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Orthodontics - Creating a well-aligned smile

Orthodontic Treatment

Years ago, orthodontic treatments were used only for pre-teens and teens having problems with their bite (malocclusion). Today, orthodontic treatments like dental braces are not only for pre-teens, teens, but for adults as well.

  • Oral, facial and functional evaluation (examination)
  • Intraoral and facial photographs
  • Panoramic and cephalometric X-rays
  • Impressions for models of the teeth and bite

An orthodontist reviews your dental records, performs a clinical assessment, takes X-rays of your mouth and head and makes models of the teeth by creating an accurate impression of them. The results of this evaluation are studied in order to formulate the best orthodontic treatment plan.

Typically during the second visit, your orthodontist reviews the treatment plan and estimates the number of months for the active phase of treatment. The standard treatment phase is two years.

The duration of orthodontic treatment varies based on your age, the extensiveness of the procedure (some people require more work than others) and how closely you follow your treatment plan. For example, younger patients may respond more quickly to treatment than older patients because the bones supporting young teeth are more pliable than those supporting older teeth. However, adults tend to follow treatment instructions more consistently than pre-teens.

In some cases the treatment time is longer. For example, oral surgery and recovery may be needed before or during orthodontic treatment.

The right age for orthodontic treatment

We recommend that children receive an orthodontic evaluation by age seven.

A child typically inherits tooth spacing, malocclusion, crowding, misalignment or similar problems from their parents. However, these conditions also may be caused by habits such as thumb-sucking, tongue thrusting, lip wedging, mouth breathing due to allergies or large tonsils and adenoids, premature loss of teeth or trauma, and generally begin to appear between the ages of six and 12 years old — the time when the permanent teeth start to erupt.

Therefore, orthodontic treatment with dental braces should begin between the ages of 8 and 14 in order to achieve optimal results. It is generally considered ideal to have an orthodontic evaluation no later than the age of seven, since this is when there is a good mix of primary (baby) and adult teeth in the mouth.

Also, dentists are able to spot developing teeth and jaw growth at this time of the child's life. This enables them to anticipate problems that may arise and plan braces treatment accordingly.

Orthodontic appliances for children:

-Removable, mostly functional appliances

-Fixed appliances – different kinds of braces (metallic, composite or ceramic braces)

Adults also can undergo orthodontic treatment with dental braces to correct alignment, spacing, crowding and malocclusion problems. The process for moving teeth is basically the same at any age, but the treatment may take longer for adults. This is due to the fact that adult facial bones are no longer growing, and certain corrections may not be possible utilizing braces alone. Depending on the specific type and severity of your alignment or malocclusion problem, tooth extraction or maxillofacial surgery may be required.

Orthodontic appliances for functional and esthetical reasons:

-Fixed appliances – different kind of braces (metallic, ceramic braces)

-Invisible appliances- lingual braces

-Aligners ( Orthocaps )

Retention

To maintain the achieved result after an orthodontic treatment we recommend the so-called retainer, which can be a kind of removable, invisible or fixed retainer and must be worn a longer period of time mostly during the night.

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