orthodontics

Orthodontics

orthodonticsScotts Valley and Santa Cruz, CA

In our office, orthodontic treatment is about so much more than just straightening teeth through braces. We offer multiple methods to correct the crooked alignment of teeth, encourage nasal breathing, and proper oral posture. Furthermore, Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry offers functional orthodontics to help patients of all ages achieve a healthy occlusion (bite), an attractive facial profile, and a straight, attractive smile because straight teeth are about more than looks. It has a lot to do with a healthier life!

We offer the following types of orthodontic treatment:

  • ALF & Crozat Appliances – These are ideal for children to help straighten their teeth throughout development and encourage jaw development. It can widen the dental arch to make room for the teeth to erupt in alignment, and for the tongue to rest on the roof of the mouth when closed.
  • Braces – Traditional braces are effective, and sometimes recommended above other orthodontic treatments. Braces may be ideal for patients with a severe bite misalignment or those who are not candidates for clear aligner therapy. Our braces are tooth-colored and metal-free so that they aren’t as noticeable.
  • Invisalign® – Straightening your teeth the clear way, Invisalign® aligners are comfortable, convenient, and clear. Ideal for patients with minor tooth misalignment or for those that are self-conscious about the look of traditional braces. Invisalign® is suitable for teens and adults.
  • Space Maintainers – When a primary tooth is knocked out or removed too soon, a space maintainer should be placed. Its purpose is to maintain proper spacing between the adjacent teeth as the permanent tooth prepares to erupt. Space maintainers can be fixed or removable, depending on your child’s dental health needs.
  • Orthotropics® – Focuses on proper jaw development, oral posture, nasal breathing, and correcting poor oral habits that interfere with jaw development, tooth alignment, and airway health.
  • Myofunctional Therapy & Butekyo Breathing – Ideal treatment to correct bad oral habits such as thumb sucking, mouth breathing, tongue-ties, poor rest oral posture, and snoring.

Offering a different kind of orthodontics

  • Braces – Forget what you think you know about braces or may have experienced. Thanks to advances in orthodontics, braces don’t have to involve having a mouth full of metal. Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry can provide you or a member of your family with metal-free braces made of ceramic. Not only will these brackets cause less irritation to your gums and mouth, but also they can be matched to the shade of your teeth, allowing the brackets to blend into your smile.
  • Invisalign® –  Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry is proud to be a certified provider of Invisalign® in Scotts Valley, which uses several sets of clear plastic aligners to straighten teeth over time. Not only does a course of treatment with Invisalign usually take less time than orthodontic treatment with traditional braces, but the aligners are completely transparent. Plus, the aligners can be removed when you eat, clean your teeth, or plan to attend a special event where photos will be taken.

Learn about the benefits of functional orthodontics

Functional orthodontics involves the use of custom-fabricated dental appliances and/or braces to move the teeth into proper alignment. Based on a neuromuscular approach, functional orthodontics preserves the airway and the health of the temporomandibular joints and jaw muscles.

It can be used to correct problems that affect both children and adults:

  • Excessive wear and chipping of front teeth
  • Severe crowding or spacing
  • Crossbite of front and back teeth
  • Narrow dental arches or a small airway
  • Limited space in the mouth to accommodate the tongue

Functional orthodontics is also a great option for pain relief. It can help patients alleviate potentially debilitating symptoms such as headaches, facial pain, tender muscles and joints, grinding, and a limited range of motion.

A successful course of functional orthodontic treatment guides the dental structure as well as the skeletal structure into their ideal alignment, encouraging harmony throughout the orofacial system. While functional orthodontics works best on children, adults also may benefit from this approach as well.

Specific areas that are addressed through functional orthodontics include:

  • Entire head
  • Face
  • Neck and back
  • Upper and lower jaws
  • Temporomandibular joint
  • Airway

Two of the oral appliances that Drs. Max and Ariana Ebrahimian use most often in the course of functional orthodontic treatment is the ALF (or Advanced Lightwire Functional) appliance, which can improve your bite without braces, although braces may still be needed at a later date. Also, the Crozat appliance, a predecessor of the ALF that is made of stronger wire but also is removable, discreet, and adjustable.

