At Parker Orthodontics, we have many options for patients who want a beautiful smile.
We start with a thorough examination of your teeth, gums, and mouth. Ellensburg orthodontist Dr. Joseph Parker then carefully considers your lifestyle and other factors so our treatment team can recommend the option for orthodontic treatment that best suits you so you can have the glowing smile you've always wanted.
We Can Help You Love Your Smile
If you have teeth with gaps, a bite that is misaligned or crooked teeth, braces are the go-to solution for getting you the beautiful smile you want. Another benefit of getting braces is to prevent the problems that can arise later if your teeth aren't straightened. Issues such as chewing problems, widening gaps between teeth and soreness can occur as you age if the alignment of your teeth isn't addressed early.
Nearly everyone is familiar with the metal brackets, wires and rubber bands that compromise traditional braces. With the advances in technology and materials, we can also offer you different types of braces to fix common dental issues such as crooked teeth, a misaligned bite or both. First, impressions of your teeth, pictures of your face and teeth and x-rays of your teeth are taken to help formulate an individualized treatment plan. Parker Orthodontics then determines which type of braces that will work best based on that information.
How Braces Work
Over a specific period of time, braces work by slowly moving the teeth in a particular direction. This is done using brackets with wires, elastics (rubber bands) or springs attached to them. The wire, elastics and/or springs are then tightened to apply gentle pressure to your teeth. Over the course of treatment, the shape of the underlying bones that support the teeth is also changed. This combination together helps provide lifelong results.
The traditional braces that you might be most familiar with require the brackets be bonded to your teeth. Today's braces, however, include options for removable brackets. This can make it easier to keep the teeth and gums clean and healthy throughout treatment.
What To Expect With Braces
You'll be given information regarding the best way to care for your braces as well as any issues that you should be aware of such as what to do if a band breaks or a wire becomes detached. Regular checkups for adjustments will likely be required to ensure that treatment is progressing appropriately. Often patients will need to come in for adjustments every four to six weeks. During that time, the springs, wires or elastics that make up your braces might need to be tightened. This could lead to some discomfort and/or soreness which can be alleviated by taking over-the-counter pain relievers.
There is no set period of time that you can expect to have braces because patients grow at differing rates. That being said, most people have braces for one to three years. The duration depends not only on the growth rate of the patient's mouth but also on their response to treatment and the severity of the initial dental problem.
Braces For Teens & Adults
Early orthodontic evaluation of children can help ensure that treatment is a success. Often broken into phases, early treatment can help prevent future problems such as a tooth extraction because of a lack of room for all the child's teeth. Often there is no need for any treatment of a child beyond regular monitoring of his or her teeth.
While braces have long been thought of a rite of passage for children moving into their teens, today many adults are opting to have their teeth straightened as well. In addition to traditional metal braces, teens might be candidates for invisible braces or clear ceramic braces.
Did you know that according to estimates by the American Association of Orthodontists, about one in five patients being seen by an orthodontist today is older than 21? Because an adult's bones are no longer growing, orthodontic treatment with braces could require a longer treatment time.
Types of Braces
The types of braces offered by today's dental practices extend far beyond the traditional metal brackets that are bonded to your teeth before adding springs, elastics, and wires. Modern braces can be broken down into three broad categories: metal braces, clear braces, and lingual braces.
These are the traditional braces that come to mind when your dentist tells you that need braces. Comprised of metal brackets that are attached to your teeth, elastics, springs, and wires are then added to help move your teeth and position your bones where they're needed.
Today, this type of braces tends to be smaller and less noticeable than the braces you might remember from your own childhood. New materials and techniques, such as archwires activated by heat, could reduce the time spent in treatment and make the process less painful. Colorful elastic bands provide children and teens with the ability to express themselves while also changing it up every few weeks.
Though they are similar in size and shape to traditional metal braces, clear braces are made of a tooth-colored or clear material that blends in with your teeth. In some cases, the wires used can also be the same color as your teeth.
This material, which is often ceramic, makes braces less noticeable than metal ones. It's important to follow the care instructions for clear braces because they could become stained. For some patients, using clear braces provides quicker results than using Invisalign.
For patients who want a straight and winning smile but don't like the thought of traditional gun-metal gray braces, Invisalign provides them with a solid option that can deliver spectacular results. Today, there are Invisalign products for both teens and adults.
Invisalign is a series of clear plastic aligners. Custom made to each patient's unique mouth and teeth shape, these braces look and fit like a mouth guard. Invisalign is usually comprised of between 18 and 30 aligners that can be removed. Nearly invisible, these braces let patients eat and drink whatever they want.
