What Does Orthodontics Do?
Orthodontics literally means “straight teeth.” That’s what most people think of when they get orthodontics: getting a straighter smile. This is certainly one thing that this treatment can accomplish. However, in addition to giving you a straight smile, orthodontics can:
- Close gaps in your smile
- Improve your bite function
- Eliminate or reduce a bad bite (malocclusion)
- Reduce tooth wear
- Improve your long-term oral health
- Make space for restorations
Orthodontics can help close gaps in your smile, such as diastemas, natural gaps between teeth–most often between the two front teeth (central incisors).
When your teeth aren’t straight, they don’t create an efficient chewing surface. Orthodontics can move your teeth so that they grind up food more efficiently. Orthodontics can also help if you have a bide bite–one that isn’t just inefficient, it’s unhealthy–leading to tooth wear and other problems.
People think of orthodontics as a cosmetic procedure, but it can also help with your oral health. As we mentioned, it can reduce wear, chipping, and cracking teeth. In addition, it can reduce your risk of cavities and gum disease. Crooked teeth are harder to clean, so you end up with more deposits on your teeth, leading to poor oral health. Some studies indicate that people who get orthodontic treatment might reduce their risk of gum disease by as much as 50%.
Sometimes, we might use orthodontics to make room for restorations. Most often, we’re making space for dental implants. If you lose a tooth and don’t replace it right away, your other teeth will drift, and there may not be enough room for your dental implant. Orthodontics allows us to make space for your dental implant.
How Does Orthodontics Work?
Orthodontics takes advantage of the fact that your body is constantly rebuilding your bones–and even more in your jawbone than in your other bones.
By applying constant pressure to your teeth, it encourages your body to reshape the bone around your teeth: removing bone from places where there’s excess pressure and building it where there’s low pressure. This allows your teeth to move.
Traditionally, orthodontics use braces to apply the necessary force to teeth. Binding brackets to your teeth gives an attachment point for elastics that pull your teeth toward a guiding wire called an archwire.
Options To Straighten Your Teeth
Dentists have been straightening teeth for nearly 300 years, and over that time, we have invented many different approaches to straightening teeth. At Country Club Dentistry, we utilize a combination of the most modern, most effective, and most convenient approaches available.
The approaches we offer include:
Each of these approaches has benefits and limitations. It’s important to consider your options thoroughly before deciding which one is right for you.
SureSmile® Clear Aligners
SureSmile clear aligners use a different approach to straightening your teeth than traditional orthodontics. Instead of using braces to try to pull your teeth into place, SureSmile aligners are clear plastic trays that fit over your teeth, similar to a mouthguard or teeth whitening tray. However, the tray is shaped so that it doesn’t just fit over your teeth as they are now. It fits over your teeth in a way that pushes your teeth gently toward the desired orientation.
Each aligner achieves part of the full amount of tooth movement you desire. After you go through an entire course of aligners, your teeth will be straight.
Meanwhile, you’ll enjoy teeth straightening without the problems of traditional braces. You’ll be able to eat all the foods you want, and you won’t have the challenge of working around brackets and wires when you brush and floss your teeth.
Instant Orthodontics: A Different Way to Straighten Teeth
Instant orthodontics isn’t really an orthodontic approach at all. Instead of moving your teeth into place, we use porcelain veneers to change the shape of your teeth so they are straight and even. If your primary complaint is black triangles around a couple of your front teeth, BioClear is a great alternative that can get good results at a lower cost.
Benefits of instant orthodontics include:
- Results in less than a month
- Great for gapped smiles and black triangles
- Can reshape and whiten teeth
- No need for a retainer
Instant orthodontics may not be appropriate for as many candidates as Sure Smile Aligners. It also involves modifying your natural teeth, which should never be done without careful consideration. But for some people, instant orthodontics is better than braces in many ways.
Get Orthodontics in Rancho Mirage
Whether you know just what kind of braces you want, or if you want to talk to us to learn more, please contact Country Club Dentistry in Rancho Mirage today for an appointment.