What Is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that corrects teeth and jaws that are positioned improperly. Crooked teeth and teeth that do not fit together correctly are harder to keep clean, are at risk of being lost early due to tooth decay and periodontal disease, and cause extra stress on the chewing muscles that can lead to headaches, TMJ syndrome and neck, shoulder and back pain. Teeth that are crooked or not in the right place can also detract from one's appearance.
benefits of orthodontic treatment
The benefits of orthodontic treatment include a healthier mouth, a more pleasing appearance, and teeth that are more likely to last a lifetime.
A specialist in this field is called an orthodontist. Orthodontists receive two or more years of education beyond their four years in dental school in an ADA-approved orthodontic training program.
How do I Know if I Need Orthodontics?
Only your dentist or orthodontist can determine whether you can benefit from orthodontics. Based on diagnostic tools that include a full medical and dental health history, a clinical exam, plaster models of your teeth, and special X-rays and photographs, an orthodontist or dentist can decide whether orthodontics are recommended, and develop a treatment plan that's right for you.
If you have any of the following, you may be a candidate for orthodontic treatment:
- Overbite, sometimes called "buck teeth" — where the upper front teeth lie too far forward (stick out) over the lower teet
- Underbite — a "bulldog" appearance where the lower teeth are too far forward or the upper teeth too far back
- Crossbite — when the upper teeth do not come down slightly in front of the lower teeth when biting together normally
- Open bite — space between the biting surfaces of the front and/or side teeth when the back teeth bite together
- Misplaced midline— when the center of your upper front teeth does not line up with the center of your lower front teeth
- Spacing — gaps, or spaces, between the teeth as a result of missing teeth or teeth that do not "fill up" the mouth
- Crowding — when there are too many teeth for the dental ridge to accommodate
How Does Orthodontic Treatment Work?
Many different types of appliances, both fixed and removable, are used to help move teeth, retrain muscles and affect the growth of the jaws. These appliances work by placing gentle pressure on the teeth and jaws. The severity of your problem will determine which orthodontic approach is likely to be the most effective.
Fixed appliances include:
- Braces — the most common fixed appliances, braces consist of bands, wires and/or brackets. Bands are fixed around the teeth or tooth and used as anchors for the appliance, while brackets are most often bonded to the front of the tooth. Arch wires are passed through the brackets and attached to the bands. Tightening the arch wire puts tension on the teeth, gradually moving them to their proper position. Braces are usually adjusted monthly to bring about the desired results, which may be achieved within a few months to a few years. Today's braces are smaller, lighter and show far less metal than in the past. They come in bright colors for kids as well as clear styles preferred by many adults.
- Special fixed appliances — used to control thumb sucking or tongue thrusting, these appliances are attached to the teeth by bands. Because they are very uncomfortable during meals, they should be used only as a last resort.
- Fixed space maintainers — if a baby tooth is lost prematurely, a space maintainer is used to keep the space open until the permanent tooth erupts. A band is attached to the tooth next to the empty space, and a wire is extended to the tooth on the other side of the space.
Removable appliances include:
- Aligners — an alternative to traditional braces for adults, serial aligners are being used by an increasing number of orthodontists to move teeth in the same way that fixed appliances work, only without metal wires and brackets. Aligners are virtually invisible and are removed for eating, brushing and flossing.
- Removable space maintainers — these devices serve the same function as fixed space maintainers. They're made with an acrylic base that fits over the jaw, and have plastic or wire branches between specific teeth to keep the space between them open.
- Jaw repositioning appliances — also called splints, these devices are worn on either the top or lower jaw, and help train the jaw to close in a more favorable position. They may be used for temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ).
- Lip and cheek bumpers — these are designed to keep the lips or cheeks away from the teeth. Lip and cheek muscles can exert pressure on the teeth, and these bumpers help relieve that pressure.
- Palatal expander — a device used to widen the arch of the upper jaw. It is a plastic plate that fits over the roof of the mouth. Outward pressure applied to the plate by screws force the joints in the bones of the palate to open lengthwise, widening the palatal area.
