Dr.Jerry Remmenga has extensive training and experience treating all types of orthodontic cases.
What is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that corrects teeth and jaws that are positioned improperly. Crooked teeth and teeth that do not fit together correctly are harder to keep clean and are at risk of being lost early, due to tooth decay and periodontal disease. It can also cause extra stress on the chewing muscles that can lead to headaches, TMJ syndrome, and/or neck, shoulder and back pain. Teeth that are crooked or not in the right place can also detract from one's appearance.
What are the benefits of orthodontics?
The benefits of orthodontic treatment include a healthier mouth, a more pleasing appearance, and teeth that are more likely to last a lifetime. This is achieved by correcting the jaw alignment, bite and tooth positioning.
Orthodontics for children:
By age seven most children have a mix of baby teeth and permanent teeth, making it easier for the dentist to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems sooner without surgery.
Early treatment allows Dr. Jerry Remmenga to:
- Correct and guide the growth of your child's jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight
- Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches
- Create more space for crowded teeth
- Avoid the need for extractions of permanent teeth
- Correct thumb-sucking and improve minor speech problems
- Mouth breathing correction
How do I Know if I Need Orthodontics?
Only your dentist can determine whether you can benefit from orthodontics. The dentist uses diagnostic tools that include a full medical and dental health history, a clinical exam, plaster models of your teeth or scans, and special x-rays and photographs. Then, Dr. Remmenga can study your case individually, decide whether orthodontics are recommended, and develop a treatment plan that's right for you.
If you have any of the following, you may be a candidate for orthodontic treatment:
- Overbite, sometimes called "buck teeth" — where the upper front teeth lie too far forward (stick out) over the lower teeth
- Underbite — a "bulldog" appearance where the lower teeth are too far forward or the upper teeth too far back
- Crossbite — when the upper teeth do not come down slightly in front of the lower teeth when biting together normally
- Openbite — space between the biting surfaces of the front and/or side teeth when the back teeth bite together
- Misplaced midline— when the center of your upper front teeth do not line up with the center of your lower front teeth
- Spacing — gaps or spaces, between the teeth as a result of missing teeth or teeth that do not "fill up" the mouth
- Crowding — when there are too many teeth for the dental ridge to accommodate
How Does Orthodontic Treatment Work?
Many different types of appliances, both fixed and removable, are used to help move teeth, retrain muscles and affect the growth of the jaws. These appliances work by placing gentle pressure on the teeth and jaws. The severity of your problem will determine which orthodontic approach is likely to be the most effective.
Fixed appliances include:
- Braces— the most common fixed appliances, braces consist of bands, wires and/or brackets. Bands are fixed around the teeth or tooth and used as anchors for the appliance, while brackets are most often bonded to the front of the tooth. Arch wires pass through the brackets and attached to the bands. Tightening the arch wire puts tension on the teeth, gradually moving them to their proper position. Braces are usually adjusted monthly to bring about the desired results, which may be achieved within a few months to a few years. Today's braces are smaller, lighter and show far less metal than in the past. They come in bright colors for kids as well as clear styles preferred by many adults. At times TMJ dysfunction can be corrected with braces and elastics.
- Special fixed appliances — used to control thumb sucking or tongue thrusting, these appliances are attached to the teeth by bands. Because they are very uncomfortable during meals, they should be used only as a last resort.
- Fixed space maintainers — if a baby tooth is lost prematurely, a space maintainer is used to keep the space open until the permanent tooth erupts. A band is attached to the tooth next to the empty space, and a wire is extended to the tooth on the other side of the space.
- Removable appliances- Inman aligner and clear aligners just used to "straighten" crowded teeth.