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Not everyone is born with perfect teeth, the perfect smile, or the perfect bite. Before the practice of orthodontics developed, most people dealt with the mouth and teeth they were born with. Nowadays, orthodontists are able to fix teeth, smiles, and bites so that patients can speak, smile, and eat with confidence. The time required for orthodontic treatment may seem lengthy but it’s time well spent. And thanks to advancements like Invisalign, it can be time easily spent.
The branch of dentistry dealing with positioning crooked, misaligned teeth and correcting bites is known as orthodontia. The term “orthodontia” is from the Greek language where “ortho” means straight and “dontia” refers to teeth. Orthodontics is the specialty area of dentistry dealing with the determination of dental problems related to the teeth and jaws. Once the issue or issues are known, the focus becomes preventing further problems and correcting those that exist.
Initially, the focus for this type of treatment was directed at children in their preteen to teen years. Many parents saw orthodontics as a development they missed out on because it was relatively new to the dental field compared to basic dentistry and other dental specialties. Fortunately, the demographics of orthodontic treatment have changed. Orthodontics once was just for kids but now 20-45 year old moms and even dads are taking advantage of treatment to correct their dental problems.
The Benefits of Treatment
The advantages of orthodontic treatment are both visible and unseen. Most people have witnessed someone who began treatment with crooked teeth, unevenly aligned teeth, and/or unevenly spaced teeth. By the conclusion of the treatment, these same people had a million dollar smile. But, there’s a great deal more to what orthodontic treatment can provide:
- The ability to speak and eat is greatly improved
- The teeth do not wear as easily
- The teeth and gums are healthier
- Malocclusions are corrected
The benefits associated with this treatment are not just the physical ones related to attractiveness and healthier teeth and gums. The treatment also results in a higher level of confidence and self-esteem.
The Evolution of Orthodontic Treatment
Another reason that more adults are taking advantage of advanced dentistry is due to the fact that the treatment itself has become more discreet over time. In the 1970s, the term “braces” was used to refer to treatment that consisted of metal bands that circumvented the individual teeth and were connected by a wire that ran through brackets on each band. There was an upper wire and a lower wire. Over the course of treatment, the wires were tightened to pull the teeth into the proper alignment.
While the two wires still exist, banding around the tooth has been replaced with the practice of adhering brackets directly to the teeth. The metal in the mouth has decreased considerably as has the usage of such terms as “brace face”, “metal mouth”, and “tinsel teeth”.
But wait, it gets better! Enter Invisalign, the newest method of orthodontic treatment and the least noticeable. With this treatment, plastic trays are individually fitted to the patient’s teeth. Over the course of treatment, various trays are used with each tray causing teeth to move and shift into the proper position and in the proper direction while building upon the gains made by prior trays.
The appeal is that most people won’t even know that a person is wearing them. With conventional braces, the only way people won’t know you have braces is because you have kept your mouth shut! While there are people out there that are solitary and quiet, most of us enjoy talking, eating, and smiling from time to time if not most of the time!
The process is quite simple. Successful treatment involves the following:
- Select an orthodontist that treats with Invisalign
- Work with your doctor to create a treatment plan
- Wear your aligners most of the day and night
- Be sure to move to a new aligner about every two weeks
- See your orthodontist about every six weeks
- Complete your treatment and then use retainers to maintain your treatment
Patients experiencing the best results wear aligners 20 to 22 hours per day. Up to 48 different aligners may be needed with each aligner resulting in movement of .25 to .33 millimeters per tooth. The thermoplastic aligners pressure teeth to move into the fit of the aligner. Once achieved, it’s time for the next aligner.
As for how long it takes, that depends on the individual. The conditions patients find themselves faced with range from simple to complex and can range in terms of severity for a particular condition. Length of treatment is also affected by how well the patient complies with wearing the trays. Because of these factors, treatment can range from a few months to several years.
For some people, it’s hard to believe plastic trays can work to correct dental imperfections. The custom fit of the aligners is the key. A mold is made of the patient’s teeth and from this mold a computerized model is generated. The model is used to create the plastic trays in various stages from the beginning of treatment to the desired result at the end of treatment.
Contact Us Today for an Appointment
Nothing is going to change about your smile until you take action. Call today to learn more about what the best orthodontist in Nashville TN can offer you. Enjoy the professional and inviting atmosphere at Gluck Orthodontics as you are welcomed into the office. Dr. Gluck and his staff will strive to make you comfortable and keep you well-informed about all of your orthodontic options.
Remember that your choice to have orthodontic treatment will give you a boost of confidence and make your smile shine. You’ll also be able to have better oral hygiene and avoid problems like TMJ disorders due to a poor bite or misalignment of your teeth. Dr. Gluck is here for you to bring out the best in your smile. Make your appointment today.
Gluck Orthodontics – Nashville Orthodontist
2002 Richard Jones Road, Suite A-200 Nashville, TN 37215