Orthodontics – Treatment of Crooked Teeth

What is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of abnormalities that affect the development of teeth and jaws. It primarily focuses on the alignment of teeth, the correction of crooked teeth, the closure of gaps between teeth, and bringing the jaw structure into proper alignment.

Orthodontic treatment can be applied to patients of different ages. In children, it can start at an early age to monitor and intervene in the development of teeth and jaw structure. In adults, various treatment options can be offered for teeth alignment and correction of the jaw structure.

Methods Used in Orthodontic Treatment

The methods used in orthodontic treatment include braces, wires, clear aligners, and other appliances. These treatments are applied by dentists and can last from a few months to several years.

What is the Aim of Orthodontic Treatment?

The aim of orthodontic treatment is to properly align the teeth and correct any irregularities in the jaw structure, enabling the patient to have a healthier oral structure. Orthodontic treatment corrects dental misalignment and jaw discrepancies, not only for aesthetic purposes but also to prevent potential gum diseases, cavities, and temporomandibular joint disorders in the future. It also helps improve chewing function and speech disorders.

Scope of Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontic treatment can be applied during the primary dentition phase to address issues caused by habits such as thumb-sucking and lip-biting. Thus, eliminating problems that may lead to permanent skeletal abnormalities.

The mixed dentition phase is also within the scope of orthodontics. During this phase, both primary and permanent teeth are present in the mouth. Space discrepancies may arise when primary teeth are lost prematurely and fail to guide the eruption of permanent teeth. Orthodontics addresses these space discrepancies. Additionally, this phase involves ongoing jaw development. Orthodontic treatment encompasses the correction of any disharmony between the upper and lower jaws.

During the permanent dentition phase, orthodontics focuses on correcting irregularities in the alignment of teeth. Treatment also includes addressing irregularities resulting from gum diseases and the alignment issues caused by congenitally missing or lost teeth.

When Should You Visit an Orthodontist?

While abnormalities in jaw structure should be corrected at an early age, there is time for treatment when only teeth are misaligned. Adults can visit an orthodontist at any age. However, the treatment duration increases with age.

Visiting an orthodontist at an early age does not necessarily mean starting treatment immediately. If a child has regular check-ups with an orthodontist, potential problems can be monitored. Therefore, intervention can be provided at the most appropriate time.

Is There An Age Limit For Orthodontic Treatment?

Age is not a concern when it comes to correcting issues related to teeth alignment. Orthodontic treatment can be applied to young and old alike, as long as the teeth and gums are healthy. However, it is generally believed that treatment duration increases with age.

If there is a skeletal abnormality, age becomes important, and treatment should be initiated before reaching adolescence. After jaw development is complete, it is not possible to intervene in bone growth. Therefore, skeletal issues can only be corrected through surgery in later years.

How is Orthodontic Treatment Applied?

Orthodontic treatment refers to the various methods used to correct the alignment of teeth and jaw structure. Orthodontic treatment can be divided into fixed and removable treatments. These treatments can provide many benefits in terms of aesthetics, functionality, and oral health. The most common orthodontic treatment methods include:

Braces:

Braces are small appliances attached to the surface of the teeth. They can be made of metal, ceramic, or clear plastic. Braces are combined with wires and exert the necessary force to keep the teeth in the correct position. This is the most commonly used and effective orthodontic treatment method.

Clear Aligners:

Clear aligners are custom-made trays that are worn over the teeth. These trays are designed to facilitate tooth movement. Since the aligners are removable, brushing and eating become easier.

Lingual Braces:

Lingual braces are brackets placed on the back of the teeth. This method is less noticeable and invisible. However, it is more challenging to apply, requiring expertise from dentists.

Self-Ligating Braces:

This method uses specially designed wires to align the teeth. The wires apply pressure to the teeth, pushing them into the correct position and ensuring they stay in place over time.

Orthodontic treatment methods can vary depending on the individual’s needs and are determined by the dentist. Depending on the condition of the teeth and jaw structure, a single method or a combination of methods may be used.

How Long Does Orthodontic Treatment Take?

The duration of orthodontic treatment depends on several factors. However, the severity of the orthodontic problem is the most significant. Compared to other dental treatments, orthodontic treatment is a lengthy process. To complete the treatment as quickly as possible, it is important to follow your dentist’s instructions and not miss appointments.

What Are the Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment?

When there is dental misalignment, it becomes difficult to clean the teeth properly. Therefore, increasing the risk of cavities and gum diseases. Orthodontic treatment eliminates this risk. During the closing of the upper and lower teeth, they should interlock properly. However, if misalignment is present, some teeth make contact earlier than others and are subjected to excessive force. This can lead to problems in the teeth and jaw joint, depending on the strength of the force. Orthodontic treatment prevents the occurrence of these problems.

Are There any Challenges in Orthodontic Treatment?

During orthodontic treatment, you can continue to do most of the things you normally do. However, certain restrictions may apply to food consumption, as gum, acidic drinks, and hard foods can damage orthodontic appliances. Additionally, since orthodontic treatment is a long-term process, it is important not to miss appointments.

Is It Possible For Orthodontic Appliances To Be Unnoticeable From The Outside?

Due to advancements in technology used in oral and dental health treatments, it is now possible to use braces that are less noticeable from the outside and blend with the natural color of the teeth. Additionally, by placing the braces on the backside of the teeth, facing the palate and tongue, it is possible to make them completely unnoticeable from the outside.