A great smile not only can boost your confidence, but it can make a memorable first impression. If you’re unhappy with your smile or that of your child’s, orthodontic treatments can help repair all sorts of dental imperfections such as gaps and misalignments. Dr. Alka Mahajan, DMD, and the team at Progressive Dental Care in Fairfax, Virginia, are experts at diagnosing and treating orthodontic concerns, using the latest technologies, including ClearCorrect and Invisalign®. If you are interested in enhancing your smile or improving your bite, book an appointment online or call the Progressive Dental Care office today.

Orthodontics Q & A

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the subspecialty of dentistry that focuses on the alignment of your teeth. Orthodontics can be helpful in improving smiles for people of all ages, from children to teens to adults. Dr. Mahajan is skilled in the diagnosis and selection of the right orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic treatment is used to help treat the following functional and aesthetic concerns and conditions.

  • Difficulty chewing
  • Crowding of teeth
  • Missing teeth
  • Speech difficulties
  • Protruding teeth
  • Irregular bite
  • Facial imbalances

Before beginning any treatment plan, Dr. Mahajan sets up a consultation and performs diagnostic exams to assess your primary concerns and whether you may need braces, Invisalign®, ClearCorrect, or another orthodontic appliance.

How do I know if I need braces?

Braces are the most common and well-known dental appliance used in orthodontics. Braces are used to correct a variety of dental problems, especially to help straighten teeth, close gaps, and correct overbites. Sometimes braces are used with other therapies such as headgear and expansion appliances to achieve the best results. Dr. Mahajan and her team work with you to determine which modalities are best for you.

Good orthodontic care can even lead to better oral hygiene. Orthodontic appliances, when worn at a young age, can be crucial in preventing future oral health problems. Dr. Mahajan recommends children have their first orthodontic consultation no later than seven years of age and again in their early teens.

During the orthodontic consultation, Dr. Mahajan performs a series of diagnostic exams to assess your orthodontic needs and discusses various treatment options that work best with your oral health goals, lifestyle, and budget.

Are there alternatives to braces?

Sometimes, full braces aren’t necessary to correct teeth alignment, and some patients, especially adults, often prefer a less noticeable treatment option. Dr. Mahajan and her team at Progressive Dental Care are proud to offer Invisalign and ClearCorrect, nearly invisible alternatives to braces.

They each consist of a series of removable retainers, called aligners, that shift your teeth and are replaced every few weeks with new retainers. Total treatment time averages 11 months, with the average number of aligners worn being somewhere between 18 and 30.

During your consultation, Dr. Mahajan determines if you’re a good candidate for Invisalign or ClearCorrect and then estimates the length of your treatment plan and frequency of visits.

If you’re interested in discovering your best smile and improving your oral health, call the Progressive Dental Care office or schedule an appointment online.

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