was very friendly and ready for us. Dr. Johnson was great, also really friendly and very thorough. She explained what she thought best and why ans gave me a plan of action. When I mentioned my concern for my other child, she made time to fit him in for an initial consult as well. Again with him she was very thorough. The office experience was friendly and welcoming without being pushy. I left feeling very good about the care of my children’s teeth. I would definitely recommend this office!

Camila M.

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