What is orthodontics
Orthodontics is the arm of dentistry that is concerned with the improvement and correction of the appearance, position, and function of crooked or misaligned teeth (malocclusion). Orthodontic treatment is used to straighten the teeth and place them in a more suitable position with an improvement to facial features.
What causes Orthodontic problems.
A greater percentage of orthodontic cases are hereditary. These genetic issues manifest when the teeth are naturally too crowded, spread out, or misaligned. Other factors that can cause orthodontic problems are the effects of accident, loss of teeth, and bad habit such as prolonged periods of thumb sucking, etc.
Why Treatment is so Important
Badly aligned and crooked teeth have many areas you cannot reach for proper cleaning. Over time, these areas trap and accumulate materials that can lead to teeth loss, decay and gum-related diseases.
Uneven teeth alignment means that you will have uneven bite, which will result in chewing difficulties, speech problems, and wearing out of the teeth surface. Psychologically, there is loss of confidence and esteem due to the unattractiveness of a malocclusion dentition. This will lead to self-isolation and emotional problems in both adults and children.
When should children get an orthodontic check-up?
The recommendation by the A.A.O. (American Association of Orthodontists) is for a child to start an orthodontic check up by the age seven. This is early enough for an orthodontist to detect any issue and correct it.
Can adults benefit from orthodontic treatment?
Although orthodontic treatment has a greater success rate in younger people because they are still in their formative ages, approximately one in five orthodontic patients is an adult. This shows that braces work with all ages. New technologies have also provided comfortable solutions that make orthodontic treatment more acceptable to adults.
Are there choices for the braces?
Below are the three different types of dental braces available for patients to choose according to their choices.
Metal Braces: These are the cheapest types of braces, made of stainless steel, and the most durable. When first installed, they can irritate the cheeks and gums. Care must however be taken in the choice of foods you take when you have metal braces on. You should abstain from any food that is gummy, and hard foods that can easily shift the braces. Metal braces have poor aesthetic qualities.
Ceramic Braces: These are more expensive than the metal braces. They are less visible and blend well with the teeth. Ceramic braces are more sensitive and prone to breaking. They therefore need more time for installation and maintenance, and this adds to the overall cost.
Invisalign Braces: These are the most sophisticated and expensive type of braces and mostly used by people with less serious dental issues. Invisalign braces are practically invisible, and do not require many dental visits. They are made from clear plastic materials and can be taken out when eating or brushing. Invisalign is a popular invisible brace.
What is my role in treatment?
The success of any orthodontic treatment rests not on the dentist alone, but equally on the patient. If the patient does not adhere strictly to all the rules guiding the treatment, as stipulated by the orthodontist, then the success of the treatment might be poor.
How long does the treatment take?
Treatment usually lasts from one to three years, including the retention period. This is the period when the patient initially uses starters and retainers after the removal of the braces.
How much does treatment cost?
Three factors determine the cost of treatment. They are:
- The extent of dental deformity.
- The length of time for treatment.
- The type of brace.
We will discuss the cost of treatment and the available financing plans with you before starting any type of treatment.
Dental veneers are thin porcelain layers used to enhance the shape, size, and color of a tooth or several teeth for a beautiful smile. They are very effective in closing up the gaps, whitening teeth, repairing worn out teeth, and straightening crooked teeth. Veneers have a natural look and feel, and are comfortable to wear.
The veneers bond to the surface of the teeth and this procedure requires only two dental visits. They are very gum friendly and have proved to be the most suitable solution for the correction of many types of problems associated with the front teeth.
What to Expect?
With the right care, porcelain veneers usually last a lifetime. They are superior to bonded fillings because of their strength, stain resistant, and non-chipping qualities. Your veneers will continue to serve you for many years as long as you stick to a healthy oral hygiene, and keep all your scheduled dental appointments.
NOTE: Do not engage in activities or habits that will damage your veneers; these habits include biting your nails and chewing ice.