Orthodontics is a special branch of dental therapy associated with the diagnosis and treatment of deformities related to the teeth, face, and jaws. Individuals trained to correct these problems are called orthodontists. Orthodontists help in improving the function of teeth, maintaining good dental health and providing aesthetic appeal to your smile. Orthodontic therapy can be successfully provided to individuals of any age.
Indications for Orthodontics
A variety of dental problems can be resolved with orthodontic treatment. They include:
- Overcrowding of teeth
- Misalignment of the dental arches
- Bite correction (overbite, protruding upper jaw, and underbite, protruding lower jaw)
- Cosmetic-related dental issues
- Dental therapies such as application of crowns, bridges or implants
- Problems with tooth eruption and displacement
- Teeth spacing or gaps between the teeth
To decide if you need orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist will enquire about your complete dental medical history, conduct a clinical examination and order X-rays or photographs of your oral cavity. Based on the need, your dentist will then recommend a suitable treatment plan.
Orthodontic treatment includes different types of appliances that can be fixed for a certain period or removed on a daily basis. Your orthodontic specialist will suggest specific treatment based on the severity of your condition.
Treatments with fixed appliances include:
- Braces for teeth positioning
- Special fixed appliances to control thumb sucking
- Space maintainers to keep the space of a missing tooth open until the permanent tooth erupts
Treatments with removable appliances include:
- Aligners, an alternative for braces
- Removable space maintainers
- Jaw repositioning of the jaw to close in a proper position
- Lip and cheek bumpers to keep lips and cheeks away from the teeth
- A palatal expander widens the arch of the upper jaw
- Retainers prevent teeth from returning to the previous position
- Headgear prevents the growth of the upper jaw and pulls back the front teeth