What is orthodontics?
Your teeth are an important part of your mouth. They have many essential functions, including biting, chewing, and proper speech. They also play roles in the health of your mouth, including your jawbone, your smile, and your quality of life. When you have crooked teeth, it can significantly impact all of these functions. Your risk for cavities and gum disease increases, you may experience uneven tooth wear, and you may even be faced with jaw pain, temporomandibular joint pain, and more. At Dr. Tim Dumore & Team, we can help to correct the alignment of your teeth, and improve your quality of life with orthodontic treatment.
Orthodontists Vs. General DentistsBoth orthodontists and general dentists work to help you improve your oral health. Both receive four years of extensive education and training. After those four years, they become dentists. Orthodontics, however, is a dental specialty. To become an orthodontist, we must continue our education and training for an additional 2 to 3 years. We specialize in improving the alignment of your teeth and your jaws to help improve your oral health, the functions of your mouth, and your smile.
Orthodontics at Any AgeWhen most people think about orthodontics, they tend to only focus on adolescents and young teens. While these individuals represent a large number of patients wearing braces, orthodontics can be helpful at just about any age.
It is recommended that your child have their first orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7. This evaluation is done to determine the presence of orthodontic issues as well as the potential for issues. If any issues are found, then a customized treatment plan can be created specifically for your child that outlines the type of treatment they need along with a timeline of when the work should be done. Early treatment can be helpful for guiding the growth of the jaws as well as ensuring that there is sufficient space for adult teeth.
Braces are commonly placed on the adolescent to early teen years after the last of the adult teeth have erupted and are used for correcting tooth and jaw alignment. This is considered an ideal time because the jaws are still growing and developing, making treatment easier. However, older teens and adults can also benefit from orthodontic treatment. Older patients may be self-conscious about traditional metal braces though. Today, there are options that can help improve tooth alignment and your smile more discreetly. Essentially, if crooked teeth are affecting your oral health and smile, and you want to correct it, orthodontics can help, no matter what your age.
How Does Orthodontic Treatment Work?With traditional braces, small metal brackets are affixed to the surfaces of each of your teeth. A wire spans the entire arch, attached to each bracket with a ligature, or elastic O-ring. The wires do most of the work. They put pressure on your teeth, which in turn put pressure on your periodontal ligaments. The ligaments widen, loosening your teeth. The wires, then work to guide your teeth into proper alignment and hold them in position as the ligaments and your bone heal around them, stabilizing them in their new locations.
While braces are one of the most common orthodontic appliances, there are also other treatments as well. We offer In-Ovation, which are self-litigating metal braces, as well as Invisalign, or clear plastic aligners. Invisalign provides you with a discreet way to correct tooth alignment.
What is the Length of Treatment?The exact amount of time that your treatment takes varies based on several factors. One of the biggest determining factors is the severity of your situation. Those with more significant alignment issues will require longer treatment. The type of treatment you receive, such as braces versus Invisalign can also play a role. On average, treatment can take anywhere from one to three years.
How do I schedule my next appointment?If your smile and oral health are suffering due to poorly aligned teeth, orthodontics can help. Call Dr. Tim Dumore & Team at 204-809-6026 today and our front desk staff will be happy to schedule your next appointment at your convenience. If you are a new patient or have been referred to our practice, please let us know and we will provide you with all the information you need.