There are nine fields of dental specialty recognized by the American Dental Association, and one of the most important of these for proper tooth alignment is orthodontics. This specialty is dedicated to diagnosing, preventing, and treating improper tooth alignment, also known as malocclusions. Although many people think of orthodontic treatment as being for cosmetic purposes, it actually serves a range of other health purposes, as it improves eating and speaking capabilities for many patients. There are many different reasons why a dental patient might need to see a orthodontist. It’s helpful to take a look at all of these different reasons to learn more about the types of orthodontic dentistry out there.DNA Dental: Dr. Darya Timin, DDS
One of the primary reasons to look into orthodontics is to fix crooked teeth, getting them all in a straight, smooth line. Crooked teeth can be due to a variety of factors, and come in many shapes and sizes. A good orthodontist will be able to examine your mouth and work out a plan of treatment to bring your teeth and jaw in line through the latest forms of technology. There are traditional braces crafted from metal and wires, as well as clear forms of braces technology, depending on the type of treatment you need and your cosmetic preferences.
To get started with orthodontic treatment, you will first need to see your regular dentist who will be able to refer you to a orthodontic specialist. In some cases, your dentist may be licensed in orthodontics as well as regular dentistry. During an initial consultation with a orthodontist, you can expect to have photographs taken as well as X-rays. The dentist will take a look at your teeth, jawbone, and bite, and will take impressions of your teeth and bite to see where your teeth are hitting one another and whether or not your jaw must be realigned. This will also take into account your prior medical and dental history.
Today’s orthodontic procedures are suitable for all ages. However, the reason why orthodontics is usually associated with teenagers is because this is considered the ideal time to work on moving the teeth into a new alignment. This is because younger patients have more pliable bones than adults. Yet adults can be good candidates for this type of treatment as well, because they may follow directions better than adolescents. As long as your teeth and gums are healthy, you should be able to proceed with your orthodontic procedure at any age.
Some of the various types of treatments that are part of orthodontics include clear or invisible braces, aligner devices that can move teeth more quickly than other traditional methods, and traditional metal braces. When you go the traditional route, you can choose from an array of colored braces and rubber bands, allowing you to personalize your smile during treatment. Finally, retainers are usually used after braces have been removed, to keep your newly straight smile in place. These may be worn for a specific period of time, or may be meant to be worn at night indefinitely.