We specialize in Orthodontics. Braces are used to assist in aligning and straightening teeth in order to not only improve appearance, but to also improve a person’s bite. Having braces isn’t just about improving your smile, but it’s also about improving your overall dental health. Orthodontics may be used to correct malocclusions, overbites, underbites, cross bites, deep bites, crooked teeth and other flaws of the teeth and jaws. Braces may be used in conjunction with other orthodontic appliances to help with making corrections to a person’s bite.
Dental technology has improved over the years to include new options to help correct the above issues, and there are a number of techniques and products available that were not available just a few short years ago. The patient experience has improved and today’s options are less conspicuous than the full braces that were common in the past.
Traditional metal braces are still the most popular types of braces as they produce high quality results. Clear Ceramic braces are popular with adults and teenagers who want the results of braces without the look of metal. Your visit will begin with a consultation with Dr. Bigman to go over the best alternatives for your orthodontic care. Dr. Bigman will address any questions you may have regarding your treatment and will provide a plan for orthodontic therapy.
Metal braces made from stainless steel brackets and wires remain the most popular choice for braces and are very effective.
Virtually invisible, there are several advantages clear brackets have over traditional braces and aligners. Clear braces combine tieless braces with high technology archwires that are clinically proven to move teeth fast and comfortably with truly spectacular smile and facial results. Available from skilled orthodontists, clear braces combine the best of traditional clear braces and invisible aligners to deliver a discrete treatment experience with results that go beyond straight teeth.
Invisalign® takes a modern approach to straightening teeth, using a custom-made series of aligners created for you and only you. These aligner trays are made of smooth, comfortable and virtually invisible plastic that you wear over your teeth. Wearing the aligners will gradually and gently shift your teeth into place, based on the exact movements Dr. Bigman plans out for you. There are no metal brackets to attach and no wires to tighten. You just pop in a new set of aligners approximately every two weeks, until your treatment is complete. You’ll achieve a great smile with little interference in your daily life. The best part about the whole process is that most people won’t even know you’re straightening your teeth.
Palatal Expander Device (PED)
Both removable and fixed PEDs can be used to address crowding and other issues by expanding the upper jaw to make more room to accommodate tooth and/or jaw alignment.
Pre-formed, ready-to-wear mouth guards can be purchased inexpensively at many sporting stores, but they do not always fit well. They can be uncomfortable and interfere with talking and even breathing.
Sporting goods stores also offer semi-custom mouth guards, in which the plastic is heated and then the athlete bites on it while still warm to provide some level of custom fit.
Our office can make a custom mouth guard by taking an impression of your teeth and then creating a device fitted to your mouth for the highest level of both comfort and protection. (A custom fitted mouthguard can be particularly important for athletes who wear braces.)
Be sure to bring your mouthguard to your dental appointments so Dr. Bigman can be sure it still fits you well.
We offer the therapeutic use of Botox® injections to treat Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD.) To treat TMD disorders, first the cause has to be identified. In less severe cases, TMJ disorders can be treated with self-managed care (eating soft foods, using ice packs, avoiding extreme jaw movement) or nonsurgical treatments (anti-inflammatory medications, Botox® injections, stabilization splints).
TMJ conditions fall into three main categories:
- Myofascial pain, which involves discomfort or pain in the muscles that control jaw function.
- Internal derangement of the joint, which can mean a displaced disc, dislocated jaw or injury to the condyle.
- Arthritis, which is degenerative inflammatory disorder.
Sleep apnea is an ongoing condition that disrupts sleep. When breathing is paused or becomes shallow, one will often move out of deep sleep and into light sleep, making the quality of sleep poor.
Sleep apnea can be treated with lifestyle changes, mouthpieces, breathing devices, and/or surgery.
For mild sleep apnea, a custom fitted mouth piece or some lifestyle changes (weight loss, smoking cessation, clearing nasal passages) may be helpful.
For moderate to severe sleep apnea, a breathing device called CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) or surgery to widen the breathing passages by shrinking, stiffening, or removing excess tissue in the mouth and throat or resetting the lower jaw may be helpful. A CPAP machine uses a mask that fits over your mouth and/or nose and gently blows air into your throat. This air pressure helps keep your airway open while you sleep. Surgery to shrink the tissue involves a small shot into the breathing passages. Surgery to stiffen excess tissue requires a small incision in the tissue and inserting a piece of stiff plastic.
Orthognathic surgery can involve surgical procedures such as an osteotomy (bone cutting), bone grafts, or distraction osteogenesis (stretching of the bone) and orthodontic (braces) care. Orthognathic correction is conducted in stages, and the course of treatment can last a few months up to one year or more.
In order to perform the procedure successfully, the jawbones will be repositioned in accordance with one’s specific needs. Inconspicuous incisions are usually made inside, and if needed, outside the mouth to allow for surgical plates, screws, wires and rubber bands to be used to hold your jaws in their new positions.
Cleft lip is an opening/split in the upper lip and cleft palate is an opening/split in the roof of the mouth (palate). Cleft lip and cleft palate result when these developing facial structures in an unborn baby do not close completely.
A series of surgeries can restore normal function and achieve a more normal appearance with minimal scarring.
A cleft lip is usually repaired between the ages of 3 to 6 months. Some children require a lip adhesion or a device such as a molding plate to bring the parts closer together before the full lip repair. A child with a cleft lip that is repaired will have a scar on the lip under the nose.
A cleft palate is usually repaired between 9 and 12 months of age. To repair the palate, the soft palate muscles from each side are connected to each other and the normal barrier between the mouth and nose is created.
Additional surgeries are needed to improve the appearance of the lip and nose, close the opening between the mouth and nose, help breathing, and stabilize and realign the jaw. Once the permanent teeth grow in, braces are often needed to straighten the teeth.