Orthodontics – Invisalign & Braces
Orthodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry concerned with the development and management of irregularities and abnormalities of the teeth, jaws and face. Its aim is to produce a great smile, as well as a healthy and functional bite thus creating greater resistance to disease, improving personal appearance and self-confidence.
Some of the common problems that can be resolved with orthodontics:
Overcrowded teeth occur when there is simply a lack of room within your jaw for all of your teeth to fit normally. Teeth are usually difficult to clean and pockets often develop trapping food and dental plaque which causes gum disease and eventual bone loss around the teeth. Also, teeth are unsightly and are often the main reason people want to have their teeth “straightened”. When left untreated, overly crowded teeth can cause an increased chance of gum disease as your teeth are harder to clean and can prevent the normal function of teeth.
Widely spaced teeth occur when you have extra space within your jaw. This could be due to small sized teeth, abnormal growth of jaw bones, genetics, missing teeth and/or tongue protrusion. When teeth are missing, this can also be caused by the other teeth shifting due to extra space. Spacing issues can cause some periodontal diseases including gingivitis and periodontitis, that, left untreated, can lead to tooth loss.
A crossbite occurs when some of the teeth wind up on the “wrong side of the track”, for example, if when you bite down, your top teeth fall inside your bottom teeth on one side; or if your top front teeth fall behind your lower front teeth when you bite down, then you have a crossbite.
Crossbites can be caused by delayed loss of baby teeth, discrepancy in jaw size and the incidence can be heredity. Orthodontic treatment to correct a crossbite in children should begin as early as possible to prevent temporo-mandibular joint disorder.
There are two types of overbites:
- vertical overbite, where the top teeth overlap the lower teeth too much vertically; and
- horizontal overbite, or “overjet,” where the top teeth protrude too much. Some people have features of both types of overbite. Genetics and certain oral habits can both contribute to overbite.
Severe overbites can lead to permanently damaged front teeth. Front teeth that stick out are prime targets for trauma. For deep vertical overbite where your top teeth significantly overlap your bottom teeth, your bottom teeth can hit the roof of the mouth every time you bite down. These small continuous traumas can damage your gums or the roots of your upper front teeth.
Braces work by exerting very gentle pressure on to the teeth, which slowly eases them into the desired position. The severity of the case determines treatment time but in most fixed cases this is usually between 12-36 months. Our patients attend every 3-6 weeks to have their braces adjusted.
Orthodontic treatment gives the best results when the patient gives total co-operation.
There are many different types of braces that can be placed on the teeth by an Orthodontist. There are so many different types of braces because there are multiple scenarios and factors that will affect the nature of teeth straightening. Not every case is the same and therefore you cannot use the same treatment on every person needing braces.
Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces. For this reason, ceramic braces are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns. While they are visually less prominent, they do require more attention because ceramic braces are more brittle than their metal counterparts.
Traditional metal braces are the most common type, and are more comfortable today than ever before. Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires. With metal braces, you have the option of adding colored elastics (rubber bands) for a more unique and colorful smile.
These braces can be beautified with different colors to make them look more appealing.They are the least expensive type of braces.
Metal braces can make it more difficult to floss and brush.
Self Litigating Braces (Damon Braces, Clarity, SmartClip)
Self-ligating means that the brackets do not need the little o-shaped rubber bands (ligatures) or metal tie wires to hold the arch wire onto the bracket. Several companies have come up with various techniques for holding the arch wire in place without ligatures. One of a common brand is Clarity.
Pending Invisalign Information – coming soon
Treament Conclusion – Retainers
At the end of treatment we give all our patients removable or fixed retainers to maintain the position of the teeth at the end of treatment. If you do not wear your retainers as instructed your teeth may move part way back to their original position.
Retainers should be worn 24 hours per day, apart from eating, drinking and brushing teeth, for the first 6-9 months and then for 8 months at night time. After the first year of retention we advise you continue to wear your retainers every night. After which it is advisable to wear your retainers 2-3 nights a week for an extended period of time if you wish to prevent any minor changes in final tooth position.