Case of the Month


May case of the month 2019

Note: Lip closure obtained after the bite is corrected.  We focus on "facial balance" not just aligning the teeth.

Orthodontic Magic

Underbite corrected, teeth nicely aligned, decrease gum tissue display! This is one of many cases we have treated on patients who have gone their entire life being told they need jaw surgery. Dr DiGiovanni was able to camouflage the underlying skeletal problem and obtain a very healthy and functional bite with great esthetics. If you've been told you need jaw surgery and would like to see if there is a way to have the bite and smile you've always wanted, see a board certified orthodontist. Other examples on our website can be viewed on our Alternatives to Jaw Surgery page.


April case of the Month 2019

Severe Crowding (9 year old)

Interceptive (phase I) treatment was used to expand the upper jaw to create space and maximize smile esthetics. During phase I the bite was corrected and space was created to avoid tooth extractions. Many patients are now using Invisalign in phase 2 in lieu of braces in that they are opting for a less noticeable appliance in middle and high school. Invisalign would NOT have been an option if the correction achieved in phase I did not occur.


March Case of the Month

What a difference a space makes! A gap between the teeth is known as a "diastema" here caused by improper swallowing or a "tongue thrust". The pressure of thetongue against the teeth can profoundly displace teeth to cause serious bite problems and negatively affect the esthetics of the smile. It is necessary for all teeth to be able to touch for proper bite function. If only the back teeth touch they will wear and can break or fracture over time even involving tooth loss. Sometimes the imbalance in the bite caused by a tongue thrust results in the need for jaw surgery. The persistence of a tongue thrusting against the front teeth when swallowing can prevent or prolong orthodontic treatment and even worse cause a total relapse of the corrected result. This patient had complete upper and lower braces in conjunction with tongue thrust therapy (during treatment for 6 weeks) to correct the cause of the splaying of the front teeth. The right-side photo (18 months after braces were removed) shows a beautiful and stable result.



Non-surgical elimination of gummy smile. There have been a lot of studies on what constitutes the most "ideal" smile. When it comes to how much gum tissue is diplayed, the most esthetic smiles show all of their upper teeth and 2-3mm of gum tissue. Some people don't show enough of their teeth when they smile and others, like this patient showed excessive gum tissue when smiling. New innovations in orthodontics allow Dr. DiGiovanni to properly position the upper anterior teeth while decreasing the 8-9mm of gums showing to the ideal 2-3mm. Use of small removable "temporary anchorage devices" make contemporary orthodontic tooth movement accomplish things that once could only be accomplished using surgery. But now, like in this patient braces and TADS dramatically improve the smile without surgery. 22 months of treatment with braces


WHY would my child need 2 phases of braces.... Great question!


ANTERIOR CROSS BITE (underbite) (8 year old)

Interceptive treatment was used to expand the upper jaw and with braces to position the upper front teeth ahead of the lower front teeth. Notice the difference in the gum tissue display when the upper teeth are properly aligned. Interceptive treatment at this dental stage is predictable and stable. Leaving this condition until all the permanent teeth erupt (age 11-12) could result in strain on the jaw by constantly protruding it and breaking the front teeth. She is now wearing a retainer and the result is stable! Success!


December case of the month

It's easy to make teeth straight but it is difficult to do it correctly Photo on the left is a deceptively difficult case. Our beautiful patient has almost no crowding and often patients with a nice smile like hers are hesitant to have braces or Invisalign. But if you look closely the smile is narrow, the midline is fully off center which reveals an underlying bite problem. Dr. DiGiovanni placed braces with custom wires to aesthetically broaden the arches while correcting the midline and hence the bite. If you look closely at the two smiles you will see a subtle yet improved wider smile.

To see other "2 phase magic" cases on our website: CLICK HERE!