What does orthodontics mean?
Orthodontics is one of the many branches of dentistry which deals with correction of irregular and crooked teeth with several types of braces (Invisalign, fixed braces etc.). The word Orthodontics is made up of 2 words in Greek; ‘Orthos’ means straight, correct and the word ‘Dontics’ means teeth. And a dentist who is specialized in Orthodontics is called an Orthodontist.
What is the aim of Orthodontics and an Orthodontist?
The main aim of both is to achieve properly lined up and straigth teeth, and these come with many advantages such as easier cleaning, better oral hygiene, clearer speech and a more pleasant smile. Though orthodontic treatment can be effective at any age, the American Dental Association suggests that an orthodontic assessment should be performed around the age of seven. The earlier orthodontic treatment begins, the more quickly the problem can be successfully resolved.
The Treatment Options in Orthodontics;
There 3 approaches to a patient who has crooked, unaligned teeth;
- Fixed orthodontic braces
A metal or ceramic dental base is affixed to each tooth, and a dental wire is inserted through each base. The orthodontist is able to gradually train the teeth into proper alignment by regularly adjusting the wire. When the desired results are achieved, the fixed dental braces are completely removed.
- Removable appliances
There are a wide range of removable appliances commonly used in orthodontics, including headgear that correct overbites, Hawley retainers that improve the position of the teeth even as the jawbone reforms, and facemasks which are used to correct an underbite.
This is a newer, removable type of dental aligner that is completely transparent. Invisalign® does not interfere with eating because of its removable nature, and mechanically works in the same way as the traditional metal dental braces. Not all patients are candidates for Invisalign®.
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