A Crash Course in Orthodontic Care

by - 10:10 AM

Orthodontistry is the art and science of rearranging teeth, it's a science because the anatomy and physiology of each mouth is largely the same, leading to treatment protocols that can widely be applied. But it's an art because the definition of a healthy, naturally aligned smile goes beyond clear definitions and into the aesthetic tastes of the patient. 

Is orthodontic treatment cosmetic or clinical? 
Orthodontic treatment can cover the full gambit, of absolutely necessary critical care with immediate clinical implications, to strictly cosmetic. Everyday inconveniences with misaligned teeth are common, creating challenges in brushing, increasing the length of the hygiene regime and reducing the effectiveness of cleaning. As plaque builds up, it becomes calcified into tartar in awkward-to-remove locations. Concentration of force when you bite down can become magnified at certain points along the dental arch and this alters the way people eat. Putting additional stress and wear on the teeth significantly increases the chances of cracking and reduces enamel thickness. Over long periods of time, the altered jaw position caused by the dental misalignment creates stress and slowly builds up to temporomandibular joint disorder, a type of repetitive strain disorder The visual impact of pronounced teeth can be difficult to live with and it's crucial not to underestimate the importance of self-confidence, but to see self-esteem as a lifelong project. If issues can be nipped in the bud, with early orthodontic intervention, the benefits ripple out into the other areas of life. 

How does orthodontic treatment work 
Orthodontic treatment is based on the mobile nature of teeth. Although they may seem pretty fixed in place, the roots are very flexible and often tangled around one another. Your tooth position is primarily supported by gum tissue and tendons rather than your teeth’s connection to your jawbone. By consistently applying moderate pressure to a tooth it can be encouraged to adopt a new position. This is the fundamental mechanism behind the treatment; orthodontic tools attempt to apply pressure continuously with teeth, but in the most convenient way. The earliest methods involved using a finger pressure, a sort of exercise for your teeth before the the adoption of headgear and later braces. Modern orthodontic tools like invisible braces continue this trend, becoming ever more convenient and subtle whilst still straightening teeth. 

Are extractions a normal part of straightening teeth? 
The extraction of teeth as part of dental realignment is not uncommon in patients who have a crowded smile, often when teeth simply cannot fit in the dental arch some may be forced to twist. This twisting and compressing can make them quite hard to brush and then they cannot be well spaced and returned to their healthy positions without extraction of a tooth; the teeth chosen to be extracted are usually at the back of the mouth with an emphasis on symmetry. This often leads to two teeth being removed, one from each side, as trying to spread out for teeth from a single extraction would cause the off-centre positions of several of the most prominent teeth at the front of the mouth.

You May Also Like