Invisalign must be replaced every two or three weeks with a new set of customized plastic aligners.
At the beginning of the Invisalign process, a three-dimensional video of your mouth is created as the final goal. It is this component that determines the shape and design of each mold. The treatment time using Invisalign is about the same as other types of braces.
How Invisalign Works
For adults and certain teens, Invisalign offers them the opportunity to have straight teeth and a healthy smile without the process being noticeable to the casual observer. The custom plastic molds are kept on for at least 22 hours a day and removed only for eating, flossing and brushing.
Throughout the different stages of the Invisalign process, only those particular teeth that have to be moved are included in the mold. This makes the process more efficient. Using Invisalign isn't relegated only to simple cases. Even those patients who have more complicated orthodontic needs can be helped by using Invisalign.
What To Expect With Invisalign
Once you and your orthodontist have decided that Invisalign is the right choice for you, a customized treatment plan will be developed. This includes digital x-rays and photographs of your teeth as well as molded impressions. These will be used to create a treatment roadmap for your orthodontist to follow.
The Invisalign software can be used to accurately predict how your treatment will progress over time. You'll be able to see how your teeth will look at every stage of the process until the end when you have the gorgeous straight smile you've always dreamed of.
Many patients require special fasteners to be fastened to their teeth. This allows you to clip your aligners into place after you eat or clean your teeth. Because each set of aligners is designed for your teeth to end up where they should at the end of the two or three week period, they could be uncomfortable when you first starting wearing each new set.
Invisalign For Teens & Adults
The basic premise underlying Invisalign for teens and adults is the same. The series of aligners are molded to suit your particular needs and your mouth. In order to see the best results, it's necessary to wear the Invisalign molds for at least 22 hours every day -- even while you're sleeping.
Here is where Invisalign for teens and adults differ. Teens are still growing and developing. Their maturity level varies widely across this age group. Many teens simply get busy and forget to put their aligners back in after they eat. Invisalign for Teens features a blue button that keeps track of the hours that the teen has been wearing the device.
The cost of Invisalign varies according to several factors. Dr. Parker and his staff will explain the factors affecting your cost of treatment with Invisalign, and help you determine whether your insurance will help with those costs and how much. Most dental insurance plans cover at least some portion of the cost of Invisalign braces.
We will also work with you to explore other options for payment, including utilizing tax-free dollars, such as flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs), or the ability to make monthly payments.
Orthodontic appliances are the tools that your orthodontist uses to support the efforts to straighten your teeth. Some examples of common appliances include wires, headgear, elastics, and positioners.
What Are Orthodontic Appliances For?
Orthodontic appliances are used to prepare your mouth and teeth for braces and help the straightening process. Though these appliances might not be as well known as the metal brackets that an image of braces conjures up, they can help make the process more successful.
Types of Appliances
There are a number of different types of appliances that an orthodontist might use to help you get the best results from your braces. While the exact appliance that is used and the length of time you need to use it can vary, the information below are some terms you might hear during the course of your treatment:
Next, to the metal brackets that are bonded to your teeth during orthodontic treatment with traditional braces, the elastics -- or rubber bands -- are the item that often most visible are the elastics. While the braces are used to straighten your teeth, elastics are designed to address your bite. Today, elastics come in a range of colorful options as well as clear ones if you want to draw less attention to your braces.
Headgear refers to appliances that include external parts that use the chin, head and/or neck as a method of bracing and support. While headgear can be used to treat a variety of orthodontic situations, their primary duty is to provide the added anchorage that is necessary to move teeth into their desired position.
Headgear can also be used to mold the position of a patient's facial structure which explains why this type of appliance is often seen on still-growing preteens. In most cases, headgear must be worn for 12 hours each day in order to have the results expected. The length of overall time headgear must be worn varies depending on the unique needs of the patient.
A significant advantage of getting an orthodontic evaluation and starting treatment early is that some of the most common structural issues, such as overbites or underbites, can be treated more easily or even prevented altogether. A palatal expander allows an orthodontist to take advantage of a child's natural growth process to prevent such malocclusions like bite issues.
A palatal expander is used to gently create more space within a patient's mouth by widening the upper jaw gradually. Because the upper jaw is made up of two separate parts that don't fuse together completely until puberty, this process is not only possible but easy and tolerable. The most common conditions that call for such an orthodontic appliance are impacted teeth, crowding of the teeth and crossbite.