When do you need orthodontic treatment?
1. Aesthetic problems – If teeth are crowded, rotated or if there are wide gaps between them. Most patients notice how these problems affect their smile themselves and will see their orthodontist on their own initiative.
2. Functional problems – The relation between the upper and lower teeth causes a malformed bite, inhibiting a normal functionality of the dental apparatus. The necessity for braces in this case is signalled by the dentist.
3. For prophylactic reasons – Dental crowding that you might observe in your children can be prevented through early interceptive therapy. That is why one must consult an orthodontist as early as pre-school.
4. For prosthetic reasons – After extraction, neighbouring teeth will migrate and decrease the gap left by the extracted tooth, thus causing misalignments in the bite. For the purpose of making the installation of a bridge or implant easier and eliminating the need to over-sand neighbouring teeth, the orthodontics can apply an apparatus that can correct the axis of sloped teeth and to reinsert migrated teeth back into the bone, thusly reconstructing a correct bite.
5. Treating parodonthosis – Teeth affected by this illness will migrate, slope towards the lips and create non-anaesthetic gaps that compromise the bite. In this case, the orthodontic treatment completes the one for parodonthosis: by shifting teeth new bone growth is stimulated, and by correcting the tooth axis, aesthetic and functional problems are eliminated.
What does orthodontic treatment consist of?
In principle, with a fixed or mobile orthodontic apparatus, the teeth are moved into their desired positions to achieve harmonious interactions between teeth.
Also, orthodontic treatment can also be used to prevent certain inharmonious reports of the teeth or jaw by removing certain favouring conditions with the help of mio-functional exercises. Orthodontic braces are varied and are chosen mainly based on the illness, the patient’s age and sometimes based on the patient’s degree of cooperation. There are apparatuses that are fixed onto the teeth by the dentist and are removed by him at the end of the treatment and mobile apparatuses, that can be removed by the patient for hygiene and activation purposes. Along the devices used inside the mouth, there are also external devices that increase the effect of the internal ones, or generate a different effect, usually aimed at the jaw bone.
Fixed devices, or “brackets” can be applied on the visible surface of the tooth, on the front or back an can be made of metal or ceramics and composites. A lot of times, orthodontic treatment requires the use of multiple orthodontic devices, applied simultaneously or successively.
What can you expect during orthodontic treatment?
The application of the apparatus is painless. After the application, there will be a period of accommodation that differs from patient to patient, depending on the type of device used.
The adaptation period is characterised by various symptoms: pain, lesions, abundant salivation, difficulty in pronouncing certain sounds, sensitivity when teeth touch that makes the patient consume certain types of foods, etc. The orthodontist will explain the different possible manifestations and what to do about them if they arise. Throughout the orthodontic treatment, that can take varying amounts of time, the orthodontist will perform periodic check-ups.
What are the benefits of orthodontic treatment?
From the patients point of view, the main advantage of orthodontic treatment is the aesthetic aspect. This has a bigger or smaller impact, according to everyone’s perception. The main benefit however is represented by obtaining harmonious dental and jaw reports and a perfect bite, that assures an optimal functionality of one’s teeth. Thusly we can say the improved aesthetic aspect is an immediate advantage, but the long term aspect is the prevention of further dental illness.
What are the risks if one does not follow orthodontic treatments?
Not following treatment after it is recommended can have bodily and functional repercussions. The aesthetic consequences vary according to the seriousness of the anomaly and to the perception of the individual. The functional repercussions also depend on the type of the anomaly and on each person’s sensitivity. Inharmonious reports can cause predisposition for gnashing of teeth, wearing out teeth, noises when opening the mouth etc. There is however no cause/effect link between them: a certain anomaly will not always cause a dysfunction. Also, one must take into account the fact that overcrowded teeth are hard to properly clean, thusly increasing the risk of parodonthosis.
What else is there to think of?
The success of any orthodontic treatment relies in great part on the degree of implication of the patient. Regardless of the orthodontic apparatus used, patient cooperation is essential: hygiene must be rigorously kept, the apparatus has to be worn as long as it is recommended by the orthodontist and check-up sessions must be attended.
We also have to mention that tooth alignment is not the end of the treatment, but merely a stage in it, that has the purpose of correcting the bite. Also, the treatment does not end when the apparatus is removed, but it is followed by an important stage: contention. This consist of maintaining the obtained results through the wearing of mobile or fixed braces. No wearing the contention apparatuses. Not wearing contention devices will lead to a reoccurrence of the anomaly. As old age sets in, one will inadvertently lose some of the results obtained through the treatment as a result of general changes that occur in the facial, jaw and tooth structures.