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Orthodontics

braces photoMetal Brackets or Traditional "Braces"

Traditional metal bracket braces are the most common type of braces used, especially on younger patients, and with today's technology, metal braces have actually come a long way in terms of effectiveness and comfort. Although metal brackets are noticeable and maybe not the most cosmetically appealing choice, Dr. Schmidt says in some cases they are the best option, especially in dealing with extremely difficult orthodontic cases. Metal brackets are typically worn from 6 months to 2 and a half, depending on the severity of a patient's case. Metal-wired braces are stainless steel, sometimes in combination with titanium, and can be used on children and adults. Each metal bracket is glued or bonded to the front of the teeth, and a metal wire is placed over the brackets and adjusted and tightened periodically throughout the course of the treatment determined by Dr. Schmidt. In some cases rubber bands and other appliances will need to be used to perfect the bite, depending on the patient's specific case.

Dr. Schmidt says it's important to remember that how long a patient's braces need to be worn can also depend on the patient. If a patient keeps their regular appointments and comes in at the designated times Dr. Schmidt has set to make adjustments throughout the treatment course, it can prevent further delays and added time to the treatment course. "Whether we are treating a patient with metal brackets, aligners, or clear brackets, patients need to make a commitment to coming in a keeping their appointments, because every time they see us, we are making important adjustments to the teeth and bite. I've seen cases where numerous missed appointments have added 6 months or more to a patient's treatment plan, because we weren't able to make the adjustments and get the teeth straightened in the projected amount of time."

Clear Braces

Clear braces are a nice, cosmetic alternative to the traditional metal wire braces. Dr. Schmidt prefers composite clear bracket braces, because he feels like they are stronger than the ceramic clear brackets. Often times the clear or white brackets are not even noticeable in pictures, and treatment can take anywhere from a few months to a few years, depending on the severity of the case. The benefit of clear brackets is that obviously they are not as noticeable as the traditional braces, but Dr. Schmidt says the downside is that they are not as strong as metal bracket braces. Patients need to be especially careful when wearing the clear brackets in terms of what they are eating and how they take care of their braces, and in terms of cost, clear braces usually run a little higher than traditional metal braces, and treatment time can sometimes take a little longer. Dr. Schmidt can explain all of your orthodontic options to you during your consultation.

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Essix, Arch Expanders, and Retainers

At Riverbend Dental Center, you've got a lot of options when it comes to straightening your smile. Depending on your specific problem, Dr. Schmidt will discuss with you all of your treatment options, taking your lifestyle and budget into consideration. While metal brackets may sometimes be a patient's best bet, Dr. Schmidt understands that they are not always a realistic option, especially for adults living busy lives. Thanks to today's technology, Dr. Schmidt can offer patients a number of near "invisible" options.

Essix

Essix is a series of clear aligners that straighten your smile without having to wear metal or even white brackets on top of the teeth. They fit almost like a second skin over your teeth, and in many cases are barely noticeable to people, even when you're speaking.

So how does Essix work?

After impressions are taken and Dr. Schmidt determines that clear aligners can treat the patient's problem (they unfortunately can not be used to treat all cases), the patient is given a series of aligners they are expected to wear 24/7, except when eating and brushing. The nice thing about the aligners is that they can be removed to thoroughly clean your teeth after eating and during regular brushings, so maneuvering in between brackets is not necessary. The down side is that patient's need to make sure they are wearing them as prescribed, and it's also important to keep your Essix case with you at all times so your aligners don't get thrown away or lost. Patients wrapping their aligners in napkins at lunch or dinner and forgetting about them is one of the most common ways the aligners are lost! This can set back a patient's treatment time, and add to the cost of treatment as well. Follow up appointments (usually every 6 weeks to receive new aligners, but individual cases may vary) are also required so Dr. Schmidt can make sure the treatment is progressing properly.

Essix can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, depending on the severity of the case. And the best part about Essix is it can be done for a fraction of the cost of what you'll pay for that name brand system you see advertised so often. The reason Riverbend Dental Center can offer such a discount is because we manufacture the appliances in house in our state-of-the-art lab, which means we cut out the middle men and out of state labs. Essix can also be used as a retainer following any type of orthodontic treatment.

Want a wider, celebrity style smile?

Palatal Expander

When a movie star smiles, ever notice how most of them seem to show beautiful white teeth from ear to ear? If you weren't born with a perfect wide smile (most of us aren't) and veneers or other types of more extensive dental treatments aren't an option, Dr. Schmidt can design a removable palatal expander to expand and widen your upper jaw, which essentially gives you the look of a wider smile since you will ultimately be showing off more of your pearly whites. The expander works by putting pressure on the upper molars each time the patient adjusts the device (Dr. Schmidt and his staff will show the patient how this works so it can be adjusted several times a month, depending on your particular case, without the patient having to come back to the office each time to widen the device). Sometimes a palatal expander is just the first step in an orthodontic treatment plan that may be followed by braces, clear aligners or clear removable appliances like Essix. With any type of orthodontic treatment, patients must usually wear a retainer at night to maintain their new smile. Dr. Schmidt can also discuss options when it comes to permanent, "built in" retainers.

Post treatment: Retainers

After the time and money spent on any kind of orthodontic treatment, nothing can set a patient back more than not wearing their retainer after treatment. Dr. Schmidt offers patients the options of fixed or removable retainers. Removable retainers can come in the form of an essix type of clear aligner, and a fixed or permanent retainer is actually cemented on to the back of the patients teeth.

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© Copyright 2006 - Dental WebSmith, Inc. and Glenn V. Schmidt, DDS, MS. All rights reserved worldwide. Disclaimer: The information provided within is intended to help you better understand dental conditions and procedures. It is not meant to serve as delivery of medical or dental care. If you have specific questions or concerns, contact your health care provider.

 

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© Copyright 2006 - Dental WebSmith, Inc. and Glenn V. Schmidt, DDS, MS. All rights reserved worldwide. Disclaimer: The information provided within is intended to help you better understand dental conditions and procedures. It is not meant to serve as delivery of medical or dental care. If you have specific questions or concerns, contact your health care provider.