Family & Implant Dentistry



Definition - Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry used in the improvement and correction of the position, appearance, and function of crooked or misaligned teeth (malocclusion). Orthodontic treatment is used to straighten the teeth and place them in a more suitable position with an improvement to facial features. Merrifield Smiles provides quality orthodontics treatment in Falls Church, VA.

What Are The Causes of Orthodontic Issues?

A greater percentage of orthodontic cases are hereditary. These genetic issues manifest when the teeth are naturally too crowded, spread out, or misaligned. Other factors that can cause orthodontic problems are the effects of long period of thumb sucking, accident, loss of teeth etc.

The Importance of Orthodontic Treatment.

Badly aligned and crooked teeth have many areas you cannot reach for proper cleaning. Over time, these areas trap and accumulate materials that can lead to teeth loss, decay and gum-related diseases.

Uneven teeth alignment means that you will have uneven bite, which will result in chewing difficulties, speech problems, and wearing out of the teeth surface. Psychologically, there is loss of confidence and esteem due to the unattractiveness of a malocclusion dentition. This will lead to self-isolation and emotional problems in both adults and children.

When should children get an orthodontic check-up?

The recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists is for a child to start an orthodontic check up by the age seven. This is early enough for an orthodontist to detect any issue and correct it.

Can adults benefit from orthodontic treatment?

Although orthodontic treatment has a greater success rate in younger people because they are still in their formative ages, approximately one in five orthodontic patients is an adult. This shows that braces work for all ages. New technologies have also provided comfortable solutions that make orthodontic treatment more acceptable to adults.

Different types of braces.

Find below the three different types of dental braces available for patients to choose according to their choices.

  1. Metal Braces: These are the cheapest types of braces, made of stainless steel, and the most durable. When first installed, they can irritate the cheeks and gums. Care must however be taken in the choice of foods you take when you have metal braces on. You should abstain from any food that is gummy, and hard foods that can easily shift the braces. Metal braces have poor aesthetic qualities.
  2. Ceramic Braces: These are more expensive than the metal braces. They are less visible and blend well with the teeth. Ceramic braces are more sensitive and prone to breaking. They therefore need more time for installation and maintenance, and this adds to the overall cost.
  3. Lingual Braces: These cost more than the metal and ceramics versions. They are installed behind the teeth and out of sight. However, they do not fit well on small teeth. Lingua braces can distort speech patterns and are only installed by specially trained orthodontists.
  4. Invisalign Braces: These are the most sophisticated and expensive type of braces and mostly used by people with less serious dental issues. Invisalign braces are practically invisible, and require fewer dental visits. They are made from clear plastic materials and can be taken out when eating or brushing. Invisalign is a popular invisible brace.

What are my responsibilities in orthodontic treatment?

The success of any orthodontic treatment rests not on the dentist alone, but equally on the patient. If the patient does not adhere strictly to all the rules guiding the treatment, as stipulated by the orthodontist, then the success of the treatment might be poor.

Length of time for an orthodontic treatment.

Treatment usually lasts from one to three years, including the retention period. This is the period when the patient initially uses retainers after the removal of the braces.

Cost of orthodontic treatment.

Three factors determine the cost of treatment. They are:

  1. The extent of dental deformity
  2. The type of brace
  3. The length of time for treatment

We will discuss cost of treatment with you before starting any type of treatment.

We offer a variety of orthodontic services for the highest quality dental care for our patients. We encourage you to learn more about what we provide and how we can help. If you have any questions, please contact us by calling (703) 204-0050. We're always happy to hear from you!

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