- Removable retainers — worn on the roof of the mouth, these devices prevent shifting of the teeth to their previous position. They can also be modified and used to prevent thumb sucking.
- Headgear — with this device, a strap is placed around the back of the head and attached to a metal wire in front, or face bow. Headgear slows the growth of the upper jaw, and holds the back teeth where they are while the front teeth are pulled back
- Dental veneers
- Composite bonding
- Tooth implants
- Teeth whitening
Some of the components taken into consideration include your facial appearance, skin tone, hair color, teeth (color, width, length, shape and tooth display), gum tissue and lips. Smile makeovers are performed for many reasons and customized according to your unique considerations.
What is it that you like or dislike about your smile or your teeth? Some aspects of your smile that your cosmetic dentist will review with you and that could be improved include the following:
- Tooth Color: Silver or amalgam dental fillings can be replaced with natural, tooth-colored composite restorations, while teeth whitening can improve the color of stained or dulled teeth. Tooth color and shading are important considerations during the evaluation of and preparation for various procedures, including porcelain veneers, crowns, bridges, composite bonding and dental implants.
When considering the color of your teeth, keep in mind that dark or discolored teeth may suggest an aged mouth. A well-shaped smile comprised of bright, white teeth lends to a youthful appearance. The shade your dentist selects for teeth whitening and veneers is carefully evaluated with special consideration given to the tone and color of your face and hair. Cosmetic dentists are skilled at finding the right balance between providing you with a brighter, whiter smile and maintaining a natural tooth color.
- Alignment and Spacing: Teeth that are crooked, overlapping or have gaps between them can be straightened and aligned when necessary through orthodontics or Invisalign and improved with veneers.
- Missing Teeth: One or more missing teeth can negatively affect the appearance of your smile – as well as affect your bite and increase your risk for tooth decay – making replacement an integral part of oral health and facial esthetics. Missing teeth can be replaced by dental implants, bridges or partial dentures.
- Harmony and Balance: Uneven, chipped and cracked teeth can be cosmetically bonded for an improved appearance, and a gummy smile can be re-contoured to help improve the overall look of the smile.
- Fuller Lips, Smile and Cheeks: An unshapely or aging face can be improved or rejuvenated with certain procedures in the smile makeover category, including orthodontics and/or oral maxillofacial surgery.
A cosmetic dentist will work closely with you to develop a treatment plan designed to achieve exactly what you want from your makeover. This treatment plan may consist of many cosmetic and functionally restorative procedures, potentially including teeth whitening, composite bonding, veneers, dental crowns, orthodontics (braces), oral maxillofacial surgery and gummy smile reduction.
Aesthetic Components of a Smile Makeover
In addition to the color, alignment and balance of your teeth in the aesthetic zone of your smile (the section of upper and lower teeth that show when you smile), there are several attributes of your teeth and smile that your cosmetic dentist will evaluate with you when planning your makeover. These include:
- Tooth Length: Long teeth lend a youthful appearance. Aging produces wear and tear that often results in shorter teeth, and a gummy smile also can make teeth appear shorter. A treatment for shorter teeth may include reshaping and lengthening the two front central teeth with composite bonding or porcelain veneers. If you have a gummy smile, your cosmetic dentist may provide treatment to modify the gum line and lengthen the appearance of the teeth using laser dentistry procedures. You may also be referred to a periodontist for crown lengthening if necessary.
Teeth lengthening may also impact your overall facial appearance. For example, shapely, long, square teeth on a round-faced individual can provide a slimming effect.
- Smile Line: The smile line is an imaginary line that follows the edges of your upper teeth from side to side, which ideally should be the same as the curve of your lower lip when you smile. This standard point of reference may be used to help determine how long your new teeth should be.
