Nowadays, orthodontic treatment is more tailored to the individual than ever before. Gone are the days of giant headgear, bulky appliances, and one-size-fits-all orthodontic treatment. And that’s great! Here at Alba Orthodontics, we love how many options there are for our patients!
But that does mean that it can sometimes get a little overwhelming when it comes to choosing the right orthodontic treatment.
Do I need braces, or are clear aligners right for me?
Should I try InBrace? What about ceramics?
These are great questions, and never fear! We’ve got the expertise and the understanding to help you answer these questions and a whole lot more! So let’s get started learning about the different options available to you with your treatment, and soon you’ll have answers to the question – which orthodontic treatment is right for me?
What are the different types of orthodontic treatment available?
Orthodontic treatment is an effective way to improve both oral health and physical appearance. With several types of orthodontic treatment available, patients can choose the treatment that best suits their needs. The most common types of orthodontic treatment include traditional braces, Invisalign, lingual braces, self-ligating braces, and ceramic braces.
Traditional braces – Reliable, Versatile, Effective
Traditional braces are ideal for patients with complex orthodontic issues, such as severely crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw. They consist of metal brackets and wires that are attached to the teeth. Over time, the wires are tightened, moving the teeth into the correct position. This type of treatment is especially beneficial for children and teenagers, as early intervention can help prevent future orthodontic problems.
Clear Aligners – Innovative, Low-Profile, Effective.
Clear aligners are a more discreet alternative to traditional braces. They use clear plastic trays custom-made for each patient, which are changed every two weeks. This type of treatment is best suited for patients with mild to moderate orthodontic issues, such as slightly crooked teeth or gaps between teeth. Invisalign is popular among teenagers and adults who desire a more subtle orthodontic treatment.
Clear Braces – Discreet, Elegant, Effective
Ceramic braces are similar to traditional braces, but the brackets are made from clear or tooth-colored material, making them less visible. This type of treatment is best suited for patients who desire a less noticeable orthodontic treatment option.
What are some more specialized orthodontic treatments?
In addition to orthodontic treatment, patients may benefit from surgical orthodontics.
Surgical orthodontics, also known as orthognathic surgery, is a type of orthodontic treatment that involves surgery to correct severe jaw abnormalities. This type of treatment is often used in combination with braces to improve the function and appearance of the teeth, jaw, and face.
Surgical orthodontics is typically recommended for patients with severe malocclusions or bite problems that cannot be corrected with traditional orthodontic treatments alone.
Malocclusions can cause a range of problems, including difficulty chewing, speaking, and breathing, as well as jaw pain, headaches, and uneven wear on the teeth.
Before surgery, patients will undergo a comprehensive evaluation, which may include dental X-rays, photographs, and computerized imaging. This evaluation allows Dr. Alba to create a customized treatment plan that addresses your unique needs and goals.
During surgery, Dr. Fred or Jeff Alba will work closely with an oral surgeon to reposition the jawbones into a more favorable alignment. The surgeon will make incisions in the gums and use specialized instruments to reposition the jaw. In some cases, bone grafts or other materials may be used to fill in gaps and promote healing.
After surgery, patients will typically require a period of recovery and rehabilitation, which may include a liquid or soft food diet, pain medication, and physical therapy. Patients will also need to wear braces for a period of time to help align the teeth and jaws properly.
Surgical orthodontics can have a significant impact on a patient’s quality of life, improving their ability to eat, speak, and breathe comfortably, as well as boosting their self-confidence and overall well-being. However, it is important to note that this type of treatment is typically reserved for severe cases and may not be appropriate for all patients.
What is an overbite? How is it treated?
In the case of an overbite, the upper front teeth overlap or cover part of the lower front teeth. This can lead to excessive wear and tear of the front teeth, especially the incisors (the two front teeth). Another concern with an overbite is the possibility of damage to the gum tissue leading to excessive gingival display – or a gummy smile to the rest of us.
Most often, traditional or clear braces or even aligners such as Invisalign can correct the issues leading to an overbite.
What about an underbite?
Also known as an anterior crossbite, this is where the lower jaw sits out in front of the upper jaw. When uncorrected, underbites can lead to excessive stress and pressure on the joints of the maxillofacial region. That means tension headaches, tooth grinding, and temporomandibular disorders, or TMJ.
Underbites typically require more aggressive treatment than would be the case for the more common mild overbites. In more serious cases of underbite, Dr. Alba may refer you to an oral or maxillofacial surgeon who he’ll work closely to reshape the jaw to develop a proper bite.
What are some other bite problems? How are they fixed?
Following is a list of other common bite issues:
- Crowding – One of the most common orthodontic issues, crowding can cause self-esteem issues due to a lack of confidence in your smile, but there are more functional concerns. Crowding can lead to difficulty maintaining proper dental hygiene. This can cause an increase in cavities and gum disease, such as gingivitis.
- Spacing – The opposite of crowding, in spacing, as the name suggests, there is just too much space between teeth. All that extra space is ideal for the formation of harmful plaque and bacteria, so just like crowding, this can lead to issues of gum disease and other oral hazards that go along with difficulties maintaining proper dental hygiene.
- Dental midline issues – Often a result of early loss of baby teeth or missing permanents, dental midline issues result from your upper and lower incisors not aligning symmetrically. For a famous example of dental midline issues, check out early photos of the actor Tom Cruise. He had his dental midline issues addressed with braces when it was time for his children to see their orthodontist, and so can you! Not only can dental midline problems lead to self-confidence issues, but also they can lead to systemic orthodontic malocclusion if left untreated.
- Crossbite – Refers to a misalignment of either the teeth, jaws or both, in which upper teeth sit inside of lower teeth. This often becomes worse over time and can lead to issues with properly chewing food. The sooner this is detected, the better. That’s why it’s recommended that even in the case that you don’t notice any visible malocclusion in your child’s teeth, you take them in to see an orthodontic specialist like Dr. Alba by the time they’re seven years old, according to the American Association of Orthodontists.
All of the following bite issues and more can and are corrected on a daily basis by skilled orthodontic experts such as Dr. Alba.
Let’s Get Started!
Thanks for taking the time to learn more about the different types of orthodontic treatment and which is right for you. We hope this may have provided some answers for you, but maybe you’re still a bit unsure. No problem! Give us a call at our Mechanicsburg office, and we can set up your free consultation with Dr. Fred or Dr. Jeff. It’s that simple!