In recent years, there have been many exciting advances in orthodontic technology. These have changed the way people view orthodontic treatment, and made it easier than ever for patients to straighten their smiles and improve their overall oral health. At Foothill Orthodontics, we’re able to offer a number of treatment options to correct a wide range of orthodontic issues. You may already be aware of the many ways in which orthodontics can benefit patients of all ages, but did you know that treatment can also be useful in cases where only minor changes are needed? It’s true! Even small adjustments can really enhance your smile.
To achieve this kind of mild correction, orthodontists are able to use a technique called minor tooth movement. This generally involves using removable appliances with small springs or elastics to put gentle pressure on the teeth in order to move them to more optimal positions. If you’re interested in improving your smile but don’t require any major orthodontic work, minor tooth movement could be the perfect choice for you! To learn more about this method and how it can give your smile a boost, keep reading below.
What exactly is minor tooth movement?
Minor tooth movement, sometimes referred to as limited orthodontics, is intended to address a problem that involves only a small number of teeth. In general, this will be the six front teeth on the top, bottom, or both. Minor tooth movement gives us the chance to correct your smile without having to use a full set of braces or other more traditional orthodontic appliances.
The treatment time involved with this technique tends to be much shorter than it is with braces or Invisalign. However, it may still require several months, and you will still need to wear a retainer afterwards to help the bone stabilize around the new position of your teeth. Our office will provide you with a retainer once treatment is complete, and you should always wear it as directed by our doctors to keep your new smile in place.
Who is a good candidate for minor tooth movement?
Minor tooth movement can be an exciting treatment option for many patients. If you are looking to achieve any of the following, this technique could be a good fit for you.
- Correct uneven spacing between the teeth, whether due to gapping or crowding
- Reposition teeth that have shifted following previous orthodontic treatment
- Align the front teeth to improve the cosmetic appearance of their smile
- Improve the way a bite fits together to help relieve any excess wear or tear
- Improve the overall appearance and functionality of their smile and bite
As with any orthodontic treatment, your first step will be a consultation at our Foothill or Holladay office. After a thorough examination by Dr. Chandler or Dr. Anderson, we will let you know if you’re a candidate for minor tooth movement. They will be checking to see if:
- enough room exists to close any space or eliminate crowding without compromising your bite
- your teeth and roots are in a good position for minor movement to work
- the surrounding gum tissues and bone are healthy and disease-free
If not, more extensive treatment could be called for. During your first visit with us, we will take photographs of your teeth in their present state, and we may also choose to do a panoramic x-ray. These images are the best way for us to see your mouth and teeth, and will give us a clear idea of how to proceed with treatment. If you agree with our customized treatment plan, we’ll move forward with the next step in the process.
What treatment options are available for minor tooth movement?
The appliances we used for minor tooth movement are relatively simple. Although every case is unique and each treatment plan is personalized by our doctors, there are a few common options when it comes to this technique.
- Invisalign clear aligners or other clear aligner therapy — we can use a customized series of clear plastic trays to move the teeth into more desirable positions over time
- removable orthodontic retainers — also known as spring retainers, this appliance uses small springs or elastics to facilitate minor tooth movement
- traditional metal or clear braces — we bond small metal or clear brackets to the teeth with tiny wires that are specifically designed to encourage movement
Having the ability to correctly assess and diagnose the problem is essential to recommending the correct course of orthodontic treatment. Dr. Chandler and Dr. Anderson have many years of experience, both on their own and as a team. They are experts in the mechanics involved in straightening the teeth, and are known throughout our community for producing superior results!
Our practice combines cutting-edge technology with the latest in orthodontic technique to give you an experience that is positive, rewarding, and stress-free. Whether you need extensive work or only want to move a few of your teeth into better positions, your smile will be in the very best hands.
The smile you’ve always wanted is waiting for you at Foothill Orthodontics
Minor tooth movement can be a great option for correcting gaps, eliminating tooth crowding, and enhancing your smile! For patients without any significant straightening needs, it may be an ideal way to achieve the results you want in the shortest amount of time possible.
If you’re in the SLC area and would like to learn more about how even minor changes can change your smile for the better, we’d love to hear from you! Our expert team will evaluate your orthodontic needs and help you decide on a customized plan that’s just right for your unique smile. Call today or click here to schedule your complimentary consultation with us!