About Orthodontics

About Orthodontics

Why Braces?

Your dentist may have discussed with you the benefits of having healthy teeth and proper jaw alignment. Crooked and crowded teeth are hard to clean and maintain. This can result in tooth decay, worsen gum disease and lead to tooth loss. Other orthodontic problems can contribute to abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, inefficient chewing function, excessive stress on gum tissue and the bone that supports the teeth, or misalignment of the jaw joints. These can lead to chronic headaches and face or neck pain. Treatment by an orthodontist can be less costly than the additional care required to treat dental problems arising as a result of orthodontic problems. For most people, a beautiful smile is the most obvious benefit of orthodontics. After your braces come off, you'll feel more self-confidence and social acceptance.

Braces for All Ages


Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age, and adults especially appreciate the benefits of a beautiful smile. One of every five patients in orthodontic treatment is over 21. Jaw surgery is more often required for adult orthodontic patients because their jaws have finished growing. Adults also may have experienced some breakdown or loss of their teeth and bone that supports the teeth and may require periodontal treatment before, during, and/or after orthodontic treatment. Bone loss can also limit the amount and direction of tooth movement that is advisable.


It is recommended that children be seen by an orthodontist by age 7 to advise if orthodontic treatment is required and to determine the best time for that patient to be treated. The first permanent molars and incisors are usually fully visible by that time and crossbites, crowding, and other problems can be evaluated. When treatment is initiated early, the orthodontist can guide the growth of the jaw and guide incoming permanent teeth. Early treatment can also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions and reduce the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth. Other benefits include correct thumb-sucking and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems. In other words, early treatment can simplify later treatment.

How Orthodontic Treatment Works

Orthodontic appliances can be made of metal, ceramic, or plastic. Some are removable and others may be bonded to the teeth. By placing a constant, gentle force in a carefully controlled direction, braces slowly move teeth to a corrected position.

This is a great time to wear braces! Gone are the days when a metal band with a bracket was placed around each tooth. We offer several options to best suit each patient that enters our office! You can choose brackets that are clear ceramic or metallic colored stainless steel. With the stainless steel braces, we have a variety of colored ties(small elastic bands that hold the wire in place) to highlight your improving smile and show off your style! Wires have also become less noticeable than they used to be and the latest materials move teeth faster with less discomfort to patients, so your improvement will be more of a focus than your braces! For milder cases, treatment without the use of braces may be discussed.

Duration of Treatment

Treatment time typically ranges from one to three years, depending on the growth of the patient's mouth and face and the severity of the problem. Patients grow at different rates and will respond variously to orthodontic treatment, so the time for case completion may differ from the original estimate. The patient's diligent use of any prescribed rubber bands or headgear is an important factor in achieving the most efficient treatment. Interceptive, or early treatment procedures, may take as few as six months.

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Orthodontist John O. Fishell Jr. || 17 Arentzen Boulevard, Suite 102 - Charleroi, PA 15022
1201 Broughton Road - Pittsburgh, PA 15236 || 628 E. McMurray Rd. - McMurray, PA 15317
Weirton Medical Building - Weirton, WV 26062

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