Orthodontist is a sub-specialty of dentistry that deals with the cosmetic aspects of repositioning crooked or mal-positioned teeth or jaw. This is a form of dentistry that mainly aims to diagnose, prevent and treat the mal-positioned jaws and teeth.
Orthodontics is one of the first specialties created in the field of dentistry and an orthodontist requires additional and extensive training in the anatomy and treatment methods for mal-positioned teeth and jaw.
The main reason to visit an orthodontist is to treat a ‘bad bite’ which is caused by malocclusion (imperfect positioning of the teeth in the jaw).
Orthodontists help to straighten the teeth and also to improve your bite by correcting the malformation that makes your teeth fit incorrectly and also misalign the way your jaws close.
The orthodontist may use several orthodontic devices such as braces, trays (aligners), headgear, retainers, etc to help position the teeth correctly and to hold the corrected teeth in position.
The main aim of the orthodontist is to realign your jaw to fit perfectly as well as to correct the mal-positioned teeth to treat ‘over-bite’ and ‘under-bite’ conditions that may lead to various other dental disorders such as tooth decay, gum disease and even loss of teeth.
An orthodontist is able to:
- Recognize the different characteristics of a misshapen jaw or the maxillofacial bones
- Determine the nature of the problem, including the cause, if possible
- Plan a treatment strategy according to the needs and (realistic) expectations of the individual patient
- Explain the treatment process and plan to the patient in the best possible manner in order to inform them of the need, result and (possible) risks from the treatment
Orthodontics Treatment Methods
For a complete orthodontist treatment, metal wires are used to insert into orthodontic braces (brackets) that may be made from stainless steel, or a more bio-friendly ceramic material. The wires are connected to the braces in a way that help shift the misaligned teeth in the proper position.
Another device that an orthodontist generally uses is an invisalign, or another aligner tray, which is made from clear plastic that helps to move the teeth. Certain functional devices are also used often to redirect the jaw growth in children with misaligned jaws.
Additional devices include removable devices (plates), headgear, expansion devices and other devices to move the teeth and the jaw bones.
‘Functional devices’ are used normally for patients who are in their growing stages (5-14 years) with the goal to alter the dimensions of the jaw. This therapy is often followed by full braces (fixed multi-bracket) to align the teeth and also to refine the abnormal alignment of the jaw.
Orthodontic procedures involve not only correcting the position of the teeth; it also deals with reconstructing the entire facial structure. After a typical orthodontic treatment the patient is usually required to wear retainers (orthodontic devices) that help to maintain the teeth in their proper position as the bones surrounding them in the jaw form firmly around them.
The retainers are mostly required to be worn full-time for a period of time (few days to few years), then part-time (at night) for as long as the orthodontist advises.
An orthodontist is the best person who can fix your misaligned teeth in order to get rid of the self-consciousness that crooked teeth-line brings with it. Using various devices the orthodontist will be able to improve your teeth-line and give you a fresh and desirable look as well as boost your self-confidence.
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