Orthodontic Services Explained

| November 2, 2012

braces on teeth Orthodontic services are for both adults and children. They can help with dental problems like misaligned teeth and gaps between teeth, as well as other problems like sleep apnea. Read on to learn more about orthodontic services, then find orthodontists in your community through DexKnows.

Braces

Orthodontists are best known for braces, the small brackets attached to the front or back of the teeth that help fix misaligned and crooked teeth. The orthodontist strings stainless steel orthodontic bands through the brackets to put a constant pressure on your teeth and pull them together over time. Patients typically wear braces for 18 months to three years.

For a less obvious look than steel, there are also tooth-colored or clear bands made of plastic or ceramic. These may be more expensive. MedicineNet.com also cautions that plastic brackets may become discolored, and ceramic and plastic brackets may result in more friction between wires and brackets, which can mean longer to treat your problem.

Invisible braces

Often sold under the trade name Invisalign, this approach uses clear removable aligners to straighten teeth without wires and brackets. You wear a set of aligners for a few weeks, taking them out to eat, drink and brush your teeth and putting them back in until replacing them with a new set about two weeks later.

Invisalign isn’t an option for everyone. For instance, serious teeth crowding or jaw problems may not be treatable. Talk to your orthodontist to see if invisible braces are a good choice for you.

Lingual braces

The brackets and wires go on the back of the teeth in this orthodontic therapy. That conceals the braces but may bruise the tongue at first.

Spacers

Spacers or separators are plastic rings that fit between back teeth. They are used to space out your back teeth a bit before braces are applied.

Orthodontic headgear

A tool that may be used with braces is headgear, which is made of wire and fits into two outer brackets, creating a horseshoe-type “facebow” that fits into the mouth while a strap wraps around the head to hold it in place. Headgear is often worn at night, but may be worn during the day in extreme cases.

Retainers

After the braces come off, your orthodontist will fit you with a rubber or plastic retainer, which helps keep teeth from moving while the mouth adjusts over a few months. The retainer typically fits on the roof of the mouth, with wires around the front of the teeth.

Other dental appliances

Braces may not be the only solution, depending on your problem. There are several other options, including the palatal expander and a quad helix. A palatal expander widens the upper jaw by separating bones in the palate. A quad helix widens the jaws by using two bands that connect to the molars and springs that widen your mouth’s arch.

Orthodontist fees

According to MedicineNet.com, charges range between $1,800 and $5,500. Insurance coverage is likely partial if orthodontic work is covered, so check with your insurance provider first. Most orthdontist offices are willing to set up payment plans.

Sleep apnea treatment

Along with misaligned teeth, orthodontic services may help with sleep apnea. There are various services and tools that can reduce snoring and alleviate sleep apnea. They do so by repositioning the tongue or the lower jaw while you sleep.

Visit an orthodontist to see what orthodontic services may best serve you. Start your orthodontist search with the local listings from DexKnows.

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Category: Dentists, Evergreen, Health & Fitness

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Central Ohio journalist with 15 years experience at daily newspapers. Freelance writer and amateur photographer. Storytellers are my heroes, poets my idols and photographers my looking glass.