Orthodontics (Braces and Invisalign)
Orthodontics (Braces and Invisalign)
What is Orthodontics? – An Introduction
Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry which focuses on the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of problems relating to the alignment of teeth and jaws.
The technical term for these problems is malocclusion, literally meaning ‘bad bite’.
Orthodontic treatments involve the planning and use of corrective appliances (such as braces and plates) to bring the teeth and jaws into proper alignment, which in turn improves the health, appearance and function of the teeth.
How Orthodontics can lead to better oral health and wellbeing
One of the most noticeable results of orthodontic treatment is that teeth are straightened and aligned to create a beautiful natural smile.
When teeth are crooked, crowded or overlapping, it becomes very difficult to adequately clean the teeth and maintain oral hygiene. This may lead to tooth decay or gum disease which can cause tooth loss.
When your teeth are properly aligned it creates a better bite which may reduce stress, headaches, and strain on your supporting jaw joints which can cause damage and pain. Properly aligned teeth and jaws also chew more effectively which can lead to better digestion.
A misaligned bite can lead to clenching and grinding, which can cause uneven and excessive wear of the teeth. It can also lead to speech problems.
Orthopaedics is used in growing patients to correct jaw discrepancies and improve dental function. These problems can be caused by habits such as thumb sucking, mouth breathing and tongue thrusting.
Dental orthopaedics involves changing the size, shape and relationship of the bones that structure the face and jaws via the use of custom-made appliances.
Orthodontics – Braces
Orthodontics involves the correction of overlapping, crowded, rotated, or gaps between teeth. To fix these problems, either appliances or braces are used depending on individual requirements.
Braces are metal or ceramic brackets that are cemented to individual teeth. A light weight wire is then threaded through each bracket and held in place with elastic ligature ties; which are usually adjusted every four weeks depending on which bracket is used.
Ceramic brackets are ideal for patients who want a more aesthetically pleasing option. They are a translucent material which creates a more natural look.
Once braces have been removed, the patient will need to wear a retainer (a device that is either fixed or removable) for a certain period of time, which stops the teeth shifting back.
Invisalign is a clear alternative to braces which is a great option for patients
who are not comfortable with the visual appearance of braces.
Invisalign uses a series of thin, clear, custom made aligners which are changed periodically to gradually move your teeth into their desired position.
Advantages of Invisalign include:
- The aligners are virtually invisible.
- The aligners are easily removable, allowing them to be removed before eating, brushing and special occasions.
For information on the process of Invisalign please click here to view a video from their website.
Or view the video below:
If left untreated...
When orthodontic problems (even small ones) are left untreated, they may become worse. This can lead to the abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, excessive gum stress of gum tissue, inefficient chewing and misalignment of the jaw joints. All the above can lead to chronic headaches or pain in the face or neck.
Orthodontic treatment can be effective for all ages; so it is never too late to book an appointment for a consultation with one of our dentists and find out the treatment plan that will best suit you.
Please click here to make an appointment.
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