Orthodontics is the oldest specialty in dentistry, involving treatment of tooth malposition, bite disorders, and growth imbalances of the jaws. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about general orthodontics as well as the Invisalign and Damon Systems.
How do they work?
Today’s braces are very high tech appliances. Over time, they move your teeth. But how do they do it?
Braces have three basic parts
- Brackets made of metal or ceramic. A bracket is attached to each tooth.
- Bonding material (glue) or a metal band. This is what attaches the bracket to the tooth.
- An Arch Wire, which is a thin metal wire that runs from bracket to bracket and puts pressure on the teeth.
The teeth move when the arch wire puts pressure on the brackets and teeth. Sometimes, springs or rubber bands are used to exert more force in a specific direction. Braces exert constant pressure, which over time, move teeth into their proper positions.
Are braces uncomfortable?
Your teeth can be sore or tender for two to four days after each visit. This is because your teeth are not used to the pressure, and your cheeks are not used to the metal or ceramic rubbing against them.
What does treatment involve?
Usually treatment involves wearing braces, or other appliances, fixed to your teeth for between 6 and 24 months. You’ll most likely feel some tenderness as the teeth start to move. During treatment time the teeth and braces should be kept scrupulously clean.
Are there any special things patients have to do while wearing braces?
Yes! Follow Dr. Black’s instruction, keep your orthodontic appointments, brush your teeth and braces properly, and see your family dentist regularly. These simple things will assure a speedy and comfortable period of treatment.
Should certain foods be avoided?
Sweets and soft drinks should be avoided. Also, no chewing on ice cubes or foods that are sticky, hard, or gooey.
Damon System Questions
Are all braces the same?
With the Damon System, we don’t just align the teeth; we create beautiful smiles. Your Damon orthodontist takes into account a number of factors when first diagnosing your smile. Each individual’s face, profile, and other factors are important in anticipating what they will look like in their 40s, 50s, and beyond. The Damon System is designed to deliver results for a lifetime.
How long does treatment take?
Treatment time with the Damon System is typically much faster than with conventional braces. Also, far fewer appointments are required during treatment.
Since the Damon System works so quickly, does that mean it is harsh or unsafe?
No. In fact, what makes the Damon System work so quickly is that it uses far gentler, more biologically sensible forces than conventional braces. The low-friction nature of the system assures improved tooth position and improved facial harmony.
More information about Damon.
Will my teeth hurt after adjustments?
Very light “shape memory” titanium wires are used to gently guide your teeth to their ideal position. Many people experience very little discomfort.
Aren't braces big and bulky?
Not any more! Braces are much smaller than they were just a few years ago, and new materials are now used that make them very discreet.
What about adult treatment?
No problem. Adults can be treated quickly, easily, and—most importantly—to a high-quality result.
How much does the Damon System treatment cost?
We know that cost is a big question for anyone considering braces. The truth is, only Dr. Black can determine the cost for your specific treatment. It depends a lot on the kind of treatment you need and how long it will take. Damon Braces are usually similar to the cost of traditional braces. Dr. Black offers flexible and affordable monthly payment plans, many with no down payment and no interest.
Does insurance cover Damon System treatment?
Because dental benefits differ significantly from policy to policy, you should review your policy coverage. If you have orthodontic coverage, Damon System braces are covered to the same extent as regular braces.
What payment options are available?
Dr. Black will help you find options to make your treatment affordable. He offers flexible and affordable monthly payment plans, many with no down payment and no interest. Dr. Black also offers third-party patient financing programs specifically designed for health-care expenses, that makes it easier for you to get the treatment or procedures you want and need.
Invisalign Treatment Questions
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is the invisible new way to straighten teeth without braces. Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable aligners to gradually straighten teeth, without metal or wires.
Does Invisalign really work?
Yes. In both clinical research and in orthodontic and dental practices nationwide, Invisalign has been proven effective at straightening teeth.
How does Invisalign work?
Invisalign uses 3-D computer imaging technology to depict the complete treatment plan from the initial position to the final desired position from which a series of custom-made “aligners” are produced. Each “aligner” moves teeth incrementally and is worn for about two weeks, then replaced by the next in the series until the final position is achieved.
What are the primary benefits of Invisalign?
There are four primary benefits of Invisalign:
- Invisalign is nearly invisible—you can straighten your teeth while looking your best. No metal brackets, no wires. You can smile, work, and play, without anyone knowing.
- Invisalign is removable—you can eat and drink what you want in treatment; you can also brush and floss normally to maintain good oral hygiene.
- Invisalign is comfortable—there are no metal brackets or wires to cause mouth irritation; no metal or wires also means you spend less time in our office getting adjustments.
- Invisalign allows you to view your own virtual treatment plan before you start—so you can see how your straight teeth will look when your treatment is complete.
More information about Invisalign.
What are aligners made of?
Aligners are made of clear, strong medical grade plastic that is virtually invisible when worn.
What do aligners look like?
Aligners are nearly invisible and look similar to clear tooth-whitening trays, but are custom-made for a better fit to move teeth. Some orthodontists and dentists have referred to them as “contact lenses for teeth.”
Is this a new way to straighten teeth?
For years, orthodontists and dentists have used removable appliances for limited treatment. Today, with the application of computer technology, Invisalign treats a broader range of cases with greater precision.
Recommendations for Brushing with Invisalign
Of course one of the big benefits of Invisalign is the fact that you can remove your aligners to brush, so you would brush just as well as you always have—except more often, and—we hope—a little more thoroughly. You should brush your teeth after each meal, and whenever you’ve eaten a snack. You just don’t want to get food or beverages up inside the aligner, and have it sit there for several hours.