Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that specializes in correcting malocclusions, or improper bites. It is designed to improve the bite and facial appearance.
The word “ortho” is Greek meaning “straight” and “dentistry” is Latin meaning “tooth.” Orthodontics, therefore, is the science of straightening teeth.
Tooth movement is the main focus of orthodontics. This is because the alignment of teeth influences the function and aesthetics of your smile.
Some of the things that orthodontics can treat are:
The orthodontic process begins with the first visit to a dentist, where a dentist will assess your condition. Then, he or she will determine what type of treatment is best for you. Once the decision is made, you will begin your orthodontic treatment.
Your dentist will place brackets on your teeth and use wires to move them into the correct position. Brackets are small, round devices that fit over the surface of each tooth. Wires are thin, flexible, and are threaded through the brackets to keep them in place.
After several months, your teeth will start to move into the correct positions. The treatment continues until your teeth are aligned and you are happy with your smile.
Children, adolescents, and adults are all good candidates for orthodontics. This is because orthodontics are usually performed during the formative years of life.
Orthodontics can correct any malocclusion, or improper bite. For example, an overbite is when a person has too much space between their upper and lower teeth. An underbite is when a person has too little space between their upper and lower teeth.
Orthodontics also corrects crowding, which means that the teeth are too close together. Crowding can lead to jaw problems and other dental issues.
Orthodontics can also improve the facial appearance of a person. This is because the alignment of teeth affects the facial balance and appearance.
There are three types of orthodontics:
This is the most common type of orthodontics and is the most traditional method. In traditional fixed braces, the dentist makes a mold of the patient’s teeth. Afterward, the dentist creates a custom-made set of braces.
There are two types of traditional braces:
Self-ligating braces are removable and have spring-like clasps that are easy to use. This makes it easier to clean between each appointment.
Braces are typically worn for about a year.
Braces are effective for most cases. However, they may not be as effective for adult patients. This is because some adults have a hard time wearing traditional braces for an extended period of time.
For these reasons, it is important to find an orthodontist who understands how to treat adults.
Lingual braces are made from a plastic material and are bonded to the back of the teeth. They are more effective than traditional braces and are less likely to cause problems with eating.
However, lingual braces are more expensive than traditional braces and require more time for treatment.
Invisalign is one of the most popular orthodontic treatments today. This is because it is invisible and does not require brackets or wires.
It is also a convenient treatment because it is easy to remove and can be taken out at home.
Invisalign uses clear plastic trays that are custom-made to fit over the patient’s teeth. They are removable and fit over the teeth like regular retainers.
Invisalign is a series of clear trays that are designed to be worn every day for several weeks.
Each tray is created with 3D digital imaging technology. This allows the dentist to view the patient’s teeth in the computer and create a customized treatment plan.
When the treatment plan is complete, the patient takes the trays to a lab. At the lab, a technician takes impressions of the patient’s teeth and creates a series of trays. These trays are sent back to the dentist, who then sends them to the patient’s home.
Invisalign is often recommended for patients who have a hard time wearing traditional braces.
Braces are essential for both children and adults. Children benefit from braces because it helps them grow into healthy adults. Additionally, braces prevent many problems in the future and are a way to improve an individual’s appearance.
Teeth that are aligned properly will also help to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and periodontal disease. These diseases are common complications that occur when teeth are not in their correct positions.
The longer you go without braces, the more likely it is that you will suffer from one of these dental problems. For example, if you don’t get braces until you are 18 years old, you could miss your chance to prevent periodontal disease.
Braces are not always necessary for all patients. Some people just do not need them. In addition, they can be uncomfortable.
For example, brackets and wires can be extremely irritating to sensitive teeth, and some people find that they cause painful spots on the tongue.
However, if you have problems with crooked teeth, braces can help correct these issues. The biggest downside to getting braces is that they can be expensive.
Orthodontics can be a great option for some patients. However, it’s important to discuss any potential concerns with your dentist.
It’s also important to consider your personal situation when choosing orthodontic treatment. You should talk to a dentist about your lifestyle and habits.
Are you a heavy drinker, smoker, or an athlete? Does chewing gum make you feel more comfortable? All of these things can affect whether you would benefit from orthodontics or not.
You should also discuss any medical conditions you have, like migraines or TMJ disorders.
If your dental problems are affecting your oral health, then orthodontics could be a good choice. However, you shouldn’t delay seeking treatment if you have a medical condition that affects your smile.