Orthodontics address malocclusion, a condition in which the teeth are not positioned correctly when the mouth is closed. This results in an improper bite.
Orthodontics treatments can be cosmetic, to improve a person’s appearance, but it often aims to improve oral function, too.
If you are experiencing any of the following, you may be a qualified candidate for orthodontic treatment:
Overbite, also called “buck teeth” — the upper front teeth protrude above the lower teeth.
Underbite — the lower teeth are too far forward or the upper teeth are too far back when the mouth is closed.
Crossbite — the upper teeth don’t come down slightly in front of the lower teeth when biting together.
Open bite — there is a space between the biting surfaces of the front and/or side teeth when the mouth is closed.
Misplaced midline— the centre of your upper teeth does not align with the centre of your lower teeth.
Spacing — spaces between teeth due to missing teeth or teeth that do not “fill up” the entire mouth.
Crowding — there are too many teeth on the dental ridge.
Benefits of Orthodontics
Orthodontic treatments are performed to achieve the following:
- Closing gaps between the teeth
- Aligning the ends of the teeth
- Straightening crooked teeth
- Improving speech and/or chewing
- Boosting the long-term health of the teeth and gums
- Preventing long-term excessive wear or trauma
- Correcting an improper bite
Treatment not only improve the appearance of the teeth, but it can also result in better chewing and speaking ability and help protect teeth from damage or tooth decay, in some cases.
Orthodontic Devices Available
Orthodontic devices can be fixed or removable.
Fixed orthodontic appliances include:
Braces — the most common fixed orthodontic appliances are braces, which consist of bands, wires, and/or brackets.
Bands are placed around the teeth or tooth, and used as anchors for the appliance, while brackets are most often fixed to the front of the tooth.
Archwires are passed through the brackets and attached to the bands. Adjusting the archwire puts pressure on the teeth and gradually moving them to their proper position.
Braces are adjusted every month to bring about the desired results, which may be achieved within a few months to a few years.
Special fixed appliances — used to control thumbsucking or tongue thrusting, these appliances are fixed to the teeth by bands.
Fixed space maintainers — if a baby (temporary) tooth is lost early, a space maintainer is used to keep the space vacant until the permanent tooth develops. A band is attached to the tooth, and a wire is extended to the tooth on the other side of the space.
Removable orthodontic appliances include:
Aligners — an alternative to metal braces for adults, aligners are used to move teeth, similar to how fixed appliances work, only without the metal wires and brackets. Aligners are removed when eating, brushing, and flossing.
Removable space maintainers — these devices work like fixed space maintainers. They’re made with an acrylic base worn over the jaw and have plastic or wire branches between certain teeth to keep the space between them open.
Jaw repositioning appliances — sometimes called splints, these devices are worn on the upper and/or lower jaw and help guide the jaw to close in an ideal position. They may be used for patients who suffer from temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD).
Lip and cheek bumpers — these are made to keep the lips or cheeks away from the teeth. Lip and cheek muscles can apply pressure on the teeth, and these bumpers help relieve that pressure.
Palatal expanders — these are used to widen the arch of the upper jaw. An expander is a plastic plate worn over the roof of the mouth.
Outward pressure to the plate by screws forces the joints in the bones of the palate to open lengthwise, widening the palatal space.
Removable retainers — these are worn on the roof of the mouth, these removable retainers prevent the teeth from shifting back to their previous positions. They can also be redesigned and used to prevent thumb-sucking.
Headgear — a strap is placed around the back of the head and attached to a metal wire in front, also called the face bow.
A headgear slows down the growth of the upper jaw and holds the back teeth while the front teeth are pulled back.
Orthodontic Treatments in Wantirna South
Orthodontics plays a great role in building one’s self-esteem.
Your Wantirna South dentist believes high-quality dental care can only be achieved by placing our patients first.
Call us on (03) 9800 2338 or book your appointment online.
We are located at 287 Stud Road in Wantirna South.