Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry specializing in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of the dental and facial irregularities. The technical term for this type of problems is the “malocclusion”, which means misalignment or incorrect relation between the teeth. The practice of Orthodontics requires a specific professional preparation for the design, implementation and control of corrective devices. In this way we manage to align correctly teeth, lips and jaws and thus achieve a perfect facial balance.
Orthodontists diagnose, prevent, intercept and treat dental and facial irregularities The orthodontist is a dentist who has completed his training of the specialty of orthodontics. This is a three years’ University programme limited exclusively to this specialty.
Chronological age is not a factor when deciding whether a patient is a candidate for orthodontic treatment; there is not one ideal age for treatment to begin. Healthy teeth can be moved at any age. Regardless of age, patients can look forward to teeth that not only look better, but work better, too. But given that a proper control of the articulation growth is fundamental for a good orthodontic treatment, it is recommended that all children get a check-up with an orthodontist at the first recognition of the existence of an orthodontic problem, but no later than age 7. Some orthodontic problems are more easily corrected if treated early. Waiting for the permanent teeth to appear or for mandibular growth to be completed, can complicate an orthodontic treatment. However, it is recommended to get a check-up with an orthodontist at the first recognition of the existence of an orthodontic problem.
Most malocclusions are inherited, although not all of them. The inheritance includes crowded teeth, too much space between teeth, teeth that are missing or that are unnecessary, and a wide range of jaw, dental or facial irregularities. The malocclusions that are not inherited can be caused by trauma (accident), sucking the thumb, finger or pacifier, respiratory obstruction by tonsils or polyps, dental disease or premature loss of baby or permanent teeth. Being hereditary or acquired, some of these problems affect not only the teeth alignment but also facial development and appearance.
Crowding: The teeth may be misaligned because the dental arch is too small or the teeth are too big. The bone and gums of the very crowded teeth can get thin and go back as a result of this crowding. Impacted teeth (teeth that should have come out, but they have not done so), a malocclusion and bad appearance may be the result of crowding.
The upper teeth are out: The upper teeth protruding beyond its normal closing usually generate problems and often indicate a poor fit of teeth (especially the molars) and may also indicate unequal growth of the jaws. Frequently the upper teeth that come out are associated with a lower jaw that is short compared to the upper one. The habit of thumb sucking can also cause this effect.
Overbite: Overbite occurs when the lower incisors (front teeth) close below the upper ones being hidden by these. When the front lower teeth close behind the upper ones, they tend to bite the area of the palate or the interior gum of the upper teeth, damaging the palate bone area and producing a high degree of discomfort. It also damages the upper incisors.
Open bite: One has an open bite when the upper and lower incisors teeth do not touch when trying to fit the teeth or bite. This effect when the front teeth do not fit, transfer all the bite pressure to the back teeth. This excessive pressure makes chewing insufficient and leads to a significant erosion and damage of the teeth.
Dental spaces: If there is a tooth missing, the teeth are small or the dental arch is very wide, there can appear open interdental spaces. Normally this situation can produce gum injuries as well as an unpleasant visual effect.
Crossbite: The most common case of crossbite is when the upper teeth fit inside (towards the tongue) of lower ones when biting. An orthodontic intervention is very common is these cases because of the discomfort produces by this anomaly when chewing.
The lower teeth are out: It is not a very common anomaly and it occurs when the lower teeth are more forward than the upper. It is necessary to carry out a proper control of the jaws growth in order to correct this problem from the beginning.
Malpositioned and crooked teeth are difficult to clean and maintain their good health. This may contribute to the appearance of tooth decay, gum disease and tooth loss. Other unresolved orthodontic problems can produce that the surfaces of the teeth are in poor condition, inefficient chewing, a high stress in the gum tissue and bone that support the teeth, jaw and their joints misalignment that can produce chronic headaches or pain in the face or neck. If untreated the orthodontic problems can get worse. A treatment realized by a specialist in order to correct them costs less than a solution of the problems not solved and even worsened by the lack of orthodontic treatment. The value of a good smile should not be underestimated. A healthy look is fundamental for the self-esteem. It improves while an orthodontic treatment is getting the teeth, lips and face to the place they should be. In this sense, the orthodontic treatment can also benefit people socially and professionally, as well as improve their attitude towards life.
The cost of the treatment depends on many factors, from the difficulty of the problem to the type of a treatment technique to use. It is an issue that is resolved after performing the corresponding diagnosis before starting treatment.To answer this question, first of all the corresponding diagnostic should be realized. The majority of orthodontists offer payment plans adopted to the needs of each patient in order to make the cost of the treatment affordable.
Usually, an active orthodontic treatment takes from 12 months to three years. Interceptive treatments, or early treatments can be even shorter The length of treatment will depend on the kind of problem an individual patient has and the cooperation of the patient throughout the treatment. An orthodontic treatment commits us all during a short period of time if compared to its benefits. We will enjoy healthy teeth and a beautiful smile for a lifetime. Properly aligned teeth look better, function better, contribute to the overall physical well-being and improve the self-confidence.
Many people have some discomfort at the beginning of the treatment. Once the braces are on, the teeth can become more sensitive and suffer pressure for four or five days. The discomfort can be solved with a simple painkiller as the one you take for the headache. The orthodontist may recommend the best solution for these symptoms that occur at the beginning. The lips, cheeks and tongue can be irritated during the first weeks of treatment until they become accustomed to the braces.
During orthodontic treatments patients should avoid eating hard or sticky food. They must not bite pens or pencils as biting hard objects may damage the appliances. If the appliances are broken, the treatment will be longer and will require extra visits to the orthodontist. One need more time and precision brushing one´s teeth to keep the mouth and appliances clean. The tooth brushing must be performed on a daily basis to keep teeth and gums healthy during the treatment. Insufficient teeth hygiene supposes more visits to professional to perform a thorough cleaning.
The orthodontist and their assistants often show patients how to take care of the teeth, gums and appliances during the treatment: The patient and their family will learn with what frequency one should brush teeth, how to use additional elements to maintain hygiene (floss, interproximal brushes, dental rinses, dental showers, etc) and any other procedures that one should follow to maintain excellent oral health.
Un tratamiento de ortodoncia exitoso es una camino de dos vías que requiere la cooperación y el esfuerzo por parte del ortodoncista y del paciente. Para completar con éxito el plan de tratamiento, el paciente debe mantener una cuidadosa higiene bucal, usar los aparatos que el especialista recomiende y asistir puntualmente a sus citas. Los aparatos rotos o en mal estado pueden alargar el período de tratamiento y tener efectos indeseados para el mismo. Los dientes solo pueden ser movidos a su lugar por fuerzas aplicadas correctamente por los aparatos prescritos.Durante el tratamiento de ortodoncia deberá seguirse manteniendo la visita regular el dentista habitual. En el caso de pacientes adultos con problemas periodontales puede ser también necesario seguir un correcto tratamiento con un periodoncista.
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