Orthodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry that focuses on diagnosing and treating malocclusions, otherwise known as misalignments, crooked teeth, or bad bites. Orthodontists–or dentists with orthodontic training–are dentists who, in addition to completing dental school, have also completed three additional years of specialized study and a residency program to learn the physiological processes involved in safely and effectively shifting teeth and jaws.
Achieving a straighter, healthier smile is easy and affordable with Monarch Dental. In addition to a comprehensive list of general, special, and cosmetic dentistry services, Monarch Dental also offers orthodontic treatment at many of our locations, either from an orthodontist or a dentist trained in orthodontic care. That means you and your family can receive all the oral health support you need in one convenient office. And, we make it affordable with a variety of payment options designed to fit any budget.
Better oral hygiene
Crooked, crowded, or misaligned teeth can be difficult to keep clean with brushing and flossing. There may be surfaces you cannot reach easily with a toothbrush, and getting floss between some of your teeth may be difficult or impossible. Over time, the inability to clean these hard-to-reach places may lead to tooth decay and gum disease, both of which increase your chances of tooth loss, infection, and bone deterioration. Straightening your teeth makes them easier to keep clean, so you can maintain a healthy smile for years to come.
Healthy child development
Misaligned teeth or occlusion irregularities, such as overbites and underbites, can affect how children eat, speak, and even breathe. Improperly positioned teeth, for example, can hamper their ability to make sounds that require certain tongue positions, and overcrowded or crooked teeth can be difficult to keep clean, resulting in tooth decay and premature tooth extraction.
Improved quality of life
People with improperly aligned teeth may experience more tooth decay and tooth loss or embarrassment about their smile, leading to a poor diet as well as poor social and emotional health. Misaligned teeth and jaws can also cause painful conditions like bruxism and TMJ.
Overbites: When the top teeth extend too far out in front of the bottom teeth
Underbites: Where the bottom front teeth protrude further than the top front teeth.
Open Bites: When the top and bottom front teeth do not meet.
Crossbites: When the upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth.
Overcrowding: Where the teeth overlap and appear crowded, often as the result of a small jaw.
Though orthodontic treatments are very common for children and teens, many adults receive orthodontic care as well. Some adults simply didn’t have alignment problems corrected when they were younger, or their teeth have shifted over the years.
The majority of orthodontic treatment falls under one of two categories: braces or clear aligners. While they both have their benefits, only an orthodontist or dentist trained in orthodontics can determine which is right for you. Moreover, your orthodontic treatment should always be supervised by a certified orthodontist or dentist, no matter what kind of treatment you receive.
Traditional braces consist of brackets and wires attached to the teeth that apply gentle, constant pressure to slowly shift teeth and jaws into their proper positions.
Clear aligners are a series of clear, custom-made plastic trays (aligners) that fit over your teeth to apply constant pressure. The aligners are changed out every few weeks and must be worn consistently for 20 – 22 hours every day to yield the desired results.
Depending on the severity and type of your misalignment, an orthodontist may recommend other devices or appliances to either prepare your mouth for braces or clear aligners or to be used in conjunction with them.
Palate expander, to widen the upper jaw and make more room for overcrowded teeth or for adult teeth to erupt properly.
Removable or fixed retainer, typically used for several months (or permanently) at the conclusion of orthodontic treatment to help maintain results.
Fixed space maintainer, to keep a space open when a child prematurely loses a baby tooth. It helps ensure the new adult teeth erupt correctly.
Splints, to train the jaw to sit in a better position. They’re often used to treat TMJ pain and jaw aches.
Lip bumpers, to create space between the lips and teeth, helping to relieve pressure on the teeth that may shift them out of position.
Orthodontic treatment is unique to every patient, so costs can vary widely based on how severe your misalignment is, what treatments your orthodontist recommends, and the duration of your treatment. Ceramic braces tend to be on the higher end in terms of cost, and traditional metal braces and some clear aligners are usually on the lower end. Be sure to check with your nearest Monarch Dental for exact pricing.
Because orthodontics is often considered preventative dental care, many dental insurance plans cover at least part of the cost of orthodontic treatment for children and teens. Adults, however, usually pay for orthodontic treatment out of pocket, even if they have dental insurance. Dental insurance companies typically consider orthodontic care for adults a cosmetic, non-essential treatment, whether or not that is true for your situation.
If you are concerned about paying for orthodontic treatment, contact Monarch Dental. We accept most major dental insurance plans as well as Care Credit, and we offer a variety of financing and payment options to help you afford the care you need.
If you’re ready for a straighter, healthier smile, call Monarch Dental today. Whether you need routine cleaning or affordable orthodontic care, you’ll find it at almost all of our convenient locations. Visit the office nearest you and find out why more people make Monarch Dental their choice for comprehensive dental care!