Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that specializes in prevention, interception and correction of malocclusion ( malposition and misaligned teeth ) and other abnormalities of dento-facial region .
In an orthodontic treatment we tend to move the tooth gradually to straighten and align a malpositioned or a crowded tooth arrangement to a normal alignment which is more acceptable functionally and aesthetically.
Why to get a orthodontic treatment done ?
Normal alignment of teeth not only contributes to esthetic but is also an important factor for good oral health , proper functioning and for overall preservation and restoration of dental health .
A Crowded or a misaligned tooth arrangement leads to
- Poor / compromised facial appearance
- Risk of caries is higher as misalignment of teeth makes oral hygiene maintain a difficult task.
- Periodontal disease
- Risk of trauma is more
- Temperomandibular joint problems
Orthodontic treatment helps to get tooth in a better functional and esthetic position which in turn helps prevent or reduce the risk of above mentioned problems.
Who needs an orthodontic treatment ?
- A person having crowded tooth
- Person with spacing in between tooth
- Incorrectly positioned tooth
- Person with rotated tooth
- A person with a more anteriorly placed tooth
- A person having crossbite or a person whose occlusion is not in harmony with the surrounding muscles .
Who performs an orthodontic treatment?
The orthodontic procedure.
- On the first visit a dentist will examine your teeth clinical and on a radiograph (usually OPG)
- A model of ur teeth is made by taking an impression.
- The dentist will now study your teeth arrangement and will decide the best treatment plan according to the case.
- The treatment plan may or may not include extraction of teeth depending on the amount of space needed and the amount of space available. At times space can be obtained from other means too like jaw expansion or stippling of tooth .
Now the treatment can be carried out in different procedures which include
- Fixed braces treatment
- Removal orthodontic treatment
- Clear aligners
Fixed orthodontic treatment
In a fixed braces treatment brackets and bands are fixed temporarily on the tooth surface to which wires and elastics are attached. The wire joins all the brackets and applies pressure on the tooth which causes its movement.
The brackets are if various types. They can be made up of metal, plastic or ceramic.
If the space required for the movement of teeth is not available your dentist will have to extract your tooth. The tooth to be extracted is based on the amount of space available. The tooth generally extracted is the 2nd premolar. At times even third molar have to be extracted too.
The elastics are used to move the teeth and the dentist will tell you if you need elastics.
How much time does it take for the treatment to get completed .
The timespan for the complete treatment depends and varies according to the case , the age of the patient and the treatment plan .
How many times do you need to visit your dentist?
You need to visit your dentist once in month or the dentist might call you at 15 days interval depending on phase of treatment.
Once the teeth have been aligned and brought to desirable position the brackets and bands are removed. After this the patient has to put retainers to maintain the new position of the teeth as they they have the tendency to move back to it’s original position. So it is compulsory for the patient to use retainer to prevent teeth relapse.
Other procedures which may be required.
Some cases may require minor surgeries like frenectomy, orthognathic surgeries etc.
Myth correction of fixed orthodontic treatment
Braces don’t harm your tooth, but lack of oral hygiene or poor dental hygiene during a orthodontic treatment can cause caries and periodontal problems.
During the treatment phase you might feel that your tooth has become slightly mobile, this is normal and a part of the procedure as we tend to change the position of the tooth.
Missing appointments or continuous delaying of appointments for the treatment should not be done as it can lead to unfavourable results or may increase the time taken to complete the treatment.
Removable orthodontic braces.
Minor / simple cases can be performed using this method. It is custom made plates with springs or other wires attached for the movement of tooth.
Invisible orthodontic treatment/ clear aligners.
These are orthodontic devices used for alignment of teeth. These are transparent plastic form of dental braces. These are removable devices. These are transparent trays which uses gentle pressure / forces to move the tooth in desired position.
This device is custom made for every individual and the process is carried out by taking a digital impression and then uses a specialized software to design the aligner.
Advantages of clear aligners
- Esthetically pleasing – It is invisible / transparent,so cannot be spotted easily.
- Comfortable – these are removable appliance and hence can be removed while eating or cleaning and becomes easier for the patient to maintain oral hygiene