What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is derived from the Greek word ‘orthos’ (which means perfect teeth) that treats badly aligned teeth. An increasing number of adults are choosing to have orthodontic treatment to restore crooked or badly aligned teeth.
For most people, a spectacular smile is the most obvious benefit of orthodontics. Nobody can deny that straight teeth are visually appealing. A beautiful smile leads to enhanced self-esteem, and is universally accepted sign of health and beauty. When teeth and bite aren’t straight, health, function and aesthetics are compromised. After your braces come off, you’ll definitely feel more self-confident!
“Our teeth serve many functions. A smile that is well aligned is also healthy.”
If you could change one thing about your teeth, what would it be?
There are various benefits from orthodontic treatment, which apply to both adults and children. These are sustainable, long-term benefits, which mean improved function and appearance of your teeth, and your dental health.
Straight teeth are easy to keep clean, free of harmful plaque that causes decay and gum disease. Well-aligned teeth and jaws provide optimal function (eating and speaking). Tooth wear is greatly reduced, and the jaw joints are allowed to function with less stress and greater comfort. It also means improved facial structure and appearance.
The benefits of orthodontic treatment are:
- Improved positioning of teeth
- Removal of overcrowded teeth
- Correction of a ‘bad bite’: both jaws are perfectly aligned and teeth meet optimally when closed
- Remove or reposition impacted teeth
- Close any unsightly gaps between the teeth
- Realign the jaws/relieve clicking or painful jaws
Orthodontics also compliments restorative treatment, for example when replacing missing teeth or as a part of a smile makeover.
What causes this problem?
Misaligned teeth affect your ‘bite’ (dental termed malocclusion). Unfortunately, our teeth are almost never naturally perfect. Think of it as a bad form of maladjustment, with your jaws preventing you from biting and chewing food in a normal manner. This not only affects your ability to eat but has a negative effect on your facial appearance as well. Malocclusion is the reason behind many orthodontic treatments.
Malocclusion occurs during childhood when teeth fail to develop as normal. Teeth can also become out of position or become misaligned due to thumb sucking, mouth breathing, dental disease, poor dental hygiene and nutrition. Trauma and other medical conditions such as birth defects may contribute to orthodontic problems as well. In adulthood these effects can remain if untreated. They may have ignored their crooked teeth in the belief that treatment was not available or they were not advised to have a brace or some other form of corrective device fitted.
What causes this problem?
Diagnosis – The process starts with a referral to a specialist orthodontist. Akit will make an initial diagnosis and recommend treatment depending on your needs and requirements. Collaborating with the orthodontist requires an end goal in mind and if restorative treatment is required then this will form the basis of treatment. The teeth are moved into position ready for restorative or advanced restorative procedures. The preparation and evaluation of orthodontic movements can be simulated on models of the mouth by cutting and realigning teeth (plus re-building or replacing teeth with wax) so that the results can be seen before the start of orthodontic treatment.
Treatment – Akit works with a number of leading Orthodontists, who have a wealth of experience, commitment and ability to deliver first class treatment. They are respected specialists in their profession.
As well as the expertise of its practitioners, successful orthodontic treatment depends on sophisticated modern resources. Diagnostic records are made using digital images of the face, teeth, models and x-ray images of the mouth to create a personalised treatment plan.
There are several treatment options available to adults, which include clear braces and aligners. Braces have come a long way in recent years. The actual braces are tiny attachments called brackets, which come in a range of sizes, shapes, colours and materials. These brackets are glued to the teeth in a pain-free procedure that become a means of attaching a high-tech wire to your teeth to allow them to move in a predictable manner.
The modern treatments offered are:
Traditional braces. Metal-wired braces sometimes known as “train tracks” are the most common type of braces used. Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth using metal brackets and wires. With metal braces, you have the option of adding coloured elastics (rubber bands) for a more unique and colourful smile. Make a fashion statement with the colours for you braces.
The clear alternative to fixed metal braces. Clear braces are made of ceramic brackets and white wires to create near invisible clear braces (as worn by Tom Cruise). They can greatly reduce the visual impact of your braces as they are visually less prominent and blend in with the natural colour of the teeth. A sculptured design, an attractive translucent appearance and perhaps best of all, the self-confidence that comes from wearing brackets that look as good as they perform.
The ultimate invisible brace. Choosing lingual braces means the only person who knows you are having orthodontic treatment is you. Custom-made, cast gold appliances are fixed to the back of the teeth so they are completely invisible.
Each IncognitoTM bracket is custom designed for your teeth to ensure a perfect fit and effective result. The patented Incognito manufacturing process employs the latest state of the art CAD/CAM technology and prototyping machines, delivering a remarkable flat design with maximum comfort. Lingual Braces give you a beautiful smile, even while you’re wearing them.
Advanced braces that don’t need rubber bands. Damon braces are fast, fixed, orthodontic braces using a system of low friction mechanics. The brace operates by means of metal or ceramic brackets and a wire. The difference with this brace is a clever slide mechanism, which guarantees a smooth process of tightening your teeth. This mechanism exerts a series of forces on your teeth, which pulls them into the desired place. This powerful yet simple mechanism does this in a shorter period of time and with minimal discomfort. By using this system, you can experience less visits to the practice, taking 4-6 months less in their treatment time.
Clear undetectable aligners. Invisalign® have as working link is a revolutionary way for teeth straightening without obvious braces by using a series of nearly undetectable aligners instead of wires and brackets. Each aligner is individually manufactured using 3D computer technology and made to sit snugly over your teeth. As you replace each aligner, your teeth will move – little by little, week by week – until they have straightened to the final position prescribed by the orthodontist. Each aligner also comes with a small, inconspicuous Blue Dot Wear Indicator, which helps you know if you’re ready for your next set of invisalign aligners.
The aligners are comfortable and less visible, and unlike braces they are removable, letting you clean your teeth, eat and drink normally.
It is important that these results should be as long lasting as possible and retainers are the best means of maintaining your new smile.
Various options are available to suit your lifestyle – fixed, unfixed, plastic, wire, whole mouth and half mouth. Several types of retainers will be reviewed to help you visualise how they work, so that you can select the right one of your needs when approaching the end of active orthodontic treatment.
The retainer is worn over the teeth in the same way as a brace and helps to keep the newly aligned teeth in place. This enables the surrounding teeth and gums to become accustomed to the new teeth and allows normal functioning to take place. If a retainer is not worn there is a risk of the teeth moving back into their old, misaligned position. If this occurs then it can be difficult to re-align them. Depending on each case the orthodontist will recommend a retainer regime and see you during the retentive phase to make sure that everything is still going well.
“Embrace life with a beautiful smile”