Dr. Gamache offers 3 main types of treatment: esthetic metal braces, esthetic ceramic braces, and clear aligners. With all 3 options, you never have to worry about gooey impressions as we use a digital scanner for all our records. We schedule enough time after the initial exam to complete our digital scan if you desire to start orthodontic treatment.
If one of the braces options is chosen, we will typically bond the braces the following week. This allows time for Dr. Gamache to create his indirect bonding setup for the patient. Other offices place the braces directly in the mouth, which is slower and less accurate. Instead, Dr. Gamache uses his indirect bonding technique to allow for placement of all braces (all the way back to your second molars) in about 6-7 minutes while being extremely accurate due to Dr. Gamache setting up all your braces on a 3D-printed model of your teeth under magnification. This high level of accuracy with the placement of the braces allows for a better result in less time than would be found at other offices.
If clear aligners are chosen, plan to have your attachments bonded to your teeth about 4 weeks later. This gives the needed time for Dr. Gamache to submit the case, design all tooth movements through the clear aligner software (think of CAD-CAM), have the aligners manufactured, and shipped back to our office. If we get the aligners back sooner than expected, we try to move the patient up to an earlier bonding date if they wish to start their orthodontic treatment sooner.
Metal braces are the most common type used by orthodontists. Most orthodontists use standard stainless-steel braces that are large, dark in appearance, and require ligatures (colors) to hold them in place. Dr. Gamache uses a unique type of braces that are considered "mini" braces and are coated in rhodium to give a lighter, more esthetic appearance and also use a nickel-titanium door that holds the archwire in place to improve tooth movement and further enhance esthetics. Therefore, traditional colors are not needed on the braces that Dr. Gamache uses, but the colors can still be placed if the patient wishes to show off their braces rather than have them blend into the appearance of their natural teeth.
Ceramic braces are made of translucent (clear) porcelain material that is even less visible than our esthetic rhodium-coated metal braces. Ceramic braces are more popular with adults due to their cosmetic appeal, but many teenagers also opt for the ceramic braces option. Similar to our esthetic rhodium-coated metal braces, the ceramic braces also use a nickel-titanium door to reduce friction between the wire and the braces to aid tooth movement and help reduce the time needed to complete the orthodontic case. Since ceramic braces are made of a porcelain, the braces themselves do not stain or discolor with foods and drinks, similar to a porcelain crown or veneer.
Clear aligners utilize a series of clear, removable plastic aligners to move the teeth from their starting point to their final position. The clear aligners fit snugly over the arches and move teeth by giving specific force vectors via various attachments in the aligners that match to translucent attachments that are bonded onto the teeth. The number, location, and size of the attachments that are bonded to the teeth varies and is unique to each case that Dr. Gamache designs. In order to be effective, the aligners must be worn for a minimum of 22 hours per day, every day. This gives the patient about 2 hours per day to allow for eating, drinking, and oral hygiene, such as brushing and flossing. While clear aligners are not suited for all types of orthodontic correction, clear aligners can be used as a very esthetic treatment option on a wide variety of cases without the need for traditional braces.