Orthodontics is a special branch of dental therapy associated with diagnosis and treatment of deformities related to the teeth, face and jaws. Individuals trained to correct these problems are called as orthodontists. They help in improving the functions of teeth, maintaining good dental health and providing aesthetic appeal to your smile. Orthodontic therapy can be successfully provided to individuals of any age.
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 under bite; protruding lower jaw)
- Cosmetic related dental issues
- Dental therapies such as fixing of crowns, bridges or implants
- Problems with tooth eruption and displacement
- Teeth spacing or gaps between teeth
To decide if you need an orthodontic treatment, your dentist will enquire about your complete dental medical history, conduct clinical examination and order for 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 which can be fixed for a certain period or removed on daily basis. Your orthodontic specialist will suggest specific treatment based on the severity of your situation.
Treatments with fixed appliances include:
- Braces for teeth positioning
- Special fixed appliances controls thumb sucking
- Space maintainers keeps the space of missing tooth open until permanent tooth erupts
Treatments with removable appliances include:
- Aligners, an alternative for braces
- Removable space maintainers
- Jaw repositioning helps closing of jaws in proper position
- Lip and cheek bumpers keeps lips n cheek away from teeth
- Palatal expander widens the arch of upper jaw
- Retainers prevent teeth returning to previous position
- Headgear prevents growth of upper jaw and pulls back the front teeth