Braces 101

The Orthodontic Solution

Orthodontic therapy is a process, not a single procedure, but a specific combination of procedures that make up the unique orthodontic solution for each patient.  Facial Balance, Proper Function, Long Term Stability and Smile Esthetics must all be a part of each orthodontic solution.  These are the ultimate measure of a successfully treated orthodontic case.

1.  Facial Balance:  An attractive profile is one where the facial features are in balance with each other.  Facial Balance is an attainable goal of orthodontic treatment.  It is within the power of the orthodontist to favorably affect facial balance.  Unfortunately, the orthodontist can also disrupt the facial balance.  The question arises, “what can be done to preserve or enhance the harmony and proportion of the facial balance?”  This question will be answered during the diagnosis of the patient requiring orthodontics.

2.  Proper Function:  Proper Function occurs when the upper teeth (maxillary) and lower teeth (mandibular) are allowed to function with proper occlusion (fit of the teeth).  This will decrease excessive wear of the tooth structure, protect the soft tissues and bone supporting the teeth, as well as help to maintain a healthy tempromandibular (TMJ) joint.

3.  Long Term Stability:  Stability occurs when the teeth are place in a position that is in equilibrium (zero-sum of the forces) with all the different soft tissue (lips, tongue, cheeks, etc.) pressures on the teeth both during function and non-function.  When teeth are not moved to this zero-sum force position, dental relapse (tooth movement) will invariably occur.

4.  Smile Esthetics:  When Facial Balance, Stability and Proper Function are attained the smile is the most attractive.