Orthodontic Treatment in Minnetonka, Excelsior, and Wayzata

Orthodontics is a specialized field of dentistry that focuses on correcting misaligned teeth and jaws to improve their function and appearance. Modern orthodontics offer a variety of orthodontic treatments, from metal braces to clear aligners, and each is designed to address specific dental issues.

Our experts at Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics in Wayzata, Excelsior and Minnetonka can assess your specific case and find the best treatment for your needs and lifestyle. Learn more about how orthodontics work, the options available, and how it can help you achieve your best smile!

What Is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the dental specialty that addresses the diagnosis, prevention, interception, guidance, and correction of bad bites or dental irregularities. A specialist known as an orthodontist is the right person to consult for your orthodontic treatment. These specialists attend two or more additional years of education after four years of dental school. 

You may think that straightening your teeth only has aesthetic benefits, but really the purpose has a lot more to do with health—crooked teeth can be hard to clean, which can lead to tooth decay or periodontal disease. Teeth that don’t fit correctly can make it harder to chew, leading to headaches, shoulder or back pain, and even temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.

In the past, orthodontic treatment was associated with children and teens, but orthodontists can help people of any age. At Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics, we provide family orthodontics and ensure you can achieve a healthy and beautiful smile no matter your age!

How Does Orthodontics Work?

Orthodontic treatment uses devices or appliances to guide teeth to their ideal positions over a period of time. Tooth movement happens by applying gentle pressure and strategically moving the tooth through the bone into the desired position. The bone then regenerates in the previous position of the tooth, and your jaw muscles are retrained into the right place.

Orthodontic treatments could involve fixed or removable appliances. Depending on your specific needs and circumstances, your orthodontist will advise you on which approach is the right one for you. At the end of “active” treatment (when teeth are being moved), patients will wear retainers to ensure their teeth stay in their new positions.

Types of Orthodontic Treatment & Appliances

Everyone deserves a healthy, beautiful smile. There are several kinds of orthodontic treatments to meet the unique needs of each patient. Depending on your goals, the severity of your case, your lifestyle and more, our experienced team of orthodontic specialists can work with you to develop a customized treatment plan. Read on to learn more about the different types of orthodontic services we offer and how they can benefit you.


Invisalign aligners are a discreet orthodontic solution that uses a series of clear, removable aligners to gradually move teeth into alignment. Patients wear each virtually invisible, customized aligner set for 1-2 weeks, for at least 22 hours per day, removing it for meals, brushing, and flossing.

Today, Invisalign aligners are able to fix nearly all mild to moderately complex teeth straightening and bite issues in a way that is convenient. Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics is a Top 1% Invisalign Diamond Provider, making us experts when it comes to providing Invisalign treatment.

If you want to make a change and are worried about a mouth full of metal wires and brackets, Invisalign treatment might be right for you!


Braces help move your teeth into proper alignment over time by applying gradual, consistent pressure. While the materials used to make them can vary depending on your treatment plan and preferences, braces typically consist of brackets that are bonded to your teeth, connected with an archwire, and held in place by tiny elastic bands. Your orthodontist will periodically adjust this archwire during check-ups to ensure your treatment stays on track.

Our practice offers several types of braces for our patient’s needs, including:

There’s a reason metal braces remain the most commonly used orthodontic appliance: They work, especially for complex cases. At Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics, we use 3M Unitek metal braces, which are smaller and less visible than the clunky appliances used in the past. Although metal braces are more noticeable than other treatment options, they allow you to express your personality by choosing colored elastic bands that match your style.

Clarity ceramic braces offer a more discreet option for orthodontic treatment without sacrificing effectiveness. They are made with a translucent, stain-resistant ceramic material that blends in with your natural tooth color, and the brackets are smaller, smoother, and less noticeable than those on traditional braces.

Early Orthodontic Treatment

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children visit the orthodontist by age 7. The goal of early orthodontic treatment is to intercept a potential orthodontic issue as it develops, eliminate the cause, guide the growth of facial and jaw bones, and create enough space for incoming permanent teeth.

Although treatment at an early age may not be necessary, it’s a good time to find out if there are any potential issues. Often, children who need early orthodontic treatment can reduce their need for extensive dental procedures in the future.

Orthodontic Monitoring

We may decide that early treatment is not necessary. Orthodontic monitoring allows us to continuously track growth, plan the ideal timeline for effective treatment, and prevent serious problems from occurring. Our orthodontic monitoring appointments are scheduled every 6 to 12 months and are provided free of charge.


After your orthodontic treatment, it’s important to give your gums, bones, and muscles a chance to get used to the change. Wearing a retainer helps keep your teeth from moving back to their previous positions by holding them in their correct places so the newly formed bone has a chance to harden around the teeth.

There are various types of retainers, some of which are removable and others that are fixed to your teeth. Wearing your retainers as instructed is the key to maintaining the success of orthodontic treatment.

