Orthodontic Treatment in Scripps Ranch
Orthodontics is a subspecialty of dentistry that encompasses the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of malpositioned teeth. The goal of orthodontic treatment is to shift the teeth into the proper position and alignment. Straight, properly positioned teeth are not only aesthetically appealing, but also optimal for oral health and dental function. Dr. Jennifer Santoro works with teens and adults to find the orthodontic solution that is best for their specific needs.
Why Is the Spacing and Alignment of the Teeth Important?
The alignment and spacing of the teeth is critical for several reasons.
Shifting the teeth into the desired position and alignment helps the teeth and jaw work more effectively. It helps avoid abnormal wear on the teeth, jawbone and joints.
Straight, properly aligned teeth are easier to brush and floss, thus reducing the risk of problems like cavities. Daily oral hygiene lowers the chances of needing extensive restorative work down the line. The gums are also less likely to develop problems like redness, inflammation and periodontal disease when the teeth are straight and properly spaced. Improving tooth spacing and alignment helps the gum tissue fit more securely around the tooth and “hug” it.
Straight teeth are also less likely to cause pain or problems biting or chewing. They support normal dental function. And they are less likely than protruding, crooked teeth to crack or fracture from an injury in the event of an accident.
The alignment of the teeth is also critical to the bite, which is the way the upper and lower teeth fit together when the mouth is closed. When the bite is off, it can cause jaw pain or pressure, and sometimes headaches and facial and neck pain. An abnormal bite also leads to irregular tooth wear and other complications, such as problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
Finally, properly spaced and aligned teeth are cosmetically attractive and can increase self-image and confidence. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a beautiful smile and the confidence that comes with it!
Orthodontic Treatment Options
A common way to treat orthodontic problems and avoid complications associated with crooked or crowded teeth is by wearing traditional braces. Metal or tooth-colored brackets are bonded onto
the teeth and connected with a series of wires; the system puts gentle pressure on the teeth to move the teeth into the proper position and alignment. Sometimes the brackets are bonded to the insides of the teeth so they aren’t as noticeable.
Although braces are a well-known form of orthodontics, they aren’t the only option. Nowadays, more patients are opting for “invisible orthodontic” systems like Invisalign and ClearCorrect. Instead of using brackets and wires to slowly move the teeth into the desired position, Invisalign and ClearCorrect rely on clear plastic aligners to gently shift the teeth. Patients wear a series of upper and lower aligners in a specific sequence until the teeth reach the optimal position and alignment. Though every case is different, many patients achieve their treatment goals quicker with Invisalign and Clear Correct, compared to traditional braces.
For more information about your orthodontic treatment options, please call or email Village Center Dentistry and request an appointment with Dr. Santoro.