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Orthodontic Treatment is usually synonymous with braces. While braces are the most important and common treatment option, this can be used to correct the only alignment of teeth. The results of orthodontic treatment can be dramatic — beautiful smiles improved dental health and an enhanced quality of life for people of all ages. Outstanding results are also dependent on maximizing the coordination between your personal dental care and our practice. Orthodontics also include functional and preventive orthodontics, to correct developing skeletal or dental malocclusion, and is usually overlooked
Right age for Orthodontic Treatment
The right age is as young as 6 years! At this age, persistent habits such as thumb sucking, mouth breathing, and tongue thrusting have to be intercepted. When treated correctly, the dental problems arising from such habits such as open bite can be easily contained. Subsequent monitoring at 7 years, 9 years and 11 years are required for every child to coincide with the eruption of permanent teeth. Developing problems can be easily prevented. This includes problems in the growth of jaws too; either too small or too big. During the growing phase till puberty, these developing growth discrepancies can be easily identified and corrected with simple appliances. Any skeletal problem after puberty can only be corrected by surgery.
Signs for early orthodontic examination
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty in chewing or biting
- Mouth Breathing
- Crowding, misplaced or blocked out teeth
- Biting the cheek or roof of the mouth
What is the success of treatment?
The alignment of teeth will be successful irrespective of the type of braces. The most important phase that contributes to long term success of braces treatment is the retention phase. After alignment is complete, retainers must be worn for at least one year in order to prevent relapse.
A good facial harmony is brought by not only straight teeth but also by the size and position of the jaws. Braces can correct only the position of the teeth and do not correct any problems in the jaws. Functional orthodontics prevents and intercepts developmental problem in jaws, and helps optimizes the bite and arch development during the growth phase by growth modification and greatly reduces the need for complicated braces treatment in the future.
The timing of functional orthodontics is very critical. The ideal age group where growth modification can be done is 6 – 13 years of age. It is highly recommended to bring your child for a dental visit even if there is no evidence of dental problems to monitor the growth of jaws and the eruption pattern of the permanent teeth. Some of the signs that your child may require functional orthodontics:
- Prolonged thumb sucking even after the age of 5 years
- Mouth breathing
- Inability to close lips completely
- Protruding upper teeth
- Double row of teeth (lower front teeth especially)
- Lower jaw ahead of the upper jaw
These signs can indicate a future developing problem and can be easily corrected with simple appliances. The choice of treatment is specific to the problem and the dental status of the child. Orthodontic Trainers are the simplest form of intervention that is useful in breaking habits such as a thumb sucking and mouth breathing.
How do I choose the type of braces?
The choice of braces depends on many factors, including the complexity of the treatment required, the time frame for the entire treatment, the clinical condition of the gums and also the cost. While you can choose the type of braces best suited to your pocket, sometimes it may be necessary to opt for a different system based on the opinion of your orthodontist.
What is the duration of braces treatment?
The duration usually depends on the complexity of tooth movement and the type of braces chosen. On average, the treatment time can range from 8months – 24 months.
I want to align teeth, but I do not want visible braces. What are the options?
Clear Aligners from Clearpath, Clearbite, K-Line or Invisalign is the best option to align teeth without the need to wear braces. Another option is to use lingual braces (braces on the insides of your teeth), but the disadvantages of lingual braces far outweigh their benefits
What are retainers?
Retainers are used after active orthodontic treatment is completed with braces. Your braces will be removed and retainers will be made which can be fixed or removable. This has to be worn for a minimum of one year.
Why should I wear retainers?
During active orthodontic treatment with braces, teeth are moved within the bone and can sometimes feel loose during this time. When the alignment is complete, teeth are moved into a new position and has to be stabilized by new bone formation. This is the period of retention. Failure to wear retainers will cause the teeth to move back to their original position.
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Conventional Metal Braces
- Most commonly used system
- Can be done by most orthodontists
- Fewer chances of the breakage
- Mostly preferred by children
- Most affordable system
- Oldest (possibly outdated?) system
- Bracket size is very large
- Irritation to lips and cheeks
- Unsightly due to large bracket size
- Food restrictions are high
- Longer treatment duration compared to self-ligating braces
Conventional Ceramic Braces
- Tooth-colored, hence more esthetic than metal braces
- More comfortable than metal braces
- Easier to maintain
- Chances of breakage are higher than conventional metal braces
- Can take up stains and change color
- Longer duration of treatment compared to self-ligating braces
Damon Brace (Self-Ligating Braces)
- Newer braces system that has a self-locking clip mechanism; hence no need for rubber bands
- Brackets are smaller in size so more esthetic
- More comfortable, Easy to maintain
- Faster treatment (by 25%) compared to conventional braces
- Is available as metal (Damon Braces) or clear (Damon clear)
- Accepted worldwide
- Suitable for all age groups
- More expensive than conventional braces
- Can be done only by qualiﬁed specialists
What are aligners?
Aligners are clear, transparent sequential set of trays that fit snugly onto your teeth and effect tooth movement in stages. Aligners are made using CAD/CAM technology to custom design your smile. So here there is no need for any attachment to the teeth, no need for wires or rubber bands! And they are Invisible!
Do Aligners really work?
They do! Aligners also provide the same results in alignment as braces
- Latest technology
- No brackets/wires/rubber bands/attachments on teeth
- CAD-CAM designed the custom-made smile
- Ability to view the treatment outcome even before starting treatment
- Virtually invisible/Highly comfortable
- Removable; hence no food restrictions
- Easy maintenance
- Minimal appointments/fewer visits
- No dental emergencies due to broken wire/bracket
- Ideal for frequent travelers/overseas patients
- The cost of treatment can be high
- The duration of treatment can be longer than self-ligating braces
- It may not be preferred in complex tooth movement
- Not indicated for children