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A Variety of Treatments
Braces: Clear and Traditional
Invisalign

Girl with Invisalign braces

"I like Dr. Wong because he makes having braces a fun experience!"

A Variety of Treatments

Today, orthodontic patients have treatment options that were unavailable only a few years ago. Dr. Wong combines his extensive clinical experience, continual evaluation of developing technologies, and evidence-based comparison, to select only the most reliable and effective treatment modalities for his patients. From these modalities, he assists you in making a well-informed choice for yourself or your child. Below you will find a brief description of each treatment modality provided by Dr. Wong.

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Invisalign
Invisalign combines the treatment plan of the orthodontist with advanced technology to create a series of clear, nearly invisible aligners that, when worn consistently, gradually move your teeth, or the teeth of your child, into the ideal, desired position. In our office, state-of-the-art intraoral photographic scans, rather than traditional dental impressions, are used to create a highly accurate computerized model of your dentition, from which is produced a series of form-fitting aligners designed to execute the treatment plan of Dr. Wong.

Although the technology involved in Invisalign treatment is extremely sophisticated, actual success is dependent upon the clinical understanding of the orthodontist. Due to differences in mechanical properties of Invisalign and traditional braces, effective Invisalign treatment-planning requires that the clinician be skilled in both dentofacial orthopedics and the unique properties of the Invisalign system; for, as with traditional braces, it is the clinician that directs the progression of movement of the dentition.

Dr. Wong is fully versed in the Invisalign modality and continues to participate in advanced seminars presented to orthodontists on the utilization of the evolving Invisalign system, attending four such meetings this year alone. He looks forward to exploring with you the potential of Invisalign as a treatment modality, for yourself or your child, and prescribing the course of treatment that will result in a stable, healthy, and beautiful smile!

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Traditional braces: Metal and Clear
Most are familiar with the general term ‘braces.’ In our practice, braces consist of small, aesthetic brackets that are bonded to the teeth and engaged by an archwire. (Typically, we are able to eliminate the need for the banding of molars, which means no more separators between the teeth prior to treatment!) When aesthetic considerations are especially important, patients have the option of choosing clear ceramic or monocrystalline brackets. These clear brackets greatly lessen the attention drawn to the appliance and are especially appropriate for teens and adults.

All traditional braces employ archwires to deliver the force to align teeth. Technological improvements in archwire materials have led to significant increases in the efficiency, efficacy, and comfort of orthodontic treatment such that length of treatment is shortened and the number of office visits reduced.

In addition to archwire manipulation, many treatment plans include the use of elastics between the upper and lower teeth to align the arches. Select cases, when appropriate, will utilize appliances designed to speed or retard the growth of the mid-face and/or mandible, compensating for an imbalance in the facial growth pattern. In other cases, when the bony foundations of the upper and lower dental arches are sufficiently imbalanced, surgical correction may be combined with orthodontic treatment.

Dr. Wong has successfully completed over 3,300 cases utilizing the treatment modalities discussed above. His extensive and comprehensive clinical experience results in treatment-planning that considers not only the dentition, but also the present and future aesthetics of the face, whether the patient is 7, 17, or 77 years of age. (Please see Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics: What it is and when to first visit a specialist to learn more on the topic.)

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Interceptive treatment
Interceptive treatment is intended to correct skeletal or soft tissue imbalances in growing children. Typically utilized for the younger child, the goal of interceptive treatment is the creation of greater long-term balance in facial relationships and improvement in potential alignment of the permanent dentition. The benefit of interceptive treatment is the orthopedic, rather than surgical, correction of skeletal imbalances. This is accomplished by influencing the growth and development of the facial bones; bones in which the teeth will be positioned. Interceptive (sometimes called Phase I) correction allows for improved alignment upon eruption of the permanent teeth; reducing or eliminating later intervention. For many, as the primary teeth are exchanged for permanent teeth, some shifting occurs, necessitating limited orthodontic treatment (Phase II) to achieve what is referred to as Class I occlusion (ideal aesthetic and functional relationship of the jaws and the tooth arches). In some individuals, however, Phase I, interceptive treatment results in an alignment of the completed permanent dentition such that Phase II treatment is unnecessary. Interceptive treatment is less costly than comprehensive treatment. In addition, monies spent on Phase I treatment are accounted for when determining the cost of Phase II treatment, should such treatment be necessary.

For some children, interceptive treatment is highly valuable, both dentally and facially. Dr. Wong recommends that children be examined by a qualified orthodontist at the age of 7 to determine if interceptive treatment may be indicated. The correction of structural imbalance remains possible through the entire period of facial growth, but intervention is of greatest efficacy when this growth is most rapid; which is child-specific. Through examination and queries, Dr. Wong will assess the rate and pattern of growth and inform you of the likelihood and timing of interceptive treatment. Unfortunately, the need for interceptive treatment cannot be easily assessed by the lay person. A crowded set of teeth may be married to a Class I skeletal relationship and simple plan of treatment, while uncrowded, straight teeth may be found alongside present and future skeletal imbalance (Class II and III). Fortunately, orthodontic examinations are free of charge and do not, in any way, commit the patient to treatment with that orthodontist. Dr. Wong encourages you to visit the qualified orthodontist, or orthodontists, of your choosing.

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If you would like additional information regarding treatment types or appliances, please reach us via our contact page, or 206-812-4494.

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