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What Does Orthodontic Treatment Involve?

Orthodontics is a highly-specialized branch of dentistry that deals with facial and jaw irregularities. As proper alignment of the teeth and jaw arches affects coherent speech, chewing and biting abilities, orthodontic treatment is vital for health and comfort.

What Problems Do Orthodontic Treatments Solve?

There is a wide range of orthodontic treatments available to successfully and expediently alter the alignment of teeth. The type of treatment provided depends on the exact nature of the malocclusion or teeth misalignment. Here is a brief overview of the main classifications of bite and teeth positioning problems:

Overcrowding – The non-eruption of adult teeth and the overcrowding of arch space can lead to misalignment. Additionally, overcrowding may cause twisting and complete displacement of teeth.

Negative Underjet – An underbite is characterized by a pronounced lower jaw, which protrudes further than the upper jaw. This malocclusion causes the chin to look large or pointed.

Overbite – Overbite is a result of a protruding maxilla (upper jaw) in relation to the mandible (lower jaw). This type of malocclusion makes the chin look like it has receded.

What Does Orthodontic Treatment Involve?

The first step in developing a treatment plan is completion of a thorough visual examination of a patient’s smile. After completing this, your care provider creates diagnostic records which include panoramic x-rays, bite impressions and additional imaging of the jaw joints in some cases. If treatment is needed to realign the teeth, this is discussed extensively.

Examining diagnostic records allows for the development of a predictable treatment plan. Your dental professional can also work with an oral surgeon if the symmetry of the face needs to be altered. In the case of an overcrowded mouth, one or several teeth may need to be extracted to prepare for the realignment process. Once the diagnosis and preparation phases are complete, a fixed or removable orthodontic appliance is used to move the teeth and jaw arches into ideal alignment.

Fixed Appliances

There are several types of fixed orthodontic appliances, of which traditional metal braces are the most common. Ceramic, clear or metal brackets are fixed onto each individual tooth for the duration of the treatment, and an archwire is threaded through each one to connect them.

The wire is tightened slightly every few weeks until the desired results are achieved. Typically the fixed brackets are removed after 18-30 months.

Removable Devices

Removable devices come in many shapes and sizes and are popular because of their convenience and versatility. Removable devices include headgear, which corrects malocclusions due to developmental problems; retainers, which maintain the correct alignment of the teeth after orthodontic treatment; and Invisalign® trays, which are used for several weeks at a time to correct common teeth alignment problems.

It is important to note that a dental professional creates a custom treatment plan or each individual case. The time-span for corrections with removable devices can greatly vary in accordance with the severity of the original malocclusion.

If you have questions about orthodontic care and procedures, please be sure to ask your dental office.

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Testimonials

Dr. Salaveria and his staff were friendly, knowledgeable, professional, and they listened to me. I recently moved here from out of state and it looks like I've found my new dentist!

Sheridan S. Concord, CA

NO Pain! I am a HUGE baby when it comes to dental work and I am SO impressed. They made me feel comfortable and I am amazed that after a root canal, I had NO PAIN! Highly recommend their services. Their staff was wonderful from Rose at the front office to Brittany who assisted the procedure. Absolutely recommend!!!

Sue J. Concord, CA

My last experience at the dentist was as an uninsured individual about 6-8 years ago and I went to Western Dental. After almost 2 hours in their chair for 2 fillings and they had only gotten one of them done, I walked out of the office and never looked back. A few years went by and all of a sudden one of my molars caved in and I knew I had to get it taken care of. I now have insurance through my work and found Dr. Salaveria through their list of network providers. I saw all the positive reviews here on Yelp (and no negative ones...) and thought it was too good to be true but figured I would give them a shot. Best decision I ever made!

This is by far the best dentist experience I could have dreamed of. I had about 6 fillings done in less time than it took the Western Dental folks to do one. Not to mention he is very gentle and uses different techniques to make me comfortable since I have severe issues with my TMJ. I can almost fall asleep in his chair. They referred me out for two root canals (which have to be done by a specialist, and who they referred me to was also equally amazing) at this point and I have had one crown put in by them and will be having another crown done shortly. I can honestly say that I look forward to getting the work done with them. ....well... as much as anyone can look forward to dental work that is.

Bottom line: The reviews speak for themselves! Don't doubt it!

Jenna D. Concord, CA

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