The first step in correcting a malocclusion is to set up a consultation with an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Ragan. Such an expert can provide detailed information on the treatment options a patient has for fixing common problems like crowding of the teeth and bad bites.
Wearing conventional braces is often the best option for patients who have mild to severe cases of misalignment of the teeth. Before the braces can be installed, some teeth might have to be extracted. After the appropriate teeth are removed, it’s important that any exposed soft tissue and gums fully heal. Metallic braces can severely irritate the empty sockets that once help misaligned teeth. Once brackets and wires are installed on the teeth, patients can expect to wear them for several years, depending on the situation.
A monthly visit to our orthodontist is required for adjustments in the tension of such hardware. Patients should expect some discomfort during and immediately after the adjustments of the metallic braces. Our skilled orthodontist may recommend some general solutions for relief such as over-the-counter oral ointments, saltwater rinses and painkillers. Wearing small wax inserts between the teeth can also help alleviate some of the discomfort that’s caused by braces.
Patients in the Dallas area who want a modern solution to malocclusion can ask about alternative options like Invisalign®. By using this cutting-edge technology, our orthodontist can create a custom mouthpiece that’s just as effective as traditional braces. The mouthpiece is made from a transparent and lightweight material that offers better aesthetics than metal brackets and wires. Invisalign® is a popular option for teens and adults who don’t want to experience the social stigma of wearing visible braces in the workplace, school and other public settings. Our orthodontist will instruct patients to wear the clear mouthpiece for a certain number of hours per day. The Invisalign® device should be taken off before eating meals and drinking a large volume of fluids.
The final phase of orthodontic treatment usually involves the wearing of retainers. These are fixed or removable mouthpieces that are designed to keep the teeth in place and prevent a relapse. An orthodontist will urge most individuals to wear removable retainers on a daily basis for at least several years. An annual follow-up visit to our orthodontist is highly recommended for patients who have corrected moderate to severe forms of malocclusion. A new retainer might have to be molded to compensate for some unexpected shifting of teeth even after successful correction.
If you are looking for an experienced orthodontist in the Dallas area, look no further than Dr. Ragan at Ragan Orthodontics! For your convenience, we have offices in Park Cities, Lakewood and Preston Hollow. Contact us today to schedule an orthodontic appointment.