Orthodontic Treatment FAQ
- A more attractive smile
- Improve the function of the teeth
- Increase in self-confidence
- Increased ability to clean the teeth
- Reduce the improper wearing of the teeth
- Better long-term health of teeth and gums
- Guide permanent teeth into more favorable positions
- Reduce the risk of injury to protruded front teeth
- Aid in optimizing other dental treatments (i.e: implants, crowns and bridges)
Braces use steady gentle pressure to gradually move teeth into their proper positions. The brackets that are placed on your teeth and the archwire that connects them are the main components. When the archwire is placed into the brackets, it tries to return to its original shape. As it does so, it applies pressure to move your teeth to their new, more ideal positions.
Invisalign, Invisalign Teen and SmyleAlign are clear aligners that gradually straighten your teeth through a series of trays that guide you through your treatment journey.
Orthodontic treatment can be started at any age; however, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends an initial screening by a licensed orthodontist by age seven or earlier if a problem is detected by the parents, the family dentist or the child’s physician. Beginning treatment at this time ensures the greatest result and the least amount of time and expense.
By the age of seven, the first adult molars have erupted, establishing the bite at the back molar teeth. During this time, an orthodontist can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. Also, the presence of erupting incisors can indicate possible overbite, open bite, crowding or gummy smiles. Timely screening increases the chances for an incredible smile. Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected at an early age before jaw growth has slowed.
Early treatment may mean that a patient can avoid permanent teeth extraction or surgery and more serious complications. Prudent intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later. When orthodontic intervention is not necessary, an orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal.
If you are wondering if you or your child needs orthodontic treatment, the best way to do this is to set up a complimentary new patient consultation appointment with Dr. Ghosh.
Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age, and the number of adults undergoing orthodontic treatment has increased significantly in recent times.
The biological process involved in tooth movement is the same in adults and children, with slight differences in the treatment modalities. The health of an individual’s teeth, gums, and supporting bones are the most important determinants for improving an adult’s smile and function as well as long-term preservation.
More than mere aesthetics
Often interdisciplinary treatment in conjunction with other dental practitioners may be necessary. Since adult facial bones are no longer growing, certain asymmetrical corrections cannot be accomplished with braces alone. These dramatic facial changes, however, are now being achieved successfully using a combined approach of orthodontic surgery and orthodontics for individuals who elect to receive this type of treatment.
Orthodontics is not merely for improving the aesthetics of the smile; orthodontic treatment improves bad bites (malocclusion). Malocclusion occurs as a result of tooth or jaw misalignment. Malocclusion affects how you smile, chew, clean your teeth or feel about your smile. Any similar deformities or associated pain can make you a candidate for orthodontic treatment so set up a consultation today!
According to studies by the American Association of Orthodontists, untreated malocclusion can result in a variety of problems but can be rectified with early treatment.
Crowded teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease. Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping. Crossbites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear. Open bites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments. Ultimately, orthodontics does more than make a pretty smile – it creates a healthier you.
Phase I, or early interceptive treatment, is limited orthodontic treatment (i.e. functional appliance or partial braces) before all of the permanent teeth have erupted. Such treatment can occur between the ages of six and ten. This treatment is sometimes recommended to make more space for developing teeth, correction of crossbites, overbites, underbites, or harmful oral habits.
Phase II treatment is also called comprehensive treatment, because it involves full braces when all of the permanent teeth have erupted, usually between the ages of eleven and thirteen.
Treatment times vary on a case-by-case basis, but the average time is from one to two years. Actual treatment time can be affected by the rate of growth and severity of the correction necessary. Treatment length is also dependent upon patient compliance. Maintaining good oral hygiene and keeping regular appointments are important in keeping treatment time on schedule.
Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment are:
- Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
- Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth
- Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
- Preserving space for unerupted teeth
- Reducing the need for tooth removal
- Reducing treatment time with braces
- Upper-front teeth protrude excessively over the lower teeth, or are “bucked”
- Upper-front teeth cover the majority of the lower teeth when biting together (deep bite)
- Upper-front teeth are behind or inside the lower front teeth (underbite)
- The upper- and lower front teeth do not touch when biting together (open bite)
- Crowded or overlapped teeth
- The center of the upper and lower teeth do not line up
- Finger- or thumb-sucking habits which continue after six or seven years old
- Difficulty chewing
- Teeth wearing unevenly or excessively
- The lower jaw shifts to one side or the other when biting together
- Spaces between the teeth
The placement of bands and brackets on your teeth does not hurt. Once your braces are placed and connected with the archwires you may feel some soreness of your teeth for one to four days. Your lips and cheeks may need one to two weeks to get used to the braces on your teeth.
No. It is recommended, however, that patients protect their smiles by wearing a mouthguard when participating in any sporting activity. Mouthguards are inexpensive, comfortable, and come in a variety of colors and patterns.
No. However, there may be an initial period of adjustment. In addition, brace covers can be provided to prevent discomfort.
Yes. You should continue to see your general dentist every six months for cleanings and dental checkups.
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