We welcome patients from Dubuque, Davenport, Cedar Rapids - Iowa
Galena - Illinois
Orthodontic treatment with metal dental braces is a conservative and effective method for improving your smile and oral health. Dr. Ted Murray and Dr. Kristen Berning can create your most beautiful, natural smile using the latest diagnostic equipment and advanced orthodontic procedures.
Despite what we see on TV and in magazines, very few people have perfectly straight teeth naturally. Many turn to orthodontics to achieve the straight smile they desire. Straight teeth often appear whiter and brighter because no shadows are cast on them. They are easier to clean and maintain at the dentist’s office and at home, and offer enhanced function and beauty.
How Metal Dental Braces Straighten Teeth
Metal dental braces are the most widely used tooth-straightening system. They work by applying gentle, constant pressure to the teeth to coax them into their new positions. Small metal brackets are bonded to the front of each tooth. A wire passes through each bracket and is tightly attached with tiny rubber bands. The rubber bands place slight tension on the wires. This tension transfers to the brackets, gradually shifting the teeth into a more correct alignment.
Your First Orthodontic Visit
Your first visit to the orthodontist involves a thorough dental examination to determine if braces are needed and when treatment should begin. Included in this comprehensive evaluation are:
- Digital x-rays and photographs – to image the roots and how your teeth and jawbone work together
- Dental impressions – to record how your upper and lower teeth meet (your bite)
- Temporomandibular joint evaluation – to rule out TMJ and verify that the jaw joints are working properly
From these records and other information, Dr. Ted Murray and Dr. Berning tailor a treatment plan for you.
Taking Care of Your Braces
How long you will wear braces depends on the extent of correction necessary. The average orthodontic treatment period is 18 to 30 months, including two active correction stages followed by a retention stage.
You can help treatment to go smoothly by following your dentist’s instructions exactly in caring for your teeth and braces. For example:
- To prevent cavities and gum disease, brush to remove food and plaque
- To prevent the wires bending or breaking, avoid hard, sticky foods and don’t chew on ice or hard objects like pens or pencils.
At Exceptional Dentistry, we work closely with the patient and with the parents when appropriate. We take a team approach that will provide the most effective impact on treatment length and your pleasing results.
Please see our page on Invisalign for an alternative to braces.
Please call or email our office to schedule your orthodontic consultation at Exceptional Dentistry, serving Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, and Davenport, Iowa.
Monday- Thursday 8am-5pm
4200 Asbury Road
Dubuque, IA 52002