Orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry that deals with diagnosis and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. Dentists that graduate from the faculty of dentistry become orthodontists after completing the specialty and doctorate program in orthodontics.
Reasons of Orthodontic Problems
Orthodontic problems may be inherited by children. Individuals with orthodontic problems such as congenitally missing teeth, narrow upper jaw, crowding problems and skeletal problems that are also seen in their family history may have genetically inherited these problems.
Besides, ear, nose and throat problems such as tonsillitis, concha and adenoid hypertrophy may hinder the proper formation of jaw bones, and cause problems in tooth growth. Muscular problems can also be the reason of orthodontic problems.
Bad habits exercised especially in childhood may also cause orthodontic disorders. Habits such as sucking fingers, tongue or lips, use of pacifier or feeding bottle for a long time and biting pencils are among the main reasons.
One of the main reasons of orthodontic problems is parents’ failure to attach sufficient importance to milk teeth as well as neglect of treatment. It is quite common to neglect the care or have the tooth out at an early stage based on the thought that milk teeth are temporary. However, failure to get the milk teeth decays treated and having the milk teeth out early cause disruption in the permanent teeth set. Therefore, problems that can be solved with early intervention and simple treatments may turn into complicated problems due to negligence.
Main targets of orthodontic treatment are correcting the chewing and speaking function, allowing the oral hygiene to be more comfortable and good, and providing an aesthetically better appearance.
Orthodontists may contribute in nasal respiration of the patient by working together with ear, nose and throat specialists. They also work with plastic and maxillofacial surgeons in the solution of skeletal problems in adult patients and treatment of babies with cleft lip and palate. Orthodontics is a field of science that always works with other fields of dentistry.
Aesthetic interventions and correction of speech disorders contribute significantly in increasing the self-confidence of individuals and reintegrating the person into society. Elimination of the crowding in teeth not only improves aesthetics but also enables prevention of gingival disorders.
Dental Braces Treatment
Appliances are used in orthodontic treatment. They are divided into three groups as plastic, functional and fixed appliances. In relatively simple orthodontic problems, use of plastic and movable appliances that can be removed out by the patient is sufficient. During the growth and development period, in case of insufficient or excessive development of the upper and lower jaw, functional appliances help the jaw to develop towards a specific direction. Fixed appliances enable the braces that are placed in the canals on the brackets which are bonded on teeth to move and correct the teeth. There are also auxiliary appliances. Passive appliances are used as the reinforcing therapy to prevent disruption after treatment. Today, teeth can be corrected using aesthetic and transparent brackets, braces placed at the back of teeth and transparent molds.
Brace treatment has been the most commonly used orthodontic treatment from past to present. Brackets are the most frequently used materials in brace treatment. These metal pieces are bonded on the teeth and the force generated by braces are transferred to the teeth by means of brackets. Being 2 years on average, treatment period may vary depending on the crowding level. Aesthetical prostheses may be used which provide results faster than orthodontic treatments such as braces, however the greatest advantage of orthodontic treatment as compared to these methods is that it does not disrupt the natural structure of teeth in an irreversible way. The main purpose of this method is to move the teeth to their natural position by force.
This treatment can be applied at all ages. Orthodontic treatment performed at early ages provide faster results but non-skeletal problems can be corrected with orthodontic treatment at all ages. Putting on brackets makes individuals concerned aesthetically, but modern brackets with aesthetical appearance can be used as a solution to this problem.
During the brace treatment process, braces are adjusted by our dentist at certain intervals. Teeth are brought to correct position with such adjustment. A slight pain might be felt at teeth during and after these changing procedures, but patient will adapt after a while. During the treatment process, patient must perform oral care regularly, and avoid certain types of food. Such care is very important for the process to progress fast.
“Retainers” are placed on the teeth after the end of braces treatment. Retainer is left on the teeth for a while in order to prevent the teeth from returning back to their previous positions. Your dentist will inform you about how long you will keep the braces and retainer on. However, length of the process is quite affected by the care individual shows.
Invisible Braces and Clear Aligners (Invisalign)
Invisible braces have become a widely preferred treatment method during the last years. The reason behind this is the aesthetic concern against the braces to be used often for a long time. There are two options for the aesthetic orthodontic applications which are commonly confused with each other; invisible braces and clear aligners (invisalign, invisible appliance). Transparent brackets and braces are used in invisible braces treatments. In invisalign treatment, on the other hand, transparent aligners that are prepared in laboratory environment with models obtained based on measurement of teeth, instead of braces and brackets.
Contrary to normal brace treatment, invisalign treatment is performed using aligners. It is preferred commonly lately because of the more aesthetic look it provides as compared to normal braces. Aligners that are prepared based on the measurements of patient’s teeth are renewed once in every two weeks. Each aligners provides a movement ability of about 0.05 millimeters, and the desired alignment is achieved thanks to the regularly changed aligner.
Invisalign treatment is not used in advanced level problems. Besides, milk teeth must have fallen out completely. It is likely to use it in advanced level problems in the future since it is a newly developed technology.
One of the most significant advantages of this method is that it doesn’t affect the life of individual. The facts that it can be removed when desired and doesn’t have an appearance like braces result in less disruption in the daily life of individual. They bother the patient much less since they are not as hard as the braces. A more effective and rapid solution can be provided since they do not create a pressure in an undesired direction like in the normal brace treatment. Another advantage of the method is that condition can be simulated after treatment.
Pain can be observed in the adaptation process of invisalign treatment, but the patient will get used to it in a short time. There might be a little speech problem at the beginning of treatment, however the person adapts in a short time and the speech recovers. Smoking and excessive coffee consumption may lead to yellowing but the aligner can be cleaned with warm water and a toothbrush. You don’t have to remove your aligner when eating or drinking however it is recommended that you remove them when eating or drinking hot things since they can deform the aligner.
Firstly, the required dental care and cleaning is performed in this treatment method. Then measurement of patient’s teeth is taken and molds are prepared based on the models. These molds are changed on a regular basis and treatment continues until the desired result is achieved. Patients are requested to put on the aligner for about 20 hours a day in this process. Process is followed-up closely by means of the checks performed once in every two weeks. Re-misalignment of the teeth is prevented by the retainer put on after treatment. Treatment ends after all these steps.
Right Age for Orthodontic Treatment
Orthodontic treatment can be applied at all ages. However, skeletal deformations cannot be fixed with orthodontic treatment after adolescence. In adults, skeletal problems can be fixed with orthognathic operations accompanied with orthodontic treatment. If there is no skeletal problem, and crowding is present only, the problem can be fixed with orthodontic treatment at all ages. Age is a factor that affects the duration of treatment only, however you can prevent several potential orthodontic problems with treatments performed on time by paying attention to dental health of your children.
Importance of Milk Teeth
All milk teeth must have come in between the 6th month and 30rd month in babies. These teeth are replaced by permanent teeth until the age of 12. Caries or early tooth loss that occur in this period might lead to crowding and impacted teeth in the permanent teeth because of the teeth at the back moving towards the gaps that occur after such problems. Therefore, dental care and checks must be performed, and children must visit a dentist on a regular basis.