Orthodontics and Braces
UT Southwestern Medical Center offers a fully staffed orthodontics practice, which provides patients with services and procedures to correct malocclusions, or “bad bites.”
Our skilled orthodontists have extensive experience in the design, application, and control of corrective appliances such as dental braces. These appliances are able to bring teeth, lips, and jaws into proper alignment.
Benefits of Straight Teeth
Patients who undergo orthodontic treatment enhance their physical appearance, improving self-esteem and self-confidence. Better yet, they achieve improved long-term oral health. And, newer technologies, like invisible braces, spare adult patients from the embarrassing shiny braces of the past.
Straight teeth help us to effectively bite, chew, and speak. Teeth that are in alignment are less prone to tooth decay, gum disease, and injury. Correcting a bad bite also prevents excessive wear on tooth surfaces.
Treatment by an orthodontist to correct a problem early may be less costly than the restorative dental care that will be required in later years to correct serious conditions.
Fortunately, healthy teeth can be moved at any age, making it possible for adults as well as children to receive orthodontic care. In fact, one in five orthodontic patients is an adult.
What to Expect
New patients receive a thorough evaluation by a team of orthodontic specialists.
The evaluation generally includes:
- Clinical examination
- Gathering of medical and dental history
- Photos of the face
- Plaster study models of teeth
- X-rays of the mouth and head
Our physicians then create a comprehensive, individualized treatment plan that may include a variety of orthodontic appliances and techniques, such as dental braces, elastics hooked to teeth, headgear, functional appliances, plus palatal expanders and retainers. Surgery may be recommended for severe orthodontic problems.