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Medical Article

Orthodontic treatment for beautiful look

Beautiful look and smile are the dream of teenagers. The dental braces are good option to accomplish your beauty concept. Compared to the old version the modern brackets are smaller and less noticeable than the notorious ‘mental-mouth’ braces used in past. An orthodontist places this dental device to align and straighten teeth. Along with good look it also improves the functional relation of the teeth.

Benefit of Orthodontic Treatment

Beyond the obvious physical changes, the orthodontic treatment alleviates potential health problems associated with teeth or jaw.  The improper cleaning of teeth leads to tooth decay, or may be to gum disease. It can lead to chewing and digestion difficulties, speech impairments, and abnormal wearing of tooth surfaces. This excessive strain to gum tissues and bone can lead to headaches or face or neck pain. 

Reasons to undertake orthodontic treatment

It improves self image. An attractive smile helps to boost a person’s self-image and confidence.

It improves the functional relation of upper and lower teeth. Thus the upper and lower back teeth come together while chewing and swallowing. The forward projection of front teeth lead to disorders like mouth breathing or acquired tongue thrusting. 

It improves general health. The extra teeth or malpositioned teeth make difficulty in cleaning, and it creates periodontal problems. Orthodontic treatment solves this crowding problem and improves general health.

Do I need Braces?

The braces are not only for teenagers, there are many adults who find braces are useful after their childhood. It could be that the adult did not receive dental care as a child or maybe they haven’t worn the retainer the way they are supposed to be once they were removed.

Signs that indicate need of orthodontic treatment:

Crowding: It is the most common reason to seek orthodontic treatment. Because of insufficient space in the mouth for all the teeth, the teeth may overlap each other resulting in crooked teeth. 

Spacing: It is just opposite of crowding. Like crowding spacing may be caused by genetic factors. Thumb sucking also creates or widens space between the teeth. This gap can compromise aesthetics as well as result in food impaction between the teeth. 

Open bite: It is a type of malocclusion where the upper and lower front teeth may not be aligned properly resulting in the upper front teeth being unable to touch the bottom. It is a difficult situation to handle because both the teeth and the jaw are involved. Mostly open bite is treated with surgery. In addition, they need braces before and after the surgery to achieve proper alignment. 

Poor alignment of front teeth: In this case the upper front teeth may show excessive proclamation or may retroclined in relation to the front lower teeth.  The reverse may also occur, like the lower front teeth are outwardly inclined as compared to upper front teeth. Year-long treatment is needed to correct the problem.

Traumatic bite: It occurs in children who bite their nails or suck their thumbs. In this case the upper and lower front teeth show excessive overlap such that they rub against each other or the palate when the teeth are brought together, the condition is referred to as deep or traumatic bite. Early correction is important to avoid trauma to the teeth or the soft tissue.

Cross bite: In cross bite the upper teeth will come inside the lower teeth. This result in poor function of teeth as well as trauma to the cheeks and gums.

Treatment of impacted teeth: Impacted teeth are those getting blocked as it is pushing through the gum into your mouth. Often wisdom teeth stay buried in the jaw bone. Impacted teeth can cause complication like poor appearance to dental cysts. Braces support to assist in the eruption of such teeth.

Braces and its use

Dental braces are the name used to fixed orthodontic appliances. This device is used to align and straighten teeth and it help to improve dental health also correct the malocclusion.

Braces consist of brackets, bands, wires and other fixed or removable corrective appliances. Braces work by applying continuous pressure over a period of time to slowly move teeth in a specific direction. The teeth move, the bone changes shape as pressure is applied. This controlled force overtime to the teeth allows them to come into proper alignment.

The best age to get orthodontic treatment

Growing age is best for orthodontic treatment. Parents should visit a dentist when the child is around 7 years old. At this age, interception of a malocclusion can reduce the degree of subsequent treatment. Fixed orthodontics can be performed for all ages. However, the best time to go for this treatment is 10-18 years.

Types of braces

Traditional braces are made from stainless steel and have metal brackets that are attached to each tooth using a type of cement. The brackets are linked to each other with a thin arch wire, which puts pressure on the teeth to cause them to move slowly into the correct position. The disadvantage of these braces is the poor aesthetics due to the obvious display of metal.

Ceramic Braces are a cosmetic alternative to metal braces. The brackets of it are made from transparent ceramic material. Their colour matches that of the teeth, so the braces are less visible to others, which makes them a popular choice for adults who need orthodontic treatment. The major disadvantage of these braces is the tendency to break and it can cause marks on the teeth.

Lingual Braces are the same as traditional metal braces, but the brackets and wires are placed on the inside of teeth, so it is invisible from outside. It is not useful for all cases and the difficulty in cleaning are the main disadvantage of it.

Titanium braces are same as stainless steel braces and used to patient who is allergic to nickel. The metallic appearance and cost are the main disadvantages.

Clear aligners are made of plastic. They are removable for eating and cleaning. The disadvantage is that it is very expensive and not useful for all types of tooth.

Suresmile System is a computer-assisted system for diagnosis, treatment planning and fabrication of the brackets. The scanner consists of a system formulate a treatment plan which helps the dentist to send the information to specialized labs that fabricate the brackets. Its cost and unavailability to all dentists is the main disadvantage of it.

Braces fixing

Through diagnosis and treatment plan the fitting procedures of braces starts. In the first step dentist will take the impression of patient’s teeth to make a model of it. Sometime radiographic examination may also involve.

According to this, the dentist reaches a conclusion about the treatment plan. Sometimes dentist may decide to extract teeth, most often premolars. Generally it can be done before fix the braces. After the extraction, the dentist makes a subsequent appointment to fix the braces.

The orthodontist will thoroughly clean and dry your teeth. Then dentist will apply the bonding glue to your teeth and attach the braces. In subsequent appointments, the dentist will either re-examine your teeth for appropriate movement or tighten the wire to further move the teeth. Depending on the occlusion the treatment procedure continues.

Getting braces off

After the completion of Orthodontic treatment dentist will remove the braces and prescribe a retainer.  The retainer is used to ensure that the teeth do not move back to its original position after the treatment. There are two types of retainers used, fixed and removable.

To get optimum results the orthodontist will give you instruction to keep mouth clean, like brush teeth after each meal, regular use of dental floss. If dentist prescribed you a removable retainer, it must be worn regularly. The device must be kept in clean and immersed in water when outside the mouth. 

Risk and complication in orthodontic treatment

Like any other interventions to body, orthodontic treatment is also associated with some risks. After each orthodontic treatment and inspection you may feel unpleasant pressure on your teeth, toothache or just discomfort. Proper treatment planning, regular follow-up of orthodontist home care instructions reduce intensity of these issues. 

Complications:

Tooth decay: The patient is more prone to dental decay as braces make it difficult to keep your teeth clean. Oral hygiene is very important during the treatment periods. Usually the dentist prescribes fluoride mouth rinses to prevent caries.

Root resorption: The excessive force on teeth may cause root resorption and even loss of teeth. The dentist has to be careful applying slow and sustained force on teeth. 

Loss of periodontal support: The difficulty in maintaining oral hygiene may result in breakdown of the periodontal ligament of your teeth. Maintaining proper hygiene is the best solution for this complication also.