When you or a loved one live with teeth misalignment, you may consider orthodontic treatment to help remedy the condition. The treatment option involves using dental devices to apply gentle pressure to your teeth until they properly align. As a first-time patient, you may have various questions about the treatment, how to prepare for it, and who to consult if you decide to receive it. If so, consider working with a trusted dentist, as they provide comprehensive information on different types of orthodontic treatment and administer them to you.

At Beach Dental Care Anaheim, you receive excellent orthodontic services tailored to your needs. Our team understands the importance of providing quality orthodontic treatment, as it directly impacts your physical appearance and overall well-being. You can count on us to strategize effective treatment methods and provide helpful aftercare tips. Our services are available for patients seeking orthodontic treatment in Anaheim, California.

What Orthodontic Treatment Entails

An orthodontist specializes in dental realignment treatment, also known as orthodontics. The procedures involved using dental devices tailored to meet each patient’s needs and restoring their teeth to proper dental alignment.

Orthodontic services require keen attention to detail because they involve changing your facial structure and dental alignment. Your dentist must, therefore, understand your current structure well and how to remedy the existing misalignment problem.

Further, they must be capable of projecting their treatment strategies to establish whether the type of orthodontic method used will be successful. Based on this, consider choosing an experienced and trusted dentist when consulting on orthodontic treatment.

The nature of treatment also varies based on the type of dental devices used to remedy tooth misalignment. This is primarily because the practice has evolved, resulting in several options. Metal braces are the primary dental devices traditionally used in orthodontic treatment, and they proved effective for most patients.

Additional improvements have since emerged, and your dentist will inform you of the pros and cons of each. Your condition may also warrant one type of orthodontic device over another, especially in more severe cases where you need special dental devices.

Types of Dental Devices Used for Orthodontic Treatment

During your initial consultation on orthodontic services, your dentist mentions the various treatment options to consider. Each involves using a dental device that varies slightly in design, but they all perform the same role of teeth realignment.

The following are the types of orthodontic treatments to seek and the dental devices involved:

  • Treatment Using Traditional Braces

Traditional braces are the primary option in orthodontic treatment, mainly because they were the first design widely used in dental treatment. They consist of metal brackets that your dentist sticks on each tooth surface and an aluminum wire that passes through each bracket.

Once the wire is in position, your dentist tightens it by pulling it through a knot, causing gentle pressure on the entire upper or lower jaw dental structure. The dentist then seals the wire in position using small elastics that require constant changing for oral hygiene. Throughout treatment, your dentist adjusts the wire or changes it completely to adjust the pressure on each tooth. The overall effect of the repeated adjustments is dental realignment, as the braces force your teeth to move into the required position.

Traditional braces are semi-permanent, meaning that you will have the brackets stuck on your teeth until treatment concludes. Due to this, you have limited dieting options during treatment, as you must avoid hard foods to prevent dislodging the brackets.

Similarly, maintaining oral hygiene may be more challenging with traditional metal braces because the brackets may hide food particles. Some patients also report that the wire pressure can cause pain or severe discomfort a few hours after the dentist adjusts it, making it difficult to continue your daily life.

Based on the reported challenges, dentists have modified designs to give patients a smoother treatment process, resulting in different options for orthodontic treatment. Nevertheless, patients still benefit from treatment using traditional braces, and your dentist may recommend them if they are the most effective solution.

Self-Ligating Braces

Among the improvements made to traditional braces is the removal of the need for elastics to hold the aluminum wire in place. Doing so improves treatment efficiency, meaning that you are likely to complete orthodontic treatment sooner compared to when using traditional braces.

Nevertheless, self-ligating braces still require a bracket and a wire to push your teeth into position and constant dental appointments for the dentist to adjust the wire. They are a better option for patients who receive treatment with improved traditional braces.

Invisalign Plates

Invisalign services are also part of orthodontic treatment, as the treatment design aims to realign your teeth in the required position. Invisalign plates vary significantly from traditional braces, as your dentist needs to design plastic plates that fit into your teeth to create the necessary pressure.

You will, therefore, wear them like a mouthguard, allowing the slight modifications in design to create uneven pressure to push your teeth into the exact shape they are. Based on this, you must receive new plates continuously until your dentist notes that the improvements have resulted in better realignment.

Invisalign treatment has become more popular than traditional braces because it provides more flexibility. For example, the plastic plates are removable, so you can retain your diet, especially if you enjoy foods like carrots, apples, or nuts.

