What we think of when “braces” comes to mind are traditional braces. While they may look similar to what was used 20, 30, or 40 years ago, there are lots of advancements that have been made to traditional braces. They can now be made almost invisible using advanced ceramic technology — and since they aren’t plastic, they won’t stain. Both stainless steel and ceramic brackets are much smaller and lower profile than their predecessors. The wires we use have benefitted from space and aeronautical technology. They have a more gentle, and consistent push, and remain active much longer than previous wires. For this reason, braces are much more comfortable, and appointments are farther apart than what was done even two decades ago.
Other advancements in orthodontics are used in conjunction with traditional braces. See Orthodontic Appliances Used in Our Office.
Invisalign and Other Clear Aligner Systems
Invisalign became available in 2002, but in reality, orthodontists had been using similar concepts for years. Invisalign brought digital technology, especially digital scanning (which was in its earliest stage), into the orthodontic arena. The breakthrough was being able to get an accurate digital model of the teeth that could be modified in sequence to guide teeth into a better position.
Dr. John has been involved with Invisalign since 2004 (he’s learned never to jump on bandwagons too early). He continues to use Invisalign and other clear aligner technology for patients today.
Lingual braces are similar to traditional braces, except they go on the back of teeth. While Dr. John has used lingual braces in the past, we no longer offer the service. Recently, however, a new lingual orthodontic system called Inbrace has come on the market. This system appears very promising and McDonald Orthodontics is planning to incorporate the technology into the practice in the near future.
Other Orthodontic Devices to Move Teeth and Substitute for Braces
An Internet search for “non-traditional orthodontics” will reveal dozens and dozens of orthodontic appliances, both removable and fixed in the patient’s mouth. They have very catchy names and descriptions using lots of scientific-sounding phrases and words, like slow-expansion of adults, treatment of deficient maxillas, facial profile improvements, airway-enhancing development – all of these phrases are meant to be easily understood and impressive-sounding. Problem is, they don’t really mean anything. They are words and phrases that are not recognized in orthodontic diagnosis and treatment. They are designed to sound similar to accepted treatment methods, but the treatments are ineffective and oftentimes dangerous to a patient’s overall dental health.
If you have questions regarding some of these treatments, please bring them to your complimentary new patient exam with Dr. John.
1855 West Nob Hill St, Suite 300
Salem, OR 97302
Wednesday: 8:00am to 4:30pm
Thursday: 8:00am to 4:30pm
164 Chemawa Rd N Keizer, OR 97303
Monday: 8:00am to 4:30pm
Tuesday: 8:00am to 4:30pm