Crooked teeth can be esthetically disturbing. Orthodontic treatment can make your smile beautiful. Read the article to know the pros and cons of this treatment.
An orthodontic treatment (wire braces) is a dental treatment done for a patient to get an aesthetic facial apperance while maintaining the intraoral gum health. Presently we are witnessing numerous patients who after completing the treatment complain of periodontitis (gum problem in which loosening of teeth occurs), spacing between teeth, non-vital teeth (dead teeth due to lack of blood supply) and loss of sensation in the teeth few years after the treatment say 4-5 years down the line.
1) Severely protruded teeth (forwardly placed teeth) that causes psychological disturbance for patients especially girls.
Patients with mild protrusion and severe bimaxillary protrusion (forwardly placed teeth, both in the upper and the lower jaws) have to be distinguished. Only those who really need correction have to be treated. Patients should try to know from the doctor, the pros and cons of orthodontic intervention.
2) Improper arrangement of teeth causing severe problem in the normal functioning of mouth and chewing.
For patients with difficulty in opening and closing the mouth, chewing food, speaking, etc., orthodontic treatment is a must. Small problems like rotated teeth and small crowding (closely placed teeth due to lack of space) do not require treatment.
3) Pure aesthetic consideration.
Patients who are hell-bent in getting the perfect look, like people involved in professions where external appearance plays an important role, should stick to certain precautions after the treatment. They should use a good nightguard or retainer for a long period or else there are chances of relapse.
1) After treatment there would be loosening of your gingiva and teeth, so if you do not wear retainers for a long time approximately 3 years, there are chances of relapse. Your teeth will again start to protrude or shift irregularly resulting in spacing between the teeth.
2) Sensitivity of teeth might occur in a few patients. This is because, the alveolar bone (part of jaw bone holding the teeth in place) surrounding the teeth recedes during orthodontic treatment. This is associated with tooth sensitivity problems while eating cold and sweet food.
3) Orthodontic treatment alters the patient's natural gum architecture and this becomes a problem in later age, causing loosening of tooth.
Eventhough there are a few disadvantages, orthodontic treatment is a must for correction of functional problems like difficulty in speech, difficulty in eating, temperomandibular joint disorders, mouth breathing and many more.
Hence, patients wanting orthodontic treatment kindly consider these points before starting the treatment. Because "it is only a treatment and not a beauty enhancement procedure".
The branch of dentistry that deals with teeth that are not positioned correctly is called orthodontics. Orthodontic treatment includes the use of braces, plates, and headgear to improve the appearance and function of the teeth and to protect the teeth from decay.
Orthodontic treatment can make your smile beautiful. Apart from this, it also helps:
- Increase your self-esteem and confidence.
- Align crooked teeth (Crooked teeth might be difficult to clean, as you will not be able to reach between such teeth).
- Improve your ability to chew and bite properly.
- Reduce wear and tear of the teeth (when your teeth do not occlude correctly, it can damage the surface of the teeth).
- Prevent temporomandibular problems.
The four main types of appliances used in orthodontic treatment are:
- Fixed braces - Brackets are attached to each tooth and are linked with a wire. The patient can not remove them.
- Removable braces - These are plates that are placed in the mouth to achieve limited tooth movement. They can be removed.
- Functional appliances - Fixed or removable appliance that helps and guide mandibular growth.
- Headgear - It is a type of appliance that is attached to the patient’s head, and is used to correct severe bite problems in children.
Your dentist will estimate the time it will take for your teeth to align based on your age, the severity of alignment problem, and other habits. It usually takes anywhere between 1 to 3 years.
Orthodontic treatment can be started at any age. But it is seen that starting the treatment between ages 7 and 10 when all the permanent teeth have not erupted, results in much more effective treatment. Usually, children between the ages 12 and 16 opt for braces to align their teeth, as by this time all permanent teeth except the wisdom teeth erupt.
The fixed braces help align teeth faster than removable braces. And instead of wires, elastics are used to accelerate the process. The other option is the invisible braces (Invisalign).
The three stages of orthodontic treatment are:
- Stage 1 - Planning stage - Here, the dentist takes a complete medical and dental history, prepares study models, orders a panoramic and lateral cephalogram x-ray, and takes photographs of the patient’s profile.
- Stage 2 - Active stage - Based on the study models and x-rays, the dentist prepares a treatment plan. He or she will decide on the type of appliance to use.
- Stage 3 - Retention stage - After the teeth are in the correct position, the fixed or removable braces are removed, and the dentist will fabricate a fixed or removable retainer for you.
You might need to get orthodontic treatment if you have any of the following problems:
- Overbite - it is when the upper teeth cover the lower teeth more than what is normal.
- Underbite - instead of the upper teeth covering the lower teeth, the lower teeth are in the front.
- Protrusion - teeth which are pointing out, which hinders in lip closing.
- Crowding - not enough space between teeth.
- Spacing - too much space between teeth.
There is no way to speed up orthodontic treatment, as it is a slow process. As the tooth moves, the bone has to form and resorb simultaneously. You can maintain good oral hygiene and clean around the braces properly to avoid any complication that might lengthen the treatment.
Braces apply a constant pressure on the teeth, which results in its movement. The bone gets resorbed in the direction of force, and bone is formed from where the tooth moved. The bone around the teeth changes its shape according to the pressure applied.
Last reviewed at:
21 Dec 2022 - 2 min read
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