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What is Orthodontics?

There are lots of dental specialties, and Orthodontics is one of them. “Orthodontics” is derived from the Greek word “orthos,” meaning straight or proper and “odons” meaning teeth.

Orthodontics mainly focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of misaligned teeth and jaw irregularities.  Initially, Orthodontics was mainly used for pre-teens and teens, but around 30% of orthodontic patients today are adults.

Having well-aligned teeth has lots of pros, such as easier cleaning, clearer speech, improved oral hygiene and a brighter smile. Although orthodontics is effective at any age, it is suggested by the American Dental Association that it is better to perform an orthodontic assessment at the age of seven. The early the commencement of orthodontic treatment, the faster the problem can be resolved.

What problems can orthodontics treat?

Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that is versatile that can be adopted solely, or combined with cosmetic or maxillofacial dentistry.

Some of the common conditions treated with treated with orthodontics include:

  • Anteroposterior deviations – this refers to the discrepancy or deviation existing between a pair of closed jaws. An example of this deviation would be an underbite (which means that the lower teeth appear to be further forward than the upper teeth), or an overbite (the upper teeth are further forward than the lower teeth).
  • Overcrowding – this problem is prevalent. It is when adult teeth do not have enough space to grow normally.
  • Aesthetic problems – a single misaligned tooth can ruin anyone’s smile. The orthodontist can help realign the teeth easily and accurately. Alternatively, orthodontists can help in reshaping and restructuring the face, jaw, and lips.

Orthodontic Solutions

Orthodontics as a field has advanced and offer lots of solutions to a range of cosmetic issues. Orthodontists will carry out a panoramic X-rays, visual examination and bite impressions to reveal what the discrepancy is.

Once the condition has been diagnosed, you will have access to a range of orthodontic treatment options

An overview of some of the most popular treatment is:

  • Fixed orthodontic braces – a ceramic or metal base is attached to each tooth, with a dental wire inserted to the bases. The orthodontist slowly trains the teeth to realign properly. The fixed dental braces are removed as soon as the desired result is achieved.
  • Removable appliances – some of the many removable appliances used in orthodontics include Hawley retainers that improve the position of the teeth as the jawbone reforms, headgear that correct overbites and facemasks used in correcting underbites.
  • Invisalign® – this is a totally transparent, removable form of a dental aligner. Invisalign® will not interfere with eating because it is removable, and works just like conventional metal dental braces. Invisalign® is not meant for all patients.

For concerns or questions regarding orthodontics, please contact our office.

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