Case of the Month


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!

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