What is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis, prevention, and correction of teeth and jaws, and misaligned bite patterns. It can also focus on modifying facial growth, known as dentofacial orthopedics.
Abnormal alignment of the teeth and jaws is common. Nearly 50% of the population, according to the American Association of Orthodontics; has malocclusions severe enough to benefit from orthodontic treatment. although this figure decreases to less than 10% according to the same “AAO” statement; when referring to medically necessary orthodontics. There is a lack of strong scientific evidence for the health benefits of orthodontic treatment – a fact the academic journals and professional associations in the field of orthodontics were slow to admit. Treatment can take several months to a few years; it involves the use of dental braces and other appliances to slowly move the teeth and jaws around. If the malocclusion is very severe, jaw surgery may be used. Treatment is usually started before a person reaches adulthood since bones can more easily be moved around in children.
The benefits of Orthodontic treatment include a healthier mouth, a more pleasing appearance, and teeth that are more likely to last a lifetime.
A specialist in this field is called an orthodontist. Orthodontics receive two or more years of education beyond their four years in dental school in an ADA-approved orthodontic training program.
Do I Need a Orthodontists?
Only your dentist or orthodontist can determine whether you can benefit from orthodontics. Based on diagnostic tools that include a full medical and dental health history, a clinical exam, plaster models of your teeth, and special X-rays and photographs, an orthodontist or dentist can decide whether orthodontics are recommended, and develop a treatment plan that’s right for you.
If you have any of the following, you may be a candidate for orthodontic treatment:
- Overbite, sometimes called “buck teeth” — where the upper front teeth lie too far forward (stick out) over the lower teeth.
- Underbite — a “bulldog” appearance where the lower teeth are too far forward or the upper teeth too far back.
- Crossbite — when the upper teeth do not come down slightly in front of the lower teeth when biting together normally.
- Open bite — space between the biting surfaces of the front and/or side teeth when the back teeth bite together.
- Misplaced midline— when the center of your upper front teeth does not line up with the center of your lower front teeth.
- Spacing — gaps, or spaces, between the teeth because of missing teeth or teeth that do not “fill up” the mouth.
- Crowding — when there are too many teeth for the dental ridge to accommodate.
Oral Health is a window into your overall health. Orthodontic treatment helps ensure the proper function of teeth and create healthy smiles. A good bite makes it easier for you to bite, chew, and speak. Teeth that are misaligned are harder to clean and can cause abnormal wearing of tooth enamel which can lead to extensive and expensive dental procedures.
Orthodontic treatment is not a quick fix. It is a complex biological process. It involves changes in jawbones, facial bones, and soft tissue as teeth are moved into their new positions. Your care often starts with a thorough examination of the teeth and mouth, and a study of dental records such as x-rays, photos, and models of the teeth. From this, your orthodontist can develop a custom treatment plan.
Working together with your orthodontist, orthodontic treatment can yield life-enhancing results: better function (biting, chewing, speaking). Our advice: keep your scheduled appointments, advise your orthodontist of problems that may popup between appointments, watch what you eat and drink, avoid sugary drinks, and brush and floss as instructed by your orthodontist. It’s worth the effort to reach the goal you and your orthodontist share – giving you a healthy smile that will last a lifetime.
What an Orthodontist Can Help With?
Orthodontic help with crooked teeth, but they assist patients with other issues as well. These include overbites and underbites, crossbites, spaces between teeth, overcrowding of teeth, and the treatment of temporomandibular disorders (TMD). Additional problems with the jaw also need to treated by an orthodontist.
While a dentist is training to provide orthodontic care in addition to extractions, TMJ treatments, and fillings, trusting your smile to an orthodontist can better balance the different procedures you require.
How Does Orthodontic Treatment Work?
Many different types of appliances, both fixed and removable, are used to help move teeth, retrain muscles, and affect the growth of the jaws. These appliances work by placing gentle pressure on the teeth and jaws. The severity of your problem will determine which orthodontic approach is likely to be the most effective.
Fixed appliances include:
- Braces: the most common fixed appliances, braces consist of bands, wires, and/or brackets. Braces are usually adjusted monthly to bring about the desired results, which may be achieved within a few months to a few years.
- Special fixed appliances: used to control thumb sucking or tongue thrusting, these appliances are attached to the teeth by bands. Because they are very uncomfortable during meals, they should be used only as a last resort.
- Fixed space maintainers: if a baby tooth is lost prematurely, a space maintainer is used to keep the space open until the permanent tooth erupts. A band is attached to the tooth next to the empty space, and a wire is extended to the tooth on the other side of the space.
Removable appliances include:
- Removable space maintainers.
- Jaw repositioning appliances.
- Lip and cheek bumpers.
- Palatal expander.
- Removable retainers.
In the meantime, talk to us about how you can perk up your smile. An attractive smile is much easier to share with the world.
If you need help improving your dental care to get the smile that you want, do not hesitate to contact Bloomfield Dental Center!
You Can Contact Us or Call Us at +1(562)-926-6502 To Make an Appointment at any time!