Orthodontics is a specialised branch of dentistry that is primarily associated with the diagnosis and correction of misaligned teeth and jaws. The objective of an orthodontic treatment is to adjust the placement of crooked teeth to fashion a smile that is pleasant and picture-perfect. Also, such treatments ensure that the teeth fit together correctly for appropriate oral hygiene, keeping periodontal disease and tooth decay at bay.
Who needs orthodontic treatment?
Abnormal development and arrangement of the teeth, as well as the jaw, can affect the overall shape of the face. An orthodontist carries a special clinical exam that includes diagnostic tools, such as X-rays and plaster models to decide whether a patient needs an orthodontic treatment or not.
The most common cases for orthodontic treatments are:
- Overbite: Also known as ‘buck teeth’, where the upper front teeth appear to stick out over the lower teeth
- Underbite: Refers to the ‘bulldog’ appearance, where the upper teeth are placed too far back than the lower teeth
- Crossbite: An alignment where the upper teeth are placed slightly over the teeth at the bottom
- Open Bite: When there is an apparent gap or space between the front upper and lower teeth upon biting them together
- Misplaced Midline: When the centres of the upper and lower front teeth do not match each other
- Spacing:Any sort of gaps or spaces between the teeth
- Crowding: When there are too many teeth in the mouth as compared to the size of the jaws
Common Orthodontic Treatments
There are different types of appliances that put gentle pressure on the jaws and teeth to help them move.
Fixed Appliances: Braces (with bands, brackets and wire) is one of the most practised orthodontic treatments.
Removable Appliances: It includes orthodontic devices, such as aligners, retainers, lip and cheek bumpers, palatal expander, headgear and jaw repositioning tools.
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