Besides Braces, What Else Does an Orthodontist Do?

doctor examining before and after braces photos

Whenever someone mentions orthodontics or an orthodontist, people’s minds automatically race to images of braces. But, orthodontists provide services for more than just braces, specifically in the field of the alignment of teeth or the repositioning of jaws- although braces are their primary specialty. Orthodontists have many treatment options and services to fix these common problems. Dr. Michael Payne of American River Orthodontics near Granite Bay, CA is here to explain what services Orthodontists provide.


Although this is not the only orthodontic treatment that orthodontists provide, it is their main one. Braces consist of brackets, wires, and bands which are continually tightened over a specific amount of time to straighten your teeth. Braces are used by many patients near Granite Bay, CA looking to align their smile and create perfect picture teeth. They can also be used for patients with overbites, underbites, over crowding, or gapped teeth, in order to fix these problems. Dr. Michael Payne says most braces are metal with fun colored elastics on the brackets for children. However, they also come in ceramic and clear colors for those who do not want their braces to be extremely noticeable.

Space Maintainers

When baby teeth are lost earlier than normal, space fillers need to be put in so that other teeth do not grow into the space meant for the missing tooth. One of our friends at American River Orthodontics says that these space maintainers are used to keep this space open until more teeth fall out and adult teeth begin to grow in. Fixed Space Maintainers work with a band which is attached to one tooth and a wire which is extended to the tooth on the other side of the missing gap in order to stretch and keep it open.


Like braces, aligners help to straighten teeth and align them. They are used by those looking to fix underbites, overbites, open bites, cross bites, or crowding. Aligners, most often Invisalign near Granite Bay, CA, are clear trays which fit specifically around your teeth in order to mold them to your perfect smile. These aligners are made of a plastic material which makes them virtually invisible to others.

Jaw Repositioning Appliances

Jaw repositioning appliances, sometimes called splints,  are used to move either the upper or the lower jaw in order for the jaw as a whole to close more naturally. Most often, Dr. Michael Payne uses this appliance for patients with temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ.

Lip and Cheek Bumpers

Sometimes, patient’s lips and cheeks can put pressure on teeth and cause some pain or discomfort. One American River Orthodontics associate says lip and cheek bumpers help keep lips and cheeks away from the teeth and reduce or eliminate the pressure, pain, or discomfort which it might be causing.

Palatal Expander

A palatal expander is used to widen the curve of the upper jaw. It is a plastic tray which fits on the roof of the mouth and through screws, pushes out the bones and joints in the mouth.

Removable Retainers

After braces or Invisalign, Dr. Michael Payne suggests using a retainer to keep the teeth from shifting back to their original position. These retainers come in the shape or either a plate that is placed on the roof of the mouth with a metal bar which runs across the top front teeth, or in the shape of a plastic aligner. More often than not, these aligners are worn during the night.


Finally, Orthodontists provide headgear for patients who need to slow the growth of their jaw. Headgear is usually a strap placed around the back of the head which is attached to a metal wire in the front of the mouth. This slows the growth of the jaw and makes sure that teeth are in the right place and fit nicely with the jaw.

Orthodontists provide many more services than just traditional metal braces. Dr. Michael Payne has services for a variety of oral related issues including the alignment of teeth and the repositioning the jaw. American River Orthodontics wants to make sure you receive the perfect orthodontic treatment with braces near Granite Bay, CA, and finding the perfect orthodontic appliance is the first step. For more information of what services Dr. Michael Payne and American River Orthodontics can provide, please call 916.786.2442.


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Sacramento, CA 95864


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