Orthodontic treatment is not “Just for Kids”
By Dr. Randall LeDuke, DDS
You probably know that the dental specialty field of Orthodontics involves straightening crooked or crowded teeth by means of appliances called braces. Traditionally, this treatment involves metal attachments affixed to the teeth with wires applied to these attachments by which the teeth are guided into the desired positions. “Metal-mouth” kids getting their teeth straightened is a pretty common American experience.
What you may not be aware of is this: Orthodontic treatment is not “Just for Kids.” More adults than ever before are asking their dentists to help them correct smile imperfections due to tooth position faults. Often these problems, involving crowding or misalignment of front teeth, have been a life-long source of embarrassment that the individual always wanted to have corrected but assumed was not possible at their age. Or perhaps they were just reluctant to undergo traditional braces therapy with the unsightly apparatus required to move teeth. The fact is, healthy teeth can be moved through orthodontic therapy at any age or stage of life. Adult teeth can be directed to move to new positions, just as adolescent teeth are moved. The same principles of tooth movement apply.
Clear Aligner Therapy
For those adults who would like to have smile imperfections corrected without the use of traditional braces orthodontic therapy, there is a relatively new approach you might not know about called “clear aligner” therapy.
Developed and first marketed in the late1990’s, clear aligner therapy was developed based on developments in computer-aided design technology. Starting with a very accurate impression of the patient’s mouth at the beginning of treatment, the orthodontic therapy is projected within the virtual reality world of the computer. Technicians guided by trained Orthodontic specialists create the therapy sequence as a series of treatment stages. Specialized computer software helps them design a plan for moving the teeth from their original positions into the best possible alignment. Each stage represents a small step on the way to straight teeth. The number of stages could be as few as six or as many as several dozen. For each stage, an individual light, flexible, almost invisible polyurethane tray is produced. Each tray exerts a gentle pressure on the teeth, gradually moving them in the desired manner. After a few weeks of wear, the patient is ready for the next stage tray, gently moving their teeth into the desired positions. Depending on the number of stages projected for treatment completion, orthodontic treatment can be completed in as little as six months.
A Great Alternative to Traditional Metal Braces
Clear aligners are a great alternative for patients who want a straighter smile but do not want to wear traditional metal braces or for patients who have had orthodontic treatment in the past and want to make minor corrections to their smile. Since the clear aligners are removable, it is much easier to brush and floss. For the same reason, it is much easier to keep the appliances clean. Clear aligners are a comfortable alternative to traditional braces. They are so light and thin, most patients say they forget they are wearing them.
The Health Benefits of Properly Aligned Teeth
The advantages of orthodontically-aligned teeth go way beyond esthetic improvement. Properly aligned teeth are easier to maintain and more resistant to dental problems like tooth decay and gum disease. Straightening your crooked or misaligned teeth isn’t just about cosmetic smile correction. It can help protect the long-term health of your teeth.
If you are interested in knowing more about orthodontic treatment using clear aligners, please call our office to schedule an appointment at 731-885-0497. Dr. LeDuke and his staff are here to help you achieve the healthy beautiful smile you deserve.
Dr. Randall LeDuke is a graduate of the University of Memphis and the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry. He is a past president of the Tennessee Academy of General Dentistry, (www.AGD.org) and has achieved AGD Master status, one of only 48 AGD Master dentists in Tennessee.
Dr. LeDuke holds his permit to administer Limited Conscious Sedation, having received training in this area through the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation. Cosmetic Dentistry is a passion with Dr. LeDuke. He is a member of the Tennessee Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and serves on its Board of Directors. Dr. LeDuke is a general dentist, not an Orthodontic Specialist. However, he has treated hundreds of children and adults within his dental practice over the past twenty-five years. Conventional braces, clear ceramic braces and clear aligner orthodontics (ClearCorrect.com and invisalign.com) are available at our office. Dr. LeDuke has a special interest in interceptive therapies for achieving improved development and alignment of the jaws of young, growing patients.
Please visit our website Smile Gallery at www.smilesbyleduke.com for some examples. Most dental services can be accessed within our office, eliminating the need for out-of-town referrals. Our patients appreciate Dr. LeDuke’s depth of experience and advanced training through years of continuing dental education.
For more information or a consultation appointment with Dr. LeDuke, please call:731-885-0497
214 West Church
Union City, TN 38261