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What is Orthodontics?

 
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Orthodontics is one of many dental specialties. Orthodontics is specifically concerned with diagnosing and treating tooth malalignment.  Initially, orthodontic treatments were geared toward the treatment of teens and pre-teens, but now 30 percent of orthodontic patients are adults.

There are many advantages to properly aligned teeth, including better oral hygiene, clearer speech and a more pleasant smile.  Though orthodontic treatment can be effective at any age, the American Dental Association suggests that an orthodontic assessment should be performed around the age of seven.  The earlier orthodontic treatment begins, the more quickly the problem can be successfully resolved.

Orthodontics is a versatile branch of dentistry that can be used alone, or in combination with maxillofacial or cosmetic dentistry.

Orthodontic Solutions

Orthodontics is a technologically advanced field which offers many sophisticated solutions to malocclusions and other cosmetic problems. 

When a diagnosis has been made, there are a variety of orthodontic treatment options available.

  • Fixed orthodontic braces – A metal or ceramic dental base is affixed to each tooth, and a dental wire is inserted through each base.  The orthodontist is able to gradually move the teeth into proper alignment by regularly adjusting the wire.  When the desired results are achieved, the fixed dental braces are completely removed.
  • Removable appliances – There are a wide range of removable appliances commonly used in orthodontics, including headgear that correct overbites, Hawley retainers that improve the position of the teeth even as the jawbone reforms, and facemasks which are used to correct an underbite.
  • Invisalign® – This is a removable type of dental aligner that is completely transparent.  Invisalign® does not interfere with eating because of its removable nature, and mechanically works in the same way as the traditional metal dental braces.  Not all patients are candidates for Invisalign®.

If you have any questions or concerns about orthodontics, please contact our office. We will be happy to refer you to a qualified orthodontist in your area.

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