What is Orthodontics?

The purpose of orthodontics is to treat any type of malocclusion, or "bad bite." When you have a malocclusion, that means your teeth, lips and/or jaws don't line up the way they should. As a result, your teeth may be crooked, your bite may not work correctly and your jaws may look unbalanced. To correct malocclusion, Orthodontists, dentists who are specially trained, use braces and other corrective appliances and procedures, to achieve tooth and jaw alignment. This correction of the teeth and their supportive structures makes for a healthy, attractive smile.


Braces are applied to teeth for various reasons, including poorly aligned jaws, crooked, crowded and missing teeth, or a bad bite (also called malocclusion). Braces are made from extremely lightweight and natural-colored materials. Braces are bonded to the surfaces of the teeth but can be later removed. People can expect to wear braces for about two years, but can differ in some cases. Braces put pressure on one side of your teeth, and the bone on the other side gives way. The tooth moves and new bone grows in behind. Braces use steady, gentle pressure over time to move your teeth into a more pleasing, healthy position. The two main components of your braces are brackets and the main arch wire that is attached to them. The bracket is a piece of metal or ceramic that is bonded to each tooth. The arch wire is bent to reflect your ideal bite - the way your teeth should look after treatment. The arch wire is threaded through the brackets and as the wire tries to return to that ideal shape, it applies pressure to make your teeth move. Orthodontic appliances need to be adjusted from time to time to ensure they continue to move the teeth into their correct position, so regularly scheduled appointments are needed to ensure teeth move correctly.




Incognito™ braces are a new generation of orthodontic braces for teens and adults. Incognito™ braces are placed behind your teeth so no one will know you are wearing them unless you tell them. Incognito braces are the only 100% customized orthodontic braces available on the market today. Because no two people are alike, no two sets of Incognito™ braces are alike. These unique braces are created using state-of-the art technology and are completely invisible. With Incognito™ braces, patients see immediate results and experience minimal discomfort and speech interference. Incognito™ braces are made from gold, thus eliminating nickel allergies. Incognito braces have a unique, customized prescription created by Dr. Bock to ensure you get the results that you want. With Incognito™ baces you get efficient, effective tooth movement and great aesthetics.

To learn more about Incognito™ baces, visit their website at www.incognito.com


Traditional orthodontic treatment involves "tying in" archwires with elastic bands or small stainless steel wires. The Damon™ system self-ligating braces have a patented, built in "sliding door" that holds the wire, allowing it to move more freely to straighten your teeth. Because of its unique sliding door, the Damon™ system allows us to use high-tech, light-force wires to achieve tooth movement. This means less pressure on your teeth for more comfortable treatment with fewer office visits to achieve your beautiful new smile. The Damon™ System is the only self-ligating system clinically proven to dramatically reduce treatment times, provide exceptional results and significantly improve patient comfort.

To learn more about the Damon™ System, visit their website at www.damonsystem.com



Invisalign™ uses a series of clear aligners that are custom-molded to fit you. The course of treatment involves changing aligners approximately every two weeks or as prescribed by Dr. Bock, moving your teeth into a straighter position step by step, until you have a more beautiful smile. And unlike braces, these clear aligners can be removed while you eat and brush your teeth as usual. Dr. Bock sees patients every 6 to 8 weeks for adjustments and to check progress. At regular intervals, you'll receive a new set of custom-molded clear aligners to continue the straightening process. The total number of clear aligners is specific to you, determined by Dr. Bock for your course of treatment.

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TAD is an acronym for "temporary anchorage device". The TAD is a miniature implant that we temporarily fix to the bone. It serves as an anchor for moving specific teeth in the most controlled and predictable way possible. TADs are made of a sterile medical-grade titanium alloy. TADs are placed in the office by Dr. Bock and are virtually pain-free. In certain cases, they can eliminate cumbersome appliances (e.g., headgear), and provide an alternative to surgical correction. TADs also allow us to treat cases better and faster than ever before.


Dr. Bock decides to use either fixed or removable appliances based on an individual patient's treatment needs and self-compliance. Fixed appliances are usually fixed to the upper and lower molar teeth and may not be removed by the patient. Removable orthodontic appliances are effective only if they are worn for several hours a day according to Dr. Bock's directions. Appliances are used to normalize growth discrepancies between the upper and lower jaw. They use the muscle action from speaking, eating and swallowing to create forces that move teeth and align the jaws to correct malocclusion problems.


