There are some dentists who have specialised in preventing, diagnosing, and treating problems with tooth placement, abnormalities of the jaw, and problems with bite – and they all come under the branch of orthodontics. They work hard to make sure that their patients not only receive treatment that will allow their teeth to function properly, but also to look beautiful and healthy.
The field was developed in order to work with children to prevent their teeth from getting into trouble, but many dentists will also work with adults who did not have a dentist looking after them when they were young. Orthodontic treatment will work, no matter the age of the parent. Problems with overbite or underbite can make eating and chewing difficult, and affect a person’s ability to talk properly. Eventually these problems could lead to real medical and dental problems, such as tooth decay, gum disease, and digestive issues. Dentists who work in orthodontics always recommend that you contact a dentist as soon as you think there could be a problem.
What sort of issues can orthodontics treat?
The movement and placement of teeth is the priority concern of an orthodontic dentist, and this can encompass a wide range of health problems and treatment options. Sometimes they will work with a maxillofacial surgeon in order to provide the following treatments:
- Overcrowding: this is a mouth that has too many teeth, and so they cannot fit in naturally. This will eventually lead to misaligned, rotated, or displaced teeth
- Overbite: when the upper jaw greatly extends over the lower jaw, a patient can look very toothy and their chin will look weak and much smaller than it actually is
- Underbite: when the lower jaw greatly extends under the upper jaw, a patient will have a very prominent jaw, and will struggle to eat properly
Both overbites and underbites can exist due to genetic or simple development reasons, and both can be corrected by orthodontics.
There are a wide variety of options when it comes to orthodontic dentistry in order to improve a smile and realign teeth that may have moved, but the exact treatment will depend on the patient. After a visual exam, the dentist may decide that it is necessary for the patient to receive other tests. These could include a panoramic x-ray, which will help the dentist to see the entire jaw as well as all of the teeth and gums; a bite impression so that the dentist can understand exactly how the teeth are in relation to each other; and a visual assessment, in order to understand exactly how the placement of teeth are affecting the chewing capabilities of the patient.
In many cases in which teeth have become misaligned, the treatment option that is suggested is fixed dental braces. They may look small and insignificant, but they have the power to heal cases that are very severe, as well as quite mild. The brackets will either be made out of metal or ceramic, and are attached to each tooth, and then an arch wire is fed between them. Over time this wire is tightened, encouraging teeth to move gradually to the correct positioning.
Other options include treatments that are removable such as headgear, Invislign aligners, retainers, tooth movers, and palate expanders. Face guards are often used in order to correct problems that develop in the upper and lower jaws, and headgear can sometimes attach to fixed braces in order to provide extra support. Whatever your dentist decides is right will help you to get that healthy smile and easy comfort that you’ve always wanted.
To find out how orthodontics can work for you, call (619) 640-5100.