Today’s orthodontic treatment options include a wide variety of braces that are not only comfortable but are more aesthetically pleasing.
Crowding of the teeth
Open bite: Front teeth don’t touch
Deep overbite: Lower front teeth bite into palate
This adult patient, age 25, required braces and jaw surgery to correct his severe overbite, with treatment taking two years. His problem may have been corrected without surgery if he had been treated before he was a teenager.
Missing lateral incisors
This patient’s lateral incisors were congenitally missing. She had braces for 20 months to move the teeth into their correct positions, then the missing teeth were replaced with bonded “Maryland” bridges.
Underbite: Lower front teeth in front of upper teeth
Patient’s underbite was causing her jaw joint discomfort and excessive wear patterns on her teeth. After about 30 months of treatment starting at age 32, she now finds smiling and chewing much easier.
Spacing of teeth
Patient was bothered by the spaces between his teeth. Braces closed the spaces and gave him an ideal bite in 24 months. Special glued-in retainers help keep the spaces closed.
Overjet: Protruding front teeth
At age 10, patient had a big overjet with the top teeth protruding beyond the bottom. She had two phases of treatment. The first helped her jaws to grow more harmoniously and the second aligned her teeth and bite. At age 13, she was proudly displaying her new smile.
Sometimes braces are not needed to get noticeable improvements in tooth alignment. This patient was first seen at age seven for crowding of the lower permanent teeth. A procedure was performed to reduce the width of the adjacent baby teeth and the permanent incisors aligned on their own in nine months.
Patient’s parents were concerned about both aesthetics and the health of the erupting permanent teeth when they brought him to the orthodontist at age eight. The lower front teeth were crowded and touching the palate, and the upper front teeth were extremely displaced from their normal positions. After 12 months of Phase II treatment with an expander and partial braces, patient’s appearance and dental function was vastly improved.
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