Dental orthodontics is a branch of cosmetic therapeutic dentistry. It deals with diagnosing and treating improper dental and jaw alignments, as well as deformities and irregularities in teeth. Orthodontics aims to enhance the position of teeth and jaws to improve oral function and aesthetic appearance. The process of dental orthodontics begins with a comprehensive evaluation of the jaws, teeth, and the surrounding muscles. A specialized dentist in orthodontics uses X-rays, images, and scans to determine the condition of the teeth and jaws and diagnose any existing problems. Then, a customized treatment plan is devised for each patient based on their individual needs.
Various devices and techniques are used in orthodontics, such as braces, fixed and removable appliances, and removable aligners, to apply appropriate forces and guide the teeth into their correct positions. Orthodontic treatment is a long-term process and requires regular visits to the dentist to adjust the devices and monitor the progress of the treatment. The duration of orthodontic treatment can vary from several months to several years, depending on the condition of the teeth and the patient's needs.
Orthodontics offers numerous benefits, including improving jaw function and chewing, enhancing speech, reducing potential oral health problems like tooth decay and gum disease, and improving the aesthetic appearance of teeth and the face. The role of a specialized dentist in orthodontics is to ensure that teeth grow and move correctly and achieve balance and harmony between the jaws and the face overall.
There are many devices used in dental orthodontics, and they vary based on the condition of the teeth and the patient's needs. Here are some popular and common devices in dental orthodontics:
Types of dental orthodontic devices:
1. Fixed Orthodontic Appliances (Metal or Ceramic): These are permanently attached to the teeth using archwires, brackets, and screws. They are used to achieve precise tooth movements and guide them into their correct positions.
2. Removable Orthodontic Appliances: Also known as "removable devices," these are appliances that patients can remove and reinsert by themselves. They consist of custom-made plastic pieces placed over the teeth, controlling tooth movement gradually.
3. Clear Aligners: This is a type of removable orthodontic treatment that uses transparent, removable aligners. It is a popular choice among individuals who wish to straighten their teeth invisibly.
4. Lingual Orthodontics: This method is used to correct linguistic issues in the upper and lower jaws, such as tongue alignment, and improve speech function.
5. Orthodontic Archwires: Flexible wire arches are used to guide teeth and move them into the correct positions. These archwires are adjusted periodically to achieve the necessary tooth movements.
6. Screws and Brackets: Dentists use small screws and brackets to secure archwires and other devices to the teeth, guiding their movement.
The appropriate type of orthodontic treatment depends on the condition of the teeth and the patient's needs. It is advisable to visit a specialized orthodontist for an assessment and to choose the suitable type of treatment along with creating an appropriate treatment plan. Necessary care and regular visits are also essential to maintain sustainable results after the removal of the orthodontic device.