Overview

Orthodontics

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The movement of teeth, commonly known as Orthodontics, is one of the many ways we create beautiful healthy smiles at Dental Artistry. Our dentists are well versed in orthodontic treatment for both children and adults and we use a variety of methods to create stunning smiles.

In addition to orthodontic (tooth movement) techniques, we also employ orthopaedic (bone/jaw movement) methods to create attractive faces and healthy jaw joints in our patients.

Our philosophy

The underlying philosophy of all orthodontic treatment (in fact, all treatment) at Dental Artistry is to do no harm. We believe that certain traditional orthodontic methods do in fact cause harm to patients by extracting teeth, injuring jaw joints and impairing facial aesthetics. Straightening crooked teeth is only part of the orthodontic picture – ideally teeth are straightened whilst improving the facial appearance and maintaining or improving the health of the jaw joint. However we believe that traditional orthodontic techniques which retract the teeth and jaws backward sometimes straighten teeth at the expense of the face and jaw.

Disappointment with traditional orthodontic methods is what led Dr Sauer to study orthodontic techniques that create full, wide smiles, beautiful facial aesthetics, and healthy jaw joints. Key points of Dental Artistry’s orthodontic treatment philosophy are detailed in this section.

Creating beautiful smiles

What makes a beautiful smile? Straight teeth – certainly, but there are a few other elements that contribute to a great smile that are often overlooked. A beautiful smile should contain straight teeth with no gaps, and also be wide enough that at least ten upper teeth are visible. The teeth should fill the smile, with no ‘dark corridor’ between the teeth and the cheeks.

Here at Dental Artistry our orthodontic treatment is designed to create smiles with all of the ideal attributes. We use orthodontic techniques specifically designed to expand the jaws to create wide smiles and full lips, and we are careful to control the ‘gumminess’ of patients’ smiles.

  • beautiful-smiles-narrow-smile.jpg Straight teeth, narrow smile (six teeth visible)
  • beautiful-smiles-wide-smile.jpg Straight teeth, wide smile (twelve teeth visible)
  • beautiful-smiles-excess-gum-display.jpg Straight teeth, excess gum display
  • beautiful-smiles-minimal-gum-display.jpg Straight teeth, minimal gum display

Creating attractive faces

At Dental Artistry we are very aware of how the movement of teeth and jaws can affect facial aesthetics and we employ orthopaedic techniques to correctly position our patients’ jaws and thereby create attractive faces.

  • attractive-faces-straight-profile.jpg Straight profile (forehead and chin balanced)
  • attractive-faces-retrusive-profile.jpg Retrusive profile (lower jaw/chin back)

Expansion not extraction

Most people seeking orthodontic treatment have crowded teeth. Straightening crowded teeth requires the creation of space in the jaws and there are two main ways to do this: extract some teeth or expand the jaws. Here at Dental Artistry we are vehement proponents of non-extraction orthodontics as we believe that extracting teeth has the potential to create a narrow smile, thin lips and a dished-in (flat) profile. If at all possible we expand crowded jaws to create beautiful wide smiles, full lips and attractive profiles. Expanding the jaws is easiest in younger children which is one reason why we advocate early treatment. In older patients it can be more difficult to expand the jaws which raises the potential for extractions.

Expansion of the jaws is another example of orthopaedic treatment, or functional jaw orthopaedics (‘FJO’). This differs from orthodontic treatment, which is movement of the teeth. Historically, teeth have also been extracted due to a mismatch in jaw position between the upper and lower jaw. Most orthodontic patients have a retrusive lower jaw which is positioned well behind the upper jaw. To balance the jaws the upper jaw can be brought back (usually by extracting teeth, called “extraction and retraction orthodontics”), or the lower jaw can be brought forward. At Dental Artistry we much prefer the facial appearance created when lower jaws are brought forward. We use a variety of orthopaedic techniques to accomplish this. Moving the lower jaw forward is easier in younger patients; another reason why we advocate early treatment.

  • extraction-not-expansion-jaws-back.jpg Mark after ‘extraction and retraction’ othodontics – both upper and lower jaws are back
  • extraction-not-expansion-jaws-forward.jpg We redid Mark’s previous orthodontic treatment and moved upper and lower jaws forward for a more aesthetic profile

Treat problems early

“From little things, big things grow”. The same is true for orthopaedic and orthodontic problems! A minor problem in a young child can develop into a much larger (and harder to treat) problem as the child grows into adulthood.

At Dental Artistry we like to begin treatment of children as soon as a problem is identified. It is best to have your child checked out before the age of seven, as recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). Early treatment is usually performed with removable plates which can greatly reduce, or even eliminate the need for braces as the child grows.

Younger children are also usually less self-conscious and more co-operative than teenagers, which makes treatment easier!