Traditional Braces Are a Trusted Way to Correct Misalignment
Orthodontic treatment can achieve a number of important cosmetic and functional benefits, straightening crooked teeth, correcting overbites or underbites, and achieving proper bite balance. At Northampton Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, our traditional metal braces are an established and affordable option. They can be especially appropriate for younger patients or for adults with more pronounced misalignment. Dr. Teddi Olszewski also offers Invisalign® at her Northampton, MA, practice. This innovative treatment can achieve many of the same results as braces. Your dentist will carefully evaluate your needs, lifestyle, and budget to help you choose the right type of appliance. In either case, the results can be truly transformative.
Are You a Candidate for Braces?
Metal braces can correct a number of alignment issues:
- Crowded or overlapping teeth
- Gapped teeth
- Open bite
- Tipped or turned teeth
Younger patients between the ages of eight and 18 often have the most pronounced orthodontic problems and they can also enjoy optimal results. Nonetheless, braces can be highly effective for older patients, as well. Both adolescents and adults should have good oral health before beginning orthodontic care. If needed, Dr. Olszewski will can first address cavities or gum disease.
What to Expect When You Receive Braces
Before placing your braces, Dr. Olszewski will take impressions of your teeth. After creating your treatment plan, she will bond metal brackets onto your teeth with composite. In some cases, she may also place spacers to create more room between your molars. Next she will string an archwire along your teeth. Rubber bands call O-rings will keep the wire attached to each bracket. The wire will immediately begin to place a slight pressure on your teeth, causing them to slowly shift. At regular appointments, spaced about a month apart, Dr. Olszewski will gradually tighten the wire until your teeth have reached their optimal positions.
Orthodontics can dramatically improve your appearance. However, maintaining your results can also have tremendous benefits for your oral health.
You will need to wear braces for one to two years in most cases. The exact timeframe will depend on the initial degree of misalignment, as well as on how quickly your teeth respond. After the braces come off, you should wear a retainer to preserve your new dental alignment.
The Importance of Orthodontic Treatment
When you think of braces, you may consider them to be primarily a cosmetic treatment option. It is true that orthodontia can dramatically improve your appearance. However, appropriate care can also have tremendous benefits for your oral health. Crooked teeth can trap bacteria, increasing your risk for decay and gum disease. In more pronounced cases, misalignment can affect the overall balance of your bite, leading to dental erosion, broken teeth, and even TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder.
Invisalign vs. Traditional Braces
Dr. Olszewski offers Invisalign as an alternative to braces. While this solution is not appropriate for those with more severe misalignment, the majority of orthodontic patients will qualify for treatment. Invisalign uses clear aligner trays instead of brackets and wires. Because the trays are removable, you can eat a full range of foods, and you can more thoroughly brush your teeth. We invite you to learn more about the differences between Invisalign and braces if you are considering orthodontics.
Contact Us for an Orthodontic Evaluation
To learn more about braces and Invisalign and to find out which one may be right for you, schedule an appointment with Dr. Olszewski today. Contact us online or give us a call at (413) 584-2902.