Orthodontic Services for Waukesha County Patients
Dr. Whalen provides orthodontic treatment to our regular patients, ranging from simple interceptive treatments all the way to a full set of traditional braces, allowing you to receive this specialty dental care from doctors who already know you and your teeth.
When a patient has all of their adult teeth, Dr. Whalen can provide a complimentary orthodontic consultation to determine if there are spacing or bite problems that should be addressed through orthodontic treatment.
Common orthodontic treatments offered at Dousman Family Dentistry:
- Braces to straighten teeth
- Spacers to create or maintain room for incoming teeth
- Palatal expanders to widen jaw arches while a patient is still growing.
- Appliances to manage jaw alignment and growth related to the teeth. 70% of orthodontic treatment in children corrects overbites/overjets due to an underdeveloped lower jaw.
- Removal of baby teeth and sometimes permanent teeth if necessary
- Appliances to break habits such as thumb sucking or tongue thrust that are contributing to bite problems
Orthodontist vs Dentist: What's the Difference?
While both orthodontists and dentists help patients improve oral health, dentistry is a broad specialty that deals with the teeth, gums, nerves, and jaw. Orthodontics is a specialty within dentistry with a focus on correcting alignment and bites and straightening teeth.
Types of Orthodontic Braces
Dental braces come in several different options. The kind of braces you can get will not only depend on what your dentist has to offer, but on the shape of your teeth and mouth. Below the kinds of orthodontic braces with their advantages and disadvantages explained.
Metal Braces (Regular Braces)
Metal braces are the standard type of braces that we've all seen. Made of medical-grade stainless steel, they are still the most economical option on the market, but have decreased in popularity because they are more noticeable and less comfortable than more recently developed orthodontic technologies. Metal braces are still incredibly effective at moving teeth.
Ceramic Braces (Clear Braces)
Ceramic braces are a less noticeable orthodontic option as the ceramic that attaches to the tooth is clear and blends in with the teeth. Ceramic braces provide the same amount of discomfort as regular metal braces. Because ceramic is a bit harder to install and more prone to breaking, it is more expensive than regular braces.
Lingual braces are placed on the inner side of the tooth, making them a great option for adults or people who need to maintain a toothy smile. However, they require that each bracket be custom made to fit the curve of the patient's tooth which significantly adds to the cost. Lingual brackets can also be difficult to install on small teeth and can cause discomfort, especially to the tongue. In some cases, speech may also be affected and the wearer will have to get used to the presence of the braces once they are installed before speech returns to normal.
Invisalign is the leading brand of invisible braces, a completely different alternative to orthodontic straightening. A clear plastic tray is made specifically to fit and gently push the wearer's teeth; new trays are made as the teeth move. Invisalign is the most comfortable orthodontic option because the tray is removed for brushing and eating. If you only need gentle adjustments to your teeth and cost is not an issue, Invisalign is an ideal orthodontic treatment. The biggest drawbacks to Invisalign are high cost, and that aggressive adjustments are not possible without the pull from more traditional methods.