Orthodontics is a specialty within the umbrella of dentistry. The primary focus is on resolving malocclusions, also known as "bad bite". A malocclusion is when the teeth are improperly positioned in the jaw. There are three classes of malocclusion, with several more specific conditions, including underbite, overbite, open bite, and more.
Orthodontics treats these conditions with both fixed and removable devices designed to shift the teeth into their appropriate positions, including traditional braces and clear aligners. The purpose is to create a straight, beautiful smile.
Many people are under the false impression that orthodontics is only for teens, but at Parkway Dental Care, we treat a lot of adults as well. If you are an adult that needed but didn't get orthodontic treatment when you were younger or you didn't follow the instructions, you qualify as a candidate for orthodontic treatment. Many of our adult patients qualify for clear aligners or cosmetic braces.
According to the World Health Organization, malocclusion is one of the biggest oral care problems. In fact, research shows that up to 93% of children and teens have some level of malocclusion. There are 3 classes of malocclusion:
In a Class I malocclusion the molars are properly aligned, but there are problems such as spacing or crowding with the front teeth. This is the most common level of malocclusion.
A Class II malocclusion is when the upper teeth/jaw significantly overlap the lower teeth/jaw. This is commonly known as an overbite.
A Class III malocclusion is the opposite of a Class II. This is when the lower teeth/jaw significantly overlap the upper teeth/jaw. This is known as an underbite.
Within these different classes are different types of malocclusions:
When it comes to treating your malocclusion at Parkway Dental Care, we have options:
The cost of these options is fairly comparable, with Invisalign costing slightly more. Most dental insurance plans will cover a portion of treatment with traditional metal braces, but not clear aligners. Our office staff will work with your provider to determine coverage, and then we will explain our financing options for you to cover your portion of the cost.
Traditional braces can be used to treat mild to severe malocclusion. This orthodontic treatment uses brackets and wires to pull teeth into their appropriate positions within the jaw. Typically, treatment with traditional braces takes 12 to 24 months, with some of the more complex cases taking up to 36. You will need to visit the clinic every few weeks to have the wires tightened as your teeth are shifted.
Most of our older teen and adult patients prefer a more discreet approach to treatment, which is why we offer clear aligners as an option.
Invisalign was introduced to the market in the late 1990s as an alternative to metal braces and quickly gained popularity. Invisalign uses a series of clear aligners to gradually shift teeth into proper position using SmartTrack technology. This option is primarily used for mild to moderate malocclusions but can also be used for some more severe cases combined with attachments.
up to 5 aligners or up to 7 aligners
up to 14 aligners
up to 20 aligners
unlimited aligners Invisalign clear aligners are removable but must be worn for 20 to 22 hours a day to be effective. Depending on your treatment plan, you will switch to a new set of aligners every 1 to 3 weeks. Invisalign typically takes 12 to 18 months, with more severe cases taking up to 24. The good news is that milder cases may resolve within 6 months.
At Parkway Dental Care, we also offer ClearCorrect clear aligners. This system is very similar to Invisalign, except each set of aligners must be worn for 3 weeks. ClearCorrect has 3 levels of treatment, depending on your needs:
offers 6 sets of aligners
offers 12 sets of aligners
offers unlimited aligners
Treatment time with ClearCorrect varies from 12 to 24 months, depending on your condition, severity, and commitment to wearing the aligners.
The benefits of orthodontic treatment vary from one patient to another, which means they are hard to measure. However, some of the most common ones reported by our patients include:
During your consultation visit, as we explain your options, we will also explain these and other potential benefits.
If you believe that you may benefit from orthodontic treatment, schedule your consultation with the team at Parkway Dental Care today. We will evaluate your condition, take x-rays, and help you determine which treatment path is most appropriate for your condition.
Orthodontic treatments can be confusing. That is why the team at Parkway Dental Care wants you to know that we will address your questions and concerns at any time. Some of the most common questions we get include:
Orthodontic treatment can be expensive, especially if your dental insurance does not cover anything. However, orthodontic treatment is well worth the investment because misaligned teeth can increase your risk of several things including health issues, plaque buildup, gum disease, and other future problems. By straightening your teeth to their appropriate positions within your jaw, you can prevent these things from happening.