Besides Braces, What Else Does an Orthodontist Do?
Dr. Heidi Harman and the team at H2O Orthodontics near Midtown, KC offer their patients a variety of orthodontic treatment approaches that help ensure the best possible treatment outcomes.
When someone mentions “orthodontics” or “orthodontist”, people’s minds often race to images of a mouth full of traditional metal braces. But, orthodontists today can offer their patients more than just traditional braces. Advances in technology, specifically in the field of the alignment of teeth or the repositioning of the jaws, have given orthodontists many treatment options and approaches to fix these common problems.
One of the main treatment approaches orthodontists use to align and straighten teeth are traditional metal braces. Traditional braces are comprised of brackets, wires, and bands that straighten your teeth and which are continually tightened over a prescribed amount of time. Dr. Harman also offers her patients near Midtown, KC treatment with light-colored ceramic braces for patients who do not want their braces to be noticeable, and even fun clear-colored bands for his youngest patients. Braces can also be indicated for patients with overbites, underbites, or overcrowded or gapped teeth. Braces are used by many patients to achieve a picture-perfect smile.
When baby teeth are lost earlier than normal, space fillers are used so that the neighboring teeth do not grow into the space meant for the adult tooth to grow into. These space maintainers are used to keep the gap open until more childhood teeth fall out and the adult teeth begin to grow in. Fixed space maintainers work with a band that is attached to one tooth and a wire that is extended across the gap to the tooth on the other side to stretch and keep the gap open.
Like braces, aligners help to straighten and align teeth, and they are indicated in treating:
Aligners like Invisalign are clear plastic trays that fit around your teeth and apply consistent pressure to straighten your teeth and contribute to your beautiful smile.
Jaw Repositioning Appliances
Jaw repositioning appliances, sometimes called splints, are used to adjust either the upper or the lower jaw so that the whole jaw structure performs more naturally. Most often, Dr. Harman uses this appliance for patients with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
Lip and Cheek Bumpers
Sometimes, patient’s lips and cheeks can put pressure on their teeth and cause pain or discomfort. H2O Orthodontics recommends lip and cheek bumpers for these patients to help keep the lips and cheeks away from the teeth and thus reduce or eliminate the pressure, pain, or discomfort that the patient is experiencing.
A palatal expander is used to widen the curve of the upper jaw. It is a plastic tray which fits on the roof of the mouth and helps to better align the bones and joints in the mouth.
After orthodontic treatment with braces or Invisalign, Dr. Harman suggests using a retainer to keep the teeth from shifting back to their original positions. Retainers are a plate that is placed on the roof of the mouth; a wire runs across the outside of the front teeth. Retainers may also be constructed as a plastic aligner. More often than not, these aligners are worn during the night.
Headgear, usually, is a strap placed around the back of the head which is attached to a metal wire in the front of the mouth. Orthodontists prescribe headgear for patients who need to slow the growth of their jaw and to make sure that the patient’s teeth are in the right place and fit nicely within the jaw.
H2O Orthodontics wants to make sure you receive the best orthodontic treatment with braces near Midtown, KC, and finding the most appropriate plan of orthodontic treatment is the first step. Orthodontists today offer a lot more treatment options than just traditional metal braces. Dr. Heidi Harman has treatment plans for a variety of oral health care-related issues, including the alignment of teeth and the repositioning the jaw. For more information, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Harman and H2O Orthodontics, please call (913) 782-7223.