Orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and correction of malpositioned teeth and jaws. Orthodontic treatment includes both fixed and removable appliances used to help move teeth, retain muscles and affect the growth of the jaws.
How Do You Know If You Need Orthodontic Treatment?
During a consultation, your Dr. Tinkle or Dr. Yoon will conduct a full medical and dental history, a clinical exam, plaster models of your teeth, and take special x-rays and photographs to decide whether orthodontics is right for you. If your doctor feels that you would benefit from orthodontics, a treatment plan will be developed for you that addresses your specific needs.
Who Is An Ideal Candidate For Orthodontic Treatment?
You would be an ideal candidate for orthodontic treatment if you have any of the following dental issues:
Overbite. An overbite is where the upper front teeth extensively overlap the lower teeth.
Underbite. An underbite is where the lower teeth are forward of the upper teeth.
Crossbite. A crossbite happens when the upper teeth do not come down slightly in front of the lower teeth when biting together normally.
Open bite. An open bite is a space between the biting surfaces of the front and/or side teeth when the back teeth bite together.
Misplaced midline. A misplaced midline is when the center of your upper front teeth does not line up with the center of your lower front teeth.
Spacing. Spacing is the gaps or spaces between the teeth as a result of missing teeth or teeth that do not fill up the mouth.
Crowding. Crowding is when there are too many teeth for the dental ridge to accommodate.
What Orthodontic Appliance Would Be Best For You?
There are several types of orthodontic appliances available, both fixed and removable. Your doctor will determine which approach is best for you depending on the severity of your problem.
Examples of fixed appliances:
Braces. These are the most common fixed appliances. They contain bands, wires and or brackets, designed to move the teeth to their proper position gradually. Braces are adjusted monthly to bring about the desired results, which can take anywhere from a few months to a few years.
Today’s braces are lighter and smaller and show less metal. They come in bright colors for kids as well as clear styles for adults.
Fixed space maintainers. These are used for young children who may lose a baby tooth prematurely. A space maintainer is used to keep the space open until the permanent tooth erupts–a band is attached to the tooth next to the empty space, and a wire is extended to the tooth on the other side of the space.
Examples of removable appliances:
Aligners. Aligners are an alternative to braces used to move teeth in the same way that fixed appliances work but without the metal wires and brackets. They are virtually invisible and are removed for eating, brushing, and flossing.
Removable space maintainers. These devices serve the same purpose as fixed space maintainers; however, they are made with an acrylic base that fits over the jaw and has plastic or wire branches between specific teeth to keep the space between them open.
Removable retainers. These retainers are worn on the roof of the mouth to prevent shifting of the teeth to their previous position.
What Services Does Belmont Family Dentistry Offer?
At Belmont Family Dentistry, we offer Invisalign® to straighten your teeth with custom-made aligner trays. These aligners are made out of clear plastic and fit comfortably over your teeth. Dr. Tinkle or Dr. Yoon will plan out how long the process will take for you and give you your first set of aligners. Then, every 1 or 2 weeks, you’ll trade out your old aligner trays for new ones. With each new set of aligners, your teeth will gradually shift until they are straight and the treatment ends.
At Belmont Family Dentistry, we also offer removable space maintainers for children who have lost a baby tooth prematurely.
If you are interested in orthodontic treatment, please call Belmont Family Dentistry at (503) 234-1218.