Everyone knows that there’s no one way of getting the perfect smile. Considering that many people suffer from different dental issues, having a fixed way out wouldn’t do. For an effective solution to the best smile quest, there are different types of orthodontic treatments available, each designed to meet specific needs and to make the best smile goal possible.
Who is an orthodontist?
You must be wondering why we aren’t mentioning a dentist in this article and who an orthodontist is, and the answers are all here. An orthodontist is a dental specialist whose area of focus is in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. In other words, an orthodontist is a dentist who specializes in sorting abnormalities of the jaw and teeth.
Difference between a dentist and an orthodontist
As earlier mentioned, an orthodontist’s area of focus is correcting misaligned teeth and sorting out jaw issues. A dentist on the other hand focuses primarily on the overall dental and oral health of the patient. While orthodontists focus on issues like crowding bites and others, dentists focus more on teeth cleaning, cavity fillings, gum diseases, and so on.
What sort of orthodontic issues need treatment?
Now that you know who an orthodontist is and why one is different from your regular dentist, it’s time to know some of the issues they specialize in tackling and the reason for the distinct treatments available.
Some of the most common ones include:
- Crowding – This issue occurs when there is little space in the mouth to accommodate all the teeth. It’s a situation of too many teeth in the mouth that makes flossing hard and can lead to tooth decay.
- Bite/Malocclusion – Bites occur when the upper and lower teeth do not meet adequately when biting down. Bites come in different forms. They include the open bite, the underbite, and deep bite/overbite. All types of malocclusions inherently affect the shape of the face.
- Spacing – Spacing happens when one has abnormal gaps between the teeth. Spacing is most common between the two front teeth and can lead to tooth decay and gingivitis.
- Crossbite/Misaligned bite – A misaligned bite occurs when one’s upper teeth are sitting inside the lower teeth when the mouth is closed. Crossbite often causes teeth chipping and lip pain from bites.
- Impacted tooth – An impacted tooth occurs when there is another tooth in its way or when there isn’t enough room in the jaw for the tooth to erupt. An impacted tooth leads to severe pains.
- Improper eruption – An improper eruption happens when the teeth come out or erupt at an angle, partway, or in the wrong spot.
It is imperative to note that many of these orthodontic issues are genetically inherited. While genetics is the primary cause of these orthodontic issues, other reasons for their occurrence include jaw injuries, failed procedures, defects from birth, childhood habits like thumb sucking, and teeth abnormalities.
Types of orthodontic treatment
With a better knowledge of the distinct types of orthodontic issues, it is safe to assume and know that there are more than enough orthodontic treatments to cover each one of them.
Keep in mind that while some orthodontic issues require the use of a single treatment, others require multiple treatment types.
Braces are popular orthodontic treatments that come in different ways and have multiple types. Braces comprise brackets, bands, wires, and other components fixed to the user’s teeth for permanent or temporary treatment. There are five types of braces –
- Traditional metal braces – The traditional metal braces involve brackets and wires often made of metal and are attached to the teeth for adequate positioning. They are visible as they are attached to the outer part of the teeth. Today, a few traditional metal braces involve heat-activated archwires for a quicker treatment using the body heat in the mouth.
- Ceramic braces – These braces are similar to traditional metal braces based on their size and shape. The main difference is that ceramic braces are made from ceramic material. The ceramic material makes the braces less noticeable. A significant disadvantage is that the material makes the type more expensive.
- Lingual braces – Although metal-made, they are not seen as they are attached to the inside of the teeth. Lingual braces are not as effective as the traditional ones as they are slower in terms of teeth resetting and are often uncomfortable because they are tough to clean and come in contact with the tongue.
- Invisalign® – Invisalign uses clear plastic aligners without brackets and wires to rearrange the teeth. Invisalign shows faster results and is a popular choice because it is almost invisible.
- Self-ligating braces – Self-ligating braces use clips instead of elastic bands to keep the brace’s wire in place. As a similar model to the traditional metal braces, it is efficacious, offers less friction on the braces, and makes cleaning easier for the user. Its downsides are price as it’s more expensive and it’s still visible from the outside.
Cosmetic straightening is a unique method that targets the front six or eight most visible teeth. The treatment focuses on straightening the selected front teeth for appearance purposes. Due to its short-range target, the procedure is quicker, lasting six months at most, and it employs methods or appliances such as Invisalign.
Headgear treatment is to rectify the placement of the rear teeth. Strapped around the back of the head, it is removable and only required or used at night.
Jaw repositioning appliances
Designed to readjust the jaw’s position when it closes, the appliance is worn on the top or lower jaw. Jaw repositioning appliances is a treatment created for individuals with TMJ – Temporomandibular Joint Disorder.
These are plastic plates designed to widen the arch of the upper jaw.
Lip and cheek bumpers
The bumpers are designed to relieve the pressure exerted by the lip and cheek muscles by keeping them away from the teeth.
This orthodontic treatment is a final level treatment method used to ensure that the corrections made by other forms of treatment remain. Retainers could be permanent or temporary. There is the clear gummy-like retainer used to fix the shape of the newly corrected teeth, and there is the stainless-steel wire fixed retainer that is more permanent to ensure the success of the orthodontic treatment. Wearing a retainer as instructed plays a vital role in the success of the treatment.
Are orthodontic treatments and procedures safe?
Orthodontic treatments and procedures are medically safe and risk-free. These are treatments and procedures carried out by specialized individuals with appropriate machinery. Although there are some side effects to many treatments like toothache, discomforts, and scratches, all these effects are short-lived and can be treated medically.
To prevent any irreparable damages, it is always best to register and perform your orthodontist procedures with a licensed and registered orthodontist to ensure that all is according to the law.
Orthodontist treatments, are they worth it?
Getting that perfect smile and healthy teeth is always worth the stress. With the many treatments available, you do not need to suffer in silence anymore. All you need to do is register with licensed orthodontics and give yourself a beautiful smile. Contact Cordoba Orthodontics today and schedule a consultation with Dr. Cordoba to discuss what orthodontic options will work best for you!
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