ALPHARETTA, GA – Remember that monstrous dental apparatus known as head gear? Jan Brady, the middle sister in the Brady Bunch family, was saddled with them at one point and provided a point of reference regarding the fashion problems they presented for multiple generations.
While orthodontic head gear provides a valuable service, it is fraught with problems, fashion being the least of them. They are heavily dependent on patient compliance, often require the removal of teeth, and are uncomfortable to wear and to see. Fortunately, the last few decades have brought a revolution for Alpharetta dental orthodontics in the form of temporary anchorage devices. These devices will not replace head gear, but then can help a patient make dental progress more quickly.
The concept goes as far back as 1945 when Gainsforth and Higley first experimented with temporary anchorage devices in a small group of dogs. When there trial proved successful, the concept slowly spread until now, there are more than a dozen manufacturers of this newer dental appliance. It was not until this century however, that they became a more common solution for Alpharetta adult orthodontics problems. If you are not a candidate for either lingual braces or In-ovation, then these might be part or your orthodontic solution.
Temporary anchorage devices go by many names – mini-implant, micro-implant, mini-screw, and micro-screw – to name a few. Regardless of what you call them, they are most often made with a titanium alloy because it is non-reactive and provides the best outcome for patients.
A major benefit of temporary anchorage devices is that they do not rely as heavily on patient compliance as traditional headgear. Patients have to be intentional about wearing their head gear a minimum of 10 hours a day in order to see results. When a patient is a candidate for a temporary anchorage device, they are always working, achieving similar results in considerably less time. If you have mini-implants, you do not have to schedule your life around hiding at home 10 hours a day.
The installation of mini-implants, combined with Dr. Nima Hajibaik’s training at the Roth-Williams International Society of Orthodontists, means that patients may be less likely to need tooth extractions as well. Avoiding surgery is a much appreciated benefit of mini-implants. The use of mini-implants does not mean there will be no extractions, but the need can be reduced for certain patients.
Generally speaking, they are also installed in a pain-free procedure. A local anesthetic is used to make patients more comfortable, though patients may report feeling pressure during the installation process. In fewer than five minutes, the implant is screwed directly into the bone and can be loaded immediately with the bands or springs necessary to achieve the agreed upon correction. When treatment is complete, the removal of the implant is quick and painless, taking just a few minutes to unscrew from the bone.
The implants do need to be cared for to avoid perimucositis, which is the soft-tissue equivalent to gingivitis. Swabbing them daily with a special solution provided by Dr. Nima prevents this problem though. When the implants are not properly cared for, inflammation can result in damage to the bone and then failure of the implant. At this level of patient care, compliance is much easier than with other appliances.
No matter what you call them, orthodontic practice has been revolutionized with the use of temporary anchorage devices. They are easier for both patients and orthodontists to deal with and come without the social issues that are so common with head gear.
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