Orthodontic treatment is the treatment of malposition of the teeth and malposition and malocclusion of the jaws. The word ortho means correction and donti means teeth or dental tissues.
WHAT CAUSES ORTHODONTIC PROBLEMS?
Most malocclusions are inherited genetically. These are; malocclusions of the jaws, missing extra teeth, crowding, spaces between teeth overbites, openbites cleft lips, cleft palates, skeletal malposition of the upper or lower jaws. Some of the orthodontic problems occur by time, caused by early loss of the decidious teeth, thumb sucking, gum diseases, mouth breathing, loss of permanent teeth, birth defects, poor nutrition, abnormal swallowing.
To whom can orthodontic treatment can be done? Is there an age limit?
Alignement of teeth by orthodontic treatment is possible at any age. Yet first orthodontic evaluation should not be before the patient is seven years old. Even though teeth may seem aligned at that age, hints of future problems can be detected. If this is the case, your orthodontist will be guideing you for the appropriate timing to start your orthodontic treatment.
By early detection and treatment of problems, existing anomaly can either be totally eliminated or can be treated faster later rather than treatments at later age.
What are orthodontic treatment types?
Orthodontic treatment uses appliances to correct the position of the teeth.
Custom-made clear aligners: This method is a brace and wite free orthodontic treatment method that is applied by clear aligners axclusively made for your teeth in order to treat misalignment. It is one of the most preferred treatment methods as the patients can remove or wear aligners by themselves.
Braces: This treatment method includes wire and braces which can be transparant or coloured. The wire is applied through braces cemented to teeth in order to create forces to change the position of the teeth.
Fixed placeholder: This treatment is applied when primary teeth have been extracted earlier than the necessary time needed for the permanent teeth to erupt due to cavities, permanent teeth erupt in order when fixed placeholders are applied to protect the alignment of teeth.
Removable Retainers: Retainers are used at the end of the orthodontic treatments in order to mantain teeth alignment. After being used for a needed period of time they can be removed.
Splint : Splints are transparant, removeable dental appliances that covers either upper or lower teeth. With the guidance of a splint wrong lower jaw movements can be fixed, relaxation of masticatory muscles can be obtained. Splints are also used in order to treat temporomandibular joint disorders.
Palatal Expanders: Palatal expanders, are an acrylic plate placed on the palate to create more space by gradually widening the upper jaw.
What are precautions to be taken during orthodontic treatment?
During treatment, patient-family-doctor communication should be well. Mantaining good oral hygiene is also a must as before getting used to appliances can take 7 to 10 days. In this period of time sensitivity, musocal lesions may be seen. If so, you should communicate with your doctor as soon as possible. During treatment patient should attend to follow-up appointments without hindering.