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Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry specializing in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of jaw, face and bite irregularities (malocclusions). Malocclusion is the term used for teeth that don’t fit together correctly.

Malocclusions not only affect the teeth, but also the appearance of the face. Most malocclusions are inherited; however some are due to acquired habits such as tongue thrusting and teeth grinding. The spacing left from an adult tooth being extracted or an early loss of a baby tooth can also contribute to a malocclusion.

Recent years have brought about many changes within the dental industry, specifically with regards to orthodontic treatment and care. Now more than ever patients are experiencing fewer incidences of cavities and missing teeth due to the heightened awareness of fluoride use and preventative dentistry.

This increasing awareness on the health and look of a patient’s smile has fueled the desire for many to seek out orthodontia not only as a medical necessity, but for cosmetic reasons as well.

Orthodontics can help you have the healthy, straight, beautiful smile you’ve been waiting for!

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The benefits of orthodontic treatment often go beyond the obvious physical changes of an improved bite and straighter teeth; it’s also a great way to improve an overall self-image. While having beautiful straight teeth is important, even more important is the need to alleviate any potential health problems associated with the teeth or jaw.

Crooked teeth or jaw problems may contribute to improper cleaning of teeth, leading to tooth decay and, possibly, gum disease or total tooth loss. Orthodontic problems that go untreated can lead to chewing and digestion difficulties, speech impairments, and abnormal wear of tooth surfaces. Over time, excessive strain on gum tissue and the bone that supports the teeth can affect the jaw joints leading to problems such as headaches or face and neck pain.

If treatment is necessary, we will thoroughly discuss which treatment option is best suited for you!

Reasons for orthodontic treatment:

  • Breathing or swallowing problems – Mouth breathing can lead to snoring and sleep apnea
  • Crossbite – One or more upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth (towards the tongue)
  • Crowding – Involving extra teeth or malpositioned teeth
  • Deep Overbite – The lower front teeth bite into the upper tissue of the upper teeth
  • Disfiguring of the face & mouth – Affects the development of the jaw and position of the teeth
  • Jaw & jaw joint pain
  • Missing or extra teeth – Due to tooth decay, injuries, or inherited problems
  • Overjet (protruding upper teeth) – Upper teeth that protrude beyond normal and are usually associated with a short lower jaw
  • Self-image – An attractive smile can boost a person’s self-image and confidence
  • Spacing between teeth – Teeth are missing or may be too small or too large
  • Speech, chewing or biting problems
  • Underbite (lower jaw protrusion) – Lower jaw is longer than the upper jaw

What does orthodontic treatment involve?

Orthodontic treatment involves three phases:

1. Planning Phase – Your first couple of visits may include the following:

  • A medical and dental history evaluation
  • Castings or “molds” of your teeth
  • Photographs of your face and mouth
  • X-rays of the teeth and jaws

After careful planning, Dr. Madderra will design and customize your braces-free orthodontic treatment.

2. Active Phase – Active treatment involves visiting our office on a regular basis for adjustments and following specific treatment requirements to ensure successful treatment.

3. Retention Phase – When treatment is completed, a new appliance is made. Usually these retainers are removable and will maintain the changes made to your teeth if worn continuously until the teeth and bone are stabilized in their new positions.

Treatment and retention times vary depending on each individual case. Dr. Madderra will ensure you have a successful treatment for a beautiful smile that can last a lifetime.

Orthodontics can not only help straighten your teeth, giving you an appealing smile, but can greatly contribute to the health of your jaw, teeth and sometimes your overall health.

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