What is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics includes a number of categories that include categories:
- Limited treatment
- Thumb or finger sucking
- Early or Phase I orthodontics
- Phase II orthodontics
- Full treatment orthodontics
- Surgical orthodontics
- TMJ (TMD) Therapy
Limited Orthodontic Treatment: Limited orthodontics may involve partial (upper or lower) braces in order to provide minor movement of permanent teeth, or assist your dentist in idealizing restorations. Limited treatment could be as simple as a removable retainer designed to enhance your smile with the movement of one or a few teeth. The range of possibilities is unlimited. If you are not sure, or are just thinking about moving a tooth or two, please ask us, and we will be happy to answer your questions.
Finger or thumb habit therapy: We have a very successful habit modification program using the “Bluegrass” appliance along with positive reinforcement to assist children with finger or thumb sucking habits.
Early (or Phase I) Orthodontics: The American Dental Association (ADA) has stated that Phase I orthodontics is beneficial when needing palatal expansion and arch development for appropriate arch length and width in development.
We have long held the beliefs that the ADA is expressing. Our practice offers palatal expansion and arch development but do not support the use of “jaw growth enhancers”. Palatal expansion and arch development at the appropriate age may reduce the need for extractions of permanent teeth to resolve crowding and can prevent future oral surgeries. Phase I orthodontics can enhance self-esteem by improvement of the smile. Phase I orthodontics is also useful in repositioning teeth that are “in harm’s way.” Phase II Orthodontics: Phase II is usually needed for children that have required Phase I orthodontics. Phase II completes the alignment of teeth that were not in place when Phase I was completed.
Full Treatment Orthodontics: This is comprehensive orthodontic care for adults and adolescents. This type of orthodontic care is a single phase of treatment and the results last a lifetime. Full treatment orthodontics should address the results or occlusion (bite), as well as the cosmetics. A good bite will produce an attractive smile, but an attractive smile will not necessarily accompany a good bite. Dr. Briggs & Dr. Nelson will not only ensure that your smile is beautiful, but we will also ensure that a functional bite is produced.
Surgical Orthodontics: Orthognathic or O.G.S. surgery is the multi-disciplinary approach to correction of a skeletal jaw anomaly. We have extensive, specialized continuing education in treating O.G.S. cases. The average orthodontist manages less than 10 O.G.S. cases in a year. Due to our expertise in this area, we manage up to 40 O.G.S. cases annually.
To assist with the care of these specialized patients, our office has the most sophisticated digital imaging equipment available. That imaging capability is coupled with the latest and most extensive O.G.S. planning software available. Dr. Briggs & Dr. Nelson works with a limited group of highly trained surgeons to reach optimal surgical results. Our experience and a strong working relationship with these surgeons give our patients the most predictable, outstanding results. Dr. Nelson & Dr. Briggs attend many surgeries personally and provide intense post-operative management of O.G.S. patients. Their consistent and direct attention ensures the best possible result.
TMJ (or TMD) Therapy: Dr. Briggs & Dr. Nelson provides conservative TMJ/TMD therapy for the most complex cases. Most of our patients are successfully treated with splints (a removable orthotic appliance) and short-term medications. Dr. Briggs & Dr. Nelson have proven to be successful in relieving these painful symptoms, especially when many previous treatment options have been exhausted.