Orthodontic specialists can help individuals with problems related to their bite alignment and those who need teeth straightening procedures that go beyond simpler solutions such as Invisalign.
Types of Orthodontic Procedures
Most people know that orthodontists can fit and modify a patient’s braces, but there are many other services that these individuals provide to correct issues with teeth and jaws. In addition, there are multiple types of braces. Here are some dental appliances and services that only an orthodontist can provide:
Traditional braces: Metal brackets placed on each tooth that are linked by wire and elastic to move the teeth into the correct position.
Ceramic braces: Functionally the same as traditional braces, but the brackets are made with transparent ceramic.
Damon braces: These braces use a self-adjusting slide mechanism rather than elastic to connect the wires between the brackets.
Palatal expanders: Though removable aligners such as Invisalign can help with overcrowding, patients with severe alignment issues may need a palatal expander to gradually move the teeth apart. Tooth extraction is another option, but palatal expanders are the preferred choice today. Once the jaws are realigned using this method, a person can then wear braces or pursue other treatment methods to correct remaining issues with teeth and jaw alignment.
Forsus appliances: These are springs attached to the braces against the patients’ cheeks to help position the jaw into proper position and thus correct issues such as severe overbites and underbites.
In some cases, an orthodontist will start by aligning the jaws into position over the course of several months and then later install braces to move the teeth into place. For example, a patient may not be able to wear braces because of an issue with crowding. Such a patient would only wear braces after a treatment with palatal expanders. Similarly, removable aligners are often required after braces to ensure that the teeth stay properly aligned.