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

Thirteen years ago I decided that I wanted to improve my smile. There were missing teeth and spaces, the ones I did have didn’t sparkle. I pulled out my telephone book and went to the yellow pages looking for a cosmetic dentist. There he was, Dr Eric Schikowski and Stow Dental. I called and made an appointment for a consultation. The staff and Dr Schikowski were amazing, they made me feel very comfortable. I explained why I was there and what I was looking for and a plan to improve my smile was in the works. The end result of all their hard work was I had a beautiful smile. When I am asked about my teeth I give out Dr Schikowski’s name and telephone number. The way a person feels about themselves shows when they have a beautiful smile, your confidence is beaming. Dr Schikowski and his staff do is change lives for the better. I love you all!!

Susie

Getting veneers at Stow Dental Group has been a wonderful experience. The procedure is relatively painless and the results are spectacular! Dr. Thompson and his entire staff are kind, caring and extremely professional. I can't stop smiling!

Sandy C.

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

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