The Benefits of Straighter Teeth
If you or a loved one has crooked, crowded, gapped, overlapping, or protruding teeth or a bite problem (overbite, underbite, crossbite), you’re probably well aware of the psychological impact that uneven teeth can have. Many people with bite and alignment issues feel embarrassed about the appearance of their smile and that embarrassment might prevent them from showing off their smile as much as they’d like. Looking beyond appearances, uneven teeth can lead to number of oral health problems, including:
- Cramped spaces between crowded and overlapping teeth create places for plaque and tartar to build up, increasing your risk for tooth decay and gum disease.
- Misaligned teeth are more prone to chipping and excessive enamel wear.
- Certain orthodontic problems can place excess strain on the muscles surrounding the jaw joints, leading to an increased risk of TMJ disorder.
To help his patients enjoy straighter, healthier teeth, a better bite, and improved self-confidence, Dr. Colin Lathrop offer several different orthodontic options suitable for patients of different ages. Before developing an orthodontic treatment plan, Dr. Lathrop will first perform a thorough exam to determine the severity of your case. If needed, he can refer you to a trusted orthodontist to ensure you receive the best care for your needs.
Interceptive Orthodontics for Kids
Beginning at approximately age 7, your child should receive an orthodontic evaluation at his or her regular checkup. Experts across the field agree that identifying problems with bite relationship and crowding as they emerge can help dentists design a treatment plan to guide the growth of the jaw and teeth. This practice is referred to as interceptive orthodontics, or Phase I orthodontics. The specific treatment plan for your child could include expanders to reshape the upper and/or lower jaw, spacers along the dental arch, or, in some cases, extraction of strategically located primary teeth. Interceptive orthodontics sets the stage for shorter, more successful Phase II orthodontics (most often braces or a retainer).
PowerProx Six Month Braces for Teens and Adults
Although uneven, awkward-looking teeth might cause our adult and teen patients some embarrassment, most of them are equally less-than-thrilled at the prospect of wearing conspicuous metal braces for a year or more. To help these patients, Dr. Lathrop offer PowerProx Six Month Braces. This system uses low force, nearly invisible memory wire, and inconspicuous brackets to gently straighten protruding, overlapping, and crowded teeth and address some bite issues in as little as six months. PowerProx patients don’t experience the same discomfort and sensitivity associated with traditional braces and they don’t have to make as many return trips to the office for adjustments. Even better, the cost of PowerProx is considerably less than traditional, fixed orthodontics. While PowerProx provides an ideal treatment option for the right patient, your individual needs might require more intensive orthodontic therapy. If needed, Dr. Lathrop will refer you to a trusted orthodontist for treatment so that you receive the best care for your case.