Treating Misalignment with Retainers
By Kellyn Hodges on February 09, 2015
A straight and even smile is a goal shared by most of our patients. When the teeth are straight, even, and in proper alignment, the smile will look more attractive, the teeth will function properly, and oral hygiene will be easier to maintain. Unfortunately, most people are not lucky enough to have perfectly aligned teeth. Most patients suffer from at least a minor degree of misalignment, or malocclusion. The good news is that not all patients who have crooked teeth require lengthy and intensive orthodontic treatment. For many, an orthodontic retainer can effectively address minor misalignment problems to correct the position of the teeth so that patients can enjoy the many benefits of a straight smile. Orthodontist Kellyn Hodges is happy to discuss with her Philadelphia patients whether retainers only treatment is a viable option for them.
When people hear that they are in need of orthodontic treatment, many shudder at the thought of unattractive metal braces, the uncomfortable wires and brackets, and the inconvenience of oral care and food restrictions. However, not all patients are in need of full mouth orthodontics. Many of the patients we see are suffering from small areas of imperfection and minor cases of malocclusion. Dr. Hodges believes in conservative orthodontic treatment and will never push a patient into orthodontic treatment that they do not need. Instead, Dr. Hodges will consider retainers only treatment for those patients with minor cases of malocclusion and any who are not in need of full mouth correction.
How Treatment Works
When patients are undergoing retainers only orthodontic treatment, there are two options for placement of the retainer. Depending on the needs of each patient, Dr. Hodges will either cement an invisible retainer into place behind the teeth, or provide patients with a removable retainer. Removable retainers may be taken out when a patient is eating, brushing, or flossing their teeth, but in order for results to be effective it is ideal that retainers remain in place for a minimum of 20 hours per day.
In either the case of a cemented retainer or one that is removable, the teeth will be gradually shifted into proper alignment due to the subtle pressure that is placed on the teeth by these appliances. These small adjustments will take place over time and will result in a straight, even, and attractive smile by the time treatment is complete.
An orthodontic retainer is much more comfortable and convenient than traditional braces, giving patients an easier treatment option. Retainers offer a wider degree of freedom (especially in the case of removable retainers), and improve the positon of the teeth without compromising the appearance of the smile. It is because of the many benefits of retainers only treatment that Dr. Hodges will always consider this more conservative approach to orthodontics for those of her patients who are ideal candidates.
Schedule a Consultation
Dr. Kellyn Hodges is an experienced orthodontist who looks out for the best interest of her patients and takes a conservative approach to orthodontic treatment. If you have been told you are in need of orthodontic treatment and are looking for an honest opinion regarding the type of treatment that is best for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Hodges at your earliest convenience. We look forward to hearing from you!