ORTHODONTICS is a branch of dentistry dealing with the prevention and treatment of malocclusion in children and adults.
The effect of orthodontic treatment is not only a visible improvement in the appearance of teeth, but also it helps to improve pronunciation and oral hygiene and well-being of the patient. Orthodontics is also involved in the treatment of pain caused by dysfunction of the temporomandibular joints.
MALOCCLUSION – the vast majority of malocclusion (80%) it is acquired and developed during the first years of life. At its formation in young children may be influenced by improperly shaped pacifier, thumb sucking, mouth breathing (adenoid hypertrophy). Also posture may cause misalignment of teeth. Primary teeth play a crucial role in the development of the entire masticatory system. Disorders arise when the child too early looses their baby teeth. While at the emergence of the first permanent teeth, it turns out that there is no place for them. Disorders arise, such as crowding malocclusion of teeth, impeded eruption of teeth, and even a blockage in the bone may occur. Today, most common malocclusion can be quickly cured by wearing a properly selected removable and fixed orthodontic appliances.
- REMOVABLE BRACES
- are not designed for continuous wear, the patient decides when to put in on and off. What kind of braces are best depends on the malocclusion. Removable braces are used mainly with children aged from 4 to 12 years. This is the period in which the milk teeth are replaced by permanent ones. Capabilities of removable braces are quite limited – are ideally suited for light correction of teeth. The apparatus consists of colorful acrylic tiles and items made of wire, holding it in teeth, and are carefully matched to the shape of the mouth. In addition, braces also include screws and springs, which are the source of the force that is put on the teeth. The length and effects of treatment depend on the patient’s age, type of malocclusion, the regularity of a doctor’s advices about application.
- PERMANENT BRACES
- have a much more possibilities than removable braces, that is why they are used to correct significant malocclusion. These braces are fixed permanently to the teeth, by locks and rings, which are mounted on elastic wires. These elements have a constant force on the teeth, and because of that changes in the position of the teeth are possible. During treatment with permanent braces there must be emphasis put on proper oral hygiene. Depending on the medical and aesthetic requirements, various types of braces are offered for treatment:
- precise, relatively inexpensive, you can diversify by using colored ligatures sustained for the arc or the use of mini locks.
- Ceramic, less noticeable – composite (tooth-color) or a completely transparent – crystal (single crystal sapphire).
- SELF LIGATURE SYSTEM
- modern, allows to shorten the duration of visits, as well as the healing process. Special shape allows locks to minimize the unpleasant sensation for the patient and helps to maintain proper oral hygiene.
- invisible from the outside by sticking orthodontic brackets on the inner surface of the teeth, from the side of the tongue. They are used most frequently with adults, although there is no age limit. The use of special, small locks with gentle contours allows the braces to minimize the impact of tongue and speech functions and to maintain proper oral hygiene.
STAGES OF ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT – the first visit to an orthodontist, on the basis of the check up, determines an individual treatment plan, which aims to correct the malocclusion. Then the doctor takes the patient’s impressions for diagnostic models. It is also necessary to have x-rays (radiographs and cephalometric), which are very helpful in the analysis of bite, bone conditions, the face project. The effect is to develop an individual treatment plan that takes into account the course and the expected duration.
SETTING UP BRACES – before the braces are worn it is necessary to check the condition of teeth at the dentist. The setting up of braces is completely painless and takes about an hour. It is based on sticking to the teeth locks and rings, putting on the arc and ligatures to fix it with rubber bands. Color choice depends on the patient – there are a lot of colors to choose from. Then the dentist informs a patient of any recommendations relating to the appropriate handling of braces. Some patients shortly after the having the braces put on may feel some discomfort, and even slight pain, which in a few days should pass away.
FOLLOW-UP VISITS – their frequency is set on the individual patient’s needs and the type of treatment. In the case of removable braces checks are recommended every 2-4 months, in the case of permanent – every 1-3 months. During the visits dentist checks for advances in the treatment and regulates the force with which the braces are put on the teeth. You should not neglect the follow – up visits, because they have a significant impact on the proper course of treatment. It is also important that if you do not control the regular process of the braces, it may cause undesirable effect.
RETENTION – it is the last and very important phase of orthodontic treatment. Its purpose is to maintain the results achieved and to prevent recurrence of malocclusion. This phase proceeds differently depending on the type of braces