What is Functional Orthodontics?
Functional orthodontics is not a new science of tooth movement. It has been around for years, yet most dentists and orthodontists have not noticed the benefits of finishing orthodontic cases in a healthy place. Orthodontics should not only be about making the teeth straight, it should be about placing people in the proper position so that their teeth will be healthy for the rest of their lives. How many times have you heard of people who had beautiful teeth when their braces were removed, only to see their teeth go back to a crooked, crowded state some time later in their lives? Maybe this has even happened to you. Why does this happen? The problem is that the teeth are not placed in a position where the muscles are happy and the roots of the teeth are not in the proper place in the bone when the braces are removed.
Functional orthodontics aims to place people’s teeth where they were supposed to be in the first place, which is more esthetic, and longer lasting. We use expanders, repositioners, face masks, and other devices to restore the teeth where they want to be.
We at the Center for Smiles believe that if treated early enough, most people can avoid having teeth extracted for orthodontic purposes. Extracting teeth leads to an abundance of space which forces the doctor to move the front teeth back to close that space. This leads people to having a facial profile that is concave or sunken in. Besides not being attractive, this also leads to the jaw having to move up and back so that the teeth fit together properly. This can lead to TMJ problems later in life. With a missing tooth on both sides, patients also do not have enough room for the tongue to spread out. This can lead to airway problems and sleep disorders later in life.
If you are interested in learning more, please come in for a free orthodontic consult to see if functional orthodontics would be the right fit for you or your children.
Fluoride and Sealants
Preventative dental care is important for all patients, especially children. We offer fluoride treatments to help patients of all ages strengthen their teeth and prevent cavities. For those seeking an additional level of protection, we also offer dental sealants. Sealants are thin plastic coatings placed on the chewing surfaces of molars to help prevent bacteria and plaque from accumulating and causing decay.
Root Scaling and Planing
Periodontal (gum) disease can result in significant negative consequences when left untreated, including tooth loss, gum recession, and jawbone degeneration. Our dentists can perform root scaling and planing to eliminate bacteria and improve oral health. They will use advanced ultrasonic tools to remove bacteria from below the gumline, and smooth the root surfaces to prevent future bacteria accumulation.
Oral Cancer Screening
We employ advanced Identafi® screening technology to help spot early signs of oral cancer. This advanced device uses a special spectrum of light to measure fluorescence and reflection in your soft tissues. If there is an unusual interaction of light, it may be a sign of oral cancer. Yearly oral cancer screenings at our office can help us identify signs of oral cancer in its earliest stages so patients can seek treatment immediately.
Sports Mouth Guards
Custom mouthguards protect your teeth during contact sports better than over-the-counter options. We can create a mouthguard to help you and your loved ones avoid significant dental damage. Our affordable, custom-fitted mouth guards will be matched to your exact bite, providing comfortable and secure protection during sports such as football, wrestling, or lacrosse.