Implant Dentistry &
Las Colinas, Irving, Dallas / Fort Worth, Texas
Dr. Kim D.D.S., F.I.C.O.I., F.M.I.I.I.
1st Smile Dental Care of Irving
Excellence in Cosmetic Dentistry
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, are at risk of being lost early due to tooth
decay and periodontal disease, and cause extra stress on the chewing muscles
that can lead to headaches, TMJ syndrome and neck, shoulder and back pain. Teeth
that are crooked or not in the right place can also detract from one's
The benefits of orthodontic treatment include a healthier mouth, a more pleasing
appearance, and teeth that are more likely to last a lifetime.
How do I Know if I Need Orthodontics?
Only your dentist or orthodontist can determine whether you can benefit from
orthodontics. Based on diagnostic tools that include a full medical and dental
health history, a clinical exam, plaster models of your teeth, and special
X-rays and photographs, an orthodontist or dentist can 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
- Overbite (Deep bite) is where your upper teeth are biting
deep over the lower teeth more than by 1.5mm to 2mm.
- Overjet, 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
- Open bite — 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 does 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
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 are passed 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
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 include:
Aligners — an alternative to traditional braces for adults, serial
aligners are being used by an increasing number of orthodontists to move teeth
in the same way that fixed appliances work, only without metal wires and
brackets. Aligners are virtually invisible and are removed for eating, brushing
Removable space maintainers — these devices serve the same function as
fixed space maintainers. They're made with an acrylic base that fits over the
jaw, and have plastic or wire branches between specific teeth to keep the space
between them open.
Jaw repositioning appliances — also called splints, these devices are
worn on either the top or lower jaw, and help train the jaw to close in a more
favorable position. They may be used for temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ).
Lip and cheek bumpers — these are designed to keep the lips or cheeks
away from the teeth. Lip and cheek muscles can exert pressure on the teeth, and
these bumpers help relieve that pressure.
Palatal expander — a device used to widen the arch of the upper jaw. It
is a plastic plate that fits over the roof of the mouth. Outward pressure
applied to the plate by screws force the joints in the bones of the palate to
open lengthwise, widening the palatal area.
Removable retainers — worn on the roof of the mouth, these devices
prevent shifting of the teeth to their previous position. They can also be
modified and used to prevent thumb sucking.
Headgear — with this device, a strap is placed around the back of the head and
attached to a metal wire in front, or face bow. Headgear slows the growth of the
upper jaw, and holds the back teeth where they are while the front teeth are
Orthodontics is important not only to a great smile and
improved self-confidence, but to better dental health. Depending on your age,
your needs and your individual goals, we provide a range of orthodontic options
to choose from. These include braces, clear braces, retainers, jaw appliances
and surgical orthodontics. Each treatment plan is catered to the individual
needs of the patient.
Here are just a few of the many options we provide:
Standard and Mini-braces
– The standard for faster results
with fewer complications. Today¨s technology makes it easy for you.
Cosmetic clear braces
The clear alternative
to metal braces for those who prefer the ＾nearly invisible￣ look.
teens and adults, these custom-made clear appliances can be removed whenever you
eat, drink, brush or floss.
• Colored ties, brackets and retainers
offer a wide selection of your favorite colors, including popular school team
colors! We make it fun to improve your smile.
We are committed to providing you with the newest, most advanced tools and
technology available, so you¨ll enjoy a higher level of dental care. For
example, we use top-grade brackets and wires that can reduce your overall
treatment time and present fewer problems. Plus, we offer specialized experience
in computer imaging, to give you an idea of how a specific procedure can provide
the results you desire.
After your initial consultation, which includes an unhurried examination, any
necessary X-rays and a thorough analysis, we¨ll create a customized treatment
plan for you.
© 2010 Dr. Kim DDS