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New Orleans Dental Center Newsletter
Return to: Newsletter Archives - Dental Health Topics

Adolescent/Adult Orthodontics

   In our last article, we discussed the orthodontic/orthopedic treatment that we offer for our patients in the age range of 6 to 12, or what we term, “Phase II Treatment.” By the end of Phase II, the majority of the growth and development of children has occurred.

   Phase III Treatment is for our adolescent and adult population of patients; in other words, all the patient’s permanent teeth are present, except possibly, the third molars (“wisdom teeth”). Although we continue to check for functional and orthopedic problems, there’s not much that can be done to correct these issues once growth is finished. However, knowing that these problems exist is important in determining the type of treatment that will be needed to establish a good “bite” and a beautiful smile. At this time, we concentrate on aligning the permanent teeth to create a beautiful smile, as well as make sure that the “bite” is in alignment with the TMJ positions. This is important for long term stability and function.

   With respect to braces, patients today have several options. There are different types of metal brackets, including one we use in our office, which is smaller than the standard bracket. This smaller bracket is more comfortable and less distracting to the eye than larger metal brackets. There are also different kinds of “clear” brackets, which are much more pleasing to the eye at a distance, than the metal brackets. Another option is to have the braces placed on the tongue/palate sides of the teeth, called “lingual brackets,” which have the advantage of being “invisible” in one’s smile. This system, however, does have some limitations and, on occasion, requires that braces are later placed on the cheek sides of the teeth, for a short time, in order to finish the treatment. One advantage to any traditional braces treatment is that each tooth’s bracket is essentially a “handle” with which we can move each individual tooth in any of three dimensions, as needed. Braces allow us to correct significant crowding, bite problems, and many other orthodontic issues.

   Aligners are a popular treatment option among our adult patients. Aligners are clear plastic trays that snap onto the teeth, moving the teeth by putting pressure on the outsides of the teeth. Each aligner is worn for about two weeks and is shaped to move the teeth a small amount. Like traditional braces, the treatment time (number of aligners) depends on the amount of tooth movement required. Aligners can be ordered that will attempt to accomplish treatment goals such as correction of crowding or spacing, from limited (short-term)treatment to full-mouth treatment lasting many months. There are several dental labs that now offer fewer aligners in a package, for more limited treatment plans, thus making them more affordable than ever. In most cases, aligners are limited in their scope of treatment, compared to traditional braces. Sometimes, an option for a patient is the use of both aligners and braces (one first and then the other) to accomplish the desired result.

   Please feel free to contact our office for a complimentary consultation to see whether you or a family member could benefit from any of the treatment that we have mentioned in our articles. We would love to have you in our “dental family.”


Please call New Orleans Dental Center today at 504.347.6000 to schedule an examination.
 

Past New Orleans Dental Center Newsletters

 

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All Patients are Welcome!
Below are some of the communities in the New Orleans area proudly served by the dentists and staff at New Orleans Dental Center :

Eastbank:
New Orleans, Metairie, Kenner, Harahan, River Ridge, Chalmette, Arabi, Meraux and all the communities of Orleans, Jefferson and Saint Bernard Parishes.
Westbank:
Algiers, Avondale, Barataria, Belle Chasse, Boothville, Braithwaite, Bridge City, Buras, Crown Point, Devant, Empire, Gretna, Harvey, Jean Lafitte, Jesuit Bend, Lafitte, Marrero, Nairn, Pilottown, Point A La Hache, Port Sulphur, Terrytown, Waggaman, West Pointe A La Hache, Westwego and all the communities of Orleans and Jefferson Parishes.
River Parishes: Boutte, Des Allemands, Destrahan, Good Hope, Hahnvlle, Luling, New Sarpy, Paradis, St. Rose and all the communities of St. Charles, St. John and Ascension Parishes.

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New Orleans Dental Center
1901 Manhattan Blvd., Suite F-201
Harvey, LA 70058
Phone: (504) 347-6000 ~ Fax: (504) 367-6232


info@neworleansdentalcenter.com

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