Here are some problems that are commonly corrected with orthodontic treatment:
- Overcrowding – This occurs when there is too little space for the teeth to align normally in the mouth. Overcrowding can cause tooth decay and increase the likelihood of gum disease.
- Large gaps between teeth – This can occur because teeth are missing or because the jaw continues to grow abnormally.
- Crossbite – This common dental problem occurs when one or more upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth. As a result, uneven wear can lead to bone erosion and gum disease.
- Overbite – This problem occurs when the upper teeth project further than, or completely cover, the lower teeth. Eventually, jaw pain and TMJ may occur.
- Underbite – This is the inverse of the overbite; the lower teeth project further than, or completely cover, the upper teeth. Eventually, jaw pain and TMJ can occur.
At Hillstead Orthodontics, we offer a full range of treatment options for patients who want to enjoy the benefits of a straight, beautiful smile. At your initial consultation, Dr. Hillstead will create a custom treatment plan for you. He will discuss each available option as well as work with you to decide which option is best for your lifestyle, while resulting in the smile you've always wanted.
Traditional metal braces are a very common choice for patients of all ages. These brackets are affixed to the teeth and archwires are threaded through slots in the brackets. The wires are held onto the brackets by tiny rubber bands called "ligatures". Patients love choosing different colored ligatures at each adjustment appointment.
Ceramic or Clear Braces
Ceramic braces are made of a translucent (clear) material. Due to their aesthetic appeal, these types of brackets are more popular among teenagers and adults. They work in the same way as traditional metal braces, but they are not as noticable.
Thermal Nickel-Titanium Archwires
Thermal nickel-titanium archwires have replaced the traditional stainless steel wires used in braces. This new technology provides our patients with a temperature-sensitive wire that allows for continuous movement of the teeth over longer periods of time. For our patients, this means enhanced comfort, decreased treatment time and fewer trips to the orthodontist.
Forsus Springs are proven effective by taking patient compliance out of the picture! This functional orthopedic appliance has more patient advantages than headgear, as it is more comfortable, safer and more aesthetically pleasing. Placed inside the mouth, Forsus Springs are used to promote forward growth in the lower jaw.
Invisalign aligners are comfortable, removable and invisable! Invisalign is a popular choice for patients with mild orthodontic problems. They are a great way to straighten teeth without braces. Invisalign uses a series of custom trays to gradually move teeth into the correct position. Typically, each set of aligners is worn for two weeks before moving on to the next aligner in the series. Dr. Hillstead is certified to treat patients with Invisalign and can determine if Invisalign may be right for you at your initial consultation.
Once your braces are removed, the active period of orthodontic treatment is complete. The next step is called retention. Retainers are utilized to hold your teeth in their new positions until your bone, gums, and muscles adapt to the new teeth positions. You must wear your retainers as instructed, otherwise your teeth may move back toward their original positions and the benefit of wearing braces will be lost. Since retainers are removable, their use and care are entirely dependent on you. Dr. Hillstead will recommend a retainer type, whether removable or bonded, that is best for you upon completion of your treatment.
Removable retainers are clear, thin, slightly flexible, and made of plastic-like material. They are custom made for you the day your braces are removed and fit the exact shape and placement of your teeth. Generally, removable retainers are used for the upper teeth and are worn for 24 hours a day for the first three months after your braces are removed, switching only to nighttime wear thereafter. During meals and when otherwise not in the mouth, removable retainers should be kept in the plastic case provided by our office.
Bonded retainers are most commonly cemented directly to the inside surface of your lower front teeth. This is one of the best ways to prevent your lower teeth from shifting as it is permanently attached. Not only will it prevent a relapse, but it is also hidden, comfortable and you don't have to worry about losing it!