What is Short Term Orthodontics?
Short term orthodontics (also known as STO) is a form of teeth straightening that focuses on the appearance and alignment of only the front teeth (the teeth that show when someone smiles). This approach does not have a goal of altering how a person’s teeth bite or come together in the back of the mouth. People who seek STO are people who feel generally like their bite and back teeth are fine and they just want their front teeth to look better.
Who is a candidate for Short Term Ortho?
Patients age 15 and up are a candidate for STO as long as their primary orthodontic goals are cosmetic in nature. Requests for this type of treatment may include:
• Teeth that have spaces between them
•Teeth that stick out
•Teeth that are pushed back
• Crooked or crowded teeth that are unesthetic
• Crooked or crowded teeth that are hard to clean
How is Short Term Orthodontics different than Comprehensive Orthodontics?
To best explain this, it is important to understand what Comprehensive Orthodontics actually is. In comprehensive ortho the treatment is separated into two phases that are essentially unnoticeable to the patient and are seen as a smooth continuum of time. The first phase is to level, align and de-rotate any teeth that are out of position. The second phase then focuses on specific tooth relationships, mostly of the back teeth. This is the phase where the treatment is essentially lining up all the “hills and valleys” of the teeth, and making sure they match up according to certain orthodontic theories or standards. The estimated treatment time of comprehensive ortho averages between 2-3 years.
STO is really just the first phase of comprehensive ortho. By focusing on the leveling, aligning and de-rotating of the front teeth, and not continuing on to align the hills and valleys of the back teeth, the treatment time for STO is an average of six months.
Does Short Term Ortho harm my teeth?
In short: no.
There are two things that people worry about when it comes to STO.
First, people worry that STO uses powerful forces and powerful wires to aggressively move teeth into position. The opposite is actually true. The wires that Farmington Village Dental uses for STO are very light and often the wire that we end treatment with is the wire than an orthodontist begins treatment with. No heavy forces are used at all!
The second thing that people worry about is that a process of “slenderizing” each tooth causes damage to the teeth and leaves the teeth more at risk for tooth decay. This process of slenderizing (also called interproximal reduction or IPR) does NOT leave a tooth more at risk for decay (to read more about this google “Interproximal reduction and dental caries”). In fact, teeth that are straight are more easily cleaned and therefore the risk of getting a cavity actually goes down once the teeth are straight. IPR is not only used in short term ortho, it is also sometimes used in comprehensive ortho and it is also commonly used with clear aligners like Invisalign.
What does Short Term Ortho cost?
This is a hard question to answer without seeing your specific case; however, suffice it to say that STO is less expensive than comprehensive ortho.
What makes Dr. Nadeau qualified to do orthodontics?
You will be hard pressed to find a short term ortho doctor with the extensive education and experience of Dr. Monique Nadeau.
Dr. Nadeau is a general dentist who has been providing orthodontic care for her patients for over ten years. Her orthodontic journey began in 2007 when she took her first orthodontics course through Six Month Smiles. She was actually the first dentist in CT to offer this treatment! After completing both their introductory course as well as their masters course Dr. Nadeau then went through all levels of the PowerProx Six Month Braces courses. With her thirst for orthodontic knowledge still not satisfied, she then completed a two year mini-residency through the New England chapter of the International Association of Orthodontics. Dr. Nadeau is now on the board of the IAO – New England and continues to take their advanced courses three weekends a year.
Dr. Nadeau offers both short term orthodontics, comprehensive orthodontics and even myofunctional orthodontics here at at Farmington Village Dental.
To view more pictures of actual cases completed by Dr. Nadeau please visit our website.
Are you in need of orthodontic treatment? Are you looking for a dentist to take care of your dental needs? Farmington Village Dental is currently accepting new patients, and our consultations are FREE. Either click here to request an appointment or call us at 860-676-2288 today. We look forward to taking care of you.