- Tooth Proportions: Your cosmetic dentist will examine your teeth to determine if they are in correct proportion with each other. Most people recognize a pleasing smile as one in which the two central front teeth are dominant and have a width-to-length ratio of 4-to-5. This proportion guides the length and width of other teeth in the aesthetic zone so that the smile line appears balanced.
- Tooth Texture and Characterization: An artistic dentist can characterize your crowns or veneers to create a more feminine or a more masculine appearance, in addition to matching the look and feel of natural teeth or those you’ve seen in photographs.
Maintaining Your Results
Cosmetic dentistry procedures require regular oral hygiene care and may require maintenance over time. For example, teeth whitening must be repeated on occasion in order to maintain brightness. Porcelain veneers may chip or break off and need replacement. Permanent composite bonding may stain and require enhancement or replacement. Dental crowns typically require replacement after 10 to 15 years. Gummy smile improvements may also require enhancement over time.
Your ceramist, lab technician and the materials chosen by your dentist also impact the longevity of your smile makeover. To achieve the best results, take special care in selecting your cosmetic dentist and inquiring about your material options.
Your oral health must be evaluated before a cosmetic dentist develops a plan for your smile makeover. Your dentist will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of your teeth, gums, underlying support structure and bite (occlusion) to determine candidacy for a smile makeover. If your evaluation reveals that you have an oral health problem – such as a misaligned bite (malocclusion) or gum disease – you will need to have that taken care of first.
porcelain veneers & teeth lamination
Porcelain veneers and teeth lamination can restore your smile in as little as two visits . If your teeth are chipped, stained, misaligned, or have another cosmetic issue, teeth lamination may be the perfect option for a mini smile makeover.
Our experienced dentists and staff are experts in cosmetic dentistry procedures, including porcelain veneers and teeth lamination. Furthermore, Dr. Alevtina Edgar and Dr. Igor Ilyabayev are both members of the American Dental Association and New York State Dental Association. We always put your satisfaction first and have been recognized as a Patient’s Choice Winner on Opencare. Visit us to receive expert porcelain veneers and laminates for your teeth today.
Porcelain Veneers: Transforming Your Smile in Valley Stream And NYC
Do you have teeth that suffer from a wide array of aesthetic issues, such as stained teeth or even damaged/misshapen teeth? You might believe that improving the appearance of your smile will require multiple office visits and an array of treatments, but that’s not true.
At Central Avenue Dental in Manhattan and Valley Stream, our dentists can use porcelain veneers and teeth lamination to completely transform your smile in as little as two visits with a single cosmetic procedure. Find out how dental veneers can help you achieve the stunning results you deserve.
Porcelain veneers are routinely used to cover teeth that are discolored, worn, chipped, or misaligned. Porcelain veneers, often alternatively termed dental veneers or teeth lamination, are wafer-thin shells of porcelain that are bonded onto the front side of teeth in order to cosmetically improve their appearance. Typically, porcelain veneers are difficult to stain, making veneers a very popular solution for many people seeking that perfect smile. Strong and very durable, dental veneers should last from ten to fifteen years, and come in colors that will brighten dark teeth without the worry of them changing color. Teeth lamination is typically done in only two office visits and can actually strengthen your teeth.
What Can Dental Veneers / Teeth Lamination Address?
Laminates for teeth are used to address a number of both cosmetic and restorative issues, including:
- Gaps between teeth
- Chipped or broken teeth
- Misshapen or worn down teeth
- Stained teeth
The appearance of minor misalignment
If you have any questions about what aesthetic problems we can correct with a restoration, then please contact our office. We can examine your teeth to see what the best choice is for improving the function and beauty of your smile, whether it’s dental veneers/teeth lamination or another procedure.
How Do Porcelain Veneers Work?
A dental veneer is a thin shell of porcelain material that we place over the teeth in the front of the mouth. They adhere to the surface, instantly altering the appearance of the teeth. We can use teeth lamination to treat a number of issues or repair minor damage to the teeth. Caring for your restoration simply requires routine oral healthcare, including:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day
- Flossing once a day
- Having the dentist examine your teeth twice a year via regular checkups and dental cleanings
Good oral hygiene not only protects your new restoration but can also improve your overall dental health as well.
