A Guide on What Orthodontics Entails
Posted on July 1, 2020
More and more Americans are turning to orthodontic specialists to correct their teeth misalignment. Crooked teeth can negatively impact your self-image and interfere with your natural smile. However, orthodontics goes beyond giving you back your smile. Orthodontic treatments lead to healthier mouths, realigning teeth, and reducing pressure on temporomandibular joints.
Orthodontist vs. Dentist
Orthodontists receive additional training beyond the four years in dental school. The orthodontist will attend a two-year residency in an ADA-approved orthodontics training program. All orthodontists are trained dentists, but only 5% of dentists are licensed orthodontists.
Irregularities That Orthodontists Can Treat
Bad bites resulting from misaligned teeth are one of the many dental issues that orthodontic treatments can fix. Others may include:
- Crowded teeth: The teeth bunch up and overlap as they don’t have enough room on the jaw to erupt. The teeth create difficulties during brushing and flossing, causing plaque and tartar buildup.
- Overbite: The upper front teeth extend excessively over the lower teeth. The protrusion causes a deep bite that wears down the teeth.
- Underbite: The front lower teeth overlap the upper teeth, causing difficulty in chewing. The extended teeth may cause tooth sensitivity as the enamel wears off.
- Spaced teeth: There are gaps between the teeth that hide food particles. The stuck bits of food may cause a plaque buildup, leading to gum disease.
- Crossbite: The upper teeth perch inside the lower teeth. It leads to faster wearing down of teeth with a higher risk of chipping and cracking.
Types of Orthodontic Treatments
Orthodontics incorporates the use of different appliances to straighten the teeth. The aligners apply gentle pressure on the teeth, pushing them to the desired positions. Your orthodontist will inspect the severity of your problem, and choose the most effective approach. The most common approaches include:
1. Traditional Metal Braces
Even with the rapidly changing technology in the orthodontic world, nickel-based wires and brackets are still a popular treatment option. The rather conspicuous wire and metal brackets are highly effective in gradually pushing the teeth in place. However, most patients are self-conscious about their looks while wearing the braces.
2. Self-litigating Braces
The aligners work similarly to the traditional metal ones, only using clips instead of elastic bands. As a result, the clear brackets are more discrete, with less friction on the braces. The sliding mechanism offers increased control over the appliance without the need for constant tightening and readjustments.
3. Ceramic Braces
Ceramic aligners are similar in size and shape to metal wires and brackets, thus achieving the same level of efficiency. However, the braces are made of ceramic material that blends with the natural color of teeth. This property makes the aligners more subtle and discrete.
4. Lingual Braces
Lingual braces are the holy-grail of discrete braces. The gold-plated wires and brackets attach on the lingual side of the teeth, making them invisible to prying eyes. The aligners fitted at the back of your teeth are custom made to fit, achieving the same level of success as metal braces.
Invisalign braces are the new, hot trend in orthodontics. More people are opting to use Invisalign due to its subtle nature. The braces use clear, plastic aligners to move teeth to the desired position gradually. The customized plates can also be removed at mealtimes and brushing of teeth.
Orthodontics helps solve a host of dental problems by realigning teeth with braces. For more information on orthodontic services, contact Best Smiles Orthodontics.