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Who Can Benefit From Orthodontics?

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Who Can Benefit From Orthodontics?

orthodontic patientOrthodontics is a particular branch of dentistry made up of professionals who specialize in preventing, treating and diagnosing bad bites or malocclusions as well as other abnormalities of the jaw area. The goal of orthodontists is to correct problems and thereby restore health, function and beauty.

While the field was developed with children in mind, many adults choose orthodontic treatment now. Orthodontic treatment can be successful on a person of any age. An improper bite at any age can impact the ability to speak clearly and chew properly and can impact facial symmetry. Severe bite issues can also lead to serious dental and medical problems, including digestive issues, TMJ, tooth decay and gum disease. Seeking treatment as early as possible, however, can limit the need for expensive restorations later in life.

What sort of issues can orthodontics treat?

Orthodontics is aimed at treating a wide range of problems, usually ones associated with the alignment of teeth. Working alone or with the assistance of a maxillofacial surgeon, an orthodontist can treat the following irregularities:
  • Overcrowding: An overcrowded mouth leaves insufficient space for all the adult teeth to fit into the jaw in a natural arrangement. This can lead to rotated, displaced or misaligned teeth.
  • Overbite: When the maxilla or upper jaw protrudes relative to the mandible or lower jaw, an overbite exists. This makes a smile appear toothy and the chin look weak and receded.
  • Underbite: An underbite or negative underjet occurs when the lower jaw or mandible protrudes in relation to the maxilla or upper jaw. This can make the chin look very prominent. Genetic factors and developmental delays can cause overbites and underbites, but they can be corrected in many cases with orthodontics.

What can orthodontists do to help?

Orthodontic dentistry provides a number of techniques that can realign teeth and revitalize smiles. The exact treatment that is right for any particular patient depends on what the orthodontist finds during a visual examination. This examination can include panoramic x-rays, bite impressions or study models and a visual assessment.

Fixed dental braces are often the best choice for correcting alignment problems and can work with even the most severe cases. These include metal or ceramic brackets that attach to every tooth and an arch wire that gradually moves teeth into the right positioning throughout the course of the treatment.

Removable appliances like headgear -- metal wire devices attached to special braces -- as well retainers, Invisalign aligners, palate expanders and tooth movers. In addition, face guards can be used to correct developmental delays that occur in both the lower and upper jaw. Palate expanders can help relieve overcrowding. Other devices are available as well.

No matter when a dental irregularity is noticed or when treatment begins, orthodontic appliances can realign teeth properly and create that amazing smile that eluded you all your life.

If you have concerns or questions about orthodontic treatment and how it can benefit you, call (619) 640-5100 for a free consultation with Dr. Paige Woods, DDS.