Orthodontic Treatment (Braces)
Orthodontics: Benefits of Orrthodontic Treatment
There are many valid reasons to visit a Houston doctor for orthodontic treatment. For one, there are the obvious changes to one’s physical appearance in the form of straighter teeth and an improved bite. Secondly, these changes can cause a person to develop a positive self-image of his or her appearance. Third and finally, an orthodontic treatment such as braces can help resolve potential oral health issues with the teeth and jaw area.
When teeth or jaws are misaligned, it can result in tooth decay and gum disease, among other conditions. It is important that such patients visit an orthodontist, or a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of malocclusions (also known as“bad bites”). If left untreated, malocclusions can have a cascading effect in which pain spreads to the face and neck area and results in added wear and tear on tooth surfaces.
At Galleria Dental, our Houston orthodontic treatment clinic, we encourage early detection and prevention of malocussions and other oral health problems. One key orthodontic treatment option we offer are braces, which are available in a variety of styles: metal braces, ceramic braces, lingual braces, and Invisalign. An orthodontic evaluation is highly recommended for patients of all ages, particularly children in the pre-adolescent (ages 12 and under) and early adolescent (ages 10 to 13) stages, as these are the periods in which teeth are still developing and proper development can be assured.
Why should I schedule orthodontic treatment?
Here are several types of malocclusions that our Houston orthodontic treatments can correct:
- Crossbite. Upper teeth bite inside, rather than outside, lower teeth
- Crowding: Too many teeth within a limited space
- Open bite: Both rows of teeth don’t overlap, causing them to slant outward
- Overbite: Lower teeth bite into upper teeth tissue
- Overjet: Upper teeth push outward (also known as an upper protrusion)
- Underbite: Lower jaw protrudes over upper jaw
In addition, Galleria Dental’s orthodontic treatments can help alleviate such issues as breathing and swallowing problems, jaw pain, and issues speaking, chewing, or biting. In children specifically, orthodontic treatments can be used to treat pediatric problems such as thumb or finger sucking and tooth eruption.
What are the orthodontic treatment phases?
There are three phases to the orthodontic treatment process:
Phase 1: Planning
The orthodontist performs tests, evaluates results, and talks with the patient about his or her past medical history and present health status. The goal is to gather as much information as possible in the form of dental records, molds of the patient’s teeth, x-rays of his or her teeth and jaws, and photographs of the head, neck, face and mouth. All of this information helps to design a custom-made orthodontic device suited to the specific needs of the patient.
Phase 2: Acting
The patient makes regular, recurring visits to see his or her Houston orthodontist in order to ensure the success of the orthodontic treatment and to make adjustments as necessary.
Phase 3. Retaining
The orthodontic device is removed and replaced by a new appliance. If all has gone according to plan, the device helps to strengthen teeth and stabilize the jaw into proper alignment. Of course, retaining straight, healthy teeth can be a process, so vigilance and maintenance will be key to maintaining ideal oral health.