The discrete nature of Invisalign also makes it a better choice for people who prefer to complete the treatment discreetly. For example, if you work in the media industry, you may choose Invisalign over traditional braces to avoid interference with your professional roles.

Reasons to Seek Orthodontic Treatment

If you are trying to decide whether to seek orthodontic treatment, consider consulting your dentist to establish whether your condition qualifies you for it. Upon running their examinations, they guide you on which orthodontic treatment option suits you.

Some reasons to seek orthodontic treatment include:

Overcrowded Teeth

Teeth crowding often occurs after your permanent teeth grow, as they are more significant than your milk teeth. Since they occupy a larger space on your jawbone, some teeth are pushed out of proper alignment, resulting in a crowded look. Some patients also develop teeth crowding from a genetic predisposition if one parent has a smaller jaw and another has more prominent teeth.

Teeth crowding can cause dental complications, including constant tooth injuries as you chew or bite. This is especially true when the premolars and molars are pushed out of position, as your inner cheeks are exposed to the impact when chewing.

Additionally, crowded teeth may increase the risk of bacterial infection, especially when food particles remain stuck in tight spaces. You will likely develop cavities and tooth decay if you cannot reach these tight pockets.

Orthodontic treatment is, therefore, essential to prevent you from developing dental complications, so your dentist recommends various options. Further, treatment may involve preparation procedures to promote better results, so you should be ready to adjust your schedule for your dentist to perform them.

An Overbite

Overbite conditions develop for various reasons, including thumb-sucking habits and improper tongue positioning when closing your mouth. Some patients may also develop the condition from genetic factors or after a medical condition causes significant changes in their facial structure.

Your dentist diagnoses you with an overbite if the teeth on your upper jaw are more protruding than your lower jaw when your mouth is at rest. The improper alignment indicates a need for orthodontic treatment to push the upper jaw teeth back into position.

Although overbites may not present severe medical conditions, they significantly impact your overall appearance, often making your facial structure look older. Subsequently, remedying the overbite restructures your face for a more youthful look and promotes dental alignment for your well-being.

Teeth Loss

After losing teeth, you develop spaces on the jawbone that may result in teeth drifting. If the spaces remain for extended periods, your teeth are misaligned because of the slight movements that push them into the gaps. Even when the rest of your teeth remain aligned, your dentist may recommend orthodontic treatment to prevent future dental complications that may arise.

Treating tooth loss is often more straightforward than other conditions, as your dentist only needs to close the gaps. Nevertheless, you must observe your dentist’s directives to attain the expected results without causing dental complications.

Underbite and Crossbite Conditions

An underbite is the inverse of an overbite condition, as it involves having the teeth on your lower jaw protrude more than the upper jaw ones. Based on this, your dentist recommends orthodontic treatment to realign them for better tooth functionality and improved aesthetics.

Crossbites also present a similar condition, whereby the teeth on your upper jaw do not correspond to those on the lower one. For example, your upper jaw incisor may align with the lower jaw canine instead of the lower jaw incisor. Based on this, you may remedy a crossbite using orthodontic procedures to promote better alignment and overall dental health.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Type of Orthodontic Treatment

Once your dentist confirms that orthodontic treatment is suitable to remedy your condition, you can consider various factors to ensure you make an informed decision before treatment begins. This stage requires you to conduct your research and request your dentist for specific details on treatment. The main factors to consider include:

Your Aesthetic Preferences During Treatment

Since you have an option between traditional braces and Invisalign, you can present your aesthetic preferences to your dentist to determine whether you can choose between the treatment options. In doing so, express your concerns about your ability to continue working, eating, and maintaining proper oral hygiene.

You can then compare the pros and cons of each treatment option and determine whether you are willing to compromise on your aesthetic preferences. If not, choosing Invisalign is advisable for discreet treatment, while patients who prefer consistent treatment may choose braces.

Your Budget

Orthodontic services often fall within the cosmetic dentistry category, meaning many insurance companies do not include them in their dental packages. Subsequently, consider the costs of each treatment option to ensure you can meet the expected expenses without delaying treatment.

Costs vary based on your chosen treatment option and your treatment location. For example, Invisalign services are more expensive than traditional braces because they are relatively new.

Further, consider discussing the available payment plans with your dentist before beginning treatment to help you assess your options. The information is critical, allowing you to plan your financial expenditures without pressure.

