Orthodontics, if the word sounds Greek to you, you are right. ‘Orthos’ in Greek means straight and ‘dontos’ means teeth. Orthodontics is a speciality of dentistry that is concerned with the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of teeth displacement and facial irregularities. Orthodontists are dentists who specialize in treating teeth and facial irregularities. Orthodontic treatments are usually done with braces to improve the appearance of irregularities in the teeth.
How to know if orthodontics is for you?
A visit to your dentist can determine if you require orthodontic treatment. With the help of medical and dental history, clinical examination, X-rays and models your dentist can determine if orthodontics is for you. An orthodontist will then come up with a customized treatment plan based on your requirements.
What are the common dental problems which require orthodontic correction?
Proclination– If your upper front teeth are more forwardly placed than your lower front teeth, orthodontic treatment can help correct this bite.
Crowding– if your teeth are irregularly placed leading to food lodgement, gum problems, orthodontic treatment can help in the alignment.
Spacing-gaps between your teeth can be corrected by orthodontic treatment to provide good aesthetics.
Deep Bite- if your upper teeth completely overlap your lower teeth causing injury to your gums, such a bite is known as deep bite and requires an immediate orthodontic consult.
Open Bite- if there is no overlap between your upper and lower teeth, causing difficulty in chewing, and such a bite requires correction by orthodontic treatment to improve the appearance and chewing efficiency.
Cross Bite- A cross bite occurs when your upper teeth bite inside your lower teeth. This can happen on one or both sides of your jaw and can affect your front or back teeth.
Impacted tooth- An impacted tooth is one that is unable to erupt through the gum naturally. Treatment can include extraction or exposing it so a brace can be fitted to the surface.
Temporomandibular joint pain/headaches/earaches
Clicking/pain in the joint region while opening your mouth, pain around your ears, headaches may require an orthodontic consult to check your bite.
What are the uses and benefits of orthodontics?
Straightens your teeth
Improves your smile
Improves your appearance
Boosts your self-esteem
Helps prevent teeth discolouration and mouth odour
Helps prevent tooth decay
Reduces or prevents dental emergencies
What are the different ways an orthodontist can correct your teeth/facial irregularities?
Traditional Braces- this is the most common method of orthodontic treatment. Braces are appliances that are fixed on your teeth and consists of brackets/bands and wires. They help position your teeth and correct any irregularities.
Aligners- They are the alternative to braces. They are similar to braces in function but are not fixed. They need to be removed while eating and brushing. Treatment includes changing into a new set of aligners every two weeks as your teeth shift into proper alignment.
Lingual Braces- They are braces attached to the back of your teeth making them almost invisible to others. They consist of brackets, bands and wires like the traditional braces. They can be more difficult to clean properly because it is on the back of your teeth which is harder to reach. There may be speech difficulties because of their positioning and you may also develop sores on your tongue.
Surgical options- Orthodontics services comprise more than just different types of braces. There are surgical options as well. Surgery can help accelerate your orthodontic treatment or correct jaw misalignment to achieve results which are not possible by braces alone.
Nowadays anyone can achieve a beautiful, healthy smile which can have a positive impact on your life in many ways. If you are interested in what orthodontics has to offer you, get in touch with us to start your smile journey.