Orthodontics involves the use of a variety of methods and appliances to move teeth and align them in their correct dental and skeletal position. Most people do not have a set of naturally straight, perfectly aligned teeth. Crooked and malpositioned teeth are not only unsightly but can also lead to food traps between teeth which cause dental decay and gum disease. In addition to this an incorrect bite may cause jaw joint problems later in life.
The orthodonic procedure
In the case of a young person with malaligned teeth, a family member usually identifies the problem, which is followed up with a visit to a Dentist or Orthodontist. An analysis of the patient’s facial form, jaw shape and size, and position of the teeth is carried out. A plan is then set to effectively and safely move the teeth to their desired position. The treatment times range considerably depending on the specific case and the problems with the teeth and facial form. Prior to the commencement of orthodontic treatment, the mouth must be free of any decay or gum problems and therefore a full examination and treatment must be done by a Dentist. The treatment may involve extraction of some teeth to make space in the mouth if the teeth are extremely crowded.
After your orthodontic surgery
Some discomfort may be experienced after placement of the braces as they apply pressure which moves the teeth. This subsides within a few days. The wires that are placed may also cut into the lips and wax is applied to the areas to reduce this. Difficulty with speech may also arise within the first few days but this also subsides within a few days.
The risks of orthodontics include discomfort after placing the braces, which subsides after a few days. There is a risk that the teeth may move after the treatment if retainers are not placed or worn. There is also a very minimal risk that the roots of the teeth may resorb (dissolve). These risks must be discussed with an Orthodontist or Dentist prior to the treatment.
The long term outcome
Orthodontics is a safe and predictable procedure. After the completion of treatment, retainers are placed which may be fixed or removable. These keep the teeth in the new correct position and prevent the teeth moving back into their old position.