How Can Orthodontic Treatment Help?

How Can Orthodontic Treatment Help?

Orthodontics is a department of dentistry which treats the malocclusion which is a condition in which teeth are not correctly positioned when mouth is closed. This causes an improper bite. An orthodontist specializes in making your teeth straight.

Types of Treatment

  • Closing wide gaps between the teeth
  • Preventing long-term excessive wear or trauma of the teeth
  • Aligning the tips of the teeth
  • Straightening crooked teeth

Devices

The orthodontic devices can either be fixed or they can be removable.

Fixed Appliances

  • Braces

The braces consist of brackets, wires, and bands.

  • Fixed-space maintainers

If a child loses a baby tooth, a space maintainer will stop two teeth on either side of the spaces from moving into it until the adult tooth comes through.

  • Removable space maintainers

These are an alternative to fixed-space maintainers.

  • Special fixed appliances

These appliances can help in controlling the tongue thrusting or thumb sucking.

Removable Orthodontic Appliances

  • Aligners

Aligners are an alternative to braces which are removable and almost invisible as they are made of clear plastic.

  • Lip and Cheek bumpers

These are specially made for relieving the pressure of cheeks or lips on the teeth.

  • Palatal expander

The appliance is designed for making the arch of the upper jaw wider.

  • Retainers

The retainers are used once the braces are removed to stop the teeth from moving back to their original position.

Who Should See an Orthodontist?

  • People suffering from:
  • Spacing
  • Underbite
  • Crossbite
  • Open bite
  • Deep bite/ overbite
  • Asymmetrical teeth
  • Impacted teeth
  • Crowding

Starting Treatment

The treatment usually begins at the age of 12 or 13 when the adult teeth have just developed. Children with cleft lip and palate may need orthodontic treatment before the adult teeth have developed completely.

Diagnosis

The assessment will include:

  • Making plaster models of the teeth
  • Taking a full medical and dental health history
  • Carrying out a clinical examination
  • Taking x-rays of the teeth and jaw

Orthodontist Versus Dentist

While the dentist specializes in the broader area of oral health such as preventing infections and dealing with the teeth, jaw, nerves, and other aspects, the orthodontist specifically deals with bite and straightening of teeth.

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