 The Herbst appliance is used for correcting Class II malocclusions. The Herbst is banded to the upper and lower first molars and a tube and rod are connected to the upper and lower jaw. The upper and lower parts are connected on each side by the tube and rod. As the mouth closes, the lower rod slides into the upper tube until it contacts the tube, holding the lower jaw forward. The principal function of the Herbst appliance is to hold the underdeveloped lower jaw forward in the normal and correct biting position and still allow the mouth to open and close. The patient wears it for 8 to 10 months and during that time it enhances the growth of the lower jaw in a forward direction. The Herbst is successful because the bones and muscles are in proper function and alignment 24 hours a day.



The mandibular anterior repositioning appliance, or also known as the Mara, is also used for correcting Class II malocclusions. The Mara is banded to the upper and lower first molars. "Elbows" slide into tubes on the upper part of the appliance and when the mouth closes these elbows guide the bite into the correct position. The Mara appliance is used to enhance the growth of the lower jaw in a forward direction, while at the same time applying pressure to the upper jaw in a backwards direction. The patient wears the Mara appliance for 10-12 months. Like the Herbst appliance, the Mara is successful because the bones and muscles are in proper function and alignment 24 hours a day.




A headgear is an extra-oral appliance used in the treatment of some patients. A headgear creates a push or pulling force to guide the teeth and jaws into correct jaw alignment. Depending on the malocclusion, different kinds of headgear can be used. Bands are cemented to the upper first molars and the headgear is uniquely fit to the patient. It is usually worn for 12-14 hours a night and can be taken on and off. The patient wears headgear and/or elastics until the malocclusion is corrected, usually the entire length of orthodontic treatment.




Elastics are an extra-oral force to guide the teeth and jaws into correct jaw alignment. They can be worn in any number of configurations and are attached to hooks that are part of the brackets or bands. Elastics are placed onto the hooks by the patient. They are generally worn 22-24 hours a day and do require lots of cooperation from the patient. Elastics are worn until the malocclusion is corrected, usually until treatment is complete.



A rapid palatal expander, or also known as an RPE, is an appliance that widens the roof of the mouth. This expansion of the palate allows room for crowded teeth to grow naturally, and/or expands the upper jaw to more closely fit the lower jaw. The RPE is banded to the upper first molars and patients are expanderrequired to turn the appliance as prescribed by Dr. Bock. This "turning" of the RPE puts pressure on the molars, which cause the palate to expand. The patient wears the RPE for a short period of time, generally 3-6 months, and then it is replaced with a trans-palatal arch, or TPA.



 A trans-palatal arch, or also known as a TPA, is usually used after an RPE. The TPA is a holding device to ensure the palate does not collapse after expansion has been done. The TPA is banded to the upper first molars. The patient usually wears it for the duration of orthodontic treatment.



TONGUE CRIBtonguecrib

A tongue crib is used to control such habits such as a tongue thrust or thumb sucking. Depending on the habit, a tongue crib is either banded to the upper or lower first molars and a "cage" prevents the patient's habit from continuing. The patient wears the tongue crib usually for the duration of orthodontic treatment.



Retainers are used once orthodontic treatment is complete. Retainers are needed to hold teeth in their new position while surrounding bone and gums adjusts to this new position. The length of time a patient wears retainers varies and is determined only by Dr. Bock. There are 3 different kinds of retainers: hawleys, trutains, or fixed retainers. The most common type is the hawley retainer, which is made of a metal wire that surrounds the teeth and keeps them in place. It is anchored in a specially-molded, sometimes brightly colored acrylic form that sits in the palate or floor of the mouth. Top and bottom retainers are usually made as prescribed by Dr. Bock. Another type is the trutain retainer. This clear or transparent retainer fits over the entire arch of teeth and is also made from a mold. It is similar in appearance to Invisalign trays. Trutain retainers are less expensive, more aesthetic and easier to wear than hawley retainers. Another type is the fixed retainer. A fixed retainer typically consists of a passive wire bonded to the tongue-side of the lower incisors, but other teeth can be treated in similar fashion. The bonded wire does not allow teeth to move. A fixed retainer is Dr. Bock's pereferred type of retainer. Upon completion of orthodontic treatment, Dr. Bock will prescribe the best type of retainer for you.