As a person hearing about orthodontics for the very first time, you need to know this branch in dentistry corrects the jaws and teeth by repositioning them back to their proper position. Crooked teeth that do not fit back together correctly are often harder to fit together correctly and more difficult to keep clean, this puts them at a greater risk of being lost earlier due to decaying tooth and sometimes-periodontal diseases causing extra stress on the chewing muscles.
This can lead to headaches, neck, back, shoulder pain and TMJ syndrome. In addition, crooked teeth or misaligned teeth can also detract from the appearance of a person. At such times, it is best that you consider the help of specialized orthodontists.
The benefit of orthodontic treatment includes having a healthier mouth, stronger teeth, and a more pleasing appearance. Know that a specialist in this field goes with the title of an orthodontist. Such people go through two or more years of training and beyond their four years, they go through ADA-approved orthodontic seminars for a general dentist to keep up with the latest appliances in orthodontics.
How to Know If You Need Orthodontics
At such times, only your orthodontist or dentist can help to determine if you need orthodontic treatment or not. This depends on diagnostic tools, which includes a complete dental health history, medical and clinical examination, plaster models of the shape of your teeth, x-rays, and photographs to help your dentist decide whether you need orthodontic appliances or not and develop a plan of treatment accordingly to help your teeth.
When you consult your dentist who has gone through Gerety Orthodontic Seminars, you will learn whether you are a candidate if they detect any problems including:
- Underbite: Sometimes also “bulldog,” is an appearance where the lower teeth appear too far forward or the teeth in the upper section too far back
- Over Bite: Sometimes, this goes with the name “buck teeth,” where the upper front teeth tend to lie too far forward and stick out over the lower set of teeth
- Crossbite: This results when the upper teeth do not come down in front of the teeth when biting normally
- Open Bite: This as a result of space between the biting surface of the side or front teeth when the back set of teeth bite together
- Spacing: Spaces or gaps between the teeth due to missing teeth that do not fill up in the mouth
- Crowding: This is as a result of too many teeth for the dental ridge to easily accommodate
- Misplaced Midline: When the upper front center of your upper front teeth does not line with the center of the lower set of your teeth
How Orthodontic Treatment Works
These days, there are so many appliances available including fixed and removable ones to help move the teeth, affect the jaw growth and retain the muscles. The orthodontic appliances work in a unique way by placing gentle pressure on the jaws and teeth. The severity of your problem would determine what orthodontic approach would be the most effective one.
The fixed appliances include:
- Braces: One of the most common appliances under the fixed category, braces consists of brackets and wires. The bands fit around the teeth or the tooth and used as an anchor for the appliance, while the brackets often bond to the front of the tooth. The archwires pass through the brackets that attach to the bands. During this time, tightening the archwire puts some tension on the teeth and gradually moves them to their appropriate position. Usually, a specialized doctor adjusts the braces to bring the teeth to the desired position, which adjusts within a few months to years.
- Fixed Appliances: These control tongue thrusting and control thumb sucking. They attach to the teeth by bands and since they are very comfortable when using during meals, they remain the last resort.
Along with these, removable appliances include:
- Aligners: a suitable alternative to the traditional braces, these days, aligners are the most common options that help to move the teeth in a similar manner as a fixed appliance, only without the need of brackets and wires. Among aligners, Invisalign remains a popular choice since they are invisible, removable before eating meals, flossing and brushing.
- Jaw Repositioning Appliances: these also go with the name of splints and they are devices worn on the top of the lower jaw to help close in a more favorable position. They are suitable options for TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders.
When it comes to the appliances available today, there are so many options available. Before you go for orthodontic consultations make sure that you carry out a complete research on the best orthodontists in your area. When you find a suitable one, make sure that you evaluate the options they provide to help align your teeth and choose the options based on what you feel is right for you.