Treatment Info

Phase I – Early Treatment

It’s never too late to begin orthodontic treatment, but when it comes to your children’s teeth, it is recommended that your child receive an orthodontic evaluation by age 7.  An orthodontic evaluation is not always followed by treatment, but it will help us monitor your child’s growth patterns.  Most orthodontic treatment begins between ages 9 and 14 and usually lasts for an average of two years.

When early treatment is recommended, braces are usually used to straighten permanent teeth in the front, while waiting to lose baby teeth.  Early treatment can also help detect and correct issues with jaw growth.  If jaw growth issues are detected, Erwin Orthodontics can design appliances to help extend the jaw during growth and also hold space as baby teeth are lost.  Even when phase I or “early treatment”, is implemented, there is always a chance that the patient will need Phase II orthodontics.  If the patient requires Phase II treatment, early implementation of Phase I treatment will helps shorten the time needed and the complexity of Phase II treatment.

Phase II

Typically, Phase II treatment is the convention orthodontic protocol and is best begun once all permanent teeth have erupted and are in place.  This involves placing brackets on all of the patients teeth.  The braces straighten the permanent teeth and finish correctly aligning the jaw.  Phase II will typically require 12-24 month of treatment depending on the severity of each patient.  Upon finishing Phase II orthodontics, the patients arches should be completely straight and the patients bite should be properly aligned.  Retainers are formed at the end of Phase II treatment.  Wearing a retainer after orthodontic treatment is crucial to hold the patients teeth in proper position.

Retainers

Once your braces are removed, you will begin the retention stage of your treatment.  This retention phase will last for a minimum of 24 months.  Your final orthodontic results will depend on the patient wearing their retainer, so it is very important to follow through with wearing your retainer.

Essix –

Essix is a clear, plastic material that fits over teeth to them in proper aliagnment.

Hawley –

Hawley is an acrylic material with a metal bar across the front of the teeth to hold them in alignment.  This retainer can also be used if teeth have slightly shifted.  The orthodontist is able to adjust the retainer and get the patients teeth back into the original position.

 Permanent Retainers –

A permanent retainer is ideal for patients who want to get it and forget it.  Permanent retainers are made of a flexible wire that is placed behind the teeth and bonded to each tooth and therefore are not capable of being removed by the patient.  Permanent retainers are most commonly placed on the lower teeth, but can also be placed on the upper arch, depending on the patient’s bite.

 TMJ Splint

TMJ Disorder can cause headaches, a stiff neck, a sore jaw, and even chipped teeth.  For patients that suffer from TMJ Disorder, Erwin Orthodontics can create a splint that is specifically made to relax muscles in the jaw.  The orthodontist can adjust these splints over time to help control and manage the patient’s bite, helping to ease the TMJ.

Bracket Types

 Twin Brackets –

Twin brackets have 4 wings and are designed to use an elastomeric (colored rubber band) to hold the wire in the bracket.

Self Ligating Brackets –

Erwin Orthodontics offers two types of self ligating brackets, either ceramic (clear) or metal.  Self ligating brackets are usually smaller and more aesthetic since they use a small metal door rather than bands, to hold the wire in place.

Invisalign –

Erwin Orthodontics also offers Invisalign trays.  Invisalign uses a series of custom made aligners.  These aligner trays are made of smooth, virtually invisible plastic that the patient wears over the teeth.  Wearing these aligners will gradually shift the patient’s teeth back into place.