Who We Are
Dr. Shaun Brakstad is a general dentist who has taken numerous hours of post graduate studies in orthodontics and orthopedic treatments. He has studied under Dr. Witzig, Mahoney, Broadbent and others.
For most people a beautiful smile is the most obvious benefit of orthodontics. After orthodontic treatment, patients often feel more confident and take great pride in their new smile.
Your dentist may have also discussed with you additional benefits of having healthy teeth and proper jaw alignment. Crooked and crowded teeth are hard to clean and maintain. This can result in tooth decay, gum disease, and lead to eventual tooth loss.
Other orthodontic problems can contribute to abnormal tooth wear, poor chewing function, stress on gum and bone tissue, or misalignment of the jaw joints (TMJ problems). Typically, with quality orthodontic care, many if not all of these issues can be resolved.
How Orthodontic Treatment Works
Orthodontic appliances can be made of metal, ceramic, or plastic. They may be removable or they may be brackets bonded to the teeth. By a constant, gentle force in a carefully controlled direction, braces and appliances slowly move teeth to a corrected position. You can choose brackets that are clear or metallic color. You can choose the color of the ties that hold the wire in the brackets. Wires are less noticeable than they used to be and the latest materials move teeth faster with less discomfort to patients.
We use the Quick Bracket system by Forestadent. The aim of modern orthodontic treatment is speedy treatment progress. With Quick® Brackets not only the treatment moves faster but due to the extremely easy handling your doctor and assistant can save time and the appointments can be shorter too. Quick® brackets are the smallest one piece selfligating bracket in the market and they are finished like a piece of jewelry which makes them extremely comfortable to wear.
Treatment time can take 12-24 months, depending on the growth of the patient’s mouth and face and the severity of the problem. The patient’s cooperation is very important for the treatment schedule to stay on time. Oral hygiene is very important so that the patient’s teeth and gums stay healthy. When the patient’s mouth is healthy the aligning of the teeth is more efficient.
Three Phase Treatment:
The goal of the first phase is to develop the jaw size in order to accommodate all the permanent teeth and coordinate 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. Usually this is noticed at their regular checkup appointments and or if parents notice unusual eruption patterns. Orthodontic records are often taken to determine the type of appliances to be used, duration of time to be worn, and the frequency of the visits. Records consist of impressions of the teeth, x-rays and before pictures. At the end of this first phase of treatment, teeth are not in their final positions. Therefore, periodic recall appointments are necessary to check the eruption of the permanent teeth.
Our goal here is to make sure each tooth has an exact location in the mouth where it is in harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue, jaw and other teeth. This is done by putting brackets on each tooth and rotating and turning them until the correct equilibrium is established. The result is a beautiful smile and the teeth function properly.
Once you are out of braces and have your beautiful smile you are fitted with retainers to wear. At first you are asked to wear them all the time except when eating and brushing your teeth. After three months you are asked to come back into the office for a follow up appointment and new retainers are made. You then are instructed to wear the new retainers evening and bedtime for as long as you want your teeth to stay straight: our teeth naturally shift throughout life. Although the shifting may be slight, if it involves the front teeth, you may not be happy with the appearance, if you decide to not wear your retainers.
We now have the technology to scan your mouth and have Vivera retainers made with Invisalign. No goopy material is needed. At a small cost to you, Invisalign will make you 4 sets of retainers and your teeth are archived in their data base for any future retainers required, with a call to the office we can re-order when needed.