Comprehensive Orthodontics in Pearland & Houston
At G Orthodontics, you’ll find comprehensive care and treatment, including:
What is the advantage of two-phase orthodontic treatment?
Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a very specialized process that encompasses teeth straightening and physical, facial changes. The major advantage of a two-phase treatment is to maximize the opportunity to accomplish the ideal healthy, functional, aesthetic result that will remain stable throughout your life.
What if I put off treatment?
The disadvantage of waiting for complete eruption of permanent teeth and having only one phase of treatment for someone with a jaw discrepancy is facing the possibility of a compromised result that may not be stable.
First Phase Treatment: Your foundation for a lifetime of beautiful teeth
The goal of first phase treatment is to develop the jaw size in order to accommodate all the permanent teeth and to relate the upper and lower jaws to each other. Children sometimes exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop. An upper and lower jaw that is growing too much or not enough can be recognized at an early age. If children after age 6 are found to have this jaw discrepancy, they are candidates for early orthodontic treatment.
Planning now can save your smile later
Because they are growing rapidly, children can benefit enormously from an early phase of orthodontic treatment utilizing appliances that direct the growth relationship of the upper and lower jaws. Thus, a good foundation can be established, providing adequate room for eruption of all permanent teeth. This early correction may prevent later removal of permanent teeth to correct overcrowding and/or surgical procedures to align the upper and lower jaws. Leaving such a condition untreated until all permanent teeth erupt could result in a jaw discrepancy too severe to achieve an ideal result with braces.
In this phase, the remaining permanent teeth are allowed to erupt. Retaining devices are not usually recommended since they may interfere with eruption. It is best to allow the existing permanent teeth some freedom of movement while final eruption of teeth occurs. A successful first phase will have created room for teeth to find an eruption path. Otherwise, they may become impacted or severely displaced.
In other words, at the end of the first phase of treatment, teeth are not in their final positions. This will be determined and accomplished in the second phase of treatment. Selective removal of certain primary (baby) teeth may be in the best interest of enhancing eruption during this resting phase. Therefore, periodic recall appointments for observation are necessary, usually on a six-month basis.
Second Phase Treatment: Stay healthy and look attractive
The goal of the second phase is to make sure each tooth has an exact location in the mouth where it is in harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue and other teeth. When this equilibrium is established, the teeth will function together properly.
Movement & Retention
At the beginning of the first phase, orthodontic records were made and a diagnosis and treatment plan established. Certain types of appliances were used in the first phase, as dictated by the problem. The second phase is initiated when all permanent teeth have erupted, and it usually requires braces on all the teeth for an average of 24 months. A retainers is worn after this phase to ensure you retain your beautiful smile.
Dr. Yesenia Garcia specializes in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. While most people have heard of "orthodontics," many have never heard of "dentofacial orthopedics."
Nine dental specialties have been sanctioned by the American Dental Association. One of the nine specialties is “orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.” The term “dentofacial" means "teeth" plus "face" while "ortho" means "straight" and "pedic" is from the Greek for "child."
While orthodontics is the management of tooth movement, dentofacial orthopedics involves the guidance of facial growth and development during childhood. In both cases, we frequently use appliances – the more familiar dental braces for orthodontics, and specialized appliances like headgear and expanders, depending on facial abnormalities. Sometimes orthopedic treatment precedes conventional braces, but we often accomplish both at the same time. So if your child gets braces and headgear, he or she is undergoing orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.
Dr. Garcia is skilled in both areas, so she is able to diagnose any misalignments in the teeth and jaw as well as the facial structure, and can devise a treatment plan that integrates both orthodontic and dentofacial orthopedic treatments.
Do you feel drowsy during the day with no explanation? Do you snore loudly or wake up breathless in the middle of the night? If so, you may be one of more than 12 million Americans affected by sleep apnea.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is where your breathing stops periodically during sleep, as often as 20 to 30 times per hour. When you stop breathing in your sleep, the lack of oxygen alerts your brain, which wakes you up to regain proper breathing. Since your time awake is so brief, you typically don't remember it, and you may feel like you are getting a good night's sleep when you are not. The constant wake-sleep cycle prevents you from achieving deep sleep, resulting in a tired feeling during the day.
What are the signs of sleep apnea?
If you notice one or more of these sleep apnea symptoms, contact Dr. Garcia.
- Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
- Loud snoring at night
- Waking up at night short of breath
- Snorting or choking sounds during the night
- Headaches upon waking
- Falling asleep unintentionally during the day
- Extreme drowsiness throughout the day
Is sleep apnea dangerous?
Actually, it is a serious medical problem. Left untreated, it can lead to high blood pressure and increased risk of heart failure and stroke. Ongoing fatigue caused by sleep apnea can lead to problems at work or school, plus increased danger when driving or operating heavy machinery. Sleep apnea can also cause complications with medication or surgery. Sedation with anesthesia can be risky, as can lying flat in bed after surgery. If you suffer from sleep apnea, tell your family doctor before taking any medication or undergoing surgery.
How is sleep apnea treated?
Treatment depends on the severity of your condition and the type of apnea. Basic treatment can include losing weight, quitting smoking or sleeping on your side instead of on your back. We can also use oral devices to position the mouth and prevent throat blockage. In more severe cases, surgery may be the best option.
Millions of Americans suffer from chronic facial and neck pain as well as recurrent headaches. In some cases this pain is due to temporomandibular disorder, or TMD.
Temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are jaw joints that connect your lower jawbone to your skull. These joints are used throughout the day as you speak, chew, swallow and yawn. Jaw pain in and around these joints can be unpleasant and may even restrict your movement. Symptoms of TMD include:
- Pain in the jaw area
- Pain, ringing, or stuffiness in the ears
- Frequent headaches or neck aches
- Clicking or popping sounds with jaw movements
- Swelling on the sides of the face
- Muscle spasms in the jaw
- A change in alignment of top and bottom teeth
- Locked jaw or limited ability to open your mouth
Let us know if you notice any of these symptoms. We can help advise you about the presence of TMD, and what sort of treatment is best for you. There are also some simple things you can do to prevent TMD:
- Relax your face with lips together, teeth apart
- Avoid grinding your teeth
- Avoid constant gum chewing
- Don't cradle a phone between your head and shoulder – use a headset or hold the phone to your ear
- Chew food evenly on both sides of your mouth
- Do not sit with your chin rested on your hand
- Practice good posture – keep your head up, back straight, and shoulders squared
We have found that true orthodontic emergencies are very rare. When they do occur, we can help. You should call the office when you experience severe jaw pain or when you have a painful appliance problem that you can't take care of yourself. We'll be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem.
You can temporarily solve many problems yourself before scheduling an appointment with Dr. Garcia. You should know the names of the parts of your appliances so you can identify which part is broken or out of place. It is very important that you call us as soon as possible to schedule a repair. Using a damaged appliance for an extended period may result in disruption of your treatment plan.
When you want quality family dentistry in Shadow Creek, Missouri City, Pearland, Houston, Memorial and surrounding areas, call G Orthodontics in Pearland at 713-436-1241 or in Houston at 832-659-0607, or use our convenient Request an Appointment form.