Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that corrects teeth and jaws that are positioned improperly. Crooked teeth and teeth that do not fit together correctly are harder to keep clean, are at risk of being lost early due to tooth decay and periodontal disease, and cause extra stress on the chewing muscles that can lead to headaches, TMJ syndrome and neck, shoulder and back pain. Teeth that are crooked or not in the right place can also detract from one’s appearance.
The benefits of orthodontic treatment include a healthier mouth, a more pleasing appearance, and teeth that are more likely to last a lifetime.
A specialist in this field is called an orthodontist. Orthodontists receive two or more years of education beyond their four years in dental school in an ADA-approved orthodontic training program.
Only your dentist or orthodontist can determine whether you can benefit from orthodontics. Based on diagnostic tools that include a full medical and dental health history, a clinical exam, plaster models of your teeth, and special X-rays and photographs, an orthodontist or dentist can decide whether orthodontics are recommended, and develop a treatment plan that’s right for you.
Many different types of appliances, both fixed and removable, are used to help move teeth, retrain muscles and affect the growth of the jaws. These appliances work by placing gentle pressure on the teeth and jaws. The severity of your problem will determine which orthodontic approach is likely to be the most effective.
These are the metal brackets and wires that most people picture when they hear the word “braces.” However, modern brackets are smaller and less noticeable than the notorious “metal-mouth” braces than many adults remember. Plus, new heat-activated archwires use your body heat to help teeth move more quickly and less painfully than in the past.
Pros: Least expensive type; colored bands give kids a chance to express themselves.
Cons: Most noticeable type of braces.
This is a category of braces which are worn to improve your facial appearance, namely that of your smile. These braces are white or transparent and are designed to be as discreet as possible.
They are one of several options to the traditional ‘train track’ braces.
Braces are a type of orthodontic device which are worn to correct any number of dental or facial abnormalities such as malocclusion, under/overbite, TMJ, crowded teeth and spacing between teeth.
In these cases there is a clear dental need for a brace which is discussed in more detail in the orthodontics section.
This section discusses the various types of braces worn as part of a smile makeover or for purely cosmetic reasons. In either case the aim is to straighten the teeth and improve their appearance. This will also improve your smile.
A cosmetic brace is often included as part of an overall treatment plan which includes porcelain veneers and crowns plus inlays and onlays.
Invisalign straightens teeth using a series of nearly invisible, removable aligners that are custom-made specifically for your teeth. As you replace each aligner every two weeks, your teeth will move – little by little, week by week, gradually moving towards the projected final position.
Comfortable, clear and removable – Invisalign transforms your smile without disrupting your life. Something that over 3 million people worldwide have already discovered.