Tooth Straightening Treatments (Orthodontics) What is orthodontics?

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Tooth Straightening Treatments (Orthodontics)
What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that corrects teeth and jaws that are positioned improperly. Crooked teeth and teeth that do not fit together correctly are harder to keep clean, are at risk of being lost early due to tooth decay and periodontal disease, and cause extra stress on the chewing muscles that can lead to headaches, TMJ syndrome and neck, shoulder and back pain. Teeth that are crooked or not in the right place can also detract from one's appearance.

The benefits of orthodontic treatment include a healthier mouth, a more pleasing appearance, and teeth that are more likely to last a lifetime.

Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment

  • Psychological benefits and increased confidence especially if teasing at school is a problem for your child during the critical development years

  • Reduce the risk of trauma or injury to protruded front teeth

  • Guide permanent teeth into a more favourable position if early treatment is indicated

  • Easier to bite and chew food i.e. improved function

  • Facilitate oral hygiene and avoid having to cope with food getting caught between the teeth

  • Better long term health of teeth and gums

  • Improved force distribution and wear patterns on the teeth

  • Occasional improvements in speech

  • Occasionally excessive strain on the supporting gum and bone tissues can affect the jaw joint leading to problems later in life such a headaches and referred pain.

Straight teeth are less prone to decay and injury. It is much easier to remove the bacteria and plaque from your teeth when the toothbrush can contact most of the smooth surfaces of your teeth. Localised severe crowding can lead to tooth decay, gum disease and destruction of the bony foundation that holds your teeth in position. If your supporting gum tissues are affected by gum disease, it is a problem that can remain with you throughout your life so early correction is indicated to avoid a lot of future work in the dental chair and associated expense.

As teeth have a tendency to move throughout life, we have an open door policy and are delighted to welcome you at any age.

Even if you have had braces earlier in your life in a different location we are very happy to see you if the teeth have moved back.

Orthodontics can not only help straighten your teeth, giving you an appealing smile, but can greatly contribute to the health of your jaw, teeth and sometimes your overall health

How do I Know if I Need Orthodontics?

Your dentist can determine whether you can benefit from orthodontics. Based on diagnostic tools that include a full medical and dental health history, a clinical exam, plaster models of your teeth, and special X-rays and photographs, we can decide whether orthodontics are recommended, and develop a treatment plan that's right for you.

If you have any of the following, you may be a candidate for orthodontic treatment:

  • Overjet (protruding upper teeth), sometimes called "buck teeth" — where the upper front teeth lie too far forward (stick out) over the lower teeth

  • Overbite the lower front teeth bite into the upper tissue of the upper teeth.

  • Underbite (protruding upper teeth) — a "bulldog" appearance where the lower teeth are too far forward or the upper teeth too far back

  • Crossbite — when the upper teeth do not come down slightly in front of the lower teeth when biting together normally

  • Open bite — space between the biting surfaces of the front and/or side teeth when the back teeth bite together

  • Misplaced midline— when the center of your upper front teeth does not line up with the center of your lower front teeth

  • Spacing — gaps, or spaces, between the teeth as a result of missing teeth or teeth that do not "fill up" the mouth

  • Crowding — when there are too many teeth for the dental ridge to accommodate

  • Missing or extra teeth – Due to tooth decay, injuries, or inherited problems.

  • Self-image – An attractive smile can boost a person’s self-image and confidence.

  • Speech, chewing or biting problems - Result from improper occlusion and jaw alignment






How Does Orthodontic Treatment Work?
Many different types of appliances, both fixed and removable, are used to help move teeth, retrain muscles and affect the growth of the jaws. These appliances work by placing gentle pressure on the teeth and jaws. The severity of your problem will determine which orthodontic approach is likely to be the most effective.

Fixed appliances include:

  • Braces  the most common fixed appliances, braces consist of bands, wires and/or brackets. Bands are fixed around the teeth or tooth and used as anchors for the appliance, while brackets are most often bonded to the front of the tooth. Arch wires are passed through the brackets and attached to the bands. Tightening the arch wire puts tension on the teeth, gradually moving them to their proper position. Braces are usually adjusted monthly to bring about the desired results, which may be achieved within a few months to a few years. Today's braces are smaller, lighter and show far less metal than in the past. They come in bright colours for kids as well as clear styles preferred by many adults.

Virtually Invisible clear braces

Removable appliances include:

  • Aligners — an alternative to traditional braces for adults, serial aligners are being used to move teeth in the same way that fixed appliances work, only without metal wires and brackets. Aligners are virtually invisible and are removed for eating, brushing and flossing.

What does orthodontic treatment involve?

Orthodontic treatment involves three stages:

1.  Planning Stage – Your first couple of visits may include the following:

A medical and dental history evaluation.

imIpressions of your teeth.  

Photographs of your face and mouth.

X-rays of the teeth and jaws.

After careful planning, your orthodontist will design and apply braces or fabricate custom-made appliances for you.

2.  Active Stage – Active treatment involves visiting on a regular basis for adjustments and following specific treatment requirements to ensure successful treatment.

3.  Retention Stage – When treatment is completed, the braces and/or appliances are removed and a new appliance is made.  Usually these retainers are removable and will help to maintain the changes made to your teeth if worn as instructed.

Treatment and retention times vary depending on each individual case.  However, retention is a lifetime process.  We will ensure you have successful treatment for a beautiful smile that can last a lifetime. 

Orthodontics can not only help straighten your teeth, giving you an appealing smile, but can greatly contribute to the health of your jaw, teeth and sometimes your overall health

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