What Does Porcelain Veneer Placement Involve?
The teeth lamination procedure will begin with preparation. To prepare the teeth we will need to remove a very thin layer of enamel. Doing so leaves room for the completed veneer. We then take impressions of your teeth.
At a dental lab, an expert ceramist uses the impression to design and fabricate the laminates. Once complete, you return for your second visit. The doctor must then check the fit and make any further adjustments. The veneer will be bonded to the tooth with a powerful adhesive material.
Dental implants are metal posts or frames that are surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath your gums. Once in place, they allow your dentist to mount replacement teeth onto them.
How do Dental Implants Work?
Because implants fuse to your jawbone, they provide stable support for artificial teeth. Dentures and bridges mounted to implants won't slip or shift in your mouth — an especially important benefit when eating and speaking. This secure fit helps the dentures and bridges — as well as individual crowns placed over implants — feel more natural than conventional bridges or dentures.
For some people, ordinary bridges and dentures are simply not comfortable or even possible, due to sore spots, poor ridges or gagging. In addition, ordinary bridges must be attached to teeth on either side of the space left by the missing tooth. An advantage of implants is that no adjacent teeth need to be prepared or ground down to hold your new replacement tooth/teeth in place.
To receive implants, you need to have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. You must also commit to keeping these structures healthy. Meticulous oral hygiene and regular dental visits are critical to the long-term success of dental implants.
Implants are usually more expensive than other methods of tooth replacement, and most insurance carriers typically cover less than 10 percent of the fees.
The American Dental Association considers two types of implants to be safe. They are:
- Endosteal implants — these are surgically implanted directly into the jawbone. Once the surrounding gum tissue has healed, a second surgery is needed to connect a post to the original implant. Finally, an artificial tooth (or teeth) is attached to the post-individually, or grouped on a bridge or denture.
- Subperiosteal implants — these consist of a metal frame that is fitted onto the jawbone just below the gum tissue. As the gums heal, the frame becomes fixed to the jawbone. Posts, which are attached to the frame, protrude through the gums. As with endosteal implants, artificial teeth are then mounted to the posts.
The Dental Implants Process
To start restoring your smile with dental implants, we invite you to come in for a consultation with one of our doctors. At that appointment, we’ll go over your current oral health, your needs, and your goals for your smile. We will also take some X-rays to determine if your jawbone is strong enough for dental implants. If we decide that implants are the best treatment for you, we’ll also go over your restoration options to make sure you’re comfortable with your entire treatment plan from start to finish.
At your first treatment appointment, we’ll surgically place a dental implant into your jawbone in the place of a missing tooth or teeth. If your jawbone isn’t quite strong enough, we can perform oral surgery in our office and graft additional bone material onto the jawbone to give it extra strength. Once that has healed, we’ll bring you back in to place your implant.
The implant takes a few months to heal and fuse to the jawbone, but once it has, come back in for the restoration process. We’ll place a crown, bridge, or denture, depending on how many teeth you’re missing and your specific dental needs. Crowns are typically placed on a single-tooth implant. We use bridges if you’re missing a couple of teeth in a row. Implant-supported dentures are great for patients missing most or all teeth in an arch. We even offer All-on-4® treatment at our Summerville office, meaning we can stabilize your denture with four strategically placed dental implants.
After your mouth is healed, your new smile will look natural and beautiful. The implant will also allow you to get back to doing all the things you used to do with a full smile. We bet no one will even know which tooth is the implant unless you tell them!
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants offer our patients a number of benefits, including:
- Look, feel, and function like natural teeth
- Prevent surrounding teeth from shifting into open space
- Maintain facial shape
- Stop bone loss in the jaw
In addition to being great for your oral health, dental implants are easy to care for, so you can continue to maintain a good dental hygiene routine. Just brush and floss your implant like normal – with proper care, implants are designed to last for decades!