What to Expect When You Receive Orthodontic Care from a Dentist

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What to Expect When You Receive Orthodontic Care from a Dentist

Not everyone is blessed with perfectly aligned teeth. If a patient suffers from crooked teeth, a bad bite, or gaps between teeth, they may want to seek the help of a dental professional. More specifically, they will want to seek the help of a dentist or orthodontist. 

Many dentists offer orthodontics in their practices. Dentists receive basic orthodontic training in school, and most of them complete more training during their continuing education classes after graduation. Therefore, general dentists can be trusted to carry out most orthodontic treatment. Many times, getting orthodontic treatment from your general dentist is a smoother process and more affordable.  

What is orthodontic care?

Orthodontic care is the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of tooth and jaw irregularities. The goal of orthodontic care is to improve a patient’s appearance and their bite. Teeth that are properly aligned and evenly spaced allow an individual to eat, chew, and speak properly. When teeth do not align correctly, strain can be put on jaw muscles causing joint problems. Orthodontic care can help align a bite properly to reduce this strain.

Conditions treated by orthodontic care professionals include:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Crowded teeth
  • Underbites and overbites
  • Gaps in teeth
  • Overlapping teeth
  • TMJ disorder

What to Expect at the Outset of Orthodontic Treatment

During an initial orthodontic treatment consultation, patients can expect the following:

  • Examination of the teeth and gums
  • The taking of X-rays 
  • Impressions to be made to create molds of the patient’s teeth

These procedures will help your dentist determine the best course of treatment. General dentists may refer patients with severe tooth and jaw alignment issues to an orthodontist or oral surgeon. 

Typical Orthodontic Treatments

Braces

Many dentists offer several braces options. These could include traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, and Six Month Smiles®

Six Month Smiles are a fast and effective alternative to traditional braces. They are made up of clear brackets and tooth-colored wires and deliver results in six to nine month– that’s faster than traditional braces AND clear aligners!  

Clear Aligners

Invisalign® clear aligners are plastic, removable trays that gently push and pull teeth. This option is especially popular among older teens and adults who are responsible enough to keep up with their aligners. Dentists who offer Invisalign typically receive special training through the Invisalign training program. 

Will teeth need to be removed?

Not all patients have enough room in their mouths for their permanent teeth. Patients for whom this is the case will likely have to have teeth extracted to create more space. Your dental professional will advise you whether this is the case.

Is treatment complete after teeth are moved to the correct position?

A patient’s teeth will likely have to be held in position for some time after they have been correctly aligned. This is known as the retention period. The piece of equipment used to hold teeth in place during this stage is known as a retainer.

The purpose of a retainer is to keep teeth from moving while the gum and surrounding bone settle. Retainers can be either removable or fixed in place, depending on the original condition.

Orthodontic Treatment in Grant Park

Dr. Lee and the team at Smiles 4 Grant Park can guide you through your options and help determine the best orthodontic care treatment options. Call (404) 328-7177 for a free consultation or conveniently make an appointment online today.

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