Orthodontics-TMJ

What Is Orthodontics?

What Is A Malocclusion?

Who Can Benefit From Orthodontics?

Care Following Orthodontics – Retainers

Invisalign

Why Straighten Teeth?

Orthodontic Dictionary

Orthodontic treatment encompasses different phases depending on the age of the patient. Dr. Brad Oldfin is experienced with not only straightening teeth, but preventing malocclusions (crooked teeth and jaws) with early intervention, as well as maintaining healthy jaw joints through the process of moving teeth.

Our services include:

  • Early Treatment
  • The Functional Appliance
  • Overbites and Under bites
  • Adult Orthodontics
  • Non-Extraction Orthodontics
  • Retention

Early Treatment

Its never too early to start working naturally on your child’s broad beautiful smile, and healthy jaw joints. The benefits are not only an attractive appearance later in life, but also include numerous others. Improved breathing, proper speech development, earache prevention, a reduction in bed wetting and more.

Early intervention to ensure that children are growing and developing properly makes sense. From birth to age 8, 80 to 90% of the jaw growth occurs, therefore, proper breast feeding, diet, and intervention where necessary can prevent malocclusions in children before they reach adolescence. We can help at this early stage to guide the growth of younger patients, for proper development and preventing deformations of the face and jaws. Broad arches and adequate space for adult teeth preventing the need for permanent teeth to be extracted, jaw surgery or other serious conditions in the future.

Current research reveals the importance of monitoring the growth and development of your child’s oro-facial complex. This is the system which provides function for breathing, vision, speech, smell, taste, chewing and swallowing. The tongue plays an important role in facial development, yet it cannot do its job properly with the use of bottles for feeding, pacifiers, finger habits, thumb sucking and diets that are too soft. (ie. hot dogs and kraft dinner vs. apples carrots and whole grains) This can interrupt this natural growth process and suppresses the bodies immune system which results in mouth breathing, restless sleep, hyperactivity, cross bites, earaches, and difficulty swallowing.

Functional problems such as; thumb sucking, finger habits, tongue thrusts, jaw joint (TMJ) problems and airway problems (including mouth breathing and snoring) should be corrected early with functional appliances. Our office works with other professionals to ensure the best possible treatment for our patients.

Some cases may require referrals to other professionals such as an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist (E.N.T.) or an Osteopath, in order to further evaluate the airway, skeletal imbalances or other present conditions. Functional appliances can help correct these problems by creating sufficient space for the teeth and airway, breaking finger habits, and helping the tongue maintain an ideal position in the mouth.

The Functional Appliance

These removable appliances look similar to a retainer, only they utilize a tiny “micro” screw or a spring to develop the bone to make room for the teeth, a specific tooth or correct skeletal misalignments to allow proper growth and development of the upper and lower jaw. Proper relationship of the jaws can have major seemingly unrelated benefits.

We see children with chronic ear problems achieve dramatic reduction in ear infections by bringing the lower jaw down and forward. An article published in 1990 showed 10 out of 10 chronic bed wetter’s stopped after only a few months of palatal expansion. A study published in 1998 showed orthopedic treatment to be 80% effective in reducing or stopping bed wetting.

Contrary to old orthodontic theories, treatment should be initiated early if necessary as 80% of jaw growth occurs by the age of 8.

Overbites and Underbites

Most orthodontic problems are the result of skeletal imbalances (overbites and under bites) We treat overbites with functional orthopedic appliances in patients of all ages. Many of the under bites are easily treated at the age of 5 and are more difficult to treat once the face and jaws are fully developed. Most under bites are the result of a deficient upper jaw (maxilla) which can be easily corrected between the ages of 4 – 8 with a removable retainer that orthopedically develops or makes the upper jaw bigger.

Left untreated the lower jaw may require surgery in adulthood if functional therapy does not produce the desired effect. We have successfully treated hundreds of cases with remarkable results.

Older children can benefit from traditional braces for ideal positioning of their teeth for effective speech and function. Consultations with our dental team can answer your questions and guide you and your child toward proper growth and facial development.

Adult Orthodontics

Straightening your teeth can improve your smile, boost your self-confidence and self-esteem, and have you smiling again! More importantly, there are many health benefits associated with a proper bite (occlusion) and healthy jaw joints.

Orthodontic treatment straightens teeth and helps treat problems related to the growth and development of jaws including crowded or crooked teeth skeletal imbalances (overbites, under bites, open bites) spaces between teeth, extra or missing teeth, and jaw problems.

Through the use of braces, or other corrective removable or fixed functional appliances, gentle pressure is placed on your teeth and jaw bone to shift them into proper function. Crowded, crooked, and protruding teeth not only affect appearance, but can also cause significant physical health problems.

Teeth that are misaligned can cause a bad bite called malocclusion which have many side effects. Difficulty chewing, difficulty cleaning (brushing and flossing) decay, gum disease, worn down teeth, muscle tension, jaw pain, head aches, speech impairments, tooth loss, chipped teeth and other dental injuries.

Properly aligned teeth can significantly reduce or eliminate symptoms of Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD), which includes clicking or popping of the jaw, headaches, and facial pain, dizziness, ringing in the ears and more.

We provide an evaluation of all our patients to ensure a normal function of the airway, tongue and temporomandibular joints (TMJ) before we approach orthodontic treatment. If the arches are underdeveloped and teeth are crowded, we use functional appliances to expand the arches making room for the teeth. These appliances can also assist with correcting improper tongue or swallowing habits,

Having braces means you will have brackets (bonded to the tooth) and wires placed in the slot in the bracket. It’s the combination of these things that allow the tooth, or teeth, to move into its designated spot in the arch. After the teeth are straightened a retainer will be placed to retain the position of the teeth until everything has settled into its proper alignment.

Every patient wants an attractive smile, and a stable jaw joint is important in the process. More and more adults are proceeding with orthodontic treatment. Call us to schedule an appointment to see what treatment is best for you. it’s never too late to straighten your teeth and improve your smile.

Non-Extraction Orthodontics

Although some dental professionals routinely remove permanent teeth on patients prior to doing orthodontics, we now know that every tooth has an important function, and there are more natural non-extraction methods available in most cases. Most teeth are extracted to compensate for a skeletal discrepancy resulting in straight teeth but compromising facial esthetics.

Commonly, a diminished lower face makes patients look older than they are, and frequently TMJ problems may result later in life. We feel the best solution for our patients is a full evaluation, and in most cases treat the skeletal discrepancies with functional appliances, finishing the case with braces, followed by a retention stage. Rarely to we extract teeth, and the results are beautiful broad smiles, with healthy jaw joints.

Retention

The final stage of correcting an orthodontic problem is retention. With the new positioning of the teeth, a custom fit retainer is fabricated. It is very important that patients wear their retainers, because teeth have a fantastic memory, and hey will try to shift back to their original position post treatment.

Retainers allow the ligaments the time and stability necessary to tighten around the root of the tooth, making the straightened position permanent. Removeable retainers are generally worn for 6 months full time and 1-year at night only. Retainers are always taken out when playing contact sports. In some cases, permanent retention using thin wires bonded to the inside of the front teeth is the preferred method.