Orthodontics is the branch of odontology that treats irregular bite and crooked teeth. Orthodontic procedures are applied as preparatory treatment before a prosthesis. The irregular position of teeth causes many problems: inconveniences in chewing and speaking, increased wear of teeth, difficulty in brushing crowded teeth can allow them to develop problems, and moreover, the jawbone joint can become traumatized and pain may develop. Often these things cause unpleasant sensations, reduce self-confidence and make a person smile less. Thanks to advanced technologies, everything can be resolved quite simply. The assumption that orthodontic treatment is only meant for children is wrong; the treatment is suitable for people of any age.
Specialists of the DentalPRO clinic recommend watching children at the age of 8–13 especially carefully, because this is the period when their primary teeth are replaced with their permanent ones, the face bones grow, and so bite issues often reveal themselves during this particular period. Bite irregularities noticed early help in preventing bigger problems and timely treatment is often shorter and easier.
Orthodontic treatment is required, when:
- the teeth are crowded and do not form a single regular row
- a tooth or several teeth do not fit in the row and cut closer to the lip or in the palate
- as the teeth are locked, the lower ones cover the upper ones or do not overlay at all
- the teeth are in an even row, but oblique or slanted
There are two types of orthodontic treatment: removable plates or non-removable braces.
These are made of specific plastics and metal hooks. The hooks are attached to particular points and pull the teeth to the required normal position when the plate is worn. Plates are usually used to treat children’s teeth when the defects are minor and can be fixed quite quickly. They are easy to maintain and clean and can be taken off for some time (for example, when being photographed) if necessary. However, children often fail to wear their plates and sometimes the treatment does not provide the desired results.
How is this performed?
During the consultation, the dentist-orthodontist evaluates the situation of each individual patient and decides whether treatment with a plate is sufficient. Then, tooth prints are taken by the means of a special substance and sent to a laboratory that manufactures an initial version of the plate. Later, the doctor adjusts it to the particular situation of the patient and the treatment begins. Usually the plate must be worn continuously throughout the entire treatment period; however, there are cases when the plate may be worn only at night.
A brace system consists of small parts glued onto the tooth surface and a wire connecting the parts. Such systems are more expensive than plates, are non-removable and require especially thorough brushing at home as well as frequent visits to the odontologists. Nevertheless, in most cases it is a much more efficient and convenient treatment or sometimes the only orthodontic treatment possible. Brace fixation lasts about an hour and it is absolutely painless. Tooth irritation may develop during the first several days or after repeated visits to adjust the system. Sometimes parts of the system scratch the mucous membrane and cause inconvenience, but the unpleasant sensations disappear after several days. Analgesics are prescribed if necessary, and any part causing pain is covered with orthodontic wax.
How is this performed?
The situation of each individual patient is evaluated during consultation and the doctor decides whether treatment with brace systems can be successful. The patient chooses a desirable brace system and it is attached to the teeth during the next visit. One part is glued to each tooth with special orthodontic cement. The cement does not damage the tooth surface and is removed after the treatment, leaving no signs afterwards. However, one must remember that brushing the teeth thoroughly is of extreme importance throughout the treatment procedures, because plaque accumulates and caries can develop around the brackets otherwise. The parts are connected with wire, and sometimes the additional use of an elastic band is required to adjust the effect of the system. The patient must visit the specialist every 4–6 weeks to monitor the results of the treatment, evaluate the patient’s effort to care for the teeth and adjust the system. The duration of treatment is an individual thing; it depends on the speed of tooth growth and position, and lasts for 1.5–2 years on average. When the brace system is removed after the treatment, various remedies to stabilize the teeth are employed to preserve the results achieved.
- Metal braces
The parts glued to the teeth and the wires are made of metal. While the aesthetic look of braces is poorer than that of other systems, braces are the most popular alternative because they are less expensive than others, the treatment time is shorter, and braces are more resistant to wear (they do not break or crack).
- Ceramic braces
The parts are made of white ceramics and the wire may be white or metallic. The system is more expensive, the treatment lasts longer and the brackets are less resistant to breaking, but the aesthetic advantage of the system is obvious.
- The Damon brace system
The main difference from other brace systems is the fixation of the wire. It is held by special locks, not pressed on, and this reduces stress by using a weaker force to pull teeth to the required position. Moreover, repeated visits to the odontologist are fewer (every 6–8 weeks) and the treatment is shorter. Unfortunately, this system cannot be applied in every case, and it is more expensive than regular metal braces.
The orthodontists of the DentalPRO clinic will explain the possibilities, necessity, course and safety of any of the above procedures and answer all your questions during your consultation.