Orthodontics is a speciality of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis, prevention, and correction of malpositioned teeth and jaws, and misaligned bite patterns.It can also focus on modifying facial growth, known as dentofacial orthopedics.
What Is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is the dentistry branch that addresses the diagnosis, prevention, interception, guidance, and correction of bad bites or dental irregularities, including the use of braces.
Orthodontists are registered dental specialists who have completed an additional three years of full-time University training in orthodontics, facial growth and development, biology and biomechanics (they hold a General Dental Degree + Specialist Orthodontic Degree).
Here are a few tips to choose an orthodontist:
Choose a qualified orthodontist, with an MDS in Orthodontics from a recognized dental institute. This orthodontist receives 3 years special training and passes qualifying examinations to get the MDS degree in Orthodontics.
Choose an Orthodontist who has a well-equipped orthodontic set up: A resident orthodontist who has his own office has developed an infrastructure which is best suitable to treat an orthodontic patient most effectively. He has well-trained staff to assist him and to bring out the best in him. Visiting orthodontists who work at different clinics every day cannot develop an effective treatment delivery system to achieve the best possible results.
Choose an orthodontist with efficient maintenance of patient records: Orthodontists are supposed to maintain plaster models, x-ray and photographic records of all their patients. The orthodontist who takes pains to maintain these records is more likely to be more methodical in the treatment approach. Ask your orthodontist to share with your treatment results of few cases treated by him to understand the quality of results delivered.
An orthodontist who keeps himself updated by learning new skills and technics and attending specialty conferences is always more informed about technological advancements and newer appliances and technics in the field.
Take references from friends, colleagues, schoolmates who have undergone braces treatment. Know about the quality of results, duration of treatment and the entire approach of an orthodontist.
Do not choose an orthodontist because his treatment fee is less: A good orthodontist knows his worth. He will use quality materials for your braces to give you the best. He will work harder on your smile to mold it perfectly with the least discomfort to you in shortest possible time.
Types Of Braces
Few people are lucky enough to be born with perfect teeth, but orthodontic treatment can make a huge difference to you or your child. Your orthodontist may recommend any of the following types of braces or dental appliances to help correct your particular problem.
1. Traditional Braces/Metal Braces
Traditional braces have progressed since the early days and are now lighter in weight and structure than they used to be. They are made from a high-grade stainless steel and have metal brackets that are attached to each tooth using a type of cement. The brackets are linked to each other with a thin arch wire, which puts pressure on the teeth to cause them to move slowly into the correct position.
The arch wires are connected to the brackets using tiny elastics known as ligatures or o-rings, which your orthodontist will change each time he tightens the braces. Some types of braces have brackets that don't need o-rings, and these are called self-ligating braces.
2. Ceramic Braces/Tooth colored Braces
These work in the same way as traditional braces, but the brackets are made from a clear, transparent ceramic material. The braces are less visible to others, which makes them a popular choice for adults who need orthodontic treatment.
3. Lingual Braces
Lingual braces are placed behind the teeth (by the tongue and palate), rather than in front, and therefore offer a great cosmetic alternative for those who want their teeth straightened, without the braces showing.
The process for lingual braces involves taking an impression of the teeth, which is then sent to a dental laboratory and used to create customized brackets. The process takes about six weeks and, once complete, allows the orthodontist to use a specific process to cement the braces onto the back surfaces of your teeth.
Like traditional braces, this product works by applying gentle yet continuous pressure on the teeth, to help them slowly shift into proper position. The treatment can take anywhere from 18-36 months, depending on the severity of a patient's overcrowding of teeth or their bite.
Braces are definitely worth the investment, but lingual braces have special requirements. Because they're custom made, they cost a bit more and treatment tends to be more involved.
4. Self-ligating Braces- Damon Braces/ Smart Clip Appliance
This type of braces is currently enjoying a wave of popularity with orthodontists because it provides gentler treatment and requires fewer dental visits. Damon braces are self-ligating and use a slide mechanism instead of elastics to connect the arch wires.
These braces produce faster results because the teeth can move on their own without needing to be adjusted. This causes less friction and pressure on the teeth, so movement is less painful. The braces are also easier to keep clean. Having to make fewer trips to your dental professional means that the process costs less time.
5 Clear and Removable Aligners
Invisalign is a type of clear aligner that you can use instead of metal or Damon braces. This involves a range of clear plastic aligners that resemble mouth guards, which are custom-made for you. They are removable for eating and cleaning, and you change them out for a newly made aligner every two weeks. Each new aligner takes the adjustment of your teeth one step further.
Clear aligners are also recommended fornuse after you complete your orthodontic treatment. These appliances help to maintain the results you want until your teeth have settled down and finished moving.
6 . Forsus Appliances:
The Indian Orthodontc Society recommends that children get screened by an orthodontist at the age of 7 because early childhood is the best time for treatment. Some children require the use of Forsus appliances to correct difficult overbites, and these have largely replaced the use of headgear for braces. The Forsus appliance is a spring worn inside the cheeks that attaches to the braces in order to adjust the upper or lower jaw into position.
7. Palatal Expanders
For patients who have overcrowded teeth, two options to remedy the problem are tooth extraction and palatal expansion. Tooth extraction was the preferred solution in the past, but modern orthodontists often recommend the wearing of a palatal expander for a period. This is a device that fits your palate and applies pressure to the back of your upper molars to gradually move your teeth farther apart. This expands your palate and makes it possible for other types of braces to be fitted to correct the position of your teeth.