What is Orthodontics?
The word ‘orthodontics’ is derived from the Greek words ‘orthos,’ meaning proper or straight, and ‘odons,’ which means teeth. Orthodontics is an area of dental specialty concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of jaw irregularities and misalignment. Orthodontic treatment leads to properly aligned teeth, clearer speech, easier cleaning, better dental hygiene, and a more aesthetic smile.
Orthodontics has become increasingly technologically advanced in recent years and offers sophisticated solutions to a wide range of cosmetic problems and malocclusions. Traditionally aimed at pre-teens and teens, the American Dental Association (ADA) suggests that orthodontic treatments are faster and more efficient the younger you are and recommends that treatment should begin at age seven. Still, adults make up 30% of orthodontic patients.
What problems can orthodontics treat?
Orthodontics can be used alone or with a unique combination of cosmetic or maxillofacial dentistry. Because of this, the types of problems orthodontics can be used to treat are very versatile.
The most common conditions treated with orthodontics include:
Overcrowding – This occurs when there is insufficient space for proper adult tooth growth and development.
Anteroposterior deviations – This term refers to any improper positioning of the jaws when closed. Conditions that fall under this category include an overbite (when the upper teeth protrude past or fully cover the lower teeth) or an underbite (when the lower teeth protrude past or fully cover the upper teeth).
Aesthetic problems – Any problems with misaligned teeth or issues with the shape and structure of the jaws, lips, or face can be easily and accurately treated by orthodontic procedures.
Types of orthodontic solutions
During a visit to the orthodontist, visual examinations, panoramic X-rays, 3D scans, and study models are commonplace. These tools are used to determine the exact nature of the patient’s issue. Once a careful diagnosis has been made, the most common orthodontic treatment options offered are:
Invisalign – Used as a transparent and removable alternative to traditional metal dental braces, Invisalign, which is offered at Brooklyn Dentist, works to correct any misalignment in the jaw and teeth. Invisalign consists of medical-grade thermoplastic polymer trays that fit over the teeth. Not all patients are candidates for Invisalign.
Fixed orthodontic braces – Traditional, fixed metal or ceramic braces can gradually move the teeth and jaw into proper alignment using wires that are regularly adjusted by the orthodontist. The braces are completely removed when the desired results are achieved.
Removable appliances – There is a wide variety of removable dental appliances commonly used to treat orthodontic problems. These include headgear for correcting overbites, facemasks for correcting underbites, and Hawley retainers that realign the teeth even in cases where the jawbone is in the process of reforming.
If you have any questions or concerns about orthodontics, please contact our Dental Office in Brooklyn, NY.