About Orthodontics

What Is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that specializes in treating patients with improper positioning of teeth (malocclusion), which results in an improper bite. Orthodontics also includes treating and controlling various aspects of facial growth (dentofacial orthopedics) and the shape and development of the jaw.

Orthodontics used to be called orthodontia - the word comes from the Greek orthos, meaning "straight, perfect or proper", and dontos, which means "teeth".

What Is An Orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a specialist who has completed an advanced education program following dental school to learn the special skills required to manage tooth movement and guide facial development. After completing a five year dental graduate program, orthodontist must then complete a four year or more post graduate advanced education in orthodontics. During this time, the orthodontist learned the skills and received the hands-on training required to control tooth movement (orthodontics) and help guide facial development (dentofacial orthopedics). Only after completing their advanced specialty training education, can dentists begin to call themselves orthodontists.

What Are The Causes Of Teeth Malocclusions?

1.Premature loss of primary teeth: If a primary tooth is lost too early, the permanent tooth loses its guide and can drift or erupt incorrectly.

2.Hereditary factors: The size, shape and structure of our jaw bones and teeth are controlled from our genes. If a family has a history of large teeth, it is very likely that new members will have them also. These genetic factors may result in large or small teeth in a normal mouth, or normal teeth in a small or a large jaw. Any asymmetry between teeth and jaws can cause malocclusion and lead to orthodontic problems.

3.Ear-Nose and Throat problems: Mouth breathing, tonsil and adeniod problems can lead to orthodontic problems (crossbite, misalignment of teeth) and changes in the growth of facial bones, especially the maxillary.

4.Oral habits such as thumb sucking, pacifiers, lip biting, fingernail biting,tongue thrusting can cause orthodontic problems.

5.Some muscular disorders can also cause orthodontic problems.

At What Age Shold Orthodontic Treatment Occur?

Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age. Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected at an early age before jaw growth has slowed. An early orthodontic treatment (also known as Phase I or interceptive treatment) can take into advantage the growing process of the facial bones. The usual goal for an orthodontist to start a child’s treatment at an early age is to guide the growth of jaw bones and create the optimum environment for the eruption of permanent teeth. This may prevent the development of more serious problems in the future and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated.Interceptive orthodontic treatment may also be useful when the dental arches and jaws are not in the correct position. Certain types of functional (growth) appliances may fix or improve these problems. Treatment may also include the use of space maintainers after a baby tooth is lost to hold the space open for the permanent tooth. Dental braces may be still needed later but the required treatment will be shorter and simpler. Adult orthodontics offer the opportunity of a better smile to all those that couldn’t get orthodontic treatment in their teenage years. Treatment in adults might require corrective jaw surgery because the jaw bones are already fully developed. Today, clear braces(ceramic) , inside/hidden braces(lingual) and clear aligners(invisalign) offer a more aesthetic solution to achieving straighter teeth.

What Is The Orthodontic Importance Of Primary Teeth

Primary tooth eruption usually begins around 6 months of age, and by 2.5-3 years of age, most of a child's 20 primary teeth are in. By the age of 5-6 years children begin to shed their primary teeth and permanent teeth begin to erupt. By 12-13 years, most baby teeth have been shed and almost all permanent teeth are in. Premature loss or decay of a primary tooth can result in a deficiency in the amount of space available for the permanent teeth. So, it is very imporantt to keep primary teeth healthy.

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