Why We Need Orthodontic Treatment

Posted on: 28 July 2017

What is orthodontic treatment?

According to the Oxford Dictionaries, orthodontics refers to 'the treatment of irregularities in the teeth and jaws'.

Orthodontic treatment improves the appearance of the teeth and how they work and it attempts to spread biting pressure evenly across all the teeth so as to ensure their long term health. 

Types of dental irregularities

We all love to have a perfect set of teeth and a beautiful smile, but not everyone is so endowed. So many people have crowded or crooked teeth. This can be quite embarrassing for some, and it can be the cause of low self-esteem for others.

Prominent font teeth that stick out are more likely to be damaged and can be unsightly. They may also lead to an incorrect bite which puts strain on jaw muscles and cause occasional headaches.

Having orthodontic treatment to straighten the teeth or to move them to a better position improves a person's appearance and corrects the way the teeth bite together. Orthodontic treatment addresses these problems by means of special appliances, and the most common of them  is called a dental brace.

Dental Braces

Braces can be removable or fixed. A removable brace is a plate that has delicate wires and springs attached to it for moving the teeth by gentle pressure. It can be taken out of the mouth at will for cleaning.

A fixed brace on the other hand is temporarily stuck to the teeth and has wires and bands with a flexible wire which binds all the brackets together to adjust the position of the teeth. Occasionally, delicate elastic bands are attached to fixed braces to move the teeth.

With technological advancements in dentistry, braces can now be worn to straighten the teeth without the appliance being noticed. Thin, clear, plastic appliances called aligners which are specially moulded for the patient are worn for up to 23 hours a day to straighten the teeth. The material is almost invisible, and can be removed at will for cleaning.

Dentists recommend that almost all patients who have had orthodontic treatment need to wear retainers to prevent the teeth from going crooked again.

Other methods of correcting crooked teeth

Braces are not the only option for correcting crooked teeth. Depending on the degree of crookedness, the orthodontist may also choose to file away some of the enamel to create smaller or slenderer tooth.

If the overcrowding is mild or small spaces exist between the teeth, a good method of improving the appearance of the teeth is the use of porcelain veneers, although this will not rectify the underlying structural problem. More elaborate procedures such as the use of surgery to shorten the length of the lower jaw can be adopted in suitable cases.

The use of orthodontic treatment to correct uneven teeth or misaligned bite can help restore self-confidence, make it easier to chew and help to speak better.

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