Over the years there have been many advances in the way orthodontic treatment is delivered but none so profound as the Damon Self-ligating System. This uses a force system that is ‘biologically sensible’ and applies just enough force to stimulate cellular activity without crushing the blood vessels around the roots. The upper jaw is allowed to expand naturally almost always reducing the need for extractions.
The Damon system is the incorporation of passive self-ligating brackets with new high technological arch wires selected to keep the forces light throughout treatment. By not over powering the biomechanical system the body’s own physiology allows the arch to grow naturally without the use of mechanical expanders. The result is much more patient specific and ideal for each individual.
It is also possible to start treatment much earlier when the first permanent molars and incisor teeth have grown in. This could be as early as 7 years of age. In fact it is the best time to look at whether the child is likely to need braces because it is possible to influence and guide the growth of that individual to the best possible conclusion.
The most significant change in orthodontic ideology is to look more at the face and not just straight teeth. Beautiful faces have ideal facial proportion. Craniofacial orthopaedics looks at facial disharmonies and abnormalities and it is important to look at the body pattern and how the teeth have been influenced by the rest of the body.
By understanding body mechanics and integrating these with those of the head and bone the teeth sit in it is possible to make a lasting change. This could mean curing back pain and providing headache treatment in the long term. The way the teeth meet (the bite) locks the body into a dysfunction pattern. The body can be aligned at the same time as the teeth so that the new bite will lock the body into a stable pattern. For instance if the lower jaw is retruded the first cervical vertebrae in the neck moves forward creating a forward head posture. This and other bite problems must be corrected to let the system function correctly otherwise the airway is restricted and could result in sleep apnoea.
Most important of all treating to this standard will maximise facial aesthetics, TMJ health, psychological and physiological health, fertility and quality of life.
Every day, we see amazing growth in the technology real that we benefit from. The orthodontics world is no different, and patients everywhere are reaping the benefits of the amazing leaps in technology in recent years.
From the moment you step into an office for orthodontic treatment, you'll immediately recognize how technology has affected the field. Most offices will offer Wi-Fi, iPads and other things to pass the time while waiting for your appointment time.
During your consultation, you'll notice there are no more standard X-rays. The orthodontic world has embroidered digital X-rays and cone beam CT scanners to diagnose and treat patients. They provide much more detailed views for the orthodontist, so diagnoses are more accurate and treatment can be more well-thought out. The key to a properly functioning smile is a custom treatment plan created for each individual patient, and these technologies allow orthodontists to do just that.
And when it comes to creating that perfect smile, there are more options than ever before. While oral surgeons have been using mini screws for a while, temporary anchorage devices are gaining momentum in the orthodontic world. TADs help orthodontists prevent unwanted tooth movement in anchor teeth because they give a secure point to leverage proper tooth movement. TADs are placed directly in the bone between the roots of the anchor teeth, providing the support needed as the proper teeth move to their desired locations. They can be placed anywhere in the mouth, and can even be moved around during the course of treatment, guaranteeing the best smile possible with as little unwanted tooth movement as possible. And the best part? They're quick and easy to place using only a topical anesthetic and there is little to no pain associated with their placement.
From invisible braces to self-stimulating braces, there have never been more options in the world of teeth straightening than there are today. Gone are the days of patients with metal mouths and treatment that seems to go on forever.
As technology has advanced, so has the understanding of the forces it takes to get teeth to move properly. Self-winding braces use a slide that opens to allow the wire to be placed inside, and when it's closed, the wire is able to glide inside of it. This reduced the pressure and licits more effective force. And treatment is more comfortable for the patient.
For patients looking for a lower profile, clear brackets are also available. They are essentially invisible to the naked eye, and are resistant to staining and discoloring.
Another technology that both patients and doctors love is Invisalign. It took the orthodontics world by storm when it was introduced in 1998, and Align Technology continues to make great improvements to benefit orthodontists and their patients. Invisalign consists of a series of clear aligners that elicit a gentle and constant pressure on the teeth to guide them into their proper locations. Patients love them because they are comfortable, low profile and completely removable.
Orthodontists love that Align Technology is committed to constantly improving their product. First, they introduced SmartTrack technology that created more elastic aligners. The result is a tighter fit for more improved control over tooth movement. Teeth and the corresponding tissues respond better when a gentle, yet constant, force is used to guide the teeth, and SmartTrack provides just that.
Additionally, Align Technology recently informed the introduction of Invisalign G5 to help patients who suffer from deep bites. This is a population that previously did not respond to Invisalign treatment, so it opens the door for even more patients to use this wonderful technology. Invisalign G5 is the company's first technology designed to help patients who suffer from a specific malocclusion. The SmartForce attachments and pressure areas create more predictable tooth movement by allowing the orthodontist more control. Deep bites are severe overbites in which the top teeth cover all of the lower front teeth. It's harmful because the bottom teeth will be in constant contact with the upper gums and this can not only be painful for the patient, but it can cause the teeth to wear down.
For patients with less severe overbites, there are other options available, as well. Patients who suffer from overbites have had to wear headgear in the past to correct their smiles. But now, teens benefit from the use of Forsus springs, which attach directly to braces. The springs work in the same manner as traditional rubber bands, and repositioning the jaw so the upper teeth will no longer extend so far over the lower teeth. Use in adolescent patients, it's a more convenient treatment that allows for proper jaw growth.
With the amazing advances we're seeing in the orthodontics world, there is an option available for everyone to get the smile they've always dreamed of. And that's important, not just from an esthetics standpoint, but for overall oral health, as well. Crooked, misaligned and overlapping teeth can be more difficult to clean. This can lead to gum disease and tooth loss if the problem persists. So do not wait – schedule an orthodontic consultation and learn how technology can perfect your smile and give you a healthy mouth.[Top]