Orthodontics is widely known as the branch of dentistry dealing with the treatment of individuals suffering from improper teeth positioning when their mouth remains closed, which results in improper bites. Orthodontics includes controlling and treating several dimensions of facial growth (dentofacial orthopedics) and shape or development of jaw. The orthodontics specialist is popularly known as an orthodontist. Orthodontics was previously referred to as orthodontia – the word is derived from Greek word orthos, indicating perfect, proper or straight and dontos, meaning “teeth”. Orthodontics includes cosmetic dentistry; when the patient desires to improve the appearance. An orthodontist makes use of a many kinds of dental devices, such as headgears, braces, plates and so on to help:
Close gaps between teeth
Ensure tips of teeth get aligned
Straighten crooked teeth
Improve oral functions
Improve long-term health of teeth and gums
Prevent long term wear or trauma of teeth
Treating improper bites
When does the orthodontic treatment generally start?
Treatment does not commence until a child reaches an age of 12 – 13 years; when adult teeth comes out and has developed totally. In few cases the treatment can start some years later if the teeth problems do not become noticeable. Children with cleft lip & palate can need orthodontic treatment before adult teeth have developed fully.
Diagnosing problems and suggesting treatment options:
An orthodontist assesses a patient’s teeth and makes predictions on how they can develop without treatment. The mentioned diagnostic procedures are usually performed:
full dental as well as medical history
X-ray of teeth and jaw
Plaster model of teeth
When to call for orthodontic treatment?
The health authorities in UK claim that research has been showing that about one third of 12 year-olds require orthodontic treatment. Treatment may be required for problems such as:
Front teeth protrude – treatment improves the appearance, and also protects teeth from further damage; those with a protruding front teeth face a greater risk of injure while playing, falling down, and so on.
Crowding – when a patient has a narrow jaw, enough space may not be there for all the teeth. The orthodontist in such cases may remove one or multiple teeth to make room for the rest.
Impacted teeth – when adult teeth starts coming through, they may not be in the appropriate position
Asymmetrical teeth – when upper and lower teeth doesn’t match, specifically when mouth is closed but teeth are showing.
Deep bite (overbite) – when teeth get clenched, upper ones come over lower ones
Reverse bite – when teeth get clenched, upper teeth bites inside lower ones
Open bite – when teeth get clenched, an opening between upper and lower teeth is formed.
Underbite – creates the “bulldog” appearance
Crossbite – one of the upper teeth doesn’t come slightly in form of lower teeth when teeth get clenched; they are way too near the tongue or cheek
Spacing – there are spaces or gaps between the teeth, maybe because a tooth is missing, or teeth do not fill up mouth