If you have issues with the alignment of your teeth, orthodontic correction is your best, and often your only, course of action. However, you might not know why it’s beneficial to get orthodontic correction. Additionally, there are different correction options out there, so you may not know which one is the best for your situation. With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at the world of orthodontic correction so you can make an educated decision. If you would like to learn more about how orthodontics can help you, call Dr. Mel A. Burchman today to schedule an appointment.

-Benefits of Orthodontic Correction

A wide variety of dental conditions can be corrected with orthodontics. Conditions such as an overbite, underbite, crooked teeth or crowding can be, at best a nuisance, at worst detrimental to our health. By correcting these conditions, you’re able to get straighter teeth, a better bite, a nicer smile, and healthier teeth and gums. An improvement to your smile can also have a positive effect on your self-esteem and confidence.
When teeth are crooked or crowded, it makes basic oral hygiene more difficult. This often results in tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. Bad bites make it tougher to chew, cause speech impediments, and result in abnormal wear and tear on tooth enamel. Without treatment, these problems will get worse and call for further dental care and expense. That means that orthodontic correction isn’t just a way to get a better smile, it can also save you money in the long run.

-Types of Orthodontic Correction

When you have made the decision to begin orthodontic correction, your dentist will consult you regarding your options and advise you of which option will be the best for your specific condition and needs.

Braces

The most common form of orthodontic correction, and what most people think of when it comes to straightening teeth. Braces are characterized as a series of brackets attached to the teeth, with a metal wire connecting them all. Intended to shift the position of teeth or hold them in place to prevent teeth from moving out of position. Traditional braces are affixed to the teeth and can only be removed by a dentist.
Brackets are available in three different styles: ceramic, metal, or plastic. While metal brackets are the most noticeable, they are also incredibly effective for complex bite issues. Ceramic brackets are weaker than metal, but are either clear or tooth-colored, which makes them an attractive option to some patients. Inside braces, or ibraces, place the brackets along the inside of the tooth to present an invisible appearance while maintaining the strength and effectiveness of metal braces.

Aligners

An invisible and removable alternative to traditional braces. Often referred to by the brand name of Invisalign, these are customized appliances designed specifically to fit your teeth. They are worn for two weeks, only to be removed to eat, brush, or floss. After two weeks, the next aligner is used to continue the adjustment, continuing in two-week segments until correction is completed. Best suited for adults with mild spacing issues. Not a good option for children and adolescents that have non-permanent teeth.

Space Maintainers

A much less comprehensive option compared to traditional braces and aligners. Space maintainers are most often used when a baby tooth is lost prematurely as a way to keep the remaining teeth in position around the missing tooth, to maintain the jaw’s natural position. Teeth have a tendency to move into empty space as they are developing, which can result in crowding or crooked teeth. If this is not corrected, it may require extensive and costly orthodontic treatment in the future. This makes space maintainers a much easier and less expensive option for keeping teeth in place.

Computer-Generated Appliances

A removable option used in select circumstances, computer-generated appliances are often quite expensive. Depending on how complex the situation is and what the goal is for treatment, a removable appliance with wires may be a good option. For instance, a palatal expander is often used if the upper arch isn’t as wide as it needs to be. This type of appliance is best suited for developing children around the ages of eight to 10.

-How Long Does Orthodontic Correction Take?

Depending on the severity of the situation and which type of orthodontic correction is used, the length of time correction takes can vary. If you have a more complex spacing or bite problem, or if you are older, orthodontic treatment will likely take longer. Most patients with traditional braces can expect to wear them for about one to three years, followed by treatment with a retainer to maintain the new position of the teeth. While it is typical for a retainer to be worn for a year, some adults have to wear a retainer while they sleep for the rest of their lives.

A better, straighter smile is more possible now than ever. With many different correction options suited to different conditions, you can be sure you will get the treatment your teeth need. Whether you have an overbite, an underbite, or just one crooked tooth that’s been driving you crazy, with a little orthodontic adjustment you can get the smile you have always dreamed of. Call Dr. Mel A. Burchman in Langhorne today to schedule an appointment and discuss your treatment options. He’ll be able to advise you on which correction type is the best for your specific situation. We hope to hear from you soon!