Regardless of the cause—continual sleeping on one side, which can push teeth out of alignment; dental decay, which eats away at enamel and affects how the teeth fit together; or filling a cavity that requires the bite to be reworked —our teeth tend to shift over time, with the end result being spaces, gaps, crookedness and misalignment which all can be fixed. New York cosmetic dentist Irwin Smigel, DDS, says, “There is a range of options that can straighten your teeth. Some work in as little as an hour, while others don’t offer results for a year or more, depending on the extent of fixing needed.
For those who want to decrease the amount of time spent in braces, dental implants that support tooth movement are a great alternative. “We can place mini-implants, without the crown on top, in between the teeth after braces are applied to push the teeth in the right direction,” says Chevy Chase cosmetic dentist Youssef Obeid, DDS. “In order for the teeth to move, there needs to be a stabilizing force that puts pressure on them. Usually, this comes from braces on surrounding teeth. But, in this case, the implant drives the movement, eliminating the need for braces on every tooth,” he says. The implants used are also much smaller than traditional- sized implants. “We anchor them into the jaw, and they remain there until the end of orthodontic treatment, which is reduced by half the time it would otherwise take,” he says.
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