Whittier Dental Arts orthodontics by Dr. Alan Gutierrez will keep you smiling comfortably and beautifully for a lifetime. Orthodontics maintains the perfect alignment of the teeth and jaws, allowing you to eat, speak, chew and smile without the pain and discomfort of malocclusion (improper bite). Dr. Gutierrez is trained to accurately identify the characteristics of malocclusion and get to the cause of the problem using the latest in diagnostic equipment. He’s then able to prescribe an effective treatment for patients who may be experiencing issues due to malocclusion.
The benefits of orthodontic treatment often go beyond the obvious physical changes of an improved bite and straighter teeth; it’s also a great way to improve a person’s overall self-image. While having beautiful straight teeth is important, even more important is the need to alleviate any potential health problems associated with the teeth or jaw. Crooked teeth or jaw problems may contribute to improper cleaning of teeth, leading to tooth decay and, possibly, gum disease or total tooth loss. Orthodontic problems that go untreated can lead to chewing and digestion difficulties, speech impairments, and abnormal wear of tooth surfaces. Over time, excessive strain on gum tissue and the bone that supports the teeth can affect the jaw joints leading to problems such as headaches or face and neck pain.
With all of the recent advancements in orthodontics, wearing braces has never been easier. State-of-the-art appliances and treatments are now available, from traditional metal braces, to clear and tooth colored brackets, to NASA type wires that are heat activated and require fewer adjustments! Some patients may even be candidates for treatment with Invisalign, a revolutionary way to straighten teeth using clear, retainer type aligners that require no braces or wires.
If treatment is necessary, Dr. Gutierrez will thoroughly discuss which treatment option is best suited for you!
Orthodontics May Help Patients With:
- Pain in the muscles of the face, neck and shoulders
- Cracking or popping in the jaws
- Pain when you chew or talk
- Teeth grinding
- Teeth wear
Orthodontic Treatment Improves:
- Health – When teeth are crooked they are harder to clean. Crooked teeth can lead to increased risk of gum disease and tooth decay. When teeth are straight they are healthier and easier to clean.
- Function – When teeth do not fit together properly it can result in excesses wear and damage to the enamel.
- Stability – When teeth and jaws fit together properly the bite is stabilized an feels more comfortable and prevents unwanted tooth movement.
- Aesthetics – Having crooked teeth decreases a person’s self-confidence and can affect how you are viewed by others. A beautiful straight smile increases confidence and self-esteem
Types of Orthodontic Treatment
- Metal Brackets – The MicroArch® Advanced Low-profile is the latest in metal brackets which offer small size and rhomboid shape for greater comfort and aesthetics. This option still allows for the selection of new colored ties at each visit.
- Ceramic Brackets – The Self-ligating bracket system provide patients with a beautiful, healthy smile. Their special design provides for greater comfort as well as shorter and fewer appointment times. Their unique clip eliminates the need for elastic ties that may discolor. Plus their ceramic translucency helps to camouflage the appearance of braces allowing you to maintain the natural beauty of your smile.
- Temporary Anatomic Anchorage Device (TAADs) – The elite ortho TAAD system can be used in conjunction with brackets or alone to facilitate a cosmetic treatment plan. Combining the use of TAADs and brackets allows some patients who would have otherwise needed surgical intervention to be treated in a less invasive manner.
- Surgical Orthodontics — Surgical orthodontics is a combination of braces and jaw surgery to correct the bite of patients whose jaws do not fit together correctly. This can improve the aesthetics of the patients profile as well as the function of their bite.
- Clear Aligner Therapy – Clear removable aligners may be used to treat many types of malocclusions. Every couple of weeks the aligners are changed to allow for continued tooth movement.
What does orthodontic treatment involve?
Orthodontic treatment involves three phases:
1. Planning Phase
Your first couple of visits may include the following:
- A medical and dental history evaluation.
- Castings or “molds” of your teeth.
- Computer generated photograph of the head and neck that will aid in planning.
- Photographs of your face and mouth.
- X-rays of the teeth and jaws.
After careful planning, Dr. Gutierrez will design and apply braces or fabricate custom-made appliances for you.
2. Active Phase
Active treatment involves visiting Dr. Gutierrez on a regular basis for adjustments and following specific treatment requirements to ensure successful treatment.
3. Retention Phase
When treatment is completed, the braces and/or appliances are removed and a new appliance is made. Usually these retainers are removable and will maintain the changes made to your teeth if worn continuously until the teeth and bone are stabilized in their new positions. Treatment and retention times vary depending on each individual case.
At Whittier Dental Arts we understand that every patient is unique, with individual needs. The orthodontic treatments and braces we provide begin with our appreciation of your time, and we strive to make sure our service is always prompt and focused on you. You may not notice all of our skills, but you can’t help noticing our friendly service and attention to detail. Our goal is to make every visit a good one, and we do everything we can to ensure that your decision to choose us is one you’re delighted with.
Treatment and retention times vary depending on each individual case. Dr. Gutierrez will ensure you have a successful treatment for a beautiful smile that can last a lifetime.