Treatment Options

Orthodontics for All Ages

With over 33 years of orthodontic experience, our patients have ranged in age from 5 to 85 years old, with approximately 25% of our current patients being adults. We recognize that each patient has different needs, and we pride ourselves in the courteous service we deliver to every patient who walks through our doors.

Metal and Ceramic Braces

For the vast majority of orthodontic patients, wearing fixed appliances (commonly called braces) will be a major part of treatment — and those braces, for the most part, will be the familiar silvery-metal type. But while they're still quite popular, traditional-looking metal braces are no longer the only game in town! Let's have a look at some of the options available in orthodontic appliances.

First, we should distinguish between fixed and removable appliances. Fixed appliances like braces are attached to the teeth by metal bands or special cement. They aren't normally taken off until treatment is complete. Removable appliances, such as clear aligners, are typically worn some 22 hours per day, but may be easily taken off as needed. While clear aligners can be effective in treating mild to moderate orthodontic problems, fixed appliances are generally needed for more comprehensive treatment.

Metal Braces

Typically made of high-grade stainless steel, traditional metal braces remain by far the most common type of fixed orthodontic appliances. They consist of metal bands that wrap around the molars in back in certain cases, and smaller metal brackets that are cemented to the front surfaces of the other teeth. A thin, springy metal wire, running through the brackets, gently guides the teeth into a proper position. This archwire may be fixed to the brackets by flexible elastics, metal ties, or other types of clasps.

There are many good reasons why time-tested metal braces remain popular — because they offer a reliable, effective and economical treatment option. In contrast to the appliances of the past, today's braces are actually smaller, lighter, and more comfortable to wear. If you want a less traditional look, you may be able to choose colorful elastics for the brackets, or other modifications.

Ceramic Braces

Clear ceramic braces are a new variation on the traditional system that provides a far less noticeable method of treatment. They use the same components as traditional braces — except that the brackets on the front side of the teeth are made of a translucent ceramic material that blends in with the tooth's natural color. This system has become a favorite for adults (including some well-known celebrities) because, unless you look closely, it's hard to notice they're there.

Several types of ceramic braces are currently available, and the technology is constantly improving. Their aesthetic appeal is undeniable... but there are a few tradeoffs. The ceramic brackets can be less durable than their metal counterparts, so extra care must be used. Ceramic braces also cost more than metal — but for many people, the benefit of having an inconspicuous appliance outweighs the costs.

Invisalign® Aligners

Invisalign clear aligners are made of almost invisible polyurethane plastic. Rather than being cemented or bonded to the teeth as metal or clear braces are, clear aligners are completely removable — for important social occasions, for eating, and, most importantly, for tooth-brushing and flossing. This advantage can also be a disadvantage: It means you must resist the temptation to take your aligners out more than is advised.

Clear aligner technology has been improving over the years and can correct many malocclusions that once would have been too complicated for this form of treatment. Yet there are still some situations for which traditional braces would still be best. We would be happy to discuss this in detail with you.

Advantages of the Invisalign System

Improved Oral Hygiene

With an orthodontic appliance that is removable, you will be able to clean your teeth much more easily than if you were wearing metal braces.

A Discreet Look

If you consider your orthodontic treatment to be a private matter, or simply feel that metal braces don't fit with your self-image, a practically invisible form of orthodontic treatment might suit you.

More Dietary Choices

To protect metal wires and braces, some diet modifications are necessary. With clear aligners, you can still bite into an apple or a crispy pizza crust.


The soft, flexible material of which Invisalign aligners are made will not irritate the soft tissues of the mouth, as metal wires and braces can.

Teeth-Grinding Protection

If you have a teeth-grinding or clenching habit, clear aligners can function as thin nightguards that will protect your teeth from excessive wear.

Corrective Surgery

Jaw surgery, or Orthognathic surgery, is completed in collaboration with your Orthodontist and a Maxillofacial oral surgeon. The etiology of any speciffic malocclusion can be more dental related, or it can primarily be due to discrepancies in the skeletal base and imbalances between the maxilla and mandible. Combined orthodontic and orthognathic treatment can be done to correct significant skeletal and dental irregularities in the jaw and face.

Dr. Shin and Dr. Alexander will create a comprehensive treatment plan for you and walk you through the complete treatment scope, ensuring we answer any questions you may have. We understand that surgery is a big decision, and for the last three decades, we have helped our patients feel at ease along the journey to a beautiful, functional smile.

Complex Treatments

No two people are the same, and your orthodontic treatment plan should reflect that. Depending on the complexity of your case, a multidisciplinary approach will be used. This means Dr. Shin and Dr. Alexander will work closely with a team of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, Periodontists, Prosthodontists, Endodontists, and other dental and medical specialities as needed, to best assess and treat jaw irregularities, compromised bone structure, damaged and missing teeth, and other disorders. We will guide your treatment, lead you on the next steps, and make your journey efficient and as easy as possible.


Dr. Shin and Dr. Alexander use three types of retainers to best meet your individual need for retention:

  • Removable clear retainers that look like Invisalign Aligners.
  • Removable retainers that have a wire on the outside of the teeth and colored or clear acrylic on the inside.
  • Non-removable retainers that consist of a wire bonded to the inside of the teeth.
  • Removable retainers are fragile and costly to replace. You are given a special case for your retainers; please make sure you keep them in this case when not wearing them! To clean these retainers, follow the instructions given to you for the type of retainers that you have.

Your retainers should be worn at all times with the exception of eating and brushing your teeth. Your retainers should also be removed when participating in sports that require a mouthguard or while swimming. You will be instructed when you can reduce the time required to wear your retainers and will be given long-term instructions once your teeth are stable with the retainers being worn at night. Your final orthodontic result depends on your retainers, so follow through with the hard work you’ve put in so far!

Night Guards

Occlusal splints, or night guards, protect your teeth from grinding, headaches, jaw pain from TMJ disorder, and excessive clenching of the jaw. These splints can also function as removable retainers and are often used as retainers after orthodontic treatment. There are certain indications for night guards, and we will evaluate which splint is best suited for your needs.


We are committed to providing our patients with the latest and most advanced technology to provide the highest level of orthodontic care for the entire family. We invest in the latest technological advances in the industry, and in turn, we invest in you. We will work with you personally to create a customized treatment plan tailored to meet your individual needs and lifestyle.

Our Tech

See Your Results with iTero

What if you could visualize your treatment journey and final results before committing? This cutting-edge digital scanner lets you see exactly how your teeth will adjust and the expected outcome. Visualize your treatment journey and final results before even starting treatment. This scanner allows us to take measurements of your mouth, allowing us to accurately predict and initiate tooth movement safely in the dentoalveolar bone.

Advanced Digital Technology

We use digital technologies to assist in analyzing, planning, and implementing precise and effective orthodontic care- made for you. 3D images, optical scanning, and digital treatment planning provide instant, streamlined, and highly detailed information to get you outstanding results and a better patient experience. We are able to safely move teeth within the confines of your dentoalveolar bone and supporting structures. These digital techniques give us detailed information to safely and efficiently move your teeth. Whether it’s impacted canines, measuring root spaces for future implants, these technological advances provide optimum treatment planning, quality results, and safety.

Olympia’s Choice Orthodontist