Orthodontic treatment is a type of dentistry that works with aligning teeth and jaws that are not positioned correctly. It is often thought of as a cosmetic procedure, but that is not the only reason to seek orthodontic treatment. Teeth that are improperly aligned can cause many problems to arise. These are it’s more challenging to keep teeth clean, are at a higher risk of premature tooth loss and decay, a higher risk of periodontal disease, and cause additional stress on the muscles operating your mouth and jaw which can lead to head, neck, back, and shoulder pain.
What Are the Signs I Need Orthodontic Treatment?
The only person who can definitively tell you if you require orthodontic treatment is your dentist or orthodontist. They will use tools including your full health history, a clinical exam, models of your teeth, and x-rays to diagnose and suggest a treatment route.
Some of the signs that you may be a candidate for orthodontic treatment may include having:
- An overbite
- An underbite
- A crossbite
- An open bite
- A misplaced midline
- Spacing in your teeth
- Crowding of your teeth
Who Should Get Orthodontic Treatment?
Although common with teens, orthodontic treatment is for everyone! Many adults choose to get orthodontic treatment because they want to improve their smiles, or reduce pain and inflammation in their mouth and jaw. At Weston Dental Office we are happy to speak with our adult patients on whether or not there is an orthodontic option for them.
There are some unique cases where it makes the most sense to begin orthodontic treatment prior to all permanent teeth coming in (adult teeth). This type of orthodontics is interceptive orthodontics. It is best to speak with your orthodontic care provider about screening your child to discover if they will require orthodontic treatment. By catching the problem early, interceptive orthodontics allows your dentist or orthodontist to treat the challenge as it’s becoming a problem.
How Long Will Treatment Take?
Orthodontic treatment will not happen overnight, it takes time to correct your teeth and jaw. The exact amount of time required is dependent upon your age, the severity of your problem, and which treatment type is being utilized. Typically, treatment will involve visiting your dentist or orthodontist regularly over an extended period of time lasting from months to years. Typically, adults take longer to treat than younger patients. The average time for braces is approximately two years.
Types of Treatment:
Braces are the most common form of orthodontic treatment. Braces are made up of a system of bands, wires, and/or brackets. Tension is created within the mouth in targeted ways so that teeth move to their proper position over time. For the best results, braces are typically adjusted on a monthly basis.
Special Fixed Appliances
This method of treatment is a form of controlling thumb sucking or tongue thrusting. This type of appliance is attached to the teeth via bands. This form of appliance can be extremely uncomfortable and should only be used in dire situations.
Fixed Space Maintainers
This type of appliance is used if a child’s baby tooth is lost too early. With this form of treatment a space maintainer is utilized to keep the space left by the tooth loss open until the ‘adult tooth’ comes in.
Aligners are becoming more popular today and are a common alternative for adult braces. Aligners are used in a similar manner to how braces work, but without the complex system of wires and metal. They are essentially invisible to others and are easily removed for activities such as eating, flossing, and brushing your teeth.
Removable Space Maintainers
These are similar to a fixed space maintainer, but instead they are made with an acrylic base that is placed over the jaw. Plastic or wire branches are used between specific teeth to keep the space open.
Jaw Repositioning Appliances
These are also referred to as splints. They are used to train the jaw into a healthier position. They are often used for temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ).
Lip and Cheek Bumpers
This type of appliance is meant to keep the lip and cheeks off of the teeth. They help to relieve pressure that is caused.
This is an appliance used to widen the upper jaw arch, or the palatal area.
These appliances prevent shifting of teeth back to their previous position. They can also help prevent thumb sucking.
Headgear is used to slow the growth of the upper jaw. The appliance wraps around the head and puts resistance on the upper jaw.
We Can Help
At Weston Dental Office, we are able to assist with any orthodontic need you may have. The best way to get started is to book an appointment with our office to set up a consultation. Call us at (416) 247-1928 to schedule an appointment today.