We know that you have questions so the experts at Royal York Orthodontics have come up with a list of Frequently Asked Questions that may help you on your search for which braces are right for you.
Jaw Growth Modification
- What is a Xbow appliance and how does it work?
Can you be too old for braces?
There is no age limit for braces. As long as you have good periodontal health, braces can be used to straighten your teeth and correct your bite. More people over age 30 are getting braces today than ever before. Most ArchWired.com readers are between the ages of 25 to 55! However, if you have been on a Bisphosphonate drug for osteoporosis (such as Fosamax or Boniva) you need to talk to your orthodontist or dentist first. Read this article to find out why this is very important.
I wore my retainer for a while when I was younger, but then I stopped wearing it and my teeth shifted years later. Is this common?
Yes, it is more common than you think. The teeth are actually more dynamic than you’d expect. Sometimes, when wisdom teeth erupt, your bite can change in adulthood. A large percentage of adults in braces are in them for a second time!
My kids just got braces and now I’m thinking of getting them, too.
Many adults “finally get their teeth done” when their kids go in for orthodontic treatment. It’s more common than you think! Several ArchWired.com readers have an entire family in braces!
What is it like to have braces put on your teeth? Does it hurt?
Getting braces put on your teeth does not hurt, and does not require Novocain injections or anything painful. For a full description of the process, read Braces Basics: When the Braces Go On.
What is the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a dentist who has taken several years of extra training beyond the basic dental degree. Here is what the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) says:
“It takes many years to become an orthodontist. As in medicine, the educational requirements are demanding.
First, an orthodontist must complete college.
Next is a three- to four-year graduate program at a dental school in a university or other institution accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA).
Finally, there are at least two or three years of advanced specialty education in an ADA-accredited orthodontic residency program. The program is difficult. It includes advanced knowledge in biomedical, behavioral and basic sciences. The orthodontic resident learns the complex skills required to both manage tooth movement (orthodontics) and guide facial development (dentofacial orthopedics).
Only dentists who have successfully completed this advanced specialty education may call themselves orthodontists.”
What are the “types of bite” and what do they mean?
The most common types of bite problems are:
images from http://www.colgate.com
- Overbite. Patients with overbites appear “bucktoothed” and have a receding chin. The lower front teeth are positioned too far behind the upper front teeth. This condition can result from a horizontal overdevelopment of the upper jaw or an underdevelopment of the lower jaw or a combination of both.
- Underbite. Patients with underbites have a strong jaw with a chin that juts straight out. The lower front teeth are positioned in front of the upper front teeth. This condition is caused by the horizontal underdevelopment of the upper jaw, the horizontal overdevelopment of the lower jaw, or most frequently a combination of both.
- Crossbite. This occurs when the upper teeth are biting inside the lower teeth. This is frequently the result of a narrow upper jaw. Crossbites also occur because of a mismatch in jaw size and position between the upper and lower jaw. Some crossbites also lead to asymmetry of the lower jaw by causing the jaw to be abnormally deflected to one side when closing the teeth together. Proper diagnosis determines how and when a crossbite needs correction.
- Open bite. This occurs when the upper front teeth cannot meet or overlap the lower front teeth even though the back teeth have closed together. Sometimes this this makes eating difficult. Open bites are caused by the overdevelopment of the back portion of the upper jaw in a vertical direction. As the back portion of the upper jaw grows vertically downward, the lower jaw will open in a clockwise direction. This explains why open bite patients have a long facial appearance.
Can I get braces just on the top or bottom?
That depends on your case. Orthodontics isn’t just about making your teeth straight or making them look better. Most dentists and orthodontists take a lot of things into consideration when recommending treatment, such as:
- how the top and bottom teeth meet with each other (i.e., your bite)
- how well you can chew your food
- whether you have a tongue thrust problem
- whether extraction or surgery will be necessary to correct your problems
- whether you will need any appliances in your treatment, such as a palate expander or headgear (yes, some adults do wear headgear)
So you see, it isn’t just a matter of making your teeth look pretty. There are lot of other factors to take into consideration. This is why you sometimes need a full set of braces, even if you think that you only need them on top or bottom. Of course, some people are lucky. Their bites are good and perhaps they only need a bit of straightening. People in this position often can get braces only on top or bottom
When will I begin to see changes in my teeth after the braces are put on?
According to a recent ArchWired.com poll, most people begin see changes in their teeth in the first 2 to 6 weeks of treatment.
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Jaw Growth Modification
Encouraging lower jaw growth with Xbow appliance http://www.crossboworthodontic.com/
Who Is a Candidate for Invisalign® Clear Braces?
Practically all candidates for traditional metal braces are candidates for Invisalign®clear braces. In fact, Invisalign® clear braces make receiving orthodontic care easier and less noticeable than ever before. If you’ve delayed treatment because of the inconvenience associated with metal braces, the Invisalign® system can help you achieve a beautifully, straight smile discretely and comfortably.
What are the primary benefits of Invisalign?
- Invisalign is clear. You can straighten your teeth without anyone knowing.
- Invisalign is removable. Unlike braces, you can eat and drink what you want during treatment. You can also brush and floss normally to maintain good oral hygiene.
- Invisalign is comfortable. There are no metal brackets or wires as with braces to cause mouth irritation, and no metal or wires means you spend less time in the doctor’s chair getting adjustments.
- Invisalign allows you to view your own virtual treatment plan before you start? So you can see how your straight teeth will look when your treatment is complete.
How old is this technology?
In 1945, Dr. H.D. Kesling envisioned that one day modern technology would enable the use of a series of tooth positioners to produce the kinds of movements required for comprehensive orthodontic treatment. Technology has made this vision a reality. Using advanced computer technology, Align generates Invisalign®, a series of customized clear appliances, called “aligners.” Each aligner is worn sequentially by the patient to produce extensive tooth movements in both upper and lower arches.
How many patients are being treated with Invisalign?
Worldwide, almost 480,000 patients have been treated with Invisalign. The number grows daily.
Do doctors need special training in order to use Invisalign?
While Invisalign can be used with virtually any treatment philosophy, specific training is needed. All orthodontists and dentists interested in treating patients with Invisalign must attend training before cases will be accepted from their office. Close to 30,000 orthodontists and dentists worldwide are certified to use Invisalign.
How does Invisalign effectively move teeth?
Like brackets and arch wires are to braces, Invisalign aligners move teeth through the appropriate placement of controlled force on the teeth. The principal difference is that Invisalign not only controls forces, but also controls the timing of the force application. At each stage, only certain teeth are allowed to move, and these movements are determined by the orthodontic treatment plan for that particular stage. This results in an efficient force delivery system.
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