What Does Orthodontic Treatment Involve?

Orthodontics is a highly-specialized branch of dentistry that deals with facial and jaw irregularities. As proper alignment of the teeth and jaw arches affects coherent speech, chewing and biting abilities, orthodontic treatment is vital for health and comfort.

What Problems Do Orthodontic Treatments Solve?

There is a wide range of orthodontic treatments available to successfully correct the misalignment of teeth.  The type of treatment provided depends on the exact nature of the malocclusion or teeth misalignment. Here is a brief overview of the main classifications of bite and teeth positioning problems:

Overcrowding – The non-eruption of adult teeth and the overcrowding of arch space can lead to misalignment. Additionally, overcrowding may cause twisting and complete displacement of teeth.

Negative Underjet – An underbite is characterized by a pronounced lower jaw, which protrudes further than the upper jaw. This malocclusion causes the chin to look large or pointed.

Overbite – Overbite is a result of a protruding maxilla (upper jaw) in relation to the mandible (lower jaw). This type of malocclusion makes the chin look like it has receded.

What Does Orthodontic Treatment Involve?

The first step in developing a treatment plan is completion of a thorough visual examination of a patient’s smile. After completing this, your care provider creates diagnostic records which include panoramic x-rays, bite impressions and additional imaging of the jaw joints in some cases. If treatment is needed to realign the teeth, this is discussed extensively.

Examining diagnostic records allows for the development of a predictable treatment plan. Your dental professional can also work with an oral surgeon if the symmetry of the face needs to be altered. In the case of an overcrowded mouth, one or several teeth may need to be extracted to prepare for the realignment process. Once the diagnosis and preparation phases are complete, a fixed or removable orthodontic appliance is used to move the teeth and jaw arches into ideal alignment.

Fixed Appliances

There are several types of fixed orthodontic appliances, of which traditional metal braces are the most common. Ceramic, clear or metal brackets are fixed onto each individual tooth for the duration of the treatment, and an archwire is threaded through each one to connect them.

The wire is tightened slightly every few weeks until the desired results are achieved. Typically the fixed brackets are removed after 18-30 months.

Removable Devices

Removable devices come in many shapes and sizes and are popular because of their convenience and versatility. Removable devices include headgear, which corrects malocclusions due to developmental problems; retainers, which maintain the correct alignment of the teeth after orthodontic treatment; and Invisalign® trays, which are used for several weeks at a time to correct common teeth alignment problems.

It is important to note that a dental professional creates a custom treatment plan for each individual case. The time-span for corrections with removable devices can greatly vary in accordance with the severity of the original malocclusion.

If you have questions about orthodontic care and procedures, please contact our office.

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Testimonials

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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