The word “orthodontics” is derived from two Greek words, “orthos” meaning straight or correct and “dons” meaning tooth. A “malocclusion” may be defined as any deviation of the teeth and jaws and resulting “crooked” teeth. An orthodontist is a dentist who specializes in straightening teeth (correcting malocclusion). He is concerned with the biological and mechanical aspects of preventing and correcting misplaced teeth and incorrectly related jaws. All orthodontists are dentists, but only 6 percent of dentists are orthodontists. In addition to four years of Dental School, an orthodontist undergoes 2 to 3 additional years in a Postgraduate Residency at an accredited University program.
Malalignment of teeth can not only affect your self esteem, but can actually cause oral health problems, including increased risk of cavities and gum disease. At Allegany Orthodontics, PC, we can help you achieve and maintain a functional, healthy smile that improves your confidence and your health! With three different office locations in LaVale, McCoole, and Oakland, MD, we work with patients of all ages throughout the surrounding areas.
“My sister and I are very happy with the services that Allegany Orthodontics have provided us. We love the staff and the office is amazing.”
Orthodontic Care for Every Stage of Life
At Allegany Orthodontics, PC, we understand that orthodontic treatment is a major decision and we want to help make it simple. The Doctors are conservative in their assessment of patients, only prescribing treatment if necessary to help reduce treatment times.
When to start orthodontic treatment depends entirely on the individual case. Some problems may indicate treatment as early as six years of age, whereas others may not start until adolescence. Each individual has their own rate and pattern of dental development, which may not correspond exactly to their chronological age. An orthodontic consultation is needed to determine treatment timing.
Early Orthodontic Treatment
We do early orthodontic treatment, when indicated, such as space maintainers, palatal expanders and other growth modification appliances (also known as Phase I). The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an initial orthodontic consultation by age 7 to determine if early intervention is indicated. In many cases, early orthodontic treatment can modify a patient’s growth to correct “overbites” or “underbites” or create space for eruption of permanent teeth. Usually, comprehensive orthodontic treatment (Phase II) is still necessary later, but as a result of early treatment, the length of time wearing braces is reduced and in many cases, extraction of permanent teeth can be avoided.
Adolescent Orthodontic Treatment
It is usually a good time to begin comprehensive orthodontic treatment once an adolescent’s permanent teeth have all erupted, as this typically corresponds with their peak of skeletal growth. During the early teen years, the maxillary and mandibular jaw bones and surrounding tooth structures are still growing, so it is easier to address most orthodontic issues at this time versus adulthood when skeletal growth has finished. We typically recommend traditional metal or ceramic braces for many of our teen patients, but we also offer clear aligners for those who have mild orthodontic alignment issues and are seeking a more discreet method of straightening their teeth. We are proud to help our adolescent patients achieve beautiful smiles they can feel confident in!
Adult Orthodontic Treatment
Today, orthodontic treatment isn’t just for kids and teens – adults can enjoy the benefits of a beautiful smile too! According to the American Association of Orthodontists, 1 out of 5 orthodontic patients is over age 21. Adults choose orthodontic care in order to maintain their oral health and to feel more confident in their smiles.
Orthodontic treatment is different for adults than for children or teens because the jawbone is still growing and developing in younger patients, whereas adult jawbones have stopped growing. Therefore, orthognathic surgery may be necessary in order to create the correct jawbone alignment. Adults are also at increased risk of gum disease or gum recession, or missing or worn-down teeth that create a bite that can only be fixed with braces. Some adults began orthodontic treatment when they were younger but didn’t complete it. However, no matter your age, it is possible to achieve a healthier, more beautiful smile that you love!
However, many adults are hesitant about orthodontic treatment because they don’t want to have noticeable metal braces. However, today there are so many different, more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing options to choose from. For example, we offer subtle gold and ceramic (clear) braces. Patients with more mild alignment issues benefit from our virtually invisible 3M Clarity Aligners. Our team will examine your smile to determine the best treatment plan to help you get the results you desire.
Braces to Fit Your Lifestyle
We offer several different braces options to meet our patients’ different needs, tastes and lifestyles! After examining your smile, we can help you pick the option that will provide you with optimal results.
We offer a wide range of braces for our patients, including traditional metal, gold, and ceramic (a less visible option). Many of our younger patients opt for traditional metal braces, as they are able to customize them with elastic ties in the color of their choosing. Pick your school colors, your favorite hues, or try holiday shades!
At Allegany Orthodontics, PC, we offer the 3M Clarity Aligners system for mild orthodontic issues. We will customize your series of aligner sets, which are specifically and precisely designed to gradually move your teeth into the proper position. Clear aligners are a more popular option among our older patients, as they are virtually invisible. Some patients also prefer the convenience of aligners, as they can be removed for eating, brushing and flossing.
Click the button below to learn more about the 3M Clarity Aligners system!
To learn more about our services or our practice, or to schedule an appointment, give one of our offices a call today! Drs. Snodgrass and Ryan and their team look forward to helping you achieve a healthy, functional, straight smile you love.