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Posts for tag: orthodontics


There are an assortment of techniques and treatments in an orthodontist's toolkit, braces being the most common and best known. Of course, there wouldn't be any tools at all if teeth couldn't move naturally.

Teeth aren't directly connected to the jawbone. An elastic tissue called the periodontal ligament lies between each one, with tiny fibers attaching to the tooth on one side and to the bone on the other. The ligament's elasticity and other qualities allow micro-movements of the teeth as we bite.

The ligament can also adapt to changes in the mouth and teeth by allowing the teeth to move to different positions. That's the basic concept behind braces: we thread a thin wire through brackets attached to the teeth, which we then attach to anchor points (usually back teeth not intended to move) and apply tension to it. Gradually over time, the target teeth move.

But what if your malocclusion (poor bite) is more complicated or the back teeth can't supply enough anchorage for moving the intended teeth? That's where we take advantage of other sources of anchorage.

One such source is the patient's skull, which we can make use of through special headgear worn a few hours a day. The device consists of a strap under tension that runs around the back of the head or neck to a wire housing attached to brackets on the target teeth. If you want to “pull” the teeth forward, the strap would come over the chin, forehead or a combination of both.

We may sometimes want to isolate some teeth to move without moving nearby teeth, such as moving front teeth backward to close a space without affecting teeth further to the rear. We can create a separate anchor point in the jaw with a TAD or temporary anchorage device.

TADs are tiny screws made of stainless steel inserted temporarily into the bone. We loop an elastic band over the TAD on one end and to a bracket or tension wire attached to the target teeth on the other. When we've achieved the teeth's new position we can easily remove the TAD from the bone.

These various tools make it possible to correct difficult or complex malocclusions. They may not always look attractive, but they'll help ensure the final result is.

If you would like more information on available orthodontic treatments, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Orthodontic Headgear & Other Anchorage Appliances.”

By Upper East Smiles
July 11, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces   orthodontics  

Having a straight smile might actually promise some health benefits, as well!

Yes, it seems pretty obvious that a straighter smile will make you feel more orthodonticsconfident and happier, but did you know that it could also improve your oral health? That’s right! If you are living in the Upper East Side, NY and dealing with crooked teeth or a bad bite, then it might be time to consider talking to one of our dental professionals about how orthodontics could help.

How does having a straight smile improve my oral health?

If you are dealing with spacing issues, crooked teeth or severe bite problems then you are at risk for developing cavities or gum disease, as well as excessive wear and tear on healthy teeth. Crooked or overlapping teeth make it difficult to get in between these spaces to remove the plaque and bacteria responsible for decay. But teeth that are straight make it easier to get into all those tight spaces for a more effective clean!

If you are dealing with a severe overbite or underbite then over time you may notice that some teeth experience a lot more wear than others. Teeth that are worn down not only look unattractive but they can become weaker over time and cause cracks or fractures. By correcting your bite issues right away you can prevent these problems down the road.

So, what are my options for getting a straighter smile?

Gone are the days of large metal wires and brackets. Even traditional brave have gotten a makeover so they are more discreet and sleeker. Plus, metal braces are known for correcting a host of dental issues from the simple to the most complex. And they offer a more budget-friendly price tag than other options.

Those teens looking for a less obvious way to straighten their teeth can also opt for porcelain braces. While they may look just like traditional braces with bracket and wires, all components are tooth-colored so they aren’t immediately obvious. Just remember that cleaning them thoroughly is important so that these porcelain braces don’t stain.

For both older teens and adults who really want their orthodontic treatment to go unnoticed it’s time to talk to our Upper East Side orthodontist about Invisalign. These clear, removable aligners are designed to shift teeth into the proper position and can fix a host of mild to more moderate problems.

Have questions about which orthodontic treatment is right for you? Then it’s time you visited our Upper East Side, NY dental office. Sit down with Dr. Chung at Upper East Smiles and decide which treatment will give you the smile you’ve always dreamed about!


Magician Michael Grandinetti mystifies and astonishes audiences with his sleight of hand and mastery of illusion. But when he initially steps onto the stage, it’s his smile that grabs the attention. “The first thing… that an audience notices is your smile; it’s what really connects you as a person to them,” Michael told an interviewer.

He attributes his audience-pleasing smile to several years of orthodontic treatment as a teenager to straighten misaligned teeth, plus a lifetime of good oral care. “I’m so thankful that I did it,” he said about wearing orthodontic braces. “It was so beneficial. And… looking at the path I’ve chosen, it was life-changing.”

Orthodontics — the dental subspecialty focused on treating malocclusions (literally “bad bites”) — can indeed make life-changing improvements. Properly positioned teeth are integral to the aesthetics of any smile, and a smile that’s pleasing to look at boosts confidence and self-esteem and makes a terrific first impression. Studies have even linked having an attractive smile with greater professional success.

There can also be functional benefits such as improved biting/chewing and speech, and reduced strain on jaw muscles and joints. Additionally, well-aligned teeth are easier to clean and less likely to trap food particles that can lead to decay.

The Science Behind the Magic

There are more options than ever for correcting bites, but all capitalize on the fact that teeth are suspended in individual jawbone sockets by elastic periodontal ligaments that enable them to move. Orthodontic appliances (commonly called braces or clear aligners) place light, controlled forces on teeth in a calculated fashion to move them into their new desired alignment.

The “gold standard” in orthodontic treatment remains the orthodontic band for posterior (back) teeth and the bonded bracket for front teeth. Thin, flexible wires threaded through the brackets create the light forces needed for repositioning. Traditionally the brackets have been made of metal, but for those concerned about the aesthetics, they can also be made out of a clear material. Lingual braces, which are bonded to the back of teeth instead of the front, are another less visible option. The most discrete appliance is the removable clear aligner, which consists of a progression of custom-made clear trays that reposition teeth incrementally.

How’s that for a disappearing act?!

If you would like more information about orthodontic treatment please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the subject by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Magic of Orthodontics.”