Beyond Braces: Other Orthodontic Treatments
posted on 10-2-18
The primary goal of an orthodontist is to provide treatment for patients to achieve a beautiful smile. To reach this goal, an orthodontist will recommend and implement a wide variety of treatments that go well beyond braces.
Space maintainers keep the spaces between teeth open after a patient loses their baby teeth earlier than normal. This treatment ensures that the proper permanent teeth grow into the opening, and that other adult teeth do not shift into the space.
Aligners are clear trays that are molded to fit a patient’s teeth, and incrementally move teeth into their proper place over a period of time. Aligners are less conspicuous than braces, and can be removed when eating or brushing and flossing. An orthodontist will periodically fit patients with new aligners that fit the changing position of their teeth during treatment.
Retainers are used for several different reasons., one of which is to hold teeth in place. Following braces treatment, an orthodontist may fit a patient with a Hawley retainer, a clear Essix retainer, or a permanent retainer, which is typically applied to the back of the front teeth. To move teeth, an orthodontist may fit patients with a spring aligner, which can make minor corrections, or a clear Essix retainer.
Guards are an important and effective method of maintaining a beautiful smile. An orthodontist can fit athletes of all ages with mouthguards to protect their teeth during competition. Over-the-counter guards offer the least protection and typically feel less comfortable than custom mouthguards provided by an orthodontist. An orthodontist can treat patients who grind or clench their teeth while they sleep with a nightguard. These custom fit treatments will help relieve muscular and tooth pain, as well as prevent tooth wear and damage.
These are just a few treatments that an orthodontist may recommend. There are many more options for adults, teens and children. To learn more and determine the best treatment for you, make an appointment with your local Utah Association of Orthodontists member for a consultation today.