Orthodontics is a specialist type of dentistry concerned with the structure of the jaw and teeth. Many people think of teeth straightening as a cosmetic issue, designed to create more even and visually appealing smiles, but orthodontics is more focused on the function of your teeth.
Misaligned teeth and jaws aren’t just an aesthetic concern. They can cause many long-term health problems if they aren’t addressed, from poor oral hygiene and nutrition to difficulties with chewing and speaking.
This is why orthodontics is often associated with children, as it’s best to correct misalignments as young as possible to prevent these issues as they grow up. However, orthodontic treatments are important for correcting teeth and jaw problems at any age.
Here’s what you should know about orthodontics, including the treatments that orthodontists can offer and how these can improve your smile and quality of life.
While general dentistry focuses on general oral health, orthodontists undertake further training to gain higher qualifications in this specialist area. Only qualified orthodontists can practice orthodontic care to correct misaligned jaws and teeth – a condition known as malocclusion.
There are many different types of malocclusion that an orthodontist can assess and design an appropriate orthodontic treatment plan for. The purpose of orthodontic treatments is to correct issues with a misaligned bite, which can include:
These treatments align the upper and lower jaws correctly and straighten the teeth to distribute bite pressure evenly. Otherwise, the malocclusion could be painful, damage the teeth, and cause a variety of mild to severe health problems.
Orthodontic treatment requires patients to invest time, money, and patience into properly aligning their teeth, but the results can truly change their lives. Most modern orthodontic techniques are fast and discreet, and can help you to achieve the following:
As you can see, correcting your tooth placement and jaw alignment comes with a host of long-term benefits that improve not just your oral health, but also your overall well-being. There’s no need to suffer with discomfort from orthodontic conditions when treatments are available.
Typically, the best time to see an orthodontist is during childhood or adolescence. A parent should take their child to an orthodontist for an assessment as soon as their adult teeth have grown in. This allows any problems to be detected earlier on, making it easier to correct them while the teeth and jaws are still developing.
Orthodontists can observe incoming teeth, monitor the development of the jaw and facial structure, and carry out treatments to guide the teeth and jaws into the proper positions as needed. Even if a child has no immediately noticeable problems with eating or speaking, it’s best for an orthodontist to examine them to rule out hidden issues.
That said, a healthy bite and straight smile are just as important for adults as adolescents – you don’t have to be a teenager to receive orthodontic treatment. Though there are age-related factors that can affect eligibility, such as bone loss, it’s still possible to receive corrective treatment at any age.
The most important factor is having an appropriate number of teeth and good oral health. In cases where a patient has gum disease or tooth decay, this will need to be addressed before they can be considered for orthodontic treatment.
When a patient attends a consultation with an orthodontist, they will examine the patient’s teeth, which may involve taking dental X-rays and impressions to create a digital model of the patient’s bite. The orthodontist can then use specialist software to map out the best way to move the patient’s teeth to gradually align their bite.
There are many different orthodontic appliances available to address different kinds of malocclusion. In severe cases, a patient might require more intensive equipment, such as orthodontic headgear or a removable ‘functional’ brace to guide the jaws. However, the most common types of orthodontic treatment can include:
The right treatment for you depends on your individual oral condition, as does the length of time it takes to complete the recommended treatment. The success of orthodontic treatment also depends on the patient maintaining the proper oral hygiene routines and dietary restrictions throughout, as instructed by their orthodontist.
Here at Dental Solutions, we’re proud to provide fixed braces for teenagers and children between 10 years old and 16 years old, as well as Quick Straight Teeth clear braces and Invisalign clear aligners for adults over 16 years old.
Technological advancements in orthodontic treatment have been game changers in this field of dentistry, as there are now more options than ever, including discreet teeth-straightening solutions for adults who don’t want to wear traditional metal braces.
The first step in getting the orthodontic treatment you need – and eventually, the smile you’ve always deserved – is visiting an orthodontist for an initial assessment. You can then discover which treatment is recommended for you, how long it will take, and which payment options are available.
We believe we’re the best around when it comes to orthodontics Warrington, so give us a call at 01925 756565 or email [email protected] to book an appointment and find out for yourself. Our skilful and friendly dental team will be happy to help you.