Many people are unaware of how their oral posture affects not just their looks, but their overall health. Poor oral posture leads to a narrow airway, recessed chin, and unfavorable profile. Interestingly enough, Drs. Max and Ariana can reverse these effects and help you live a healthier life.

No Orthodontic Extractions

The general rule of thumb in orthodontics is to extract four of the bicuspid teeth to make room to straighten all of the others. This approach has been used for decades in orthodontic cases and is still in practice today. However, at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry, we believe that this practice is unnecessary, and in fact, is harmful to a child’s development.

The reason orthodontic extractions are so popular is that the jaws are small and underdeveloped, and there is not enough room in the mouth for all of the teeth to be straightened. However, this is a reactive approach to an even bigger problem.

You see, an underdeveloped jaw or upper dental arch is due to an underlying problem.

It is different in every case but could be caused by poor oral habits, such as:

  • Prolonged thumb sucking or pacifier use
  • Mouth breathing
  • Poor rest oral posture (open mouth posture with tongue low in the mouth instead of resting against the upper palate)
  • Natural anatomy

These developmental issues can lead to other problems in life, such as the:

  • Development of obstructive sleep apnea
  • Snoring
  • Severely misaligned teeth
  • Crossbite, overbite, or underbite
  • Narrow facial development
  • Recessed chin
  • Unfavorable facial profile

Therefore, extracting teeth for orthodontic purposes do nothing for these issues. In fact, they only make things worse. Instead of orthodontic extractions, our dentists prefer to encourage jawbone growth and development, which can be done through our specially designed ALF & Crozat appliances, or Orthotropics. When the jaw develops to its full potential, there is plenty of room to straighten teeth. Plus, time spent receiving orthodontic treatment may be shortened in duration, and there is less of a chance of orthodontic relapse down the road.

If your child’s orthodontist has recommended extracting teeth before getting braces, get a second opinion. Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry would like an opportunity to assess your child’s orthodontic needs and educate parents on the importance of facial growth guidance.

What is the best age for orthodontic treatment?

This is difficult to answer because every patient is different. But, generally speaking, we recommend that children receive an assessment around the age of five or six years of age. At this age, the jaws are still developing, which makes it easier to encourage bone growth and expansion, if needed. In these instances, we focus on forward facial growth guidance to encourage the jaws to develop to their potential. This does not mean that a child this young will be suited with braces, however. But, it means that we monitor their jaw development, and may recommend an oral appliance to help with their jaw growth, which also encourages permanent teeth to erupt in proper alignment.

Additionally, you are never too old to receive orthodontic treatment. Adults often feel that since they have lived most of their life with crooked teeth, then why bother fixing them now? But, there is no age limit to getting braces or straightening your teeth with clear aligners. Orthodontics is not just about aesthetics but health as well.

Here are the advantages of adult orthodontics:

  • Breathe better
  • Maintain oral health better (straight teeth are easier to clean)
  • Improved sleep (no more snoring due to a narrow dental palate and airway)
  • Reduce or eliminate pain associated with TMJ disorder
  • No more sore or painful teeth as a result of a misaligned bite
  • Improved ability to chew and swallow
  • Improved speech (in cases where tooth alignment impacted tongue position)
  • Improved self-confidence

These are only some of the benefits of adult orthodontics.

Orthodontic Treatment in Scotts Valley

You’d be surprised at all the ways that Drs. Max and Ariana Ebrahimian can use our comprehensive array of orthodontic services to improve not just your oral health, but your overall wellness and quality of life. Our dentists also are two of the leading practitioners in the country of Orthotropics®, a treatment method that uses oral appliances to encourage the ideal guidance of facial growth.

We are accepting new patients. If you just relocated to Scotts Valley, or are looking for a new dentist in the Santa Cruz area, Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry welcomes you. To learn about any aspect of our program of orthodontics or any of the other services we provide, call our office at (831) 838-4411 to schedule a consultation. We would love an opportunity to explain more about our orthodontic program of treatment that would work best for you or your child.