You may often hear the word orthodontics and instantly perceive it to be something related to the teeth but what is it really? In a nutshell, orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with the proper correction of jaws and teeth which are not in their correct positions whenever the mouth is closed. This often results to an improper bite which can also lead to difficulty in cleaning and the risk of losing teeth due to periodontal disease and tooth decay becomes higher.
Aside from those, if a person continues to leave crooked teeth untreated, he may suffer from TMJ syndrome and shoulder, back and neck pain as well as headaches brought about by the extra stress on the chewing muscles. Moreover, teeth that are not in the proper place can also have negative effects over someone’s self-esteem as it can make his appearance unattractive.
Dental professionals who are specializing on this field are called orthodontists. Usually, they receive two or more years of education aside from the four years of dental study that they have to undergo in an orthodontic program that’s ADA-approved.
What are the benefits of treatment from an orthodontist?
How to determine if you are among those who require orthodontic treatment?
Only a dentist should determine if you can benefit from orthodontics or not by basing his decision on diagnostic tools. This should include a complete dental and medical health history, plaster models of your teeth, x-rays and images, and clinical exam so that your orthodontist will be able to develop and recommend the kind of treatment plan that would best suit your needs.
The following are several factors that can help your orthodontist decide if you are a candidate for treatment:
Crowding- this condition happens when there are too many teeth that the dental ridge gets too crowded and as a result, it can’t accommodate all the teeth properly
Open Bite – is a condition when the back teeth bite together as a space is created between the biting surfaces of the side and/or front teeth
Crossbite – when biting does not come together normally as the upper and lower teeth don’t come down slightly in front
Underbite – the lower teeth are too far forward or backward creating a “bulldog” appearance
Overbite – also called, "buck teeth" is the condition where the upper front teeth sticks out over the lower teeth
Misplaced Midline— when the center of the upper front and lower front teeth does not align properly
Spacing — too much spaces between the teeth that may even be construed as missing tooth
What are the tools involved in orthodontic treatment and how does it work?
There are various types of removable and fixed appliances which are used to reposition teeth, retrain muscles and influence the growth of jaws. The gentle pressure of these implements can correct the misalignment of the teeth to the jaws. The orthodontist will be able to decide on the most effective treatment by taking a look at your specific problem/s.
Why should you get the expertise of an orthodontist?
Aside from being a certified professional, they are also educated to understand how your jaws, facial muscles and teeth work together appropriately. A healthy mouth not only provides physical benefits but it is also one of the main aspects that can increase your confidence level. In addition, you can rest assured that your safety and protection during and after treatment is well taken care of by an orthodontist.