Creating beautiful smiles involves not only correcting the alignment of the teeth, but also a careful consideration of facial esthetics and desired profile changes. Most orthodontic problems are inherited. Examples of these genetic problems are crowding, too much space between teeth, protruding upper teeth, extra or missing teeth and some jaw growth problems.
Other malocclusions (crooked teeth) are acquired. In other words, they develop over time. They can be caused by thumb-sucking or finger-sucking as a child, mouth breathing, dental disease, abnormal swallowing, poor dental hygiene, the early or late loss of baby (primary) teeth, accidents, poor nutrition or some medical problem.
Treatment is important because crooked or crowded teeth are hard to clean, and that may contribute to tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. A bad bite can also cause abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, difficulty in chewing and/or speaking, excess stress on supporting bone and gum tissue, and possible jaw joint problems. Without treatment, problems may become worse. Orthodontic treatment to correct a problem may prove less costly than the additional dental care required to treat the problems that can develop in later years.
Then there's the emotional side of an unattractive smile. When you are not confident in the way you look, your self-esteem suffers. Teen-agers whose malocclusions are left untreated may go through life feeling self-conscious, hiding their smiles with tight lips or a protective hand.
Most of the problems below can be treated with Invisalign or conventional braces. While these are both excellent at straightening teeth, it is often necessary to utilize additional auxillary appliances to achieve jaw growth and/or optimal results when needed. This requires extensive training and experience to allow for proper diagnosis and treatment. As your Board Certified orthodontic specialist who has treated over 15,000 patients since 1987, Dr. McDowell has the experience and expertise to properly diagnose and give you that smile you've always dreamed of.
Common types of treatment include the following:
In certain more severe cases, or in instaces where orthopedic jaw growth is limited, Orthognathic (Latin for "correct jaw") Surgery may be utilized to achieve optimal results. These types of surgical movements provide beautiful and dramatic results when combined with orthodontic straightening of the teeth.
The teeth are aligned in each separate arch (upper and lower) , and then the jaw bones themselves are corrected so that the teeth now fit together , and the facial profile is corrected at the same time. There is minimal down-time (usually less than 1 week), and the results are life changing!
We will discuss what treatment options each patient could benefit from after a thorough evaluation, so that every patient and family can make the best informed decision. Please call our office today to schedule an appointment.