Orthodontics is the one of the largest specialties in dentistry dealing with diagnostic and treatment of misaligned single teeth and the whole dental arcs, different malformations of the jaws and their irregular relation like for example, protruded chin or reverse bite. Orthodontic treatment isn't just about making the best of your teeth. It's also about improving the harmony of your mouth and jaws. Once you can bite together correctly, you can eat more comfortably and care for your teeth and gums more easily.
The most frequent reasons why you should refer to your dentist or orthodontist are:
- Crowded and crooked teeth
- Protruded upper front teeth
- Deep bite or reverse bite
- Open bite
- Asymmetrical alignment
- Gaps between teeth
- Impacted teeth
Treatment is very individual, and it is carried out after an assessment of your teeth, which includes x-rays, photographs and moulds of your teeth, and upon decision of the dentist agreed by you. Then the appliance that best suits to correct your orthodontic problem is constructed. Treatment can last from 6 months up to more than two years and it implies the use of fixed and removable appliances. Braces are almost always suggested, and they can be fixed or removable, depending on the indications. There are also functional braces which activate the muscles, and there are retainers which hold the teeth in the new position.
When the orthodontic appliances are in place, this is considered the "active treatment" phase. Appliances are adjusted periodically so that the teeth are moved correctly and efficiently.
The time required for the orthodontic treatment varies from person to person. An important factor in how long a patient wears braces is how well the patient cooperates during the treatment.
What causes orthodontic problems?
An orthodontic problem is called a malocclusion, meaning "bad bite." Some examples of the causes of malocclusion are crowded teeth, extra teeth, missing teeth or jaws that are out of alignment. Most malocclusions are inherited, although some can be acquired. Acquired malocclusions can be caused by accidents, early or late loss of baby teeth, or sucking of the thumb or fingers for a prolonged period of time.
At what age can people have orthodontic treatment?
Modern orthodontics is not limited by the patient’s age. Children and adults can both benefit from orthodontics. It is recommended that every child receive an orthodontic evaluation by teh age of seven. Usually, adult treatment takes a little longer than a child's treatment.
Because an adult's facial bones are no longer growing, certain corrections may not be accomplished with braces alone. The treatment time can be up to 24 months and varies with individual patients.
Braces with coloured rubber bands
Must the braces be visible?
Today's braces are generally less noticeable than those of the past. Brackets, the part of the braces that hold the wires, are bonded to the front of the teeth. These brackets can be metal, clear, or tooth-colored. Wires that are used for braces today are also less noticeable. In some cases, brackets may be put on the back of the teeth (lingual appliances). Modern wires are also less noticeable than their predecessors. Today's wires are made of "space age" materials that exert a steady, gentle pressure on the teeth, making the tooth-moving process faster and more comfortable for patients. Fixed braces can be set by metal brackets or even by composite and crystal ones. Esthetic brackets can be transparent, white or even colored. We at the DIC apply the American Orthodontics standards and materials. Recently, a very popular orthodontic device is the so-called invisible braces. The advantage is its comfort meaning that the braces can be detached when required by business and social obligations, or carried when you want, ie. when designated by your orthodontist. In collaboration with Dr. Andrej Katalinić the DIC offers the Orthocaps system, very popular among patients .
Full orthodontic treatment can be combined with removable and fixed appliances in order to obtain best results.