Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and are more comfortable today than ever before. Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires. With metal braces, you have the option of adding colored elastics (rubber bands) for a more unique and colorful smile.
Invisalign® uses a series of invisible, removable and comfortable aligners to straighten your teeth. That means you can continue doing all the things you would from brushing and flossing to eating whatever you like. Click here to learn more about Invisalign.
Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces. For this reason, ceramic braces are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns. While they are visually less prominent, they do require more attention to oral hygiene as ceramic braces are larger and are more brittle than their metal counterparts. For these reasons, ceramic braces are used on upper front teeth and not on the lower teeth.
Between the ages of 11 and 15 is the most common time for orthodontics, and for good reasons. By age 12 to 13, most if not all of the permanent teeth have come in and are in place so that crooked teeth, gaps, and bad bites can easily be detected. These problems will hardly ever correct themselves, so this is when most parents decide to seek orthodontic treatment.
This is also a good time for orthodontic treatment because many negative associations of braces are not present. Many children in this age range undergo orthodontic treatment, and teens are often excited to wear braces because they see their friends wearing them, too, and want to fit in. However, if wearing metal braces is a concern, ask Dr. Duffy if Invisalign Teen is an option.
Besides the benefits of fitting in with their friends, children at this age are growing rapidly, and orthodontists can usually take advantage of these growth spurts to help shape the bite and teeth correctly. And children at this age have high metabolisms, which can help shorten overall treatment time and reduce the discomfort of orthodontic treatment.
Our goal is to give your child correctly aligned teeth that not only provide ideal jaw function but also a beautiful smile!
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should take place at the first sign of orthodontic concerns or by the age of 7 Treatment may not be necessary at this time, but this exam can tell you the best time to begin treatment and gives Dr. Duffy the opportunity to work with your general dentist to provide you the best dental health.
Early evaluation gives you and Dr. Duffy options; finding out if there are problems now gives him more treatment options and can prevent more serious – and potentially more expensive – problems later. For each patient who needs treatment, there is an ideal time to begin in order to achieve the best results.
Few things bring parents more joy than seeing their children smile! Our goal at Duffy Orthodontics is to bring each person’s best and healthiest smile front and center.
Early treatment is a good solution to
Create room for crowded, erupting teeth
Reduce the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
Create facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth
Preserve space for unerupted teeth
Reduce treatment time with braces
Reduce the need for tooth removal
The first phase of treatment, Phase I, usually occurs when the patient is between ages 7 to 10 and still has his/her primary teeth. Orthodontic appliances may be placed to prevent a problem from occurring, correct a current problem, or help direct jawbone growth. Multiple problems with tooth alignment, gums, jaws and facial problems can be corrected with Phase I treatment. Another common added benefit of Phase I treatment is less Phase II treatment time.
Braces aren't just for kids anymore. According to WebMD, adults make up nearly half of the population that gets braces today. We often hear from our adult patients that they are inspired by how beautiful their kids’ smiles are after treatment and want the same. We say, “Go for it!”
Tooth alignment can be changed at any age, as long as your gums and your bone structure are healthy. We offer a variety of treatments that are designed for different age groups – including adults. A new smile can begin today.
In fact, orthodontic treatment at later stages in life can dramatically improve your personal appearance and self-esteem. Improving the health of your teeth and gums is equally important. Crooked teeth and a bad bite can contribute to gum and bone loss, tooth decay, and abnormal wear of the tooth enamel and surfaces.
More good news! The new techniques and appliances we use greatly reduce discomfort levels, decrease the frequency of visits, shorten treatment time, and may allow you to choose from several options. Your options may include metal braces, ceramic braces, or Invisalign, which can be worn to improve mild cases of misaligned teeth.
During the initial examination, Dr. Duffy will explain your options and what he recommends as the best possible treatment for your individual needs. During this initial examination, we can outline the treatment plan, time of treatment expected, and treatment cost.
It's never too late to improve your greatest asset – your smile.
What is surgical orthodontics?
Just as orthodontics repositions teeth, surgical orthodontics (also known as orthognathic surgery) corrects jaw irregularities to improve the patient’s ability to chew, speak and breathe. It also provides improved facial balance and aesthetics. Moving the jaws also moves the teeth so braces are always used in conjunction with jaw surgery. This ensures that teeth are in their proper positions after surgery.
Who needs surgical orthodontics?
Dr. Duffy carefully evaluates diagnostic information, such as panoramic and cephalometric X-rays, intra-and extra-oral photographs, and study models of the teeth to determine the amount of skeletal imbalance. If the imbalance is severe, oftentimes orthognathic surgery is required for complete correction.
If Dr. Duffy diagnoses a significant skeletal discrepancy in a growing child, orthodontic treatment will usually be initiated while the child is still growing in an attempt to guide the growth of the jaws into a more favorable relationship, thereby reducing the severity. Sometimes in situations of severe discrepancies, orthognathic surgery may still be required for complete correction of the skeletal imbalance once growth is complete. Jaw growth is usually completed no sooner than 16 years of age in females and 18 years of age in males. Jaw surgery can not be performed until most, if not all, skeletal growth is complete. However, orthodontic appliances are usually placed 6-12 months prior to the surgery to allow time to straighten the teeth.
Adults with severe discrepancies in jaw position often require orthognathic surgery for complete correction since there is no growth remaining. In many instances, orthodontic treatment as a child can modify growth and reduce or eliminate the need for jaw surgery as an adult.
How does it work?
During your orthodontic treatment, usually beginning 6-12 months before surgery, you wear braces and will visit Dr. Duffy for scheduled adjustments. As your teeth move with the braces, you may think that your bite is getting worse rather than better. However, when your jaws are placed into proper alignment during orthognathic surgery, the teeth will then fit into their proper alignment. Surgery is performed in the hospital with an oral surgeon and can take several hours, depending on the amount and type of surgery needed. In lower jaw surgery, the jawbone behind the teeth is separated and the tooth-bearing portion is moved forward or backward, as needed. In upper jaw surgery, the jaw can be repositioned forward or backward, or the jaw can be raised or lowered. Certain movements may require the jaws to be separated, with bone added/removed to achieve the proper alignment and stability. Other facial bones that contribute to alignment may also be repositioned or augmented.
When you have completed surgery, you should be able to return to school or work within two weeks. After the necessary healing time (about 4-8 weeks), Dr. Duffy will "fine-tune" your bite. In most cases, braces are removed within 6-12 months following surgery. After your braces are removed, you will wear a retainer to maintain your beautiful new smile.