Recent advances in orthodontic technology have made the corrective treatment process more convenient than ever before for patients looking to improve their smile. Zeifman Orthodontics offers a variety of treatment options to correct a wide range of orthodontic issues, but many people are unaware that even minor changes can really enhance a smile. Believe it or not, even small adjustments can really enhance your overall smile!
To help achieve this kind of correction, we use minor tooth movement. Generally, this type of treatment will only take a few months and uses removable appliances with small springs or elastics to put gentle pressure on the teeth in order to move them into the optimal positions. Are you interested in improving your smile but don’t require any major orthodontic work? Minor tooth movement could be for you! Let’s take a closer look at what that actually means.
What is minor tooth movement?
Minor tooth movement, which is sometimes referred to as limited orthodontics, is intended to address a problem involving only a small number of teeth. This is typically confined to the six front teeth on the top, bottom, or both. Minor tooth movement allows us to correct your smile without using full braces or more traditional orthodontic appliances. The treatment time also tends to be much shorter than full braces or Invisalign treatment.
Although minor tooth movement normally doesn’t take as long as regular orthodontic treatment, it may still require several months. You will still need to wear a retainer afterwards for a specified period of time determined by Dr. Zeifman, as well. This helps the bone to stabilize around the teeth’s new position and will keep your brand new smile in place!
Who is a good candidate for minor tooth movement?
Minor tooth movement can be an excellent option for patients who are looking to:
- correct uneven spacing between the teeth, whether 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 relieve excess wear or tear
- improve the overall appearance and functionality of their smile and bite
As with any orthodontic issue, the first step is a complimentary consultation with Dr. Zeifman in our Florham Park office. A thorough examination will tell us what we need to know about your bite, and if enough room exists to close any space or eliminate crowding without compromising that bite. She’ll also check that your teeth and their roots are in a good position for minor movement to work — otherwise, more extensive treatment may be called for. The surrounding gum tissues and bone also need to be healthy and disease-free (another reason why a good dental hygiene routine is important!)
Some issues may require more traditional treatment. For example, if a gap in the front teeth is caused by something like the tongue habitually pressing against the back of the teeth and pushing them forward, it might not be possible to close the gap with minor tooth movement techniques. During your first visit with us, our highly-trained orthodontic treatment coordinator will take digital photographs of your teeth, and in some cases, panoramic and cephalometric x-rays. 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.
What options are available for minor tooth movement procedures?
With minor tooth movement procedures, the appliances used are relatively simple in design. Although every case is unique and each treatment plan is personalized by Dr. Zeifman, there are a few common options for minor tooth movement treatment. These include:
- Invisalign clear aligners or other clear aligner therapy — using a custom-made series of clear plastic trays, we’re able 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 — small metal or clear brackets are bonded to the teeth with tiny wires that are specifically fit to encourage movement
Like everything in orthodontics, correctly assessing and diagnosing the problem is essential to choosing the correct treatment. An experienced orthodontist like Dr. Zeifman has advanced training in growth and facial development as well as the mechanics of straightening the teeth. She’s completed hundreds of difficult orthodontic cases over the years, such as surgical, open bite, crossbite, craniofacial, and cleft lip and palate cases. Dr. Zeifman is also board-certified, and experienced in many orthodontic techniques. You can be sure that your smile is in the most capable of hands with our practice, whether you have a complex case or only need to move a few teeth into better positions!
Get the smile you’ve always wanted with Zeifman Orthodontics
Minor tooth movement can be an excellent way to fix gaps, eliminate tooth crowding, and enhance the overall look of your smile. It’s often an ideal option for patients who don’t have any significant straightening needs. If you want to learn more about how even minor changes can change your smile for the better, we invite you to contact us and schedule a FREE consultation. Our expert team will evaluate your orthodontic needs and help you decide on a customized plan that’s perfect for your unique smile!