Many clinics are open to receiving payment for orthodontic treatment in installments, provided you can discuss a date to complete the payments. Therefore, you can take advantage of the arrangement to seek orthodontic treatment without delay, even if your condition worsens if you wait longer.

The Preferred Treatment Timeline

Your dentist may also inform you that one treatment option may take a significantly shorter time than another, depending on the pressure applied to your teeth. However, choosing the option estimated to take a shorter time only sometimes guarantees the outcome. This is primarily because your dental treatment duration varies based on how your teeth respond to the applied pressure.

Preparing for Orthodontic Treatment

Preparing for orthodontic treatment is crucial because it lays the foundation for how successful the dental realignment will be. Your dentist emphasizes obtaining information, running examinations, and other pretreatment procedures to increase the chances of attaining correctly aligned teeth that will not regress.

As a patient, you should know the pre-treatment procedures to help set aside time and prepare your schedule for upcoming dental appointments. The following are crucial procedures that your dentist may advise on:

Undergoing a Physical Examination

Physical examinations are a good starting point for orthodontic treatment, as they allow your dentist to study your dental alignment. The step is critical to your treatment because it helps diagnose and find the most suitable treatment procedure.

A physical examination lasts a few minutes and involves following directives from your dentist to open and shut your mouth. You must also hold your mouth in a bite position to help them establish whether you have an overbite or an underbite.

Additional checks include determining whether you have cavities, tooth decay, or gum disease before orthodontic treatment begins, as handling these conditions beforehand would be essential.

Taking X-Ray and 3-D Images

Apart from physical examinations, your dentist relies on images to further study how your teeth align inside your jawbone. To do this, they request that you take 3-D and X-ray images that display the internal tooth structure, including your root position.

The information they obtain from studying images of your dental alignment is vital, as it determines whether your dentist needs to perform invasive procedures to promote better realignment. It also serves as a reference point as treatment continues to ensure that the dentist’s realignment projections work.

Sharing Your Medical History

Part of treatment preparation involves sharing your medical history with your dentist to help prepare for your orthodontic treatment. They may ask you whether you have received other dental services in the past and, if so, what they entailed. Your family history may also be relevant in diagnosing your teeth misalignment condition and seeking a remedy, so disclosing relevant information is advisable.

During the consultation, you should also disclose your current prescriptions, if any, as well as whether you are living with a terminal condition. Providing the details is important because it guides your dentist in determining if they intend to perform additional dental procedures before beginning your braces or Invisalign treatment.

Tooth Extraction Procedures

If you receive orthodontic treatment for teeth crowding or related purposes, your dentist may have to extract several teeth as a pre-treatment step. They do this to create more space for dental realignment, as the braces or Invisalign forces the teeth into new positions.

Teeth extractions require a separate procedure, as they involve using anesthesia and exposing internal parts of your teeth in extreme cases. Subsequently, your dentist informs you of the estimated number of teeth for removal to help you prepare your schedule and other adequate preparations.

After the teeth extractions, you need a few recovery days to allow blood clots to form on the gums and, subsequently, the healing process. In the meantime, you must observe high hygiene levels to avoid infections and other dental complications.

Taking Mold Impressions

Mold impressions are necessary for orthodontic treatment because they create a replica of your current teeth' positions. Your dentist then uses the molds for treatment preparation, including the unique designs of your Invisalign or braces.

Taking mold impressions is a fast process that involves pressing the unique dental mold against your teeth to leave the marks in. After the mold dries, it creates the required replica for future reference throughout your orthodontic treatment.

Aftercare Tips to Maintain Results After Orthodontic Treatment

After completing your orthodontic treatment, you must maintain the newly obtained results to prevent your teeth from regressing. As a result, your dentist provides some aftercare tips to follow. They include:

  • Clean your teeth consistently.
  • Attend follow-up appointments.
  • Wear your retainers or other dental devices as directed.
  • Avoid hard foods for a few weeks after completing treatment.

Find an Orthodontist Near Me

Seeking orthodontic treatment is an excellent way to improve your aesthetics and promote your overall dental health. If you or a loved one is considering receiving orthodontic services, consider working with an experienced dentist to help you attain the desired results without regression.

At Beach Dental Care Anaheim, we focus on providing quality orthodontic treatment to patients by studying each case and developing unique treatment options. Our team is ready to provide quality treatment to ensure that you attain dental realignment, giving you a brighter smile. If you require orthodontic services in Anaheim, California, call us today at 714-995-4000.