Treatment Options | Fornero Orthodontics

Treatment Options

Brace Yourself - Orthodontic Treatment - Dr. Fornero

Braces

There are several types of appliances that can be used to straighten teeth and correct jaw alignment. The type used for each patient will depend on their individual orthodontic problems and goals.

Metal Braces

The most common type of braces are made of metal. Most people that you see with braces probably have this type. Patients frequently customize these braces with different colors that can be changed at each appointment.

Clear Braces

Clear braces are very much like the traditional metal braces, except they are made of a translucent material very close to the color of teeth. While not really invisible, they are less noticeable than metal braces.

Both clear and metal braces can work very well to align a patient’s teeth.   Both are attached to the teeth and remain in place until the treatment is complete, so the patient does not have to be concerned with forgetting to wear their appliance. For patients with clear or metal braces, appointments are scheduled with the orthodontist every six weeks for adjustments.

Elastics

Elastics are small rubber bands that the patient attaches to small hooks on the braces. They provide pressure to move the teeth to the desired positions.

Retainers

After active treatment with braces is completed, all patients are given custom retainers. They are worn to maintain the correction that was accomplished with the braces. Retainers are a very important part of orthodontic treatment. They are worn full time at first, followed by night-time wear for an indefinite period of time. Retainers are an easy and long term investment in your smile.

Invisalign/Invisalign Teen

Invisalign/”Invisible Braces”

What people frequently call invisible braces are not traditional braces at all. They are a series of clear, removable aligners that are worn to straighten the teeth. They can correct some, but not all, orthodontic problems. The aligners have the advantage of being nearly invisible and they are removable. So you can eat and drink whatever you want and can brush and floss without difficulty. There are no metal wires or brackets placed on the teeth.

A patient using Invisalign will wear their aligners full time (except for meals and when brushing and flossing) and they are replaced every two weeks. Each tray moves the teeth a little farther in the desired direction. The movements are slow and steady with little discomfort. Visits with the orthodontist are scheduled every six weeks to monitor the progress and adjust as needed. The number of trays and length of treatment depends on the individual patient and the initial orthodontic problem.

Invisalign Teen
Many teens are also interested in Invisalign treatment because it is almost unnoticeable. Invisalign Teen is basically the same as Invisalign, but is adapted for a younger mouth that may not have all of the permanent teeth completely erupted.

Two-Phase Treatment

Two-phase orthodontic treatment can involve both tooth straightening and facial changes. The first phase of treatment is done when a child is younger than the more typical 11-12 year old orthodontic patient.

Phase I

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first orthodontic checkup by age 7. Most 7-year olds do not need an early phase of treatment, but because they are growing quickly, some young children can benefit from appliances that help guide the growth of the jaws. This can improve how the jaws relate to each other and can provide enough room for the later eruption of the adult teeth. This early treatment can help avoid the need for removal of teeth during the second phase of treatment.

The “In-between Phase”

After Phase I, the rest of the permanent teeth are allowed to erupt. Retainers are often worn to maintain the Phase I correction, but are checked regularly to allow freedom for the adult teeth to come in. A successful first phase will have created room for teeth to erupt so they may not become impacted or severely displaced.

Phase II

As the permanent teeth come in, they may not be in their final desired positions. This alignment will be done during Phase II treatment. Each Phase I   patient will be carefully monitored until the right time for the full treatment phase. The goals of Phase II are the final alignment of all of the permanent teeth and a harmonious relationship between the teeth, jaws and face. Phase II is what many people mean when they think about braces.