Orthodontics is a field of dentistry that specifically focuses on diagnosing, preventing, and treating problems with the position, alignment, or spacing of the teeth, as well as any issues in the jaw area surrounding these structures, like the temporomandibular joint, also known as TMJ disorder. Orthodontics in Palm Desert, CA, can also improve the way the lips meet when smiling, commonly known as “the gummy smile.” Because braces and other orthodontic appliances are on the patient’s teeth for long periods of time, it is important to have regular checkups with the dentist during treatment to ensure the teeth are developing normally and no problems are developing.
Orthodontic treatment times vary based on the patient’s needs and the severity of their problems. For minor problems, like small gaps between teeth, Invisalign clear aligners may be recommended as the orthodontic treatment method of choice, as these are more discreet and do not involve metal brackets and wires that can irritate the teeth. Dental braces treatments can take over a year or two to complete and require periodic adjustments to ensure treatment is proceeding as planned. Once done, patients will enjoy straighter teeth and a healthier-looking mouth that can last for years with good oral hygiene and regular dental exams and cleanings.
Treatment Options for Orthodontics in Palm Desert, CA
Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment used to straighten teeth without the use of metal braces or wires. Instead, clear aligner trays are used that are fully removable for eating and drinking and are also smooth and comfortable. These trays gradually straighten teeth over the course of several months to a year. The aligners are custom-made for each patient, so they’ll only move the teeth that need to be moved in order to correct your alignment. They are designed with a smooth surface so that they are undetectable when worn. Additionally, the aligners are BPA-free and made of a lightweight plastic material that is comfortable to wear while you are in the treatment process.
Traditional braces also called metal braces or orthodontic brackets, are one of the most commonly used orthodontic treatments. Brackets are bonded to each tooth with a wire running through the brackets and attached to the anchor teeth in the back. This places constant pressure on the teeth to move them in the right direction. On average, treatment with traditional braces takes around 18 to 24 months, depending on how severe the misalignment is.
When braces are removed, you can choose to get a retainer and wear it at night to prevent your teeth from shifting back to their old positions. There is a range of different retainers to choose from. The most common ones use hard plastic that is typically molded to fit your mouth. Your dentist can give you specific instructions on how to clean and care for your retainer.
At-home dental care with a toothbrush and floss is still very important for anyone undergoing any type of orthodontics in Palm Desert, CA. When wearing braces, patients should brush after every meal and snack to prevent food particles from getting caught in their braces and causing bacteria to grow. Regular trips to the dentist for checkups and cleanings are also necessary to keep your teeth and gums healthy during orthodontic treatment. If a cavity does develop, it should be treated right away, so it doesn’t adversely affect orthodontics in Palm Desert, CA.
At LAGOS Periodontics & Dental Implants, Rodrigo A. Lagos, DDS, MS, practices a full scope of periodontics with expertise in preventive periodontics, cosmetic periodontal surgery, gum grafting, and dental implants. To schedule an appointment, call us at 760-568-3421 or visit our practice at 36945 Cook St.Suite 101, Palm Desert, CA 92260.