When you think orthodontics, you think braces. Braces are used for a few different reasons:
- To straighten and align teeth by applying continual pressure
- To fix a bite problem (either an underbite or an overbite)
- To build a strong character for when your 5th grade picture looks like this:
But don't worry! Dr. Sudit is really good at his job and will do everything he can to make sure you are in and out of braces in the fastest time possible. Generally, the longest anyone will be a Brace-Face (a high compliment in the orthodontic industry) is 2 years. Plus, he doesn’t use the crazy headgear you see in that picture.
And even better yet, there are many types of braces that Dr. Sudit uses. Some that you can’t even see. Depending on each patient’s needs and preferences, you and Dr. Sudit can consider traditional metal braces, lingual braces (braces applied behind the teeth), or Invisalign clear braces to name a few.
If you're interested in the details of treatment, here are a few things you might want to know:
Traditional braces use brackets that are bonded to the teeth. Arch wires are attached to the brackets, acting as a guide to move the teeth into their correct positions. While Invisalign clear braces are certainly more attractive, they are not always the best option to treat every patient. Depending on patient needs, braces are sometimes the best, most thorough, fastest, least expensive option.
If traditional braces are the best option for you – don't be sad! Just think of all the fun you can have changing out your rubber band colors each month: Halloween themed, Pride Month, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, you can even go through a Goth phase and reflect that pseudo-angst with black rubber bands. Mint Orthodontics is here to help!
Similar to traditional braces, lingual braces use brackets that are bonded to the teeth and arched wire to guide the teeth into the correct positions. The big difference is that the brackets and wires are applied behind the patient’s teeth so no one can see it.
The "behind the teeth" application results in 3 things:
- A happy patient since no one knows they are getting orthodontic work
- A sore tongue at the beginning of treatment as it gets used to all of that metal in your mouth
- A stiff neck for Dr. Sudit after each appointment since he needs to somehow see behind your teeth. Don’t worry though. He is an expert in lingual braces, has developed some sort of magic to allow him to do this, and won’t hold it against you.
- Clear braces are relatively new and extremely popular for obvious reasons – no one sees them, you can take them in and out for eating, flossing, brushing, and they are a bit more comfortable than braces.
- Because of their popularity, many dentists and online-only smile clubs are providing clear aligners while claiming expertise. Don’t be fooled! Much of Dr. Sudit’s time is spent fixing the problems that these inexperienced services create. Problems like tooth loss, gum recession, jaw mis-alignment and other gruesome sounding things.
- While Mint Orthodontics wants you to be our patient, we want you to be safe, first and foremost. Before going forward with any treatment that moves teeth, make sure that your case is being overseen by an orthodontist. An orthodontist is first a dentist, then a specialist – someone who spent extra years in school becoming certified in all the ins and outs of properly, safely, expertly moving teeth to best shape a smile and jawline and face.
- Not asking an orthodontist to move your teeth is like not asking a pilot to fly a plane or a not asking a hairdresser to cut your hair, or… you get the idea.
Clear ceramic braces are the same as traditional braces, except their brackets are clear or the same color as the teeth. They used to be known as clear braces, before Invisalign and clear tray braces became popular. Here are examples of clear ceramic braces in use:
Why would I get clear ceramic braces instead of Invisalign, you might ask. There are actually a couple very good reasons:
- Some patients really need braces to properly move their teeth (Invisalign isn’t suited for all cases), so clear ceramic braces are the best bet if you’re looking for some orthodontic modesty.
- To move teeth properly and quickly, patients need to wear their appliance as much as possible. If you tend to lose small, clear objects or forget about small, clear objects after setting them on your lunch tray and debating the merits of Rita Ora’s latest work, you may benefit more from clear ceramic braces rather than Invisalign.
While clear ceramic braces work just the same as traditional metal braces, there is one additional detail to understand: the material that ceramic braces uses can be harsh on tooth enamel. That means they are typically not suitable for lower teeth because they can cause unwanted chipping of the upper teeth. This varies based on the patient, though.
Mint Orthodontics is pleased to offer our patients The Damon® System. Damon braces are a great option to consider because:
- Patients are more comfortable than when treated with traditional braces.
- Patients enjoy shorter treatment times than when treated with traditional braces.
- Patients require fewer office visits than when treated with traditional braces.
- Patients enjoy an end result that is more natural looking than traditional braces.
How is all of this possible??? Answer: technology.
Damon uses a special technology and innovative design that allows braces to be relatively friction free. That means there is less pressure to move the teeth and, drum roll please... That means they are more comfortable than traditional braces.
There are also no binding elastic ties or forces in the mouth. The Damon® System uses light force wires to achieve the desired tooth movement.
Damon braces also create a more natural smile because biologically-sensible forces are designed to improve overall facial aesthetic results.
With all of these innovations, patients are more comfortable, enjoy shorter treatment times, and require fewer office visits (typically about ½ the amount of visits of traditional braces).
