Who Can Benefit From Orthodontics?
Orthodontics refers to a branch of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of bad bites (malocclusions) and other problems in the face and jaw area. Orthodontists are trained to correct these issues and restore the teeth’s aesthetic appearance, health, and functionality. Though it was originally intended to treat teens and children, today, about a third of orthodontic patients are adults. Anyone regardless of age can be treated successfully by an orthodontist.
A malocclusion or improper bite affects people of all ages, and can hugely affect the chewing ability, speech clarity and facial symmetry of the sufferer. Also, a severe malocclusion can trigger a range of physical and dental conditions including periodontal disease, TMJ, digestive difficulties and severe toothache. It is advisable to adopt orthodontic treatment solutions early to avoid more expensive restorative procedures in the future.
What problems can orthodontics treat?
Orthodontics is used in treating a range of dental issues, and it realigns the teeth completely in most cases. Orthodontists may choose to work alone or hand-in-hand with a maxillofacial surgeon.
The irregularities that require orthodontic treatment include:
- Overcrowding – when the mouth is overcrowded, it implies that the jaw has no sufficient space for all the adult teeth to fit. Overcrowding may result in rotated, displaced or misaligned teeth.
- Overbite – an overbite is when the upper jaw (maxilla) protrudes relative to the lower jaw (mandible). An overbite makes a person’s bite appear “toothy,” and the chin appears to have receded.
- Underbite – an underbite (also known as a negative underjet), is when the lower jaw (mandible) protrudes relative to the upper jaw (maxilla). This condition makes the chin appear overly prominent. Overbites and underbites are caused by genetic factors and developmental delays.
How can orthodontics help?
Orthodontic dentistry provides solutions aimed at realigning the teeth and restoring the smile. The orthodontist has different treatment options, depending on the outcome of panoramic X-rays, bite impressions (study models), and detailed visual examination.
Most cases of misalignment can be corrected using fixed dental braces. These braces consist of ceramic or metal brackets which are attached to each tooth and an archwire that is used to work the teeth during the period of treatment slowly.
Removable appliances include retainers, palate expanders, aligners (the most invisible to the eye), headgear (consisting of a metal wire device affixed to customized braces) and tooth movers. Faceguards are used in correcting developmental delays in both the lower and upper jaw, while palate expanders are meant for combating overcrowding.
Irrespective of the age and dental irregularity of a patient, orthodontic appliances have all it takes to realign the teeth and create a beautiful, confident smile.
For concerns and questions about orthodontic treatments and how you can benefit from it, please contact our office.