One of the most common reasons for facial deformities is the improper alignment occlusion of the teeth as well as the positioning of the upper and lower jaws. Orthodontic treatment is a branch of dentistry that deals with the correction of facial and dental deformities that are caused due to an improper alignment of the teeth and the jaws.
Who Needs Orthodontic Treatment?
You can benefit from orthodontic treatment, if you have any of the following esthetic or functional dental problems:
- Tooth Crowding – crowding of the teeth can occur if there is insufficient space in the jaws to accommodate all permanent teeth in perfect alignment. Tooth crowding can be treated with the help of braces, or by extracting one or two teeth on both sides of the jaws to create space for re-alignment of the remaining teeth.
- Teeth Spacing – if there are excessive spaces between the teeth, it can create problems during speech and mastication. Fixed or removable orthodontic appliances are used by orthodontists to treat spacing between the teeth, or diastema.
- Misplaced Midline of the Teeth – imagine if the midline of your upper or lower dental arch shifted towards the left or right? Not only would it create hindrances in speech and eating, but it will also be unsightly and will ruin your smile. With the help of orthodontics, you can smile again with confidence by getting the midline of your teeth restored to its normal position.
- Openbite – an open bite can result if your upper and lower teeth do not mate at their normal or physiological position, thereby leaving a space between the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed.
- Crossbite – cross bite refers to a condition where the upper or lower dental arch has shifted laterally with respect to its counterpart.
- Underbite – this is a clinical condition where the upper teeth are too far backwards in comparison to the lower teeth.
- Overbite – also known as “buck face”, where the upper teeth lie too far forwards than the lower teeth.
How Orthodontic Treatment Works?
The main aim of orthodontic treatment is to apply pressure to your teeth, jaws and facial musculature so that the teeth and jaws are properly aligned, and they attain their physiologic position. To do this, orthodontists employ various removable or fixed orthodontic appliances, the choice of which depends upon the severity of the problem and compliance of the patients.
- Removable Orthodontic Appliances – these appliances can be removed anytime by patient. Therefore, these appliances are only provided to those patients who can wear them daily for the prescribed duration. Removable orthodontic appliances include space maintainers, jaw repositioning appliances, lips and cheek bumpers, headgears and retainers.
- Fixed Orthodontic Appliances – these appliances are fixed to the patient’s teeth or jaw bones and cannot be removed by the patients. One of the most commonly used fixed orthodontic appliances are the braces. Braces are bonded to front surfaces of the teeth and they bring about tooth movement by generating forces with the help of a wire that passes through specially designed slots within them.
What to Expect During Orthodontic Treatment?
Before initiating your treatment, your orthodontist will first formulate a comprehensive and detailed treatment plan. Your orthodontic treatment will generally consist of the following phases:
- Treatment Planning – your dentist will first perform a detailed clinical examination along with having a look at your dental records such as study models and radiographs. Your dentist will then devise a treatment plan that will be tailored according to your dental needs and esthetic demands.
- Active Orthodontic Treatment – during this phase, your dentist will provide you with a suitable orthodontic appliance which will generate controlled forces that will bring about tooth movement. Active treatment phase usually lasts for about 8-12 months, depending upon the severity of the case.
- Retention Phase – once the desired results have been achieved, your dentist will provide you with a retainer. The purpose of a retainer is to make sure that the teeth do not move back to their original positions, once they have been forced into their new places. Depending upon the severity of the case, your dentist can provide you with a removable or a fixed retention appliance.
This information about orthodontic treatment was written by a dentist. You should always consult your own dental provider when making decisions about your dental health. Find a dental provider in the United States at http://www.discountdentalwork.com and get your dental needs at a discounted rate.