Aerni Dental has been an area leader in the Tip Edge technique for the past 15 years

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Dr. William Aerni offers the full spectrum of dental care, including implants, general dentistry, crowns in a day using the CEREC machine and the Tip Edge method of orthodontic care. (Photography by Benjamin Margalit/Margalit Studio)

By Beth Newcomb

Most of us understand the science behind orthodontics to include metal brackets and wires affixed to crooked teeth to correct positioning and even address jaw issues that affect sleeping, breathing and bite.

But traditional braces hurt, especially when the patient has to have adjustments every few weeks. Oh, and let’s not forget about the fashion-forward headgear.

While the end result is stunning, traveling the road to straighter teeth via braces is typically a long one. But it doesn’t have to be.

Dr. William Aerni, of Aerni Dental, has been an area leader in the Tip Edge technique for the past 15 years. In fact, he trained under world-renowned experts to perfect this method of orthodontia.

“Tip Edge is the most used form of orthodontic care in the world,” he states. “I had a patient who was visiting from Russia come to me for care because she had Tip Edge braces and was having trouble finding someone locally who used them in practice.”

Working in Harmony
To understand the hows and whys behind braces, you first need to understand how the mouth works.

“Teeth are under excessive force, as much as 500 pounds per square inch,” explains Dr. Aerni.

“When we eat or chew, our teeth need to be in harmony. The tongue, joints and muscles in the jaw and the teeth all have to work in harmony. When teeth are not working in harmony, it’s called a malocclusion.”

Malocclusions, he says, need to be corrected. It’s not just about having a beautiful smile.

“When teeth are corrected to accept forces the proper way, they can last a lifetime,” Dr. Aerni asserts. “Correcting malocclusions in children can often prevent more serious conditions in adulthood, like a poor airway, which can affect sleep, and crooked jaw bones, which can contribute to TMJ.”

Dr. Aerni says braces might seem like a pretty straightforward way to fix crooked teeth, but he’s spent years understanding the orthopedics associated with how our teeth come together.

“Putting braces on a kid is more than just creating a beautiful smile,” he notes. “I’m also considering how the muscles and joints in a child’s mouth come together and work, and how to use braces to ensure there is balance in the mouth.”

What’s the Difference?
Most practitioners in the area offer traditional braces, but Tip Edge orthodontics are gaining in popularity every year.

“The difference with Tip Edge is the bracket,” Dr. Aerni explains. “It allows teeth to move in three dimensions—tipping and rotating. What that means to the patient is quicker correction at a lower cost. There are fewer appointments and even severe malocclusion can be effectively corrected.”

And there is little to no discomfort.

“Tip Edge involves the use of two-three ounces of force versus 15 ounces of force with traditional braces, so there is almost no pain,” Dr. Aerni notes. “I’ve treated thousands of patients with great success.”

Have Your Child Evaluated
Because a healthy smile is about more than just straight teeth, Dr. Aerni says every parent should have his or her child’s bite evaluated.

“If we can see a child by age five or six, we can potentially eliminate the need for braces altogether, or ensure a mild concern doesn’t become a bigger one in adulthood,” he says.

“Within just a few minutes, I can tell not only if the teeth are going to be straight, but also if the jaw is shifting and the way the teeth are interacting. I’m looking for functional symmetry, so bones don’t grow crooked.”

Dr. Aerni says improper tongue position can also cause malocclusions and even snoring, so he checks each child’s airway.

“If we can intercept problems early, there will be less to be concerned about later on,” he says. “My goal is to create beautiful smiles that last a lifetime.”

Aerni Dental is located at 11177 Pearl Road, in Strongsville. Office hours are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. The Aerni Dental team provides general dentistry, crowns, orthodontics, dental implants and cosmetic enhancement. Call 440-390-3690 to discuss the many options available, or visit