Treatment Options

Braces

Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and are more comfortable today than ever before. Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires. With metal braces, you have the option of adding colored elastics (rubber bands) for a more unique and colorful smile.

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Ceramic (Clear) Braces

Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces. For this reason, ceramic braces are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns. While they are visually less prominent, they do require more attention to oral hygiene as ceramic braces are larger and are more brittle than their metal counterparts. For these reasons, ceramic braces tend to be used more on upper front teeth than on lower teeth.

Invisalign

Invisalign® straightens your teeth without wires and brackets, using a series of clear, customized, removable appliances called aligners. It’s virtually undetectable, which means hardly anyone will know that you are straightening your teeth.

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Two-Phase Treatment

What is the advantage of two-phase orthodontic treatment?

Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a very specialized process that encompasses tooth straightening and physical facial changes. The major advantage of a two-phase treatment is to maximize the opportunity to accomplish the ideal healthy, functional, aesthetic result that will remain stable throughout your life.

What if I put off treatment?

The disadvantage of waiting for complete eruption of permanent teeth and having only one phase of treatment for someone with a jaw discrepancy is facing the possibility of a compromised result that may not be stable.

First Phase Treatment

Your foundation for a lifetime of beautiful teeth

The goal of the first phase treatment is to develop the jaw size in order to accommodate all the permanent teeth and to relate the upper and lower jaws to each other. Children sometimes exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop. An upper and lower jaw that is growing too much or not enough can be recognized at an early age. If children after age 6 are found to have this jaw discrepancy, they are candidates for early orthodontic treatment.

Planning now can save your smile later

Because they are growing rapidly, children can benefit enormously from an early phase of orthodontic treatment utilizing appliances that direct the growth relationship of the upper and lower jaws. Thus, a good foundation can be established, providing adequate room for eruption of all permanent teeth. This early correction may prevent later removal of permanent teeth to correct overcrowding and/or surgical procedures to align the upper and lower jaws. Leaving such a condition untreated until all permanent teeth erupt could result in a jaw discrepancy too severe to achieve an ideal result with braces.

Taking records to determine your unique treatment

Orthodontic records will be necessary to determine the type of appliances to be used, the duration of treatment time, and the frequency of visits. Records consist of impressions of the teeth, x-rays, and photographs.

Resting Period

In this phase, the remaining permanent teeth are allowed to erupt. Retaining devices are not usually recommended since they may interfere with eruption. It is best to allow the existing permanent teeth some freedom of movement while the final eruption of teeth occurs. A successful first phase will have created room for teeth to find an eruption path. Otherwise, they may become impacted or severely displaced.

Monitoring your teeth’s progress

In other words, at the end of the first phase of treatment, teeth are not in their final positions. This will be determined and accomplished in the second phase of treatment. Selective removal of certain primary (baby) teeth may be in the best interest of enhancing eruption during this resting phase. Therefore, periodic recall appointments for observation are necessary, usually on a six-month basis.

Second Phase Treatment

Stay healthy and look attractive

The goal of the second phase is to make sure each tooth has an exact location in the mouth where it is in harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue, and other teeth. When this equilibrium is established, the teeth will function together properly.

Movement & Retention

At the beginning of the first phase, orthodontic records were made, and a diagnosis and treatment plan was established. Certain types of appliances were used in the first phase, as dictated by the problem. The second phase is initiated when all permanent teeth have erupted, and usually requires braces on all the teeth for an average of 24 months. Retainers are worn after this phase to ensure you retain your beautiful smile.

Adult Orthodontics

Braces aren’t just for kids anymore. Tooth alignment can be changed at any age if your gums and bone structure are healthy. We offer a variety of treatments that are designed for different age groups – including adults. A new smile can begin today.

Orthodontic treatment at later stages in life can dramatically improve your personal appearance and self-esteem. Improving the health of your teeth and gums is equally important. Crooked teeth and a bad bite can contribute to gum health and bone loss, tooth decay, abnormal wear of the tooth and enamel surfaces, headaches, and jaw joint pain (TMJ/TMD).

Good news! The new techniques and appliances we use greatly reduce discomfort levels, decrease the frequency of visits, shorten treatment time, and may allow you to choose from several different options. Your options may include metal traditional braces, ceramic braces, or Invisalign.

During the initial examination, we will be able to determine the best possible treatment for your individual needs. During this initial examination, we can outline the treatment plan, the expected duration of treatment, and the approximate cost.
A large percentage of patients are adults, and they agree that it’s never too late to improve their greatest asset – their smile.

Invisalign®

Invisalign® straightens your teeth without wires and brackets, using a series of clear, customized, removable appliances called aligners. It’s virtually undetectable, which means hardly anyone will know that you are straightening your teeth.

Why would I want it?

Not only are the aligners invisible, but they are also removable, so you can eat and drink what you want while in treatment. Plus, brushing and flossing are no problem. They are also comfortable, with no metal to cause mouth abrasions during treatment. And no metal and wires usually mean you spend less time in your doctor’s office getting adjustments. Invisalign® also allows you to view your own virtual treatment plan when you start so you can see how your straight teeth will look when your treatment is complete.

How does it work?

You wear each set of aligners for about 2 weeks, removing them only to eat, drink, brush, and floss. As you replace each aligner with the next in the series, your teeth will move – little by little, week by week – until they have straightened to the final position Dr. Will has prescribed. You’ll visit Dr. Will once every 6 to 8 weeks to ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned. Total treatment varies from case to case, but time averages 9-18 months, and the average number of aligners worn during treatment is between 18 and 30.

Jaw Surgery

Corrective jaw surgery (orthognathic surgery) treats and corrects abnormalities of the facial bones, specifically the jaws and teeth. Often, these abnormalities cause difficulty associated with chewing, talking, sleeping, and other routine activities that most people take for granted. Orthognathic surgery corrects these problems and, in conjunction with orthodontic treatment, will improve the overall appearance of the facial profile.

Surgical orthodontic treatment will be considered for non-growing adult patients with improper bites and those with facial aesthetic concerns. Jaw growth is usually completed by age 16 for girls and 18 for boys. All growth must be completed before jaw surgery can be performed. However, the pre-surgical tooth movements can begin one to two years prior to these ages.

During pre-surgical orthodontic treatment, which usually lasts 12-18 months, you wear braces and will visit the office for scheduled adjustments to your braces. As your teeth move with the braces, you may think that your bite is getting worse rather than better. However, when your jaws are placed into proper alignment during orthognathic surgery, the teeth will then fit into their proper positions.

Surgery which is only done while there are braces on the teeth is then performed in the hospital with an oral surgeon in the hospital operating room. During surgery, jawbones and possibly other facial bones are segmented and moved to a favorable position. Once the bone segments are moved to align proper alignment, they are then fixated utilizing different methods to stabilize so that the bones can heal.

When you have completed surgery, you should be able to return to school or work within two weeks. After the necessary healing time (about 4-8 weeks), there will be some “fine-tuning” your bite. In most cases, braces are removed within 9-18 months following surgery. After the removal of the braces, there will be retainers to maintain the result that was achieved.

Retention

Upon braces removal, the retention phase of your treatment begins. Unfortunately, there is no finish line for this phase. Just like every other part of the body, the teeth are subject to continual changes. Your final orthodontic result depends on your dedication to wearing your retainers, so follow through with the hard work that you’ve put in during your braces. Remember to wear them as prescribed to maintain that beautiful result.