Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontic treatment, or braces, straightens teeth to improve their appearance and improve the function of the occlusion.  It also correct jaw size problems by modifying jaw growth in young children.  In addition, Orthodontic treatment is used in conjunction with jaw surgery to correct some form of jaw problems.

Types of Orthodontic Treatment Appliances :

1. Removable appliance

A removable appliance (a plate that can be taken out to be cleaned) are used in interceptive treatment and other minor tooth movements.  Interceptive orthodontic treatment is recommended for children, usually for problems that if left untreated, may lead to development of more serious dental problems.  The goal is to reduce the severity of a developing problem.

2. Functional appliance

The functional appliance helps the jaws to grow in proportion to each other.  Patient’s compliance to wear the appliance as instructed is essential for the appliance to work

3. Fixed appliance

Commonly known as braces.  This appliance is bonded onto the teeth surfaces and together with specially bent archwires move and align the teeth to the desired position.  There are 2 sub-types of fixed appliances :

(A)  The most commonly used is Metal braces, made of high grade stainless steel. Most of the patients like to add different color elastics that can be changed at each appointment to make their braces more fun and interesting.

(B) Ceramic braces are translucent and made of ceramic material.  They are popular with adult patients.  They cut down the visibility of the braces and is well tolerated by most patients.

4. Invisalign

The Invisalign treatment consists of a series of snap-on, custom fit aligners that apply a controlled amount of force to your teeth, forcing them to shift. This new innovative appliance is developed by Align Technologies.  Each tray is designed to pressure specific teeth to move into place, beginning with the back teeth and finishing with the front.  Once your treatment is complete, you will likely wear a (clear) retainer to ensure your new smile stays in place.

Treatment is important because crooked or crowded teeth are hard to clean, and may contribute to tooth decay and gum disease.  A bad bite can also cause abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, difficulty in chewing and/or speaking, excess stress on supporting bone and gum tissue, and possible jaw joint problems. Without treatment, problems may become worse. Orthodontic treatment to correct a problem may prove less costly than the additional dental care required to treat the problems that can develop in later years.

Then there’s the emotional side of an unattractive smile.  When you are not confident in the way you look, your self-esteem suffers.  Teenagers whose malocclusions are left untreated may go through life feeling self-conscious, hiding their smiles with tight lips or a protective hand.