Orthodontics is the dental specialty that seeks to correct improper bite and tooth displacement. Although braces are the most commonly associated procedure with orthodontics, our practice actually offers additional services. Arch expanders in children, for example, can minimize or eliminate the need for braces when the problem is treated at an early age.
Orthodontics provide many benefits. Decay and injury risks are reduced by making teeth easier to clean, and less prone to trauma. TMJ problems and excessive tooth wear are also lessened. Plus straight teeth provide a healthier, more attractive smile, which in turn boosts confidence and self esteem.
Dr. Bauer provides comprehensive orthodontic services for children and adults, beginning with an evaluation. If he determines that you are a good candidate for orthodontics, we will give you a specific recommendation and treatment plan, including a timeline and cost estimate, for you to consider.
It is usually best for children to have an orthodontic evaluation by the age of six. In the past, it was typical for children to have braces placed when they were 10 or 11 years of age. New techniques, however, have been created that could reduce or eliminate the need for braces altogether. Arch expanders are one such treatment.
If braces are necessary, you'll be happy to know that today's brackets and techniques make orthodontic treatment faster and more comfortable than ever before. Braces work over a period of time, causing the teeth to shift under constant, gentle pressure. Once the teeth are properly aligned, a fixed or adjustable retainer is sometimes placed to keep them in place until they have settled.
Crowded, spaced, and crooked teeth, as well as over and under bites tend to lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and jaw problems. By applying braces (a set of bonded brackets, arch wires and elastic bands) constant pressure is applied to the teeth in order to move them to "normal" position.
After the teeth are properly aligned the braces are removed and a retainer is put in place. Retainers can be fixed or adjustable, and will be used until the teeth become "settled".
A common misconception is that braces are for children. Today more and more adults are learning that there is more than just a cosmetic benefit to braces, but a health benefit as well.