Emergency Orthodontic Treatment

True orthodontic emergencies are rare, but we’re available to help when they do! If your orthodontic appliances break or loosen, please call our office as soon as possible and we will be able to schedule a time to see you. Please avoid coming directly to the office without calling ahead. If you have a scheduled appointment already, please call to let us know that you need something repaired so that we may add additional time to your appointment.

If you need assistance after hours, please call our office phone line and follow the prompts to reach the person on call.

Should You Seek Orthodontic Treatment?

There are many people dealing with orthodontic issues who may benefit from treatment. Some of the problems that can be solved with orthodontic treatment include:

  • Overjet – when the upper front teeth appear to stick out over the lower teeth.
  • Underbite – when lower teeth are in front of the upper teeth.
  • Crossbite – when your upper teeth fit behind your lower teeth when your mouth is closed.
  • Open bite – when there is a vertical gap between the front lower and upper teeth when biting down.
  • Misplaced midline – when the center of your upper and lower front teeth don’t line up.
  • Spacing – when your teeth don’t seem to fill up your mouth. There appear to be random gaps or spaces between teeth.
  • Crowding – when there is a lack of space for your teeth to fit normally within your jaw.

Many of these issues can put strain on your jaw muscle, make it hard to clean your teeth, and even make your teeth more likely to be damaged. Our orthodontists in Wayzata, Excelsior and Minnetonka can correctly determine which orthodontic treatment is right for you.

Get Expert Orthodontic Treatment in Minnetonka, Excelsior, and Wayzata, MN With Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics

At Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics we specialize in helping our patients achieve healthy, straight, confident smiles. We offer a wide range of treatments to address a variety of orthodontic issues, from minor misalignments to complex cases.

With offices in Minnetonka, Wayzata and Excelsior, we are dedicated to providing you and your family with the personalized care and attention you deserve. We will work with you to determine the best treatment plan to meet your needs. Call us or schedule a consultation online to start your journey towards a beautiful smile today.

Orthodontic Treatment FAQ


  • Your orthodontists’ qualifications:
    • Dr. Stephen R. Nelson – A native of Minnetonka, Dr. Nelson received his DDS degree from the University of Minnesota, graduating first in his class. After receiving specialty training in orthodontics, he began practicing at Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics and joined the Cleft and Cleft Palate Team at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis.
    • Dr. Krestine K. Tiziani – Dr. Tiziani graduated from Harvard University with honors, earning both a dental degree and a Master’s in Public Health. She received specialty training in orthodontics at the University of Minnesota before joining Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics and the Cleft and Craniofacial Team at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis.
    • Dr. Heather M. Carr – Originally from South Dakota, Dr. Carr obtained her DDS degree and her specialty training in orthodontics from the University of Minnesota. Upon completing her studies, she joined the doctors at Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics and now calls Minnesota home.
  • Convenience and Office Environment: Our three locations allow us to offer you and your family a seamless orthodontic experience: Our offices all have the same hours, the same warm and welcoming environment, and the same services. No matter which office you go to, Lake Minnetonka Ortho is excited to welcome you and your family.
  • Treatments Offered:
  • Reputation: Throughout treatment they become part of our family, and we are always excited to hear what they have to say about their experience with us! Learn more about what sets Lake Minnetonka Ortho apart, directly from our amazing patients.

Orthodontics is the brand of dentistry that addresses the diagnosis, prevention, interception, guidance, and correction of misaligned teeth or malocclusions. Orthodontists are the experts you consult for your orthodontic treatment. They evaluate your specific case and help create a personalized plan that works to address your needs and lifestyle.

Fundamentally, the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist is training and how they apply their expertise. Both must get a bachelor’s degree and complete a four-year doctoral program. Orthodontists must then attend two or more additional years of education to become specialized in the field of orthodontics.

Dentists are highly skilled medical practitioners that specialize in general oral health and dental care, and they are responsible for most of your dental health. They handle oral hygiene, cavities, gum disease, prevention, and more, and it’s important to visit your dentist regularly to ensure your oral health. Orthodontists, on the other hand, specialize in smile esthetics, bite function, jaw growth, and development and correction of bite and jaw issues. So all orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are licensed orthodontists.

Yes! Even though our orthodontists will check your teeth during your appointments, they are focused on their movement and the progression of your treatment. Your regular dentist, on the other hand, will monitor the health of your teeth and provide professional cleanings, so it’s important to visit your dentist at least every six months throughout your treatment.

While general dentists are highly trained to treat and diagnose diseases that affect your teeth and gums, it’s important to see a licensed orthodontist for issues that pertain to aligning your teeth and perfecting your smile and bite.

Orthodontists spend two to three years after dentistry school becoming specialized in an orthodontic residency program. This additional training is essential because most dental schools offer limited orthodontic instruction. Orthodontic residency programs offer intensive, focused instruction for dental specialists, where they study craniofacial anatomy and orthodontic theory to fully understand how to create a beautifully straight and perfectly functional smile for every patient they treat.

That means orthodontists have the educational and hands-on experience needed to perfect a patient’s bite. It also means that your orthodontist will have handled numerous cases of varying degrees of difficulty, so he or she will have the experience needed to correct it no matter what.