Adult Orthodontics

Due to advancements in the dental and orthodontic field, more adults are conducting treatments for their oral problems. There are many differences between how orthodontics is handled in children and how they are handled in adults. Adults can have problems that younger children usually do not have such as gingivitis infections, marginal bone loss, and too little marrow between the roots for blood supply. Because the teeth are no longer growing and the tissue has aged this causes complications in the adjustment of a person’s teeth or smile. This means that corrective procedures may take longer than they would for children. Sometimes in adults, there is not adequate room to create movement of the teeth or space without extraction of teeth. Also many adults may have already had to extract one or more teeth, which makes it difficult to find locations for other teeth to move. Adults are also more likely to have root reabsorption, where the body causes the root of the tooth to reabsorb, which means it has less anchorage or support. These problems and conditions are important for adults to keep in mind before consulting in orthodontic care.

Clear Braces

In the modern orthodontic field there are many different options for braces. Clear braces, such as invisalign, which will be explained later, have become the most sought after but there are still other options available. It is important to consider options when thinking about purchasing braces.

Traditional braces are made of stainless steel and are the cheapest option. Thin wires and rubber bands are then used to move the teeth to their desired location. Many people have problems with traditional braces because of their visibility and because they can cause irradiation in the gums and cheeks. Also many people do not like the limitations due to metal braces, like not being able to chew gum or eat hard or sticky foods.

Ceramic braces are another option, which are meant to blend with a patient’s teeth. This are much more costly than traditional braces. Elastic ties or white metal ties are used to hold them in place. The braces do not stain easily but the ties do, especially if the patient is a coffee or tea drinker. These ties can be replaced often. They are more sensitive and less durable, meaning they are easier to damage or break. The installation process also takes longer than traditional braces.

Lingual braces are another option and they are attached to the back of the teeth in order to hide them from view. They are much more costly than both traditional and ceramic braces and require longer installation process. They are also not ideal for most patients, especially those with small teeth.

Invisible braces or invisalign is another option. These are the most expensive but they are pretty much invisible to others. Orthodontists give the patients custom-fitted aligners that are to be worn up to 20 hours per day, and only removing them when eating or brushing teeth. These will be adjusted as the process continues in order to make sure the teeth are moved to the right positions. The visibility of the invisalign is certainly a major selling point and they require less dental visits. They are however, easy to lose and costly to replace. The treatment process can take longer and patients must have discipline and be good at maintaining the wearing of the braces in order for the best results.

Orthodontic Closing Gaps

Many children and adults have diastema, or gaps between their teeth. This can cause self-confidence issues as well as dental problems. There are many options to fix a gap between teeth.

One option is bonding, which is often used for the front teeth. The Bonding procedure is where a composite is mixed and added to the teeth, then they are reshaped to appear wider and more correctly shaped, which takes away the appearance of a gap. These composites are ensured to match the color and texture of normal teeth and are made to make the teeth’s shape natural looking. This is faster and less expensive than other options and procedures. No anesthesia is required for the procedure unless there is a cavity involved. Most of the enamel in the tooth remains. This can also fix the teeth’s overall shape and color and protect teeth rotting, receding and damage. Bonding is not as durable as other options and can cause chipping and discoloration over time, which is why it needs to be touched up from time to time.

Veneers are another option. Veneers are casings that are placed onto the tooth to create a better overall appearance. They are made from porcelain and created in a laboratory to fit to the teeth before being bonded permanently. They are similar to bonding in effect, but often require tooth enamel to be removed, which means a numbing agent is often required. Veneers are usually more natural looking than bonding but are more costly. They can last up to ten years and are not easily stainable.

Another option is braces as discussed above. Depending on the type of braces, different methods will be used for closing gaps. These include rubber bands, ties, among other things. Braces create straighter teeth and improve the patient’s bite overall, which can help to prevent future dental health problems.

Orthodontic Female Case

This is another option for improper teeth positioning, usually overcrowding of teeth. A palatal expander may be used in order to create more space in the mouth for teeth to shift, move and fit properly. After this braces are typically used for a year to a year and a half and then retainers are used after that. It is important to keep in mind different options when researching how to fix dental problems and to keep up with good dental care.

Invisalign

Invisible braces or invisalign a form of braces. These are the most expensive type of braces, but they are pretty much invisible to others. Orthodontists give the patients custom-fitted aligners that are to be worn up to 20 hours per day, and only removing them when eating or brushing teeth. These will be adjusted as the process continues in order to make sure the teeth are moved to the right positions. The visibility of the invisalign is certainly a major selling point and they require less dental visits. They are however, easy to lose and costly to replace. The treatment process can take longer and patients must have discipline and be good at maintaining the wearing of the braces in order for the best results. The good thing is that these can also double as retainers once the correction process has been completed. That is one of the many reasons that people have been using these more often.