You might call it a Mint Sprint. No? Just us? Okay, fine.
Still, it’s a great treatment option to consider. Talk to Dr. Sudit about it today!
Invisalign® is a form of orthodontic treatment that works to correct many different types of malocclusions through the use of a series of clear plastic trays called aligners. In many cases it provides an excellent treatment alternative to having traditional orthodontic braces and metal wires.
Invisalign utilizes 3-D computer imaging technology to correct problematic bites or malocclusions by planning a complete sequence of custom-made clear aligners. This series of clear aligners, each of which is worn for 1-2 weeks, incrementally move the teeth into place until the final desired corrections are reached.
The advantage and appeal of invisalign appliances is that they are more cosmetic and more comfortable than most other orthodontic appliances. With Invisalign appliances orthodontic treatment is practically “invisible.”
When people hear “orthodontic surgery”, they usually get a gruesome visual of something like this:
And have horrible nightmares of drinking a cheeseburger through a straw.
Now that we’ve implanted that thought into your head, try to brush it aside and make room for modern-day orthodontic surgery. It is nothing like that picture above.
It’s not necessary for most people, but some patients can achieve much better results (a perfect, healthy, comfortable smile and bite) with surgical orthodontics.
Surgical orthodontics are used to correct facial and bone problems that are more severe in some patients. The type of condition that may require surgical orthodontics, also known as orthognathic surgery, generally stems from something maxillofacial. This can include:
- Bad bites
- Abnormalities of the jaw bone
- Other complex cases involving the face, skull, jaw and mouth.
Those with improper bites or aesthetic concerns can benefit the most from surgical orthodontics. Dr. Sudit can tell you if you orthognathic surgery is something worth considering as a treatment option and will work with you to find the right course of treatment.
Nothing ruins a lovely meal like TMJ pain, amiright?
Among the most common, irritating and difficult to diagnose problems with head and neck pain are temporal mandibular joint problems, more commonly known as TMJ problems.
The joint is located near the ear where the top of the mandible or lower jaw meets the upper jaw at the base of the skull.
Like all other joints in the body, the TMJ is subject to inflammation and other chronic joint problems. Many of these issues may be caused by destructive bite habits like clenching or grinding or lots and lots of gum chewing. We bet Violet Beauregarde suffered from TMJ.
These actions cause pressure on the joint that can lead to inflammation and general breakdown of the joint itself.
What makes TMJ problems difficult to diagnose and treat properly is the fact that the symptoms vary widely in both location and severity. Symptoms can range from a slight clicking in the jaw with no pain to severe head and neck pain that is not relieved by medication.
Once diagnosed properly, however, treatments include everything from simple placement of a nightguard, which prevents pressure on the joint, to surgical intervention in more severe cases.
If you think you’re having TMJ pain, you’re in luck. Dr. Sudit has first hand experience at diagnosing this widely variable and very common issue.
Appliances are often used to help enhance the jaw’s growth, which can make later orthodontic treatment much simpler and easier. Appliance treatment may include:
Lower Lingual Arches
Rapid Palatal Expander
Retainers are used to solve several different types of orthodontic problems and are most often used to keep the teeth and bite the same as when orthodontic treatment was finished.
Basically, a retainer is made of plastic or a combination of plastic and metal and is custom-made for each individual who needs it. Retainers are commonly worn by both teens and adults who have had their braces taken off so their teeth stay in their new positions. Other people may wear retainers to close gaps between their teeth, help clear up speech problems, stop tongue thrusting, or even help people who suffer with temporomandibular disorder.
There are different kinds of retainers, some are removable and some can be permanently attached to the back of teeth. Sometimes retainers need to be worn at night, or for a specific period of time. When you first wear a retainer, you may feel pressure on your teeth but this is a normal occurrence. It will stop after a couple of days.
The key to all of this is that the retainer is actually worn.
Most people want straight teeth, but don’t like the time involved. There is a solution. Accelerated orthodontics can give you braces in just a fraction of the time of traditional braces.
Accelendent is a great type of accelerated orthodontics. Accelendent is a small hand held device that initiates bone remodeling using gentle vibrations. Sounds scary, but it’s actually quite easy to use.
The patient has a mouthpiece that they place in the mouth for 20 minutes/day as they bite down. It is used in conjunction with braces or Invisalign, so that it can accelerate the tooth’s movement. Treatment time can be decreased up to 50% if used daily.
Osteogenic orthodontics is another great option for accelerated orthodontics. It uses braces that are placed using a periodontal procedure. This procedure allows teeth to move into place up to 4 times (!!!) faster than normal. As long as permanent teeth are present, osteogenic orthodontics can be used.
This option is ideal for adult patients because more bone is produced around the teeth. Since many adults do not have the bone tissue needed for conventional orthodontics due to dental problems, this course of treatment allows for more stability and an increase in bone mass for better improvement in facial appearance and facial aesthetics. In most cases, osteogenic orthodontics takes anywhere from 4 to 10 months.