Orthodontics (Conventional Braces)

When a patient suffers from misaligned teeth, the problem is best corrected with Orthodontics.  Bonding, Veneers and Crowns can camouflage the shifted position of teeth, but below the surface, the root structure is still misaligned and likely to continue shifting.  Orthodontics uses minor forces to slowly move teeth to a more correct position, fixing the patient's bite and making them happier about their smile.

At the offices of Old Dominion Family Dental, we are able to complete our patient's Orthodontics within our own office.  The same Doctors and Staff you know and feel comfortable with can effectively complete your Orthodontic needs to the esthetic outcome your desire.  Dr. Freeman received the Orthodontic Certification in the year 2000 and have been taking care of our own patient's Orthodontic needs ever since.  Our office maintains tight relationships with local Orthodontists, collaborating on certain cases and still referring to the Specialist when necessary.

Orthodontics is needed to correct a variety of problems:  the most common of which is crowding.  Beside esthetic issues, crowded teeth are difficult to maintain and often lead to Periodontal Disease and decay.  Extreme situations can cause poor occlusion (bite) and Temporal Mandibular Joint problems.  Other reasons for needing Orthodontics include but are not limited to:  Excess Space, Flared Anterior (front) Teeth, Crossbites, and Skeletal issues.


Some Of Our
Actual Cases

All Orthodontic cases start with detailed dental records, including x-rays, photos, and Diagnostic Cast, but each Orthodontic Case is as individual as the patient.  From the records, our Doctors develop an Orthodontic Case Presentation.  Sitting down with the patient (and their parents), the treatment plan is explained in detail, and the patient's questions are answered.  Then, the Doctor can order the appliances and Orthodontic Brackets needed for your specific case.  It is difficult to project how long a patient will be in Braces.  Our Doctors concentrate more on getting the treatment right rather than completing the case quickly.

The most important part of an Orthodontic Case comes after the brackets are removed, and the patient is placed in a Retainer System.  The word RETAIN means to hold in place, and a retainer helps to hold the teeth in their new position.  The patient begins wearing a retainer full time and gradually evolves to night-time wear.  It is recommended patients going off to college take a well fitting retainer with them, and adult patients should continue to wear a night-time retainer indefinitely because adult cases tend to revert back faster than teen cases.

Our Doctors recomend two styles of retainers.  The Hawley is the"gold standard" of Orthodontics.  It is a hard acrylic appliance with a thin metal bar shaped to the contour of the anterior (front) teeth.  It is light and comfortable, and thought to create the best retention.  Essix Retainers are clear plastic trays which are almost invisible, much like Invisalign trays.  Because they cover the tooth completely, Essix retainers create a layer of plastic between the teeth when biting down, but patients prefer them for their esthetic benefits. 


Types of Orthodontic Cases

Two Phase Orthodontics 

When a child has an extreme problem, such as excessive crowding due to narrow arches or a posterior crossbite, it is best to start Orthodontics early to take advantage of growth patterns.  By using Expanders, the arches of young children can be molded to develop to the adult witdth needed to support their permanent teeth.  Phase One can occur as early as age 6.  The goal for Phase One is to correct any skeletal issues, including narrow arches and crossbites.  The anterior (front) adult teeth will be placed in an esthetically pleasing position.  Once the goals are complete, the patient is put into a retainer system while they continue to grow.  As posterior teeth erupt, what needs to be completed in Phase Two will become evident.  Phase Two occurs once all adult teeth are present.  The goal is to correct any misalignment of the posterior (back) teeth and to create a beautiful smile.  Phase II is often shorter.  Occasionally, the posterior teeth erupt in an acceptable position, and Phase II is not necessary.

Single Phase Orthodontics 

When a child or teen has slight to moderate orthodontic problems which do not heavily effect their occlusion (bite) or esthetics, Orthodontics is done in a Single Phase.  These cases start as the patient is going into full adult dentition.  In the early teen years, growth spurts can still aid in molding the arch bone.  The patient can be expanded and jaw relationships can be modified; however, if the patient is starting Single Phase with major issues, they may unfortunately be in braces for an extended time.

Adult Orthodontics

Who said you are too old for braces?  In the past, it was believed that adult bone was unable to expand, effecting the success of Adult Ortho Case.  This has been proven false.  Although Adult bone can be more difficult to work with, Adults 20 - 60 can have the smile they always wanted through Orthodontics.  An Adult case is really not much different than that of a teenager.  Cases may take slightly longer, and often cosmetic restorative needs must be taken into account.  Adults need to know in advance that they will need to wear retainers long term because Adult cases tend to rebound quickly without retention.

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