Straighten your teeth with Orthodontics
Do you have crooked, rotated or gaps between your teeth? When you look in the mirror and smile, do you wish you had straighter teeth? If so, Dr. Tamura offers many options of orthodontics to give you the smile you always wanted. With Invisalign Clear Aligner Therapy, White (Tooth Colored) Braces and Clear Braces, getting straight teeth doesn’t have to mean a mouth full of the metal braces your remember as a kid.
White Braces & Metal Braces
What is Orthodontics?
“Ortho” comes from the Greek word meaning straight or upright. “Dontics” means tooth. The word Orthodontics literally means “Straight Teeth”, but in modern dentistry, the practice of Orthodontics is the art and science of moving teeth that are out of position to give a patient the “Ideal Smile”.
What is an ideal smile?
There are three components that make up a beautiful smile.
- Arch form
Below are examples of ideal upper and lower arches. The third picture is an example of a non-ideal upper arch. As you can see, the ideal arches have a gentle arc to them, with each tooth positioned symmetrically with the teeth on either side and also across the arch so that the right side is a mirror image of the left side.
In the non-ideal arch, the distance between the right side and the left side is narrowed which give the arch a “V” shape instead of a “U” shape.
Alignment of teeth is accomplished when teeth that are not in the proper position are moved to where they are supposed to be within an ideal arch form.
Leveling of the teeth is accomplished by moving the teeth so that their edges are in a straight line.
Here is a picture of before and after leveling.
Two steps to the ideal smile that you always wanted
The straightening of crooked teeth can be broken down into two phases. Phase I is called Orthopedics and Phase II is called Orthodontics.
STEP 1: ORTHOPEDICS
Before crooked teeth can be straightened, the boney structures that hold the teeth must be in a correct relationship. The Upper Jaw must be the right width and length. The Lower Jaw must be the correct width and length, and the Upper Jaw must be in the correct relationship with the Lower Jaw.
a) Inter-jaw corrections, are corrections WITHIN either the Upper or Lower Jaws. These corrections are usually accomplished with Appliances that can either widen narrow jaws, or Lengthen jaws that are too short.
Increasing Arch Width
Most Orthopedic Appliances come with screws that can be turned once per week that move the teeth and/or bone in the desired direction. The above appliance can widen a narrow arch.
The Orthopedic Appliance to the left can be used to lengthen an Upper or Lower Jaw that is too short. Its patented use of springs put pressure on the teeth and bone to drive the front teeth forward thereby increasing the length of the arch.
b) Intra-Jaw Corrections are corrections BETWEEN the Upper and Lower Jaws. These corrections can be accomplished with appliances that either move the Upper or Lower Jaws forward or backward relative to each other. The diagnosis of whether a patients Upper Jaw is in a correct relationship to the Lower Jaw is accomplished with a special X-ray called a Lateral Cephalograph.
A Lateral Cephalometric X-ray can be used to determine if a patients Upper and Lower Jaws are in the correct relationship, both to each other and to the base of the skull.
If you would like to have a Cephalometric X-ray taken by Dr. Tamura to see if you need an Orthopedic correction, CLICK HERE.
STEP 2: ORTHODONTICS
Once it has been determined that the Upper and Lower Jaws are in the correct relationship to each other and to the base of the skull with Orthopedic treatment, crooked teeth can now be straightened, leveled and aligned. This can usually be accomplished with Braces. Braces come in many sizes, shapes and colors, but they all have one purpose, to move the teeth through the bone to a desired position, rotation and angulation.
There are 3 components a dentist uses to move teeth with braces:
Brackets are bonded to the teeth. One bracket is used per tooth. They are made up of four wings (one in each corner) and a slot in the middle into which an Archwire can be placed.
Brackets can be either Metal or White (ceramic)
Archwires are curved to the shape of the IDEAL ARCHFORM of the upper and lower arches. The Archwires used by Dr. Tamura are made of a high tech metal called NICKEL TITANIUM.
The reason Dr. Tamura uses Nickel Titanium is because it has the unique feature of always returning to its original shape after it is bent or deformed.
Archwire is deformed to fit into brackets on crooked teeth. When Archwire returns to its original shape, crooked teeth are straightened.
Ligatures are used to tie the Archwire to the Bracket. The Archwire fits into the Slot in the bracket and the Ligature goes around the wings of the bracket to hold the Archwire in place.
Common Orthodontic Problems
If you would like to learn more about Orthopedics, Orthodontics or set up an Orthodontic Consultation with Dr. Scott Tamura in his Dental office in Marina Del Rey, then contact us today.