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Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry specializing in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of jaw, face and bite irregularities (malocclusions*).Orthodontic treatment is provided by an oral health care provider known as an orthodontist, who has completed two to three years of additional training beyond dental school.
Recent years have brought about many changes within the dental industry, specifically with regards to orthodontic treatment and care. Now more than ever patients are experiencing fewer incidences of cavities and missing teeth due to the heightened awareness of fluoride use and preventative dentistry. This increasing awareness on the health and look of a patient’s smile has fueled the desire for many to seek out orthodontia not only as a medical necessity, but for cosmetic reasons as well.
Whether it’s traditional braces or custom made removable appliances, orthodontics can help you have the healthy, straight, beautiful smile you’ve been waiting for!
Give us a call today and schedule your orthodontic consultation!
*Malocclusionis the technical term for teeth that don’t fit together correctly. Malocclusions not only affect the teeth, but also the appearance of the face. Most malocclusions are inherited; however some are due to acquired habits such as thumb sucking and tongue thrusting. The spacing left from an adult tooth being extracted or an early loss of a baby tooth can also contribute to a malocclusion.
Orthodontics, commonly known as braces use a metal or a composite to create brackets, wires, and rubber bands to move teeth within the mouth. The reason orthodontics is so effective is that we can use external forces applied from around the jaw to open or close a bite, creating or decreasing space for specific teeth. Dr. Balvich has not only participated in taking regular courses on orthodontics, he also assists in teaching orthodontic courses and has previously served as president for the American Orthodontic Society. Dr. Balvich has treated over 500 Rensselaer cases with braces and continues to perfect his art with each case.
Rensselaer braces can be quite involved requiring regular monthly visits to fine tune the tooth movement within the mouth. A regular check-up can lead to discomfort for a few days afterwards. Teeth are experiencing forces on them they are not regularly used to. Additionally, Dr. Balvich uses the "non-extraction" technique to straighten teeth originally taught by Dr. Robert "Big Bob" Gerety. This means that while many other dentists and orthodontists might remove troublesome teeth, Dr. Balvich goes the extra mile to keep the smile full and widen the jaw to a more desirable profile instead of removing teeth and narrowing a jaw.
Dr. Balvich has not only mastered these techniques, he grades other dentists trying to attain diplomat status within the American Orthodontic Society. Dr. Balvich is perhaps Rensselaer's best kept secret when it comes to braces and orthodontics. View the smile gallery here to see some of his cases.
The Process of Braces
The process of orthodontics can take as little as 6 months and last up to around 2 years to achieve the desired results. Dr. Balvich will meet with the patient and/or parents in advance of any orthodontic activity. We will take impressions, x-rays, and discuss treatment options and plans to decide the best route possible. Rensselaer braces expert Dr. Balvich can "lock in" molars and premolars as early as pre-adolescence. This tooth displacement will keep the teeth in place as they mature and grow into adulthood.
Most times after Rensselaer braces are removed, a retainer is used to keep the desired formation and solidify it. The teeth are used to moving each month so it makes sense that we give them some stability with a retainer. It is important to keep the retainer clean and to wear it for the recommended time. Sometimes the retainer is recommended up to 18 hours per day. Retainers do exactly what their name describes: they retain your new smile. After going through the rigor of having braces it makes sense to keep your teeth the way they are.