Orthodontics is a dental specialty dealing with corrections of the alignment of teeth and jaws. Regular teeth growth or trauma can cause irregularities in the alignment of teeth, and a symmetrical position of upper and lower jaw may be compromised and thus change the aesthetics of the face. In addition to these aesthetic consequences, improper alignment of teeth and jaws can also cause issues with speech, chewing and keeping oral hygiene and health.
In orthodontics, improper alignment of teeth and jaws is treated with dental braces and other orthodontic appliances. After a clinical examination, measuring and evaluation of different parameters, X-rays and photographs, the orthodontic specialist sets a diagnosis and a therapy plan.
What types of orthodontic appliances are there?
Depending on the set plan of the orthodontic therapy, we can recommend removable or fixed appliances. Removable appliances are only suitable for kids during their development, especially puberty. It has to be worn 14 – 16 hours a day and it is made of a wire holder attached to plastic. Fixed appliances consist of braces and wires. Today, there are various types of braces thanks to the advances in dentistry so they can be almost invisible, and are most commonly made of metal, ceramics and plastic.
It is necessary to mention a new hit in orthodontics – INVISALIGN. The technology of correcting teeth position with the help of clear aligners was developed in America in 1997. Clear, mobile aligners are made to fit the patient's teeth and are used to move the teeth towards the wanted position over time. Invisalign aligners are made for maximum comfort. The aligners are worn all day long, apart from eating or brushing teeth, and they are replaced every two weeks. During the therapy, the patient changes between 15 and 40 aligners. Invisalign invisible aligners are not suitable for more serious irregularities, and the success rate of the therapy depends greatly on the patient's cooperation in following the orthodontist's instructions.
How can I tell if I’m a candidate for an orthodontic appliance?
There are different factors which can help determine if you need an orthodontic appliance. Some of them are:
Distance between teeth
Extra teeth or lack of teeth
If you have any of the above-mentioned factors, we recommend you visit an orthodontist as soon as possible in order to set a diagnosis and start your orthodontic therapy.
When should a person go to an orthodontist?
A person should visit an orthodontist if their teeth are overlapping, their bite is irregular, their teeth are apart or they have too many teeth or a lack of teeth. The ideal age to visit an orthodontist for the first time is 7, so that the current state can be evaluated and a future need for orthodontic therapy identified.
Is there an age limit for correcting the alignment of teeth and jaw occlusion?
There is no age limit for correcting the alignment of teeth and jaw occlusion with an orthodontic appliance. Orthodontic therapy is possible at any age.
How long does it take to correct teeth alignment and jaw occlusion?
The duration of orthodontic therapy is very individual with respect to the set diagnosis and therapy plan. It usually takes a couple of years, and the success depends on the patient’s engagement and cooperation, following the orthodontist’s instructions as well as maintaining oral hygiene according to instructions.