Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that involves correcting the alignment and position of your teeth and jaws. It focuses on diagnosing, preventing, and treating dental and facial irregularities. Orthodontic treatment can help you achieve a healthy and beautiful smile if you have concerns about your bite, facial appearance, or oral health.
At Tayani Dental Group, we offer comprehensive dental care for children and adults seeking orthodontic treatment in Fullerton, CA. We have a team of friendly and professional staff who provide personalized and high-quality orthodontic service. Also, we boast a state-of-the-art facility equipped with advanced technology and modern amenities.
You need not stress about finances because we offer flexible financing options and accept most insurance plans. If you want to learn more about our orthodontic services or schedule a consultation with one of our doctors, please call us today.
What Orthodontics Mean
As mentioned above, orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that deals with diagnosing, preventing, and correcting irregularities in the teeth and jaws. It can also focus on modifying facial growth, known as dentofacial orthopedics.
Orthodontics is a recognized dentistry specialty by the American Dental Association. Orthodontic treatment involves using appliances such as braces or aligners to move your teeth into their ideal positions. Different devices are available, depending on your needs and preferences. The most common ones are metal braces, ceramic braces, clear aligners, and lingual braces.
Orthodontics is important for several reasons, including:
- Orthodontics improves your oral health by making cleaning your teeth easier and preventing tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.
- Orthodontics corrects your bite function by reducing stress on your jaw joints and muscles, preventing headaches, earaches, and TMJ disorders.
- Enhancing your smile, profile, and symmetry improves your facial appearance.
- It can improve self-esteem by boosting confidence, happiness, and social interactions.
Who Offers Orthodontic Treatment?
Orthodontists with specialized training and certification in orthodontics offer orthodontic treatment. These specialists have the knowledge and skills to diagnose, prevent, and treat dental and facial irregularities using various appliances and techniques.
Orthodontists focus on achieving optimal patient results based on their patients' needs and goals. These professionals consider the patient’s age, growth stage, oral health condition, facial structure, bite function, and aesthetic preferences. They also monitor the patient’s progress throughout treatment and adjust as needed.
However, orthodontists do not offer general dental services such as fillings, crowns, root canals, extractions, implants, or dentures. They may refer you to other dental specialists or general dentists for these services, if necessary. Orthodontists work closely with other dental professionals to ensure that their patients receive comprehensive and coordinated care.
Who Benefits From Orthodontics?
Orthodontic treatment can benefit anyone with dental or facial irregularities affecting their appearance, function, or health. The treatment can improve your smile, bite, speech, chewing, breathing, and overall well-being.
Common Orthodontic Problems
Orthodontic problems, also known as malocclusions, affect the alignment of your teeth and jaws. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), malocclusions are among the most common oral health conditions worldwide. Different forms of malocclusions include:
- Overjet: This is when the upper front teeth stick out over the lower front teeth. It can be caused by genetics, thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, or missing lower teeth. It can lead to increased wear and tear on your teeth and gums.
- Underbite: An underbite occurs when your lower front teeth stick out further than your upper front teeth. It can be caused by genetics, jaw growth discrepancy, missing upper teeth, or an early loss of baby teeth. An underbite can affect your bite function and facial appearance.
- Crowded Teeth: You are said to have crowded teeth when you have more than your jaw can accommodate. An abnormal eruption of permanent teeth can cause it. Crowded teeth can result in overlapping, crooked, or rotated teeth that are hard to clean and prone to decay and disease.
- Crooked Teeth: When your teeth are not aligned properly in your mouth, they become crooked. Trauma, habits, or tumors can cause crooked teeth. These could affect your bite function, facial appearance, oral hygiene, and health.
- Rotated Teeth: This condition occurs when your teeth are twisted or turned into sockets. Rotated teeth could make your smile look uneven and affect your bite function and oral hygiene.
