Orthodontics is a form of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. Technically speaking, these problems are classified as "malocclusion," meaning "bad bite." Our dentists are skilled in recognizing these problems and our doctors have years of experience in the design, application and control of corrective appliances, such as braces, to bring teeth, lips and jaws into proper alignment and to achieve facial balance.
What are Orthodontic Braces?
There are many different types of braces available to patients, and your doctor will know which one will work best for you.
Some people only require temporary retainer type braces, which can be taken in and out at will, while others will need a fixed brace, which is a series of wires and with metal clamps cemented directly on to the teeth. A fixed brace can sometimes be attached to the reverse of teeth to minimize its visibility. In more serious cases of teeth misalignment, a combination of removable applicances and fixed braces will be employed to correct the problem.
Here’s a quick rundown of how braces work: the metal wire that runs across the front of the teeth is designed to exert pressure in certain places. Providing it is of sufficient strength, this pressure slowly but surely causes the teeth to move within the gum and jawbone. The reason patients wear a brace for so long is that this process of teeth movement is dependant on the remodelling of bone which is a slow process. If you think about it, the teeth are anchored firmly into the jawbone; to get them to move permanently would take a constant pressure applied over a long period. This is exactly what a brace does. Braces normally need to be adjusted periodically to tighten the wires.
Who Can Benefit from Orthodontics and Braces?
There is a common misconception that braces and orthodontists are within the realm of teenagers only, however there are literally millions of people of all ages that require orthodontic treatment. In fact, orthodontic treatment is succesful on patients of all ages.
What are the Benefits of Orthodontics and Braces?
Quite simply, a better looking, more functional bite and a healthier jaw! Once moved to their final locations, the teeth will appear much straighter and be easier to maintain. This improvement boosts the confidence of the patient and also makes their life easier with regards to keeping the teeth clean and bacteria free. The patient will also find that their ‘bite’ is more comfortable, which should make things such as eating a lot easier! The long-term benefits with orthodontics are that the results will last. Once teeth have been shifted via the installation of a brace, they will usually remain in place for an indefinite amount of time (although they will require retention to maintain this position).