Orthodontic Treatment in Greenwood Village, CO
Most of the orthodontic procedures completed at Iritani Orthodontics in Greenwood Village, CO fall into two main categories: Phase 1 and Phase 2.
Orthodontic care can help you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile and gain the confidence to show it off! If you’re self-conscious about your teeth, correcting your concerns with braces or Invisalign clear aligners can greatly improve the way you look and feel.
How Orthodontic Treatment Works
By placing a constant, gentle force in a carefully controlled direction, braces slowly move teeth to the proper position. You can choose between clear ceramic brackets or more traditional metal braces with color. Wires are far less noticeable, and the latest materials are designed to move teeth faster with more comfort.
In our Greenwood Village office, we place braces using an indirect bonding technique, which offers the following benefits:
1) It saves you time during your initial appointment where you get braces, because instead of placing each bracket one-by-one and adjusting their position in the mouth, we have already done all that work ahead of time.
2) It reduces overall treatment time because brackets can be placed more accurately. More precise measurements can be made on a cast than in the back of the mouth, so there is less wire bending or repositioning of brackets needed to finish your treatment.
Duration of Treatment
Because we see so many pediatric patients in our practice serving the Denver and Greenwood Village areas, we take hand/wrist radiographs to evaluate adolescent growth and determine the optimal time to start treatment. Evaluating growth plates in your hand gives us more detailed information than other methods, so we are better able to predict when to start in order to be in treatment the least amount of time.
Treatment times vary and can last between six months to up to a couple years, depending on age, treatment method, and case complexity.
A big factor in a successful treatment is you! The more involved and diligent you are, the more efficient your treatment will be. For children, receiving interceptive or early treatment can also help ensure a quicker treatment time.
Before beginning your orthodontic care, we will discuss all your options and provide an estimate for how long your treatment may take. Please contact our practice to schedule an appointment and learn more about orthodontics and the treatments we provide.
Childhood Interceptive Orthodontics
Phase 1 orthodontics is the treatment of children aged 5 -12. Phase 1 is early intervention to reduce both the treatment time and cost of orthodontics. 80% of phase 1 treatment is completed before adult teeth are present, using natural growth to prevent crowding.
The success of Phase 1 treatment depends upon the cooperation of your child, with younger children often being more willing to wear appliances. Early orthodontic treatment creates beautiful smiles and healthy jaws, prevents snoring and speech problems, and removes the need for future extractions of permanent teeth.
Interceptive Orthodontics Heads Off Problems Early
Conventional wisdom argues that orthodontic treatment shouldn’t start until all the adult teeth have grown in, but some issues with bite, alignment, and facial development can show up long before those teeth do.
That’s where interceptive or Phase 1 orthodontics comes in. An orthodontist can help your child’s jawbones grow properly to have more room for the adult teeth and provide the structure for a healthier bite. Correcting problems like malocclusions (bad bites) as they appear makes future orthodontic treatment much faster and easier — and, in some cases, unnecessary!
Causes of Malocclusions in Children
Interceptive orthodontics seeks to correct problems with jaw growth and damage from harmful habits such as thumb sucking, nail-biting, tongue thrusting, and mouth breathing. Each of these habits contributes to bite problems such as a narrow upper arch, an underdeveloped lower jaw, a deep bite, and an open bite, as well as dental crowding, which in turn can make it difficult to chew and swallow effectively and speak clearly.
The purpose of Phase 1 treatment is to stop those habits if they persist or repair the damage so that the adult teeth can grow in where they should.
Common Phase 1 Treatments
One of the most noticeable differences between Phase 1 and Phase 2 orthodontics is that Phase 1 is less focused on actual braces. Those typically come later, if the orthodontist determines they are still needed. Some of the treatments commonly used in Phase 1 include:
- Upper jaw expansion to eliminate a crossbite
- Expansion of one or both jaws to create more room for adult teeth
- Early extraction of specific baby teeth to help adult teeth come in properly
- Keeping space open for permanent teeth after premature loss of a baby tooth
- Reduction of upper front teeth protrusion to protect from trauma
Phase 2 Orthodontics
Phase 2 Orthodontics is the treatment of adults and children 12 and older. Phase 2 straightens teeth using orthodontic braces or clear aligners. This process is most successful when it immediately follows phase 1, and generally takes 1 to 2 years. Here at Iritani Orthodontics, we a wide array of orthodontic treatments to our phase 2 patients.
Adults Can Get Invisalign Too!
If you’re out of your teens, you might think you missed your chance for straight teeth, but that’s not true! Modern orthodontic treatment, including Invisalign, is for adults as well as teens in the Denver area. And even if you had braces before, your teeth might still shift over time, which is another reason to consider treatment as an adult.
The Biology of Shifting Dental Alignment
So what’s actually happening on the cellular level during orthodontic treatment? Specialized cells called osteoclasts and osteoblasts respond to the pressure around the periodontal membrane (the pocket of gum tissue connecting the tooth’s root to the jaw bone). Osteoclasts break down the bone tissue so that the tooth can move, while osteoblasts gradually form new bone tissue behind it. So it’s not just your teeth moving into position; your jawbones are reshaping themselves too!
Beyond Phase 2 Orthodontic Treatment
Your teeth still remember where they used to be for a while after the braces come off, which is why it’s so important for you to remember to wear your retainers as directed. Retainers will help your teeth get used to their new position, and they’ll prevent unrelated shifting that happens to most people naturally over the course of time.
Want to Learn More About Your Orthodontic Treatment?
If you have any questions for the orthodontist about how your braces are working to give you that properly aligned, more functional smile you’ve always wanted, just give us a call or ask us about it at your next appointment. You can also learn more about our practice on our business page. We want all of our patients to have the information they need to feel confident in their treatment!