How does treatment work?
Orthodontic treatment corrects malocclusions, or bad bites, by straightening teeth and improving the way the jaws fit together. A gentle, constant force is used to guide the teeth to their ideal positions. This is accomplished by the remodeling of the bone as the teeth are gently guided to their proper locations. It is in fact a complex biological process, but a skilled orthodontist can provide efficient, effective, and long-lasting results.
In order to achieve the ideal bite, the jaw must also adapt. For many patients, this can be accomplished through braces or clear aligners alone, but other patients may require additional appliances, such as palatal expanders, in order to guide jaw growth.
Orthodontists have dedicated their professional lives to understanding the complex movements needed to achieve the perfect smile for each patient. This includes knowing the correct amount of pressure to place, and where that pressure should be applied, to achieve certain tooth movements. Some patients require only minor movement to achieve their ideal smiles, while other patients have much more complex needs, such as rotating or even lifting teeth up from the gums. Orthodontic treatment should always be performed by an experienced orthodontic specialist.
Your teeth are held in place by the periodontal ligament, the gum tissue that surrounds the root of each tooth. When your teeth are guided to their new locations, it will require bone remodeling to not only close up where the teeth were, but secure them where they have been moved to.
Traditional braces consist of metal brackets that are bonded to each tooth and an archwire that is attached to each bracket. The wire is activated to place the pressure needed to guide the teeth.
Clear aligners work the same as braces, but utilize plastic aligners that fit directly over the teeth. Patients receive a series of aligner sets, each perfectly calibrated to achieve a certain tooth movement. Each set is worn for approximately 22 hours a day for one to two weeks before moving on to the next set.
Treatment is recommended to begin during childhood for one very important reason – the Albany orthodontist can take advantage of the child’s still-growing jaw. Treatment can often be easier and more efficient when the growth of the jaw can be guided.
The type and extent of treatment needed will depend on the individual patient. The age you are and the severity of your issue will play a role in determining the extent of treatment needed.