Crooked teeth are a common dental problem. Orthodontics is the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of aligned teeth and facial irregularities (malocclusion) and is frequently performed to improve a person’s appearance by straightening the teeth. Orthodontics is a highly specialised branch of Cosmetic Dentistry treatment. Over time Orthodontic treatment will reposition your upper and lower jaw allocation and amend bone growth within the mouth. Orthodontic treatment involves the design and use of corrective appliances such as braces, plates and aligners., whilst improving your oral health.
Teeth can be moved at any ages, as long as the gum and bone are healthy. Because the basic process involved in moving teeth is the same in adults as in children, orthodontic treatment can usually be successful at any age. However, because adult’s facial bones are no longer growing, some severe malocclusions cannot be corrected with braces alone. In these cases, orthodontic treatment is combined with jaw surgery and can achieve dramatic improvements.
Orthodontics for children is critically important. Early management of tooth alignment ensures children don’t have too many problems when their primary teeth erupt.
The most common orthodontic treatment is braces, which need to be worn for a certain period of time to shift teeth into correct alignment. Braces are comprised of metal brackets and wires, and to make the experience a bit more appealing, there are many colours to choose from, even clear braces.
Treatment generally takes between 18- 24 months and requires regular visits to the Orthodontist. Some patients will complete treatment sooner than others, it just depends on the desired results and severity of the original malocclusion.
On completion of braces treatment, the braces are removed and a retainer appliance is fitted to stabilise the new position of the teeth. These appliances can include plates, moulds, or wires permanently fitted behind the teeth.
Visits to your orthodontist will still be necessary to monitor your progress after your treatment.
Interventions include the following:
- Correcting simple irregularities in one or more teeth.
- Space maintenance to ensure no valuable space is lost for adult teeth when baby teeth are lost early.
- Interceptive Orthodontics – helps growing children develop properly with enough space for permanent teeth. Treatment here can often prevent the need for future orthodontic procedures. This is called Orthopaedics and is a new concept in helping dental bones develop into the proper relationship.