Treatment can often be delivered through a variety of different appliance therapies, including:
Metal Braces – Traditional braces are stainless steel or gold plated, consisting of brackets, bands, and wires, all of which are used to strategically move teeth during orthodontic correction treatment. These kinds of braces are low profile for the enhanced comfort and esthetics of the patient.
Esthetic, Tooth Colored Braces – As an esthetically pleasing alternative to traditional metal braces, this type of bracket is designed to blend in with the natural color of one’s teeth.
Orthopedic Appliances (headgear, palate expanders) – These devices, which can be used alone or together with traditional braces, are meant to accomplish a more extensive movement of the jaws.
- Headgear can be worn to push back the upper teeth in the cases where they stick out beyond the lower. Headgear can be worn during periods of growth to delay the growth of the top jaw, allowing for the bottom jaw to catch up.
- A palatal expander can be used to widen the top jaw in a young or adolescent patient, whose top jaw is narrower than their bottom jaw, often resulting in a crossbite.
Functional Positioners – These appliances work to actively reposition jaws into a desirable position to encourage favorable growth and/or accommodate the jaws to maintain their new position.
Habit Breaking Appliances – Though there are many variations of these such appliances, all are designed to break a persistent habit (like finger/thumb sucking or tongue thrusting).
Invisalign® – This is a system of progressive, clear plastic aligners that, when worn correctly, are designed to gently guide teeth into their new position in gradual increments. Each set of aligners is worn for a week or two. Those who wear aligners like how they are conveniently removable (take them out to eat, brush and floss), and are esthetically pleasing. As with any technique, it is very important for Dr. Lee to determine if you are a candidate for a successful treatment and outcome with Invisalign.
Retainers – Retainers are used to either hold teeth in their current position. These appliances vary in design and can often be created in an assortment of colors and design.
Length of treatment varies with the type of correction. Most orthodontic problems are usually handled within two years followed by six months of retention. Treatment is generally well tolerated and relatively comfortable.