Grand Dental – Lockport is happy to have an orthodontic specialist in our dental office because it allows us to offer fully personalized treatments to those looking to improve their oral health and the appearance of their smile. Whether you’re looking for traditional braces, Invisalign’s trademark clear aligners, or tooth colored braces and expanders, you can get them under one roof. Our orthodontic team works in tandem with our general dentist and hygienists, meaning your oral care is comprehensive from start-to-finish. If you’d like to learn more, call us to set up a consultation to discuss your options for orthodontics in Lockport, IL!
Also known as early treatment, Phase One orthodontics usually begins at around eight years of age. During Phase Two orthodontics, patients are usually around 11 years of age or older. Through early treatment, we help your child correct their jaw growth and resolve specific bite problems (also known as malocclusions), including underbites. We can also ensure that your child’s permanent teeth have sufficient room to erupt properly, lowering the chances of them needing extractions.
When children experience orthodontic problems, such as crowding teeth, excess space between teeth, jaw growth concerns, protruding teeth, or uneven bites, it can be due to genetics, jaw injury, baby teeth that are lost too early or too late, and non-nutritive habits (like thumb-sucking and digit-sucking.)
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, children should have a checkup with an orthodontist once they reach 7 years of age. This is the age at which baby and permanent teeth are present, making it easier for orthodontists to discover problems in the earliest stages. Our dental team will perform a detailed exam as well as capture a panoramic X-ray of your child’s mouth, then recommend options for their smile now and moving forward if needed.
Did you know that orthodontic treatment is hardly exclusive to teens? The American Association of Orthodontists notes that 1 in 5 orthodontic patients is over the age of 21, which makes sense since many adults are recognizing the importance of staying on top of their oral and overall health. They also want to feel more confident showing off their smile. With adults all over the country pursuing orthodontic care, there’s no reason you can’t as well!
For most adults, the thought of using braces to straighten teeth is quite discouraging. Thankfully, there are many options for them to choose from if they’d prefer to maintain their esthetic needs. At this time, Grand Dental – Lockport is happy to provide the following treatment options:
If you’ve ever wanted to straighten teeth discreetly, Invisalign is one of the most popular ways to do so. These customized aligners are transparent and gently shift your teeth into straighter positions, typically over the course of nine to 24 months. However, this treatment length varies based on the severity of your orthodontic concerns. If you want to get the best results possible, it’s important to wear the trays for at least 22 hours a day and only remove them when eating, drinking, brushing, or flossing.
Do you have moderate to severe crowding, misalignment, or malocclusions? Traditional wire and bracket orthodontics are quite effective at resolving these specific problems. Braces are attached directly to teeth and help reposition and realign them into straighter positions. The brackets work in tandem with the thin wire (known as an archwire), which is adjusted during your routine follow-up orthodontic visits. While they are often used for children, teenagers and adults can also use metal braces to straighten teeth.
Instead of metal, tooth colored braces are made from both plastic and ceramic materials. While they function the same as metal braces, they are far more discrete because the brackets are transparent and less noticeable overall. Many patients prefer tooth colored braces because they are just as reliable and strong as metal braces, all while doing everything possible to help them maintain their natural smile.
Orthodontic treatment typically takes between 6 and 30 months. The exact treatment time will vary based on factors such as the type and severity of the malocclusion, the type of orthodontic device being used, and the patient’s ability to adhere to their treatment plan. As for the individual phases of the orthodontic treatment, most orthodontic treatments can be divided into three major phases: the planning phase, the active phase, and the retention phase.
A diagnosis needs to be made to determine the most effective way to correct the alignment of the smile. Our in-house orthodontist will gather all of the necessary information by taking X-rays of your teeth and jaw to see the exact position of each tooth and checking for potential complications. Also, an evaluation of your medical and dental history will be needed to ensure any existing issues can be brought under control before orthodontic treatment begins. Finally, a study model, or “impression”, of your teeth will be made to examine the position of each tooth relative to each other.
Once a customized treatment plan has been established, the next step is to follow through on it. Custom orthodontic devices will be applied to slowly move the teeth towards their ideal alignment. Some orthodontic devices, such as traditional braces and tooth-colored braces, are fixed in place, and as a result they put restrictions on what the patient can and cannot eat during their treatment. In other cases, removable devices such as Invisalign aligners may be used instead; the patient will have to wear their device for certain amount of time each day, but they can take it out for meals and regular cleanings. The patient will need to return to the orthodontist for adjustments or progress checks.
After the teeth have been properly aligned, a retainer will then be used to prevent the teeth from shifting back to their original positions. A removable retainer needs to be worn for a certain amount of time each day for a specific time period to ensure your new smile stays picture perfect. A successful retention phase will allow the jawbone to reform around the realigned teeth so that they can maintain their new alignment.
Expanders refer to orthodontic appliances that work to modify the size and shape of the mouth. However, they also help patients maintain space inside the mouth. Expanders can be fixed or removable, depending on what we recommend as well as your preference. Over time, they apply small amounts of force to influence your mouth’s shape. In some cases, they are spring loaded or activated by screws. Regardless of the type of expander you choose, they are designed to make the bite even and properly aligned.
Dental Monitoring allows patients to attend their progress checkups for orthodontics without having to leave the comfort of home. They simply have to upload a few images of their teeth on their phone using a specialized app, and with artificial intelligence (AI), Dental Monitoring is able to determine if their teeth are shifting according to their treatment plan. This reduces the number of in-office visits a patient has to make, plus it enables their dentist to immediately identify and correct any issues as soon as they pop up.
Light Force Brackets are individually designed using a highly-detailed 3D scan of a patient’s teeth, which leads to a more comfortable fit, shorter treatment time, and better result compared to traditional braces. They are a great option for younger patients who aren’t good candidates for Invisalign or people who don’t want to have to remember to take their trays on and off. Plus, the brackets are made of a see-through material to give them a subtle appearance that easily blends into the smile.