A person of any age can benefit from all types of orthodontic treatment, from braces to Invisalign. Teeth that are crooked, crowded, or misaligned affect both how the teeth look and how they function. Orthodontics doesn’t only improve the look of your smile, but the result can also improve your self-confidence within yourself, as well as the overall health of your teeth.
What is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a type of dentistry that is focused on correcting your teeth and jaw alignment. Crooked teeth can cause multiple issues through your life if not corrected. If your teeth do not fit together properly they can be harder to clean, cause early tooth decay or periodontal disease, cause stress on your chewing muscles, and overall appearance.
Teeth that cause stress in the jaw or the mouths muscles can lead to a condition called TMJ which can then lead to headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, or back pain.
How do I Know If I Need Orthodontic Treatment?
Only your dentist or orthodontist can determine if you can benefit from orthodontic treatment. Your dentist or orthodontist will perform multiple tests to make sure that treatment can correct your teeth and what route of treatment that is right for you. Some of the tests include a full medical and dental health history, clinical exam, plaster models of your teeth, and special x-rays.
If you have the following, you may be a candidate for orthodontic treatment:
- Overbite – This is where the upper front teeth are positioned further forward than the lower teeth.
- Underbite – This is when the lower teeth are positioned further forward or the upper teeth too far back.
- Crossbite – This is when the upper teeth aren’t positioned properly when biting down normally, they wouldn’t position slightly in front of the lower teeth.
- Open Bite – A space in between the biting surfaces or the front or side teeth when the back teeth are aligned together, properly.
- Misplaced Midline – This is when the center of your upper teeth don’t align properly with the center of the bottom teeth.
- Spacing – gaps, or spaces located between the teeth, that could be the result of missing teeth or teeth that came in and didn’t fill up their spot in the mouth.
- Crowding – When your teeth came in too close to another tooth, or there are too many teeth for your dental ridge to accommodate.
What Type of Orthodontics Treatments are There?
There are multiple types of orthodontic treatments that are both fixed to your teeth or removable. Orthodontics treatment can move teeth, retrain muscles, and affect the growth of your jaw. These treatments work by placing a small amount of pressure on the teeth and jaw, moving both so that they cause movement and correction. Depending on your situation will determine which orthodontic approach your dentist thinks will be more effective.
What Are the Different Types of “Fixed” Orthodontic Treatments?
There are 3 types of fixed orthodontic procedures that your dentist or orthodontics specialist could suggest will work best for you. They include the following:
- Braces – These are the most common type of fixed orthodontics procedures. Braces consist of brackets, wires, and bands. A bracket is cemented to the surface of your tooth, the wiring is then passed through each bracket and held in place by bands. Your orthodontist will need to see you about every 5 weeks to adjust the wires which are used to gradually move your teeth and jaw into their correct position.
- Special Fixed Appliances – These are a last resort procedure to stop thumb sucking, which can cause misalignment of the jaw or teeth down the road, during development.
- Fixed Space Maintainers – This is when your dentist or orthodontist is looking to contain a space between two teeth, in situations where a baby tooth is lost, and they need to keep the space open for the permanent tooth.
What Are the Different Types of “Removeable” Orthodontic Treatments?
There are many types of removable dental treatments, for all types of situations. Some of these treatments include:
- Invisalign/ Aligners – This is an alternative route to braces that are used a lot by adults. Invisalign is designed to move teeth the same way that braces work, only without metal wires or brackets. Invisalign Aligners are removable and virtually invisible.
- Jaw Repositioning Appliances – These are also known as “Splints”. They are worn on either the top or lower jaw to help train the jaw to close in a better position. In most cases they are used for Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ)
- Palatal Expander – This is an appliance that is used to widen the arch of the upper jaw. It is a plastic plate that is placed over the surface of the roof of your mouth. The Palatal expander applied outward pressure to slowly force the joints of the bones to open lengthwise, which results in widening the palatal area.
- Removable retainers – These are worn on the roof of the mouth t prevent shifting of the teeth to the old position. They are commonly used when braces are removed. A retainer can also be used to help correct thumb sucking.
Contact Your Local Dentist Today
If you have concerns about the alignment of your jaw or teeth, look no further than Smiles of Tulsa to help give you the smile you deserve. Having perfect oral health is (918)481-4910 only one call away!