Dr. Hunter has been providing orthodontic (braces) treatment for her patients since 1987. She completed the two year “Progressive Orthodontic Seminar Series” in 1989. Though this does not qualify her as a specialist it expands on the training she received in dental school. Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that studies the growth of the facial complex including the jaws and teeth. Her training becomes useful during the development of the primary dentition when some developmental problems can be identified. If early growth problems are treated with functional appliances for instance this will decrease and may eliminate the need for brace later on.
If orthodontics is required there are several options that can be used to straighten the teeth and create a stable bite.
1) Functional appliances. These are appliances that are worn during the growth of the facial complex and encourage growth is a desirable pattern. Examples of functional appliance are: the bionator, the Nance appliance, the Herbst appliance etc.
Metal braces are the most common type. They are made of high-grade stainless steel. Today’s metal braces are smaller, more comfortable and more attractive.
Ceramic braces are made of translucent (clear) material. They are most popular with adult patients, due to their cosmetic appeal. The only drawback to ceramic brackets are that they are more fragile, and the elastic ties can discolor between orthodontic visits.
Clear Aligners (Invisalign)
Invisalign is the clear way to straighten teeth without braces, using aligners. Aligners are removable and virtually invisible, which means you can straighten your teeth without anyone knowing; and you can still eat and drink what you want. Also, you can brush and floss normally to maintain healthy gums and teeth; and there are no wires, metal or brackets to cause mouth abrasions.
This procedure is sometimes used to gain space for alignment. It prevents the need for extracting permanent teeth and increases stability. In order to make a small amount of space, a high speed dental hand piece with a diamond bur is used between the teeth. A bur is a rotating cutting tool usually made of steel or another hard metal and is used to remove decay from teeth and to prepare cavities for filling. The procedure is safe and effective. Injection (shots) are not required for the procedure.