- Impacted Teeth: These occur when your teeth are partially or fully trapped in your jawbone or gums and cannot erupt normally. It can be caused by lack of space, abnormal tooth position, or obstruction by other teeth or tissues. Impacted teeth cause pain, infection, cysts, damage to adjacent teeth, or bite problems. Wisdom teeth are the most common type of impacted teeth.
- Spacing: This is when you have gaps or spaces between your teeth. Genetics, missing teeth, small teeth, tongue thrusting, or habits can cause spacing. It can affect your speech, chewing, and smile aesthetics.
Who Shouldn’t Have Orthodontic Treatment?
Orthodontic treatment can benefit most people with dental or facial irregularities, but it is not suitable for everyone. Some factors that may affect your eligibility for orthodontic treatment are:
- Your oral health: Orthodontic treatment requires good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups to prevent complications such as tooth decay, gum disease, or tooth loss. You may need other dental treatments before starting orthodontic treatment to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy and stable.
- Your medical history: Some medical conditions or medications may affect bone growth, tooth movement, or healing during orthodontic treatment. You should inform your orthodontist of any medical issues or medications you take before starting orthodontic treatment. They will advise you on the best action and possible risks or limitations.
- Your expectations: Orthodontic treatment can improve your smile, bite, and facial appearance, but it cannot change everything about your face or personality. You should have realistic expectations of what orthodontic treatment can achieve for you and be committed to following your orthodontist’s instructions throughout the process.
To qualify for orthodontic treatment, you need to consult an orthodontist, who will assess your teeth and jaws using a clinical examination, x-rays, photographs, and tooth impressions. They will diagnose your orthodontic problem and determine your ideal treatment plan. They will also discuss the costs, benefits, risks, and alternatives of orthodontic treatment with you.
Examples Of Orthodontic Treatment
Orthodontic treatment can improve your smile, bite, facial appearance, oral health, and function. Treatments that fall under the specialty of orthodontics include:
Fixed appliances are devices attached to your teeth that you cannot remove. They are used to correct severe or complex orthodontic problems that require precise tooth movement and control. Fixed appliances include:
Braces are orthodontic appliances that help correct dental issues like crooked teeth, crowding, or teeth that are out of alignment. Braces gradually shift your teeth into their desired positions over time using a combination of brackets, bands, and wires.
Brackets are small metal or ceramic pieces that are bonded to each tooth. The bands are metal rings that wrap around some of your back teeth and serve as anchors for the appliance. Wires connect the brackets and bands, and you gently press on your teeth to move them.
There are different types of braces used in orthodontic treatment, such as:
- Metal braces: These are traditional braces made of stainless steel. They are noticeable but also durable and cost-effective.
- Ceramic braces: These have tooth-colored or clear brackets that blend in with your natural teeth. They are less noticeable than metal braces but may be more fragile and require more maintenance.
- Lingual braces: These are similar to traditional metal braces but are placed on the back of your teeth instead of the front. They are virtually invisible from the outside but can be more difficult to clean and may cause more discomfort initially.
- Self-ligating braces: These use a special clip instead of elastic bands to hold the wire in place. This can reduce friction and make treatment more comfortable.
- Clear aligners: Clear aligners, such as Invisalign®, are a series of custom-made plastic trays that fit over your teeth. They are virtually invisible and can be removed for eating and brushing. Treatment with clear aligners involves wearing each set of trays for about two weeks before moving on to the next set in the series.
Space maintainers are orthodontic appliances that hold space open in the mouth when a primary (baby) tooth is lost prematurely. This prevents the surrounding teeth from shifting into the empty space and causing problems with the permanent tooth's eruption.
Space maintainers are typically used in children who have lost a baby tooth early due to decay or injury. They can be fixed or removable and come in various designs depending on the location and number of teeth that need to be held in place.
Removable appliances are orthodontic devices that can be removed from the mouth for cleaning or eating. They are typically used to correct mild to moderate orthodontic problems and can be a good option for patients who want more flexibility in their treatment.
