Colin A. Mayers, DDS, MS, PC
1426 Hudson Road
Hillsdale, Michigan 49242
Phone: (517) 439-1461
Your dentist may have discussed with you the benefits of having healthy teeth and proper jaw alignment. Crooked and crowded teeth are hard to clean and maintain. This can result in tooth decay, worsen gum disease and lead to tooth loss. Other orthodontic problems can contribute to abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, inefficient chewing function, excessive stress on gum tissue and the bone that supports the teeth, or misalignment of the jaw joints. These can lead to chronic headaches and face or neck pain. Treatment by an orthodontist can be less costly than the additional care required to treat dental problems arising as a result of orthodontic problems. For most people, a beautiful smile is the most obvious benefit of orthodontics. After your braces come off, you'll feel more self-confident.
It's best for the orthodontist to see children by age seven to advise if orthodontic treatment is required and the best time for that patient to be treated. The first permanent molars and incisors have usually come in by that time; therefore, crossbites, crowding and other problems can be evaluated. When treatment is begun early, the orthodontist may guide the growth of the jaw or guide incoming permanent teeth. Early treatment may also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correct thumb-sucking, and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems. In other words, early treatment can simplify later treatment and improve the overall quality of treatment.
Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age, and adults especially appreciate the benefits of a beautiful smile. One of every five patients in orthodontic treatment is over twenty-one. At times, adult patients may also be referred to other dental specialists such as periodontists and oral surgeons due to problems associated with more mature dentitions. While most of our adult patients are in their 30’s and 40’s we have had patients in their 70’s and 80’s.
- Correction of mal-aligned (crooked) teeth in children and adults
- Establishing proper occlusion or bite
- Orthopedic or jaw growth correction in growing patients
- Interceptive orthodontics - preventing potentially more serious problems
- Space maintenance needed in the event of early tooth loss
- Orthodontic preparation for orthognathic (jaw) surgery for patients with an imbalance between the upper and lower jaws
- Movement in teeth in preparation for prosthetics (tooth replacement) or other needed dentistry
- Dental stabilization in trauma patients
- Continuation of orthodontic treatment for patients moving to the Hillsdale area
Orthodontic appliances can be made of metal, ceramic or plastic. They may be removable (Invisalign®) or they may be traditional brackets bonded to the teeth. By placing a constant, gentle force in a carefully controlled direction, braces slowly move teeth to a corrected position. This is a great time to wear braces! Gone are the days when a metal band with a bracket was placed around each tooth. You can choose brackets that are clear or metallic color (silver or gold). You can choose the color of the ties that hold the wire in brackets. Wires are also less noticeable than they used to be and the latest materials move teeth faster with less discomfort to patients.
No two patients are the same and no two treatment plans are identical. Individual planning for each patient will yield the best results, but treatment while the jaws and teeth are still growing and developing usually results in treatment that is easier, faster, and less costly. Despite this fact, over 20% of our patients are adults. Because the process involved in moving the teeth is the same in adults as it is in children, orthodontic treatment can usually be successful at any age.
Treatment time typically ranges from one to three years, depending on the growth of the patient's mouth and face and the severity of the problem. Patients grow at different rates and will respond variously to orthodontic treatment, so the time to case completion may differ from the original estimate. The patient's diligent use of any prescribed rubber bands or headgear is an important factor in achieving the most efficient treatment. Interceptive, or early treatment procedures, may take as few as six months.