About Orthodontics

Orthodontics focuses on aligning teeth to provide a beautiful smile and a healthy bite. Our orthodontists completed two or three years of advanced education after a four-year dental school curriculum to understand and treat the unique needs of each patient.

We welcome patients of all ages including adults, and we realize that every patient has unique treatment needs and goals. Orthodontic technology has changed tremendously over the years so we continuously evolve to incorporate the most up-to-date orthodontic devices, techniques, and treatment philosophies. This includes braces, Invisalign, and much more.

Braces

Braces move misaligned teeth into a new position by applying constant subtle pressure on the teeth. Your orthodontist will adjust your braces every 6-8 weeks so that the movement of your teeth is gentle and gradual. Traditional braces work through the combination of bands, brackets, archwires, and elastics. Due to the advancement of orthodontic technology, braces can be metal-color or clear and come with over 20 colors!

Braces, treated at Chestnut Dental

Invisalign, treated at Chestnut Dental

Invisalign

Instead of traditional metal braces, it is also possible to align teeth using clear plastic aligners that look like retainers or bleaching trays. Clear aligners are produced by many companies, but at Chestnut Dental we only use aligners made by Invisalign, a company with a big head start on the competition.

Invisalign treatment used to be only for adults, but the technology has caught up so that there are many treatments Invisalign does as well as braces and a few areas where it has surpassed braces.

To learn more, please visit our Invisalign page.

Expanders

Palate expanders are used to correct crossbites and also create more room (reduce crowding) in your mouth by expanding your upper palate.

When patients are still growing, the connective tissues between the left and right halves of their upper jaws are very responsive to expansion. The expander rests near the roof of your mouth and uses metal wires to hold your upper molars and push them outward. This outward pressure spreads the left and right halves of your jaw – the halves of your jaw are biologically intended to do this, so the process is painless. New bone grows between the spread halves of the jaw, resulting in an increased width.

As with braces, pushing on your teeth must be done gradually, but with an expander, these adjustments are made through a key inserted into the appliance and turned; turns of the key widen the appliance, which applies further widening pressure to your upper jaw. Expanders are typically worn for about 6 months.

View our video on how to turn the palate expander:

Space Maintainers

Baby or primary teeth are vital to your child’s current and future dental health; they promote normal development of the jaw bone and muscles, preserve space for the eruption of permanent teeth and guide permanent teeth into their proper positions. If your child loses baby teeth due to injury or decay, we may recommend space maintainers, or spacers.

Class II Orthodontic Treatment

One of the most common problems orthodontists treat is the misalignment that occurs when the upper teeth protrude beyond the lower teeth, known as a class II bite or more commonly, an “overbite”. For patients with a class II bite, braces, elastics, and an appliance are typically used together to correct the bite. Certain appliances are more appropriate than others depending on the type of misalignment and the severity. Below are images of a patient treated at Chestnut Dental who had her “overbite” corrected.

Braces with Herbst Appliance, treated at Chestnut Dental

The Herbst appliance is a functional appliance that holds the lower jaw in place and prevents it from moving backward. Your jaws will shift and grow to accommodate the new positioning. Even though the Herbst appliance constrains the movement of your jaw, opening and closing movements still occur easily.

At the outset of treatment, the Herbst appliance – as with all fixed functional appliances – will create a feeling of fullness in the mouth, and speaking may feel awkward. Reading aloud will help you get used to the new positioning, and ordinary speech will return quickly. You may also notice more saliva than normal, but this will decrease as you become accustomed to the appliance. If any other discomfort occurs due to the Herbst appliance, it will be a sore area on the inside of the cheeks; in this case, call to make an appointment for readjustment.

Class III Orthodontic Treatment

When the lower teeth protrude beyond the upper teeth, that is known as a class III bite or more commonly, an “underbite”. For patients with a class III bite, the underlying relationship of the jaw bones usually needs to be treated in addition to the tooth positions. Specifically, growth of the upper jaw must be stimulated to match the lower jaw following a protocol that starts as soon as the underbite develops and lasts until jaw growth is done.  This typically includes facemask treatment during ages 7-10, possible Bollate plate treatment ages 11-14, and then possible orthognathic jaw surgery once growth has finished.  Below are images of a patient treated at Chestnut Dental who had his “underbite” corrected. 

Retainers

Once your orthodontic treatment is complete we provide virtually invisible clear plastic retainers molder to your teeth to maintain your treatment result.  We all also go a step further and provide a permanent wire, seen below, on the lower front teeth to provide the greatest chance for long-term success.

First Orthodontic Visit

Each orthodontic patient’s treatment is different, but our goals for the first visit are always the same:

  • to help you get acquainted with our office
  • to answer any questions you have about orthodontic treatment
  • to build a custom treatment plan based on your needs and goals

During the initial visit you will meet the orthodontist and discuss an appropriate plan for orthodontic treatment.  Please call to learn more about orthodontic treatment at Chestnut Dental.

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