Clear aligners are a popular alternative to traditional braces. They consist of custom-made, clear plastic trays that fit over your teeth and gradually shift them into their desired positions. Clear aligners work by applying gentle pressure to your teeth over time. Each set of aligners is worn for about two weeks before being replaced with the next set in the series. The number of aligners needed and the length of treatment will vary depending on the individual case.
Palate expanders are orthodontic devices used to widen the upper jaw in children. Orthodontists typically recommend palate expanders for children between 7 and 14, when their jaws are still growing. Palate expanders work by gradually pushing apart the two halves of the upper jaw, allowing new bone to grow in between and widen the palate. This can create more space for crowded teeth and improve the bite.
One advantage of using a palate expander at a young age is that it can prevent more complex orthodontic problems from developing later. It can also shorten the overall treatment time if braces or other orthodontic appliances are needed later.
After braces or other orthodontic treatment, a retainer holds teeth in their new position. Retainers are typically worn full-time after treatment and gradually reduced to nighttime wear only. Retainers are important because they help prevent teeth from returning to their original positions after treatment. Without a retainer, there is a risk that all the progress made during orthodontic treatment could be lost.
TMJ Splints & Jaw Repositioning Appliances
TMJ splints and jaw repositioning appliances are orthodontic devices for treating temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders and other jaw-related problems. These devices work by repositioning the jaw to improve its alignment and function. TMJ splints are typically custom-made to fit the individual patient and can be worn during the day or at night. They help reduce pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorders by preventing grinding and clenching of the teeth.
Jaw repositioning appliances are similar to TMJ splints but are designed to gradually move the jaw into a more favorable position over time. They can be used to treat various jaw-related problems, including underbites, overbites, and crossbites.
Headgear is an orthodontic appliance worn outside the mouth that attaches to braces or other fixed appliances inside the mouth. It is typically used to correct severe bite problems or to control the growth of the upper jaw in children.
Headgear applies gentle pressure to the teeth and jaws through straps or bands that attach to the head or neck. The type of headgear used will depend on the specific orthodontic problem being treated. Wearing headgear can take some time, but it is an effective way to achieve significant orthodontic changes relatively quickly.
What Are the Advantages of Orthodontics?
The benefits of orthodontic treatment go beyond just cosmetic improvements. One of the most obvious advantages of orthodontics is the improvement in appearance. Straight teeth and a properly aligned bite can enhance facial aesthetics and boost self-confidence.
Orthodontic treatment can also improve oral function and overall health. Crooked teeth can be difficult to clean, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. A misaligned bite can also cause problems with chewing, speaking, and even breathing.
Orthodontic treatment can correct these issues by straightening teeth and improving the alignment of the jaws. This can make it easier to maintain good oral hygiene, prevent tooth wear and damage, and reduce the risk of developing temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Orthodontics?
While orthodontic treatment offers many benefits, there are also some potential disadvantages, including:
- Discomfort: Orthodontic treatment can cause discomfort as the teeth and jaws move into new positions. This is usually temporary and can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication.
- Oral hygiene: Braces and other orthodontic appliances can make cleaning the teeth and gums more difficult. Brushing and flossing regularly and carefully to prevent tooth decay and gum disease is important.
- Dietary restrictions: Certain foods can damage braces or other orthodontic appliances. Patients may need to avoid hard, sticky, or chewy foods during treatment.
- Length of treatment: Orthodontic treatment can take several months or even years. The length of treatment will vary depending on the individual case.
If you do not clean your orthodontic appliances properly, it can lead to plaque and bacteria buildup. This can increase the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.
Risks Associated With Receiving Orthodontic Treatment
Like any medical procedure, there are some risks associated with orthodontic treatment. These risks may include the following:
- Tooth decay or gum disease due to difficulty cleaning around braces or other appliances.
- Root resorption (shortening of the roots of the teeth