Lingual Arch

A lingual arch is device used in the field of orthodontics to build support and create or maintain space in the patient’s mouth, as well as rotating the molars. The device is made up of archwire and bands to connect two molars on opposite sides of the mouth. There are two types LLA (lower lingual arch) and TPA (Transpalatal Arch) Transpalatal Arches are less often used and are used for the top teeth. The device uses two wires, the first wire wraps around the front of the teeth and connects to the band on the molar on the other side, and the second wire goes across the mouth to connect to the molar on the other side. These devices can be removable. They are usually made of stainless steel but sometimes can be made of beta-titanium, which is arguably more effective. This device is similar to the look of traditional braces but uses more support and is used for more serious problems.

Misaligned Bite

A misaligned bite is pretty self-explanatory. The teeth are not aligned correctly, which means the teeth are not able to perform important functions. This is also known as malocclusion, which is a more scientific way to put it. There are many different types of misaligned bites such as crowded teeth, crossbite, overbite, underbite and open bite. Normally aligned bites allow for the teeth to fit easily in the mouth. This means without spacing or crowding problems. All of the teeth should be straight and not twisted or rotated. There should be a small overlap with the top-level teeth over the lower level teeth. The ridges of the bottom molars should fit into the grooves of the top molars. When this is not the case it means the patient has a misaligned bite. Some are more severe than others but any type can cause problems such as biting cheeks, tongue and lips. Usually misaligned bites are inherited. There are other things that can cause misaligned bites such as cleft lip palates, thumb sucking, tumors, abnormally shaped teeth, bad oral habits, mouth breathing, injury, bottle feeding, pacifier use, among others. Some signs of a misaligned bite are frequent cheek or tongue bites, chewing or biting problems, lisps, breathing through the mouth, face alteration, among others. Some remedies for misaligned bites are braces, teeth removal, bonding, surgery and plates. Other problems that this may cause are tooth decay, mouth irritation, difficulty chewing or speaking, and severe pain in the mouth. Early treatment in childhood can solve more severe problems down the road that may arise.

Overbite

An overbite or deep bite is where the top teeth overlap the lower teeth to a severe degree. It is normal for the top teeth to overlap the lower teeth to some degree, but when it gets extensive it can cause problems. The amount of overbite is measured in percentages of how much of the lower teeth are covered. Invisalign can fix overbites, as well as other forms of braces. This is more common in America than other countries, where under bites are more common. There are many causes for overbites such as genetics, habits in childhood such as thumb sucking and sucking on pacifiers, teeth positioning in early childhood, or any combination of these factors. Headgear is a possible way to fix overbites but many people no longer use this. Other ways to fix overbites are elastics, springs, braces among other orthodontic devices and procedures. It is best to catch these problems early in life because it gets harder to correct these problems in later years.

Underbite

An underbite is the opposite of an overbite, where the lower teeth overlap the top teeth. This is known more scientifically as prognathism. There are various degrees to the severity of this problem. Under bites are caused by misaligned lower jaws, hereditary problems such as basal cell nevus syndrome or Crouzon’s syndrome, gigantism, acromegaly, among others. According to studies certain ethnicities are more likely to suffer from this condition than others. Under bites can cause many other problems such as difficulties eating, speech problems, joint pain, jaw pain, headaches, earaches, tooth decay, mouth breathing, bacterial infections, snoring, sleep apnea, among others. This can also cause problems in self-esteem, especially for children who have under bites. There are many ways to fix this problem including jaw surgery, upper jaw expanders and facemasks. Upper jaw expanders are made of wire frames and fit across the patient’s mouth. They are widened slightly every night which causes the upper jaw to gradually widen until the under bite is corrected. After this retainers are used to keep the teeth in the correct state. A facemask may also be used, that is similar to headgear in how it looks. The device pulls the upper jaw into the correct position using bands made of metal attached to the back teeth. In more severe cases jaw surgery is conducted. There is also facelift dentistry, which hides the problem by adding veneers to the upper teeth. This improves the functions of the jaw but does not solve the overall problem. It is important to discus with a professional which option is considered best for each individual patient.

Orthodontics FAQs

An FAQ is a page of frequently asked questions with answers from professionals or experts in that particular field. Orthodontics FAQs will be able to answer all questions that are frequently asked in the field of Orthodontics. Many of these can be found online and will lead patients to the next steps of whatever problem they are facing.