Orthodontics (properly placed teeth) is foundational to dental wellness. The ideal alignment of teeth not only gives a nice appearance but also gives better function with less wear when chewing, teeth are easier to clean, are more resistant to gum disease, and promote healthier jaw joints. Orthodontics is important to dental wellness!
Evaluation and potential treatment starts with a child’s growth and development. Assessment of the developing dentition gives clues to future problems that can range from slight to severe and if assessment at this stage is not done, conditions can escalate and snowball into more severe issues as a teenager or beyond. Intercepting developing orthodontic problems is critical to a child’s future. If the shape and size of the dental arches are not encouraged to grow properly when the child is growing, the only remedy to this problem as a teenager is jaw surgery or the extraction of teeth to make room in the arch. Extractions, though often done in the past, pose their own issues and can produce undesirable results esthetically and functionally.
Evaluation of a growing child is not difficult and there is an abundance of analysis that goes back to the early 1900’s, but in this part of the country early growth and development treatment was not part of the curriculum. The University of Minnesota has only recently added it and early treatment is now a common approach to correcting a child’s malocclusion (bad bite). 40 years ago, Dr. Anderson, along with other concerned dentists pursued training in early orthodontic treatment in answer to parents concerns for the obvious “crooked teeth” their children were developing. Now with over 1000 cases of early treatment and traditional braces, Dr. Anderson can testify to the success of an interceptive approach to orthodontics. Along the way, braces have become easier to use for both the patient and dentist. Brackets bonded directly to teeth, elastic force elements and better wires have made a big difference in the accuracy of positioning and faster treatment times. But an even better system has now come along.
Invisalign was introduced in 1998 and has dramatically changed orthodontic treatment options and has now treated over 12 million cases worldwide. It has become the standard of care for orthodontics as they have continually improved their product. Dr. Anderson has been a Certified Provider for 20 of those 24 years and has seen the changes and improvements. Invisalign treatment consists of a 3-dimensional scan, digital pictures and x-rays for assessment and then following a computerized analysis, a proposed series of clear plastic trays can be made that are worn 22 of 24 hours daily. The trays (aligners) are changed to the next numbered tray weekly. Each tray has an advancement in tooth position built into the shape and over the course of months the treatment is complete. The advantages of Invisalign are many. They are far more comfortable than braces, they are hard to see when in place as opposed to metal braces. They can be removed to clean teeth and gum tissue, treatment times are generally shorter and it is easier to treat deep bite cases and situations where there is not a lot of excess room in the mouth. The one issue with Invisalign is compliance. Since the aligners are removeable, the patient must wear the aligners the appropriate amount of time daily or treatment will be delayed or ineffective.
If you or your children are interested in orthodontic treatment, let us answer your questions. Our Invisalign fees are some of the best around and our consultation appointments are free.