What is it to be beautiful?
In many unexpected moments throughout our lives we are accosted by the beauty of something, and this can take many forms. It could be the beauty of a piece of music, or the actions of another person, the sound of a child laughing, the smell of an alluring flower or cologne, or even a smile from a stranger. Beauty, in any case, reaches out to us, accosts us with an insistence to pay attention and appreciate the beauty while it is before us. Beauty, as they say, can open many doors, but it can also stop traffic.
The classical definition of aesthetic beauty is often thought of in regards to symmetry; the Ancient Greeks, particularly, displayed an obsession with the symmetry of the human form, as reflected in a myriad of artworks. This obsession with symmetry is only one aspect of a larger category; the category of Harmony which gets less attention, but is of equal or superior value to simple beauty.
Symmetry vs Harmony
For the Ancients, aesthetic beauty was found in all things harmonious within themselves, and with their environments. Symmetry is just one aspect of harmony: harmony can be found in both compliment and contrast. Consider the idea of color and the color wheel, where complimentary colors (those adjacent upon the color wheel) create harmony that can be appreciated by anyone, but harmony is also created by the combination of contrasting (opposite) colors.
Modern life can sometimes promote unhealthy ways to view your own image, which include unreal ideas and expectations of beauty – and even flat out telling you what is and is not beautiful. At Roeder Orthodontics, we recognize that achieving a stellar smile is just as much an art as it is a science. Dr. Roeder believes that aesthetic beauty is found in harmony, which in the case of a smile is about the relationship between all of the elements (not only the teeth, but also the jaw, lips, nose and facial contours) than merely about simple symmetry.
For instance, it is often thought that the simple recipe for a winning smile is having “straight teeth,” but this is not always the case for everyone. In some cases, straight teeth will not necessarily line up with the jaw or the corresponding musculature, and having “straight teeth” can look like synthetic and unnatural. Every smile is different and every individual patient is assessed by Dr. Roeder accordingly to find the natural smile that balances harmoniously with all other contributing factors.
At Roeder Orthodontics, we work with you to find that harmonious balance. Following your initial free consultation, the process begins with a plan based on comprehensive assessment of x-rays, and in discussion with you about your desired outcomes. All functional issues are addressed (establishing harmonious balance between the jaws and aligning the teeth to correct the bite) in tandem with the process of positioning the teeth to balance the facial profile, jaw and musculature. Further fine tuning is then possible (if desired) with micro-rotations of the front teeth to create a natural smile based in aesthetic harmony. Dr. Roeder will work closely with other professionals in a multi-disciplinary capacity, like your dentist or other specialist if warranted, to ensure the best care possible.
Going Beyond the Surface
What goes on under the skin (the teeth, jaw and skeleton) directly affects the resting state of the facial muscles, and is the cause of those beautiful faces which seem to “naturally smile.” We often underestimate the power and influence of non-verbal communications, and we say much more in microseconds with our facial expressions than we are capable of putting into words over hours. It is Dr. Roeder’s goal with every patient to shape the kind of smiles that both open doors and stop traffic – the smiles you can’t help but pay attention to.
Orthodontic Health and Safety
At Roeder Orthodontics, we understand that orthodontic health is holistically related to overall health and wellbeing. Using a combination of methods and apparatus from the hard sciences, and the insights and understandings gleaned from the social sciences, we have elevated orthodontic care to an art form.
The health of our patients and team is paramount in everything we do at Roeder Orthodontics, and we employ state-of-the-art scientific techniques and procedures, while taking patient comfort into consideration.
The Hard Science
- Hospital Standards
- Low Dose X-Rays
- Less invasive techniques and treatments
Universal precautions are taken at Roeder Orthodontics, and our sterilization and infection control precautions exceed hospital standards. In providing the highest standard of care and an enjoyable environment (that feels as “at home” as possible), all team members are kept up to date with regular training, and proper attire, glasses, masks and gloves are worn during treatment and while sterilizing of instruments. Additionally, barrier wraps are used on all surfaces, and are changed with each patient (you’re worth it!)
Low Dose X-Rays
Dental Radiographs (the fancy name for mouth x-rays) allow Dr. Roeder to look beneath the surface (and in the case of developing smiles, to also look into the future.) In modern orthodontics, x-rays provide a preventative diagnostic tool that has become essential in detecting hidden abnormalities and potential future developmental issues. With the health and safety our utmost priority, we use state-of-the-art technologies and techniques including:
- Digital capturing of x-ray images
- Directional cameras and lead body shields
- Low-dose, low-level radiation, at levels considered safe
While some people may be concerned with the levels of radiation involved in having x-rays taken, the amount of accumulated exposure to radiation from a full series of dental radiographs is roughly equal to what a person may expect to receive from natural background sources over the course of a single day. Our environments are full of background radiation that we are exposed to constantly, and advances in technology allow us to minimize exposure and exposure time. An Orthopantomogram (OPG) is a complete x-ray imaging of the mouth, usually only takes around 15-20 minutes in total, and involves the camera moving completely around the face to take the image. While not recommended (or necessary) for everyone, the entire procedure is considered safe and uses only low-level radiation on par with levels from natural daily exposure.
Less Invasive Techniques and Treatments
Through the advances of technology and medicine, Dr. Roeder provides less invasive options as alternatives to drastic procedures. For example, one such option is Palatal Expansion, intervening early to avoid more invasive procedures or surgery later in life. These same advances in technology can also be used in tandem, as in the case with Bite Turbos, to minimize the invasiveness of other treatments, while maximizing their effectiveness.
Particularly with developing smiles, crowded teeth in the upper jaw may not have enough room, and sometimes jaw expansion may be recommended.
The developing jaw of a growing child can sometimes be too small to accommodate a full set of adult teeth, which can lead to teeth overlapping or sitting crooked with one another, and in extreme cases can lead to teeth growing sideways. In the past, orthodontists were left with little alternative to extracting perfectly good teeth just to make room in the developing mouth. Today, however, Dr. Roeder offers the far less invasive treatment of palatal expansion (or Rapid Palatal Expansion – RPE), which uses a device (a palatal expander) to gradually widen the roof of the mouth over the course of a few weeks or months, and is sometimes the only treatment required.
As the roof of the mouth is composed of two separate plates that do not completely join together until adulthood, fitting of a palatal expander allows for the two plates to be gradually eased apart, creating more room for the eruption and development of adult teeth. Because of this, the treatment is far more effective with younger patients, and in many cases is alone sufficient for creating enough room for teeth, avoiding surgery altogether and can make future treatment with braces unnecessary. The palatal expander is fitted to the inside of both upper molars, and consists of two separate pieces that move apart with the turn of an expansion screw. While it may sound intimidating, the appliance is simple enough for parents to be able to make small daily adjustments, and as with any orthodontic appliance or apparatus, oral hygiene is extremely important.
It can sometimes be a problem for patients with an overbite that is in the process of being corrected with braces that the upper teeth may cause damage to the braces on the front of the lower teeth. When this may be a problem, Bite Turbos can be used in conjunction with braces. Placed normally on the back of the upper front teeth, Bite Turbos limit the vertical contact in the bite, which might otherwise cause damage to the lower front braces, even breaking them off. This has the additional benefit of maintaining the space between molars in the back of the mouth, allowing room for the lower molars to erupt to the point of contact, eventually correcting the overbite when the molars keep the front teeth from closing too far.
Bite Turbos are temporary, and may be expected to be removed after only a few months, once they have done their job. Initially, it may be expected that contact between the molars will be less, and patients are encouraged to start with softer foods, working up to harder foods as the bite comes together over time. Separating teeth in this manner releases the constriction caused by the pressure from opposing teeth, allowing for the teeth to move more comfortably. As with any orthodontic procedure or appliance, good oral hygiene is critical and our team can show you the techniques and habits for brushing and maintaining excellent oral hygiene.
The Social Science and the Art
At Roeder Orthodontics, we recognize that people are not machines, and doctors are not mechanics. Having the orthodontic training and expertise to diagnose and correct orthodontic problems is only half of what Dr. Roeder and his team excel in. In addition to their technical training in orthodontics, they are also trained in the psychology of patient relationships, helping to better understand and relate to patient concerns and questions which enable you to be your own best advocate for your goals. Our entire team is hand chosen by Dr. Jeffery Roeder to best serve our family of patients compassionately, according to individual needs. You’ll see how most of our team members have been with RO for many years – there’s a good reason for that. We have synergy, and compassion – an essential mix in the composition of science and art.
We understand that orthodontic treatment can sometimes seem overwhelming or uncomfortable, and we know from years of experience that positive relationships are pivotal to positive health-related outcomes. All of our staff equally prioritize empathy and medical training, and we consider all of our patients to be part of our large and diverse family.
Dr. Roeder and his orthodontic team assist you in achieving your goals by first listening to you; your expectations of treatment and results for your own smile and oral health. Contact us today for your initial no-cost, no-pressure consultation. Our office is located in Asheville, NC and we serve the surrounding communities, including Black Mountain, Canton, Weaverville and Hendersonville. You can call or just stop in any time we are open.