Cosmetic Dentistry Makeover with Orthodontics

Today, orthodontics may fall into the cosmetic dentistry category. Orthodontics incorporates restorative and aesthetic considerations as the primary function is to treat malooclusion (inappropriate bite) which can affect speech or eating, but can also affect the appearance of the teeth with crowding, spaced teeth or a displeasing jaw line and facial appearance.

Thirty percent of adults in the U.S. seek out orthodontics today. Yet, The American Dental Association recommends that children receive an orthodontic assessment by age seven and more and more children are following through on the investigation of orthodontics at this age. In either case, the benefit of a beautiful, well aligned smile free from oral, facial or functional abnormalities is highly desirable today. In some cases, the orthodontic treatment plan combines oral maxillofacial surgery to reshape the jaw, neck and lips for a rejuvenated appearance.

In order to identify candidacy for orthodontic treatment, your general dentist will perform an evaluation by taking intraoral and facial photographs, panoramic and cephalometric X-rays, as well as, tooth impression models.  Following your clinical assessment,   a treatment plan will be developed to provide an optimal outcome.

Early intervention may prevent the need for more extensive orthodontic treatment later on. Having your child begin dental visits when the first tooth erupts sets the stage for being best prepared for orthodontic treatment. In some cases, removable appliances may be used to guide the teeth into proper position. Typically, orthodontic treatment does not commence until eleven to thirteen years of age.

Though treatment plans may take up to two years to reposition teeth and underlying roots, generally speaking treatments times are shorter when compared to years past and braces have greater aesthetic appeal. Too, wrap around facial appliances are not required to be worn any longer in the vast majority of cases. Instead, simple retainers can be worn following preliminary treatment. When oral maxillofacial surgery is involved, recovery time can be two to three weeks, but the rejuvenation can be quite enhancing for the entire face.   When teeth are straight, they are much easier to floss and clean. In turn, you will be less likely to experience tooth decay or gum disease.

If you are interested in general dentistry or cosmetic dentistry, contact Dr. Mark Sweeney, an Austin Texas cosmetic dentist, for a consultation at 512-380-1300.