The dental specialty of Orthodontics involves the straightening of rotated, crooked, or malpositioned teeth of adults and children. This is accomplished through the use of fixed or removable braces. Orthodontic procedures are performed by an Orthodontist at our NYC Braces Orthodontics office but this is frequently not the case in many other dental offices. We offer Invisible Braces!
In order to physically move teeth into their proper position via Orthodontics a certain amount of pressure is exerted on the teeth (using wires and springs) in order to move them through the bone. In the areas where the tooth is being repositioned the bone will fade away (resorption) to make room for the tooth, and grow (deposition) in the location where the tooth was previously.
Treating overlapping teeth with braces is much healthier than treating teeth cosmetically (without braces). Orthodontics fixes (as opposed to cosmetically concealing) the problem. The disadvantage to orthodontics for many patients is the duration. Non-orthodontic (cosmetic) work can be done in a couple weeks whereas braces could take six months to two years depending on how much movement and correction is needed.
A large benefit of orthodontic treatment in Premium offices is the reduction in time needed for visits. Visits are usually about an hour every two to three weeks. These cases are completed much faster than those in a high volume insurance office where orthodontic appointments are often only 10-15 minutes per month. Cases that are completed during one year in a Premium practice could take two years in a high volume office. While it is more costly, most adults find that wearing braces over a shorter period of time is worth the increased expense.
Patients with more complex orthodontic needs require fixed braces to rotate and move teeth through bone. Premium cosmetic orthodontic practices generally use clear (white) brackets when applying traditional fixed (non-removable) braces instead of metal.
Patients with less severe orthodontic issues, such as crowded, but not rotated teeth have the option of getting removable braces (spring-loaded or Invisalign type). It is important to understand that while removable braces look similar to a retainer or bite plate, they are different because they are used to move teeth. Removable braces are often worn 23 hours a day in order to ensure the teeth are being moved. This differs from a retainer. A retainer will be needed after treatment is completed to hold teeth in position and is usually worn only at night. If removable braces are offered for other reasons beyond subtle tooth movement you should be cautious and invest your money and time elsewhere.
It is a common misconception that wisdom teeth are the reason for the crowding of the lower front teeth. This is not always the case. Whether or not wisdom teeth are present, the lower teeth gradually, yet continually move forward. The eventual result of this movement is a less ideal smile where the upper front teeth begin to extend outward.
This occurs because the inside of the upper front teeth hit the lower front teeth when they bite. As the lower front teeth move forward, they often hit more aggressively against their opposing upper teeth. This movement not only affects the smile, but also increases a patient’s risk for gum disease. You may see this occurring in people over 50 years old. The longer the patient waits before getting treatment the more difficult it is to treat.
Early treatment by an Orthodontist and a proper treatment plan are preventive measures one can take to keep their smile beautiful.
–Dr. Jeffrey Dorfman, Director
The Center for Special Dentistry