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What is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is one of many dental specialties.  The word “orthodontics” is derived from the Greek words orthos, meaning proper or straight and odons meaning teeth.  Orthodontics is specifically concerned with diagnosing and treating tooth misalignment and irregularity in the jaw area.  Initially, orthodontic treatments were geared toward the treatment of teens and pre-teens, but these days around 30 percent of orthodontic patients are adults.

There are many advantages to well-aligned teeth, including easier cleaning, better oral hygiene, clearer speech and a more pleasant smile.  Though orthodontic treatment can be effective at any age, the American Dental Association suggests that an orthodontic assessment should be performed around the age of seven.  The earlier orthodontic treatment begins, the more quickly the problem can be successfully resolved.

What problems can be treated with orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a versatile branch of dentistry that can be used alone, or in combination with maxillofacial or cosmetic dentistry.

Here are some of the common conditions treated with orthodontics:

  • Anteroposterior deviations – The discrepancy between a pair of closed jaws is known as an anteroposterior discrepancy or deviation.  An example of such a discrepancy would be an overbite (where the upper teeth are further forward than the lower teeth), or an underbite (where the lower teeth are further forward then the upper teeth).

  • Overcrowding – Overcrowding is a common orthodontic problem.  It occurs when there is an insufficient space for the normal growth and development of adult teeth.

  • Aesthetic problems – A beautiful straight smile may be marred by a single misaligned tooth. This tooth can be realigned with ease and accuracy by the orthodontist.  Alternatively, orthodontists can also work to reshape and restructure the lips, jaw or the face.

Orthodontic Solutions

Orthodontics is a technologically advanced field which offers many sophisticated solutions to malocclusions and other cosmetic problems.  The orthodontist will generally perform a visual examination, panoramic x-rays and study models (bite impressions) in order to assess the exact nature of the discrepancy.

When a diagnosis has been made, there are a variety of orthodontic treatment options available.

Here is an overview of some of the most common treatments:

  • Fixed orthodontic braces – A metal or ceramic dental base is affixed to each tooth, and a dental wire is inserted through each base.  The orthodontist is able to gradually train the teeth into proper alignment by regularly adjusting the wire.  When the desired results are achieved, the fixed dental braces are completely removed.

  • Removable appliances – There are a wide range of removable appliances commonly used in orthodontics, including headgear that correct overbites, Hawley retainers that improve the position of the teeth even as the jawbone reforms, and facemasks which are used to correct an underbite.

  • Invisalign® – This is a newer, removable type of dental aligner that is completely transparent.  Invisalign® does not interfere with eating because of its removable nature, and mechanically works in the same way as the traditional metal dental braces.  Not all patients are candidates for Invisalign®.

If you have any questions or concerns about orthodontics, please contact our office.

Testimonials.

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Testimonials

Trust, is the word that comes to mind when I think of Dr. Iati and his staff. Being a one of a kind patient and asking for a 'Masterpiece Smile' was no easy task. To top things off, I moved to Newport Coast, California in the middle of my procedure.

I could have easily selected another dentist and joined the Hollywood Stars, but I knew Dr. Iati had a mission that no other could accurately attempt to complete. It wasn't just slapping on veneers for a sparkling white smile. It was a complete adjustment of my bite. Even after Dr. Iati suggested we select a dentist in my area to help with the procedure, I refused and was willing to travel back and forth to accomplish our goal.

No other doctor or dentist has ever been as concerned about me as a patient and I was not about to give that up. He personally called me at home after each procedure; he would check up on me through email or a phone call just to see how I was feeling or if there was any change. When I was down and complaining, he would listen and help me through it.

Now, I feel it was well worth the wait. I have no more headaches or jaw pain, just that 'Masterpiece Smile' I requested when I first sat in his chair. Mission Accomplished! Thanks, Dr. Iati!!

Jan B. Newport Coast, CA

Dear Dr. Iati (and all the nice folks at Stow Dental Group),

Just a note to say thanks again for making what could have been a traumatic ordeal into a pure pleasure. I am still amazed at how nice the whole experience of "going to the dentist" can be. I sure appreciate how hard you all work to make this happen. Your skill and expertise are only half of it. Your attitude and thoughtfulness are the rest. I have NEVER been to ANY medical facility that made me feel less like a symptom and more like a human being and I wanted you to know you are not taken for granted.

From the time I walked in the door to the time I left all of you treat me with the dignity and respect that make me feel good about my visits. No Kidding, I now look forward to my visits.

Thank you, Thank you, and Thank you.

Roy T.

Dear Dr. Iati,

I am writing this letter to thank you for all the great dental work that you have done to bring back my overall health and well being.

After having you and your team of professionals evaluate my condition and perform my dental work, I have realized what a life changing experience this has been for me and my family.

My past dental work left me with a missing tooth and a very unhealthy future. I fully expected to loose the remaining teeth I had at the time. After my first visit, I knew I had chosen the right dentist for my needs. I decided then and there that my entire family of four would move to your practice.

I can never thank you enough for what this has meant to me and my family but if this letter helps another family choose your practice, then I feel that I have helped others that may be in need of your dental skills and expertise.

Sincerely thankful, Richard Green

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