Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with straightening and correcting the tooth alignment and the dental specialist who does this is called an "Orthodontist".
Who Needs Orthodontic Treatment?
Today children as well as adults are choosing to have orthodontic treatment since age is
factor that governs the feasibility of the treatment. But as you grow older the duration of the
is increased since it is easier to shift and align teeth during the growth phase of the jaws. Orthodontic treatment corrects
- Malocclusion (bite or occlusion is off)
- Tooth malalignment (crooked teeth)
Why Treat Malocclusion?
Orthodontics is not only used to improve your appearance. Malocclusion or malaligned teeth can have
long term effects, such as:
- Interference with normal growth and development of the jaws
- Abnormal swallowing patterns
- Abnormal facial muscle function
- Impairment of chewing
- Speech defects
- Susceptibility to cavities due to the difficulty of removing plaque from crooked
teeth vulnerability to accidents or fractured teeth
(if your front teeth stick out,
they may be
more easily injured)
What are braces?
Braces are appliances that the orthodontist uses to correct your bite. These braces are either fixed on
to the teeth or rest against your teeth and bring about the desired movement of your teeth.
TYPES OF BRACES AVAILABLE
Metal brackets are the ones that are most frequently used. They appear as small metal buttons that are glued to the front of each tooth. These tend to be less expensive than other types of brackets. Additionally, they can be made colorful with ligature rubber bands that come in a wide range of colors.
A major drawback of these braces is there color which makes its use very limited in cases of adult orthodontics.
Most people want better looking teeth but they also don’t want people to know that they have braces or deal with the unattractiveness of having those things in your mouth for so long. You can give the appearance that you don’t have braces simply by asking for invisible braces. They are a little more expensive but they’ll get the job done, and you won’t look like a 13 year old. The invisible class of braces includes Ceramic braces and sapphire braces
Ceramic (Tooth Colored) Braces
Ceramic brackets are made of composite materials. They are very strong and generally do not stain. Adults like to choose ceramic because they "blend in" with the teeth and are less noticeable than metal. The ligatures (tiny rubber bands) that hold the arch wire on to the ceramic brackets are often white or clear. This looks great at first, but the ligatures can stain. Unless
you eat a lot of curry, smoke, or drink a lot of black coffee, this generally isn't a problem. Note that the ligatures are changed each time you get an adjustment - usually, monthly. It's only the ligatures that stain, not the brackets themselves!
Clear Sapphire Inspire! Brand Braces
Inspire brand brackets,
are made of pure monocrystalline sapphire and are very translucent. They are very strong and do not stain. If your teeth are already very white, then Inspire braces will look best on you and seem to "disappear" on your teeth. If your teeth are less than white, they may tend to stand out (in this case, the Ceramic brackets would be a better choice).
Disadvantages of "Invisible Braces"
- More expensive than metal braces
- Not suitable for all cases.
These are the ultimate in brace concealing technology. They are placed on the backs of
your teeth so nobody will even see that you have them on, unless they get an up close
and personal look at the inside of your mouth. Usually, lingual brackets are made of metal.
Orthodontists need special training to be able to treat patients with lingual braces.
Therefore, not every orthodontist provides them.
Drawbacks of lingual braces
- They tend to hurt your tongue and make it difficult to speak at first.
- More expensive than traditional metal, because treatment is specialized.
- Treatment may be longer than traditional braces.
- Not every orthodontist does lingual treatment.
- Lingual treatment may not be applicable for all types of cases.