An orthodontist specializes in dentistry, dealing with prevention, diagnosis, malpositioned jaws and teeth correction, and realigning bite patterns. Your orthodontist in Los Angeles will further focus on dentofacial orthopedics (facial growth modification).
A straight smile is essential. Abnormal alignment of jaws and teeth is widespread in Los Angeles, affecting almost 10% of the population. These have malocclusions severe enough to look for orthodontic treatment.
The treatment takes several months to some years. The appliances and dental braces used slowly move jaws and teeth around. Jaw surgery is done for very severe malocclusion. The treatment starts early in childhood when bones can quickly move around.
Phase 1 or early treatment prevents improper spacing and teeth alignment. Phase 11 or adolescent treatment aims to achieve the ideal bite when permanent teeth are all in place. Some of the methods used include clear braces, traditional metal braces, Invisalign, and Invisalign teen.
Orthodontists offer several treatment options to fix your bad bites, straighten crooked teeth and correctly align the jaws. Skeletal discrepancies are treated by restricting or promoting growth using orthodontic headgear, functional appliances, or reverse pull facemask.
Incorrectly positioned teeth could take around 1 to 3 years to treat. The braces are slightly altered every 4 – 10 weeks by the orthodontists. Most commonly, the premolars could be extracted for better treatment.
Braces placed on the teeth’s front side or lingual braces (facing the tongue) are used. Brackets made of porcelain or stainless steel are bonded with adhesive at the center of the teeth. A wire is placed in the bracket slot to allow a controlled movement in the three dimensions.
Force using elastic bands instead of wires can be applied. Springs push teeth to close a gap or apart. Many teeth are tied together with hooks or ligatures.
Depending on the problem severity, amount of free room, and the teeth traveling distance, the treatment time varies in different people. Other factors include the patient’s ability to follow instructions, the health of the gums, teeth, and supporting bones.
Once put, the braces usually remain there for up to 3 years. After removal, you might be required to wear a retain full-time for six months and then as you sleep for several years.
Orthodontic headgear or extra-oral appliance is a treatment method where a device is strapped on your head to help correct malocclusion. Its commonly used where teeth don’t align properly. A headgear is often used with braces and other orthodontic appliances. Braces correct the teeth position, while the headgear strapped on your head helps alter the jaw alignment. In certain situations, it helps to move the molars.
The headgear exerts tension on braces through hooks, elastic bands, coils, facebow, metal bands, and attachable appliances directly to your mouth. It’s effective for teenagers and children as their jaws continue to develop and can be manipulated. It could be fitted to an adult after extraction of a tooth to correct the teeth shifted position. It corrects jaw alignment and bites problems like under or overbite.
Jaw surgery is beneficial in fixing severe malocclusions. During surgery, the bone is broken, stabilized using titanium or bioresorbable screw and plates allowing it to heal. Orthodontic treatment is then applied to move teeth to the final position.
To minimize pain during the treatment, orthodontists use vibratory devices, brainwave music, low-level laser therapy, chewing adjuncts, or cognitive behavioral therapy. After the treatment, teeth tend to relapse or return to the pre-treatment positions. In 10 years after the orthodontic treatment, 50% of the patients experience this reversion. To contain relapse, you are provided with a retainer after completing the treatment.
Retainers can be removable or fixed as explained below:
Fixed retainers contain a fixed wire on your tongue-facing incisors section by use of dental adhesive. They are specifically helpful in preventing the rotation in incisors. Other fixed retainers include lingual or labial braces, which have brackets fixed on teeth.
Removable retainers made from clear plastic are custom-fitted in your mouth. It holds every tooth in position with its tight fit. Types of clear retainers brands include Rivera, Essix, and zendura retainers. Hawley retainer is made from metal and plastic combined, a molded custom for a perfect fit in your mouth. These retainers are worn for various periods until you stabilize your dentition.
Orthodontist in Los Angeles puts a beautiful, healthy smile on children, teens, and adults. Orthodontics recommends that your children be seen from age 7 to evaluate on a severe orthodontic condition.