Orthodontics is a special form of dentistry that exists to fix or prevent crooked teeth, issues with the spacing of the teeth, and various types of “bad bites” such as overbites, underbites, etc. Many people may assume that orthodontics is purely an aesthetic practice, but in fact it not only does it improve the appearance of the smile, it also aids the function, stability, and health of the smile as well. Orthodontic treatments help to straighten out wayward teeth, improve the alignment of the jaws, and even mitigate the symptoms of some sleep issues. Though orthodontics were originally associated with preteens and teenagers, nowadays orthodontic treatments are often used for adults too due to their many benefits.
At Empress Walk Dental, we recommend orthodontic treatment for patients who exhibit the following issues:
If left untreated, these issues can lead to several unpleasant consequences, including but not limited to:
• Improper oral hygiene, which can then result in gum disease, tooth decay, and even tooth loss, all of which can result in expensive dental bills and additional health problems
• An unattractive appearance, which makes it harder to get a job or excel in social situations
• Jaw problems such as TMJ, which usually require more extensive treatment and, in some cases, surgery
• Earaches, neck and shoulder pain
• Difficulty with chewing and speaking
• Breathing and sleeping problems like snoring
• Abnormal wear and tear on tooth enamel
• Migraines and other headaches
• Lack of self-confidence
Misaligned jaws and crooked teeth can disrupt many different parts of everyday life, from talking to eating, and so many times it is categorized as a restorative issue. In addition to addressing health concerns, orthodontics can also help improve the appearance of the teeth and jaws. Research shows that a beautiful smile makes one seem friendly, approachable, and trustworthy. This feature can make a huge difference in a variety of important life situations, from dating to job interviews and more. Because of these factors, orthodontics can also be associated with cosmetic dentistry.
Your Empress Walk Dental orthodontist will help you improve both your health and your smile by repositioning your teeth and their roots. Due to improvements in orthodontic technologies, we are able to produce results with more comfort and less treatment time than ever before.
When orthodontics is combined with maxillofacial surgery, it can also work wonders to improve your appearance by sculpting the jaw, lips, and neck into a more aesthetically pleasing alignment. As an added bonus, when the teeth are well-aligned, it becomes much simpler to maintain good oral hygiene habits.
To summarize, some of the benefits of orthodontic treatment are:
• Healthier gums and teeth with fewer spaces for bacteria to accumulate and grow
• A beautiful, aesthetically pleasing smile
• Relief from certain sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea or snoring
• Straighter teeth
• A better bite
• Increased self-esteem and confidence in both professional and social situations
Bottom line: orthodontics has a plethora of benefits from both the health and aesthetics points of view that greatly improve the patient’s quality of life.
All of our orthodontic patients begin their path to treatment with an initial consultation. At the consultation, your Empress Walk Dental orthodontist will perform a thorough examination of your mouth, including the form and function of your teeth and jaws, using photos of the outside and inside of the mouth, cephalometric and panoramic X-rays, and impressions/molds that will be used to create models that illustrate your tooth alignment and bite.
These methods of examining your mouth will give your orthodontist the information necessary to devise a customized treatment plan according to your specific goals and needs. Your orthodontist may recommend that you wear traditional braces, clear aligners, a retainer, or some combination of these to produce the ideal results.
Our Empress Walk Dental orthodontists are trained to evaluate all aspects of a patient’s situation before making a treatment recommendation, so you can be sure that they will guide you to the best treatment option for you.
The two main types of braces are traditional metal braces and Invisalign braces, a system of clear plastic aligners. Depending upon the extent of the patient’s needs, other treatment strategies such as space maintainers, palatal expanders, and/or computer-generated appliances may also be used.
Here are the basics for each of the treatment methods mentioned above:
How Long Does Orthodontic Treatment Take?
For example, some of our younger patients may complete their treatments faster than older patients because their young bones are more malleable to the shifting that orthodontics seeks to accomplish. In some cases, the patient’s malocclusion may be so serious that oral or maxillofacial surgery is necessary as a prerequisite to the orthodontic treatment, meaning that the time to have the surgery and recover from it must be factored into the treatment plan. Patients who keep up with proper oral hygiene and who comply with all instructions from their orthodontist generally are able to conclude their treatments in less time than patients who do not. In addition to the approximately two year period of wearing orthodontic appliances such as braces, most patients also wear a retainer for a certain length of time following the conclusion of the initial treatment phase. The retainer holds the teeth in their new position. Some patients wear their retainer for one year, and others must wear a retainer at night for the rest of their lives in order to avoid reversing effects of the treatment.
No matter how long your treatment ends up taking, we are confident that you will love the beautiful, healthy smile that you will have as a result of the power of orthodontics!