Orthodontics deals with malpositioned teeth and jaws that will eventually bring to its proper alignment with the help of corrective appliances such as braces, functional appliances, plate and etc. This treatment can be done in different stages from childhood to adulthood.
Common Orthodontic Problems:
- Under-bite: This is when the lower jaw is protruded than the upper jaw which means that the lower and upper teeth will not come together but instead the lower teeth will stay in front of the upper teeth. This is one of the reasons why front teeth are severely worn out. Furthermore, it could lower the patient’s self-confidence as it looks unattractive. To correct this, conventional orthodontic appliances are used such as elastic bands, braces, reverse pull head gear and etc.
- Open-bite: This problem causes eating and speech difficulties due to the gap created from misaligned upper and lower teeth during biting. Orthodontic braces are used to close the gap between teeth.
- Tooth Crowding: Crowded teeth are the result of an incompatibility among teeth and jaw size. When teeth are larger than the jaw, it will create an overcrowded appearance; hence it has an unattractive and irregular look. Furthermore, proper cleaning is difficult to achieve as the spaces between teeth are too narrow thus retaining the plaque/tartar build up.
- Impacted Tooth: This problem means that there is not enough space for a normal eruption in children. This could impact the adjacent teeth and could cause damage as well as irregular alignment of teeth. Certain orthodontic treatment could induct normal eruption by creating a space in the affected area.
Main Orthodontic Treatment Options:
- Fixed braces
- Removable retainers
How long does the orthodontic treatment takes and its results?
It takes around 6 to 30 months depending on the complexity of the case and would last permanently as long as the retainer is worn per instruction.
- Improved tissue and gum health
- Less expensive than dental veneers and crowns
- Straightens malpositioned teeth
- Permanent results
- Time consuming
- Proper cleaning can be quite difficult while treatment is ongoing
- Uncomfortable during the first several weeks
Orthodontics for Teenagers:
Orthodontic problems usually occur after the age of seven but with regular check-up, problems could be detected at an earlier stage which prevents it from progressing, making treatment easier and shorter. It is mostly during early teenage years that orthodontic treatment starts although some do it before the last baby tooth comes off.
Orthodontics for Adults:
Nowadays, orthodontic problems in adulthood such as open-bite, under-bite and tooth crowding can be treated as knowledge and technology progresses compared to the previous years where it was only for children. Consultation and planning with the dentist is important as both will understand each other’s concern; for the patient to be aware of some limitations with regards to orthodontics while the dentist will know the patient’s goal with the procedure. Invisalign, clear braces, elastic band and lingual braces are orthodontic treatments that can help the adults achieve their desired smile.