What is Orthodontics?

What is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a specialization within the field of dentistry that requires additional training and certification. Orthodontic treatment involves correcting malocclusion, which is the misalignment of a bite or incorrect spacing between teeth. This is usually accomplished through the use of orthodontic braces or clear aligners such as Invisalign.

Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment

Straight teeth give you more than a great smile—they also help reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. If left untreated by a dentist, tooth decay and gum disease can cause mouth sores, tender or bleeding gums, bad breath and possible tooth loss. Orthodontic treatment can straighten teeth, helping you avoid problems such as an improper bite, difficulty speaking or chewing, and jaw problems.

Types of Braces

Metal Braces. The most popular and affordable braces are metal, made out of top quality stainless steel. Unfortunately the steel used for these brackets is capable of staining your teeth. Newer versions of the braces are made of a combination of stainless steel and nickel titanium, or gold plating for those with nickel allergies. With metal braces, a small bracket is bonded to each tooth and joined by a wire. The brackets can be decorated with elastics and ligatures in a variety of colors.

Ceramic Braces. The popular ceramic braces are clear and not as easy to see as metal braces. These braces are made to blend with the natural color of a tooth’s enamel. Although visually appealing, ceramic braces are far more brittle and more likely to break, so each bracket is made thicker to reduce the risk of breaking them in the future.

Invisalign. Often called “invisible braces,” the clear Invisalign® aligners straighten your teeth using advanced 3-D computer-imaging technology. Invisalign creates your complete treatment plan, from the initial position of your teeth to the final desired position. A series of clear aligners are custom-made for your teeth to move them little by little. Each aligner is worn for about two weeks before being replaced by the next in the series, until the final position of your teeth is achieved. Your Invisalign treatment time will be determined by Dr. Bigdeli based on your specific needs.