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Dentofacial orthopedics deals with changing or guiding the growth of a patient’s bone structure in order to normalize any imbalances of the face and jaws. An orthodontist can become a specialist in dentofacial orthopedics by completing a two- to three-year orthodontic residency after dental school.

Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics both use some of the same tools and techniques, like headgear, expanders, and braces. But while orthodontics deals mainly with straightening the teeth, dentofacial orthopedics actually guides facial growth and development. Treatment often begins when a patient is 7 or 8 years old.

Among the many benefits, when used correctly the proper appliances can influence such factors as the speed and direction of jaw growth, tooth eruption and positioning, correction of a severe overbite, and widening of a narrow upper jaw.

Since children’s bones have not completed the growth process, appliances can be used very effectively to correct a variety of problems and ensure a better outcome of orthodontic treatment.

Dr. Michael Kierl is an orthodontist and dentofacial orthopedist who practices in Northwest Oklahoma City, with satellite offices in El Reno and Pauls Valley.

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Dr. Michael Kierl, Orthodontist

From the moment a patient first gets braces, his biggest question is, how long before they are removed? The patient’s desire for a better smile comes at the price of adjustment discomfort and some self-consciousness. Fortunately for brace wearers, the new SureSmile system can reduce the duration of treatment by as much as 35 percent. The efficiency and effectiveness of the SureSmile system was recently verified by the World Journal of Orthodontics.

The SureSmile technique improves on traditional orthodontic braces by using computer imaging technology to create a virtual replica of a patient’s teeth. Using this, a qualified orthodontist calculates exactly how the braces need to be adjusted for optimal repositioning. Instead of the traditional method of adjusting archwires by hand, SureSmile uses robotics to achieve precisely the right bends in the archwires as prescribed by the treating orthodontist. By employing the most exact measurements, the SureSmile system offers the most efficient option for a perfect smile.

About the Author: Dr. Michael Kierl utilizes the SureSmile system in his Oklahoma City orthodontic practice. A member of the American Association of Orthodontics, Dr. Kierl is also an Adjunct Instructor in the Dental Hygiene Department at Rose State College.

A straighter smile can bring newfound confidence, but it is important to take good care of your braces. Improper care can result in damaged teeth, white spots, and even infection. There are several important guidelines to follow to get great results from braces.

First of all, dental hygiene is extremely important while wearing braces. Food particles can easily get stuck in areas where the orthodontic appliances contact the teeth, leading to decay on the teeth. This is essentially how cavities are formed in a tooth’s crevasses or between teeth. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, if not after every meal, and floss daily.

Additionally, there are several foods that should be avoided while one is undergoing comprehensive orthodontic care. Soda, which is high in sugar and very acidic, can increase the risk of cavities. Hard foods like nuts can damage braces and misalign adjustments. Anything chewy, gummy, or sticky should not be eaten. Easily stuck in braces, chewy foods are particularly difficult to brush away and increase the risk of tooth decay. The accumulation of plaque around the braces is the main cause of decay and decalcification (white spots) on the teeth. That is why brushing frequently and flossing daily is so important.

About the Author: For more than 20 years, Dr. Michael Kierl has provided quality orthodontic care using the most innovative and effective techniques. Dr. Kierl practices in Oklahoma City.

by Dr. Michael Kierl, Orthodontist

Orthodontic treatment utilizing the SureSmile system differs from traditional orthodontic treatment in that Dr. Kierl can use the SureSmile computer software to manipulate orthodontic archwires using robotics to guide tooth movement. The precision afforded by the robotics allows for more controlled tooth movements and can reduce the amount of time a patient must spend undergoing orthodontic treatment.

The ability to manipulate superelastic archwires using the SureSmile system results in less discomfort than traditional orthodontic treatment. The SureSmile system reduces the number of wire adjustments a patient needs, which decreases the discomfort the patient may experience during the course of their treatment.

About the Author:

Dr. Michael Kierl has been in practice more than 20 years. He has seen the technology used in orthodontics change a great deal. Dedicated to providing his patients with the most up-to-date treatments possible, Dr. Kierl consistently attends lectures, meetings, and courses in his field. His practice in Oklahoma City, as well as his satellite offices in El Reno and Pauls Valley, provide several types of braces, including the SureSmile system.

Dr. Michael Kierl and his staff seek to provide patients with the highest standard of care. To make this possible, Dr. Kierl’s practice operates using cutting-edge technology, ensuring patient comfort and optimal results. One of the systems utilized by Dr. Kierl and his staff is SureSmile. While traditional braces can take a long time to correct tooth alignment issues fully, Dr. Kierl can utilize the SureSmile system to reduce the patient’s time in braces by as much as 35%. SureSmile allows Dr. Kierl greater precision in manipulating the archwires via a 3-D display created from an accurate scan of the patient’s bite. Dr. Kierl can then have the wires adjusted robotically, allowing for direct tooth movement to the desired positions. While the SureSmile system allows Dr. Kierl to reposition the teeth in a more precise way, it does not cause damage to teeth. Because the SureSmile system requires fewer wire adjustments, patients require fewer appointments and miss less school and work. The archwires Dr. Kierl is able to use for adjustments by utilizing the SureSmile system are more flexible than traditional orthodontic archwires, and thus cause less discomfort.

In orthodontics, identifying potential problems with dentofacial development at an early age is helpful. Implementing treatment sooner rather than later can reduce the duration of the treatment itself.

Regarding aesthetics, earlier orthodontic intervention increases facial symmetry through adjustment of jaw growth. But orthodontics is not just about improving aesthetics. Orthodontic treatment can help improve dental health by creating more space for crowded teeth, which also creates more space for brushing and flossing; keeping space open for incoming teeth; and preventing trauma to front teeth that protrude.

About the Author:

Orthodontist Michael Kierl earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery and completed his specialty training in orthodontics at the University of Oklahoma. He has been in private practice in Oklahoma City since 1989.

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