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Orthodontics is the dental specialty which treats malocclusion (crooked teeth) with the help of braces. It also includes procedures that deal with modifying the facial growth, which is called dentofacial orthopedics. The dental specialist who provides orthodontic treatment is called an orthodontist. One needs to consult an orthodontist if the teeth are protruded or crowded, or if there is excessive spacing between teeth, jaw growth problems, missing permanent teeth, and retained milk teeth.
Orthodontic treatment is carried out with orthodontic appliances. These appliances can be either fixed or removable. The different types of fixed appliances are braces, space maintainers, fixed retainer, and other special appliances. Aligners, headgear, removable retainers, and palatal expanders are few examples of removable appliances. As the treatment results are much better with fixed appliances, the use of removable appliances is decreasing.
These appliances help in moving the crooked teeth and teeth with gaps into a proper position. As a result, the teeth look more aesthetically pleasing. Some people have incorrect bite because of the way the upper and the lower jaw meet. In such a case, orthodontic treatment helps to transfer the biting force on all the teeth evenly, which is good for oral health in the long run.
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