Orthodontics is one of the major departments of dentistry, which is related to the treatments of the teeth, jaws and facial disorders. A normal human-being has teeth, which are well aligned, bites properly and coordinated and looks harmonious with the face. Many factors, including genetics, thumb sucking, mouth breathing, early loss of deciduous teeth, etc lead to deteriorate this harmony.
The main target of orthodontic treatment is to achieve a excellent tooth alignment, harmonious with the face and works properly and coordinated with the joint. You can have the perfect smile with your well aligned teeth.
When should be the first orthodontic visit?
The first orthodontic examination should be done at ages 5 to 6. At this time some major jaw deformities and/or functional disorders (thumb sucking, tongue thrust, etc) can be detected. These problems could be much easily treated than the future ages.
Your orthodontist will inform you about the proper control intervals. The right time to start the treatment depends up the case.
Who can receive orthodontic treatment?
One of the most common false rumours in the public is that only the children can be treated orthodontically. Orthodontic treatment can be performed at every age of life, only the treatment methods and duration may differ. For example, a simple problem, which can be solved very easily until to age of 10, after that time could be treated with ortho-surgery collaboration.
In summary, everyone, who is not happy with the appearance of her/his teeth, jaws and lip closure is candidate for orthodontic treatment. Only few diseases related to bone metabolism and usage of some drugs also affects bone are contraindicated for orthodontic treatment. Also patients, who have root resorptions, are not suitable for treatment. With a detailed clinical and radiological examination before treatment any contraindication for treatment could be detected and the patient can be informed
Are all the orthodontic treatments same?
Orthodontic treatments vary due to the type and reason of the malocclusion, the age of patient, sometimes the choice of the patients and the education of the orthodontist. As we classify the treatments due to timing
I. Early treatment (Preventive treatment):
The treatments which involve deciduous dentition are in this group. The appliances may be removable or not. The main goal of this type of treatment is to prepare the most appropriate environment for permanent dentition. Sometimes very severe future crowding can be detected before they erupt and permanent teeth may be extracted at that time. This decision of extraction is also a kind of orthodontic treatment even there is no need to use of any appliance. Minor interventions like correction of asymmetries of narrow jaws, deterioration of palate due to thumb sucking or moving backward of protruded anterior teeth, could prevent major disorders. This treatment also contribute to self confidence of the patients. So its effects are both physiologic and psychologic. It is very common that the early treatments should be completed with fixed orthodontic treatment.
II. Fixed Orthodontic Treatment
After the completion of permanent dentition it is time to start the fixed orthodontic treatment. Braces are applied on each permanent tooth including 2nd molars. The treatment timing can vary sometimes, also deciduous teeth may be included in some exceptional cases. Teeth can moved into desired position via archwires, which are tied to the braces. Control intervals are 4 to 6 weeks. Braces may disturb lips and cheeks at the beginning, but orthodontic waxes can help to avoid wounds. Also orthodontic forces may lead to sensitive teeth and soreness for a short term, painkillers also may be used. Oral hygiene and daily care is very important. Your orthodontist may inform you about the usage and cleaning protocol of the braces. Doctor-patient cooperation is of great importance for a successful treatment.
Metal braces are commonly used for treatments, also porcelain braces can be preferred for aesthetic reasons. Even adult patients prefer more often porcelain braces, they can be used safely at every age. Former technologies did not avoid from friction and breakage, which leads to elongation of treatment time. But today this problems are solved. Another contribution of technology to the aesthetic treatment is lingual treatment as known as invisible orthodontics.
Today more and more adult patient ask for orthodontic treatment. This concept forces the industry to find more aesthetic options. As a result lingual brace systems are developed as an alternative to the conventional ones. There are al lot of brands in the market like Incognito, Harmony, Alias, StB, etc. Each system has its own indications and advantages. Some of this systems are manufactured individually for the patient, it takes up 8 weeks for production.
We can summarise the advantages and disadvantages of lingual treatment.
- They are invisible. No one will understand that you have braces.
- In the individual systems you can see how your teeth will look at the end of treatment from the beginning.
- Daily activities like speaking and eating are affected very much at the beginning due to disturbance of tongue. In the literature it is stated that this period may vary from one week to three months.
- Tooth brushing and cleaning of the appliances are more complicated than the buccal system.
- Total treatment time is 6 to 12 months longer than conventional method because of the difference between treatment mechanics.
- Sometimes it is necessary to apply buttons on the buccal side.
- It is much expensive than conventional treatment depending on the production method.