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About Orthodontics

woman's smile after orthodontic treatmentAt Owens Orthodontics in Denver, we provide a level of personal attention that enhances patient care and gives patients confidence during the course of treatment and in their expected results. Once you come in for your initial consultation, Dr. Owens will create a plan specific to you, one that includes the opinions of you and your family, as well as his own professional opinion. With such a high level of open communication and collaboration with your dental team, you will be well-informed throughout your entire orthodontic treatment plan.

Why Braces

For most people, a beautiful smile is the most obvious benefit of orthodontics, and after your braces come off, you’ll feel more self-confident. During your treatment, we want you to feel as confident and comfortable as possible. Dr. Owens and our staff listen to what the patient wants, and communicate to them the next steps based on our professional expertise. Dr. Owens will never recommend procedures that are not necessary. The results speak for themselves, giving patients true confidence in their treatment.

How Orthodontic Treatment Works

Orthodontic appliances can be made of metal, ceramic, or plastic. They may be removable or they may be brackets bonded to the teeth. By placing a constant, gentle force in a carefully controlled direction, braces slowly move teeth to a corrected position. This is a great time to start wearing braces! Gone are the days when a metal band with a bracket was placed around each tooth. You can choose brackets that are a clear or metallic color. You can choose the color of the ties that hold the wire in brackets. Wires are also less noticeable than they used to be and the latest materials move teeth faster with less discomfort to patients.

Duration of Orthodontic Treatment

Treatment time typically ranges from one to three years, depending on the growth of the patient’s mouth, face and the severity of the case. Patients grow at different rates and will respond differently to orthodontic treatment, so the time it takes to complete a case may differ from the original estimate. Interceptive, or early treatment procedures, may take as few as six months. The patient’s diligent use of any prescribed rubber bands is an important factor in achieving the most efficient treatment. The communication and collaboration with your dental team will keep you well-informed throughout your entire treatment plan.

Orthodontic Treatment For Children

The best time for a child to see an orthodontist is by age seven because it is optimal for deciding whether orthodontic treatment is needed. The first permanent molars and incisors have usually come in by that time and crossbites, crowding, and other problems can be evaluated. When treatment is begun early, orthodontics can guide the growth of the jaw and guide incoming permanent teeth. Early treatment can also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correct thumb-sucking, and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems. In other words, early treatment can simplify later treatment. Dr. Owens is committed to repairing his patient’s smiles, and doing so with the utmost care and professional expertise.

Orthodontic Treatment For Adults

Adults are especially appreciative of the benefits of a beautiful smile. For adults, orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age. One in every five patients in orthodontic treatment is over 21. Adults also may have experienced some breakdown or loss of their teeth and bone that supports the teeth and may require periodontal treatment before, during and/or after orthodontic treatment. Bone loss can limit the amount and direction of tooth movement that is advisable, and jaw surgery is more often required for adult orthodontic patients with severe discrepancies because their jaws are not growing. At Owens Orthodontics, Dr. Owens will sit down with you and discuss your options and clearly communicate a plan for moving forward.

Two-Phase Treatment

Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a very specialized process that encompasses tooth straightening, and physical and facial changes. The major advantage of a two-phase treatment is the ability to maximize the opportunity to accomplish the ideal healthy, functional, aesthetic result that will remain stable throughout your life.

Don’t put it off! The disadvantage of waiting for complete eruption of permanent teeth and having only one phase of treatment for someone with a jaw discrepancy is facing the possibility of a compromised result that may not be stable.

First Phase Treatment

Lay the foundation for a lifetime of beautiful teeth. The goal of first phase orthodontic treatment is to develop the right jaw size in order to accommodate all the permanent teeth and to relate the upper and lower jaws to each other. Children sometimes exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop. An upper and lower jaw that is growing too much or not enough can be recognized at an early age. If children after age six are found to have this jaw discrepancy, they are candidates for early orthodontic treatment.

Planning now can save your smile later. Since children are growing rapidly, they can benefit enormously from an early phase of orthodontic treatment utilizing appliances that direct the growth relationship of the upper and lower jaws. Thus, a good foundation can be established, providing adequate room for eruption of all permanent teeth. This early correction may prevent later removal of permanent teeth to correct overcrowding and/or surgical procedures to align the upper and lower jaws. Leaving such a condition untreated until all permanent teeth erupt could result in a jaw discrepancy too severe to achieve an ideal result with braces. Again, Dr. Owens will only recommend treatment that he feels necessary for each individual patient.

We will take records to determine your unique treatment. Orthodontic records will be necessary to determine the type of appliances to be used, the duration of treatment time, and the frequency of visits. Our records consist of models of the teeth, X-rays, and photographs.

Resting Period

In this phase, the remaining permanent teeth are allowed to erupt. It is best to allow the existing permanent teeth some freedom of movement while the final eruption of teeth occurs. A successful first phase will have created room for teeth to find an eruption path. Otherwise, they may become impacted or severely displaced.

Monitor the progress of your teeth. What this essentially means is that at the end of the first phase of treatment, teeth are not in their final positions. This will be determined and accomplished in the second phase of treatment. Selective removal of certain primary (baby) teeth may be in the best interest of enhancing eruption during this resting phase. Therefore, periodic recall appointments for observation are necessary, usually on a six-month basis. You will always be well-informed of what is happening and what to expect, as we provide that extra level of personal care and communication to ensure that patients are comfortable and confident about the treatment they are receiving.

Second Phase Treatment

Stay healthy and look attractive! The goal of the second phase is to make sure each tooth has an exact location in the mouth where it is in harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue, and other teeth. When this equilibrium is established, the teeth will function together properly.

At the beginning of the first phase, orthodontic records were made and a diagnosis and treatment plan was established. Certain types of appliances were used in the first phase, as dictated by the case. The second phase is initiated when all permanent teeth have erupted, and usually requires braces on all the teeth for an average of 18 months. Retainers are worn after this phase to ensure that you preserve your beautiful smile.

Parts of Braces

Appliance: Anything your orthodontist attaches to your teeth, which moves your teeth or changes the shape of your jaw.

Archwire: The metal wire that acts as a track to guide your teeth along as they move. It is changed periodically throughout treatment as your teeth move to their new positions.

Band: A metal ring that is cemented to your tooth, going completely around it. Bands provide a way to attach brackets to your teeth.

Bond: The seal created by orthodontic cement that holds your appliances in place.

Bracket: A metal or ceramic part cemented (“bonded”) to your tooth that holds your archwire in place.

Coil Spring: A spring that fits between your brackets and over your archwire to open space between your teeth.

Elastic (Rubber Band): A small rubber band that is hooked between different points on your appliance to provide pressure to move your teeth to their new position.

Elastic Tie: The tiny rubber band that fits around your bracket to hold the archwire in place. They come in a variety of colors.

Hook: A welded or removable arm to which elastics are attached.

Ligature: A thin wire that holds your archwire into your bracket.

Lip Bumper: A lip bumper is an archwire attached to a molded piece of plastic. The lip bumper holds back the molars on your lower jaw to provide more space for your other teeth.

Mouthguard: A device that protects your mouth from injury when you participate in sports or rigorous activities.

Palatal Expander: A device that makes your upper jaw wider.

Retainer: An appliance that is worn after your braces are removed, the retainer attaches to your upper and/or lower teeth to hold them in place. Some retainers are removable, while others are bonded to the tongue-side of several teeth.

Separator or Spacer: A small rubber ring that creates space between your teeth before the bands are attached.

Tie Wire: A fine wire that is twisted around your bracket to hold the archwire in place.

Wax: Wax is used to stop your braces from irritating your lips.

Orthodontic Procedures

Banding: The process of fitting and cementing orthodontic bands to your teeth.

Bonding: The process of attaching brackets to your teeth using special orthodontic cement.

Cephalometric X-ray: An X-ray of your head, which shows the relative positions and growth of the face, jaws, and teeth.

Consultation: A meeting with your orthodontist to discuss a treatment plan.

Debanding: The process of removing cemented orthodontic bands from your teeth.

Debonding: The process of removing cemented orthodontic brackets from your teeth.

Impressions: The process of making a model of your teeth by biting into a soft material that hardens into a mold of your teeth. Your orthodontist will use these impressions to prepare your treatment plan.

Invisalign®: An alternative to traditional braces, Invisalign® straightens your teeth with a series of clear custom-molded aligners. Invisalign® can correct some, but not all, orthodontic problems.

Ligation: The process of attaching an archwire to the brackets on your teeth.

Panoramic X-ray: An X-ray that rotates around your head to take pictures of your teeth, jaw, and other facial areas.

How to Get Here

Our Location

Owens Orthodontics
1780 South Bellaire St.
Suite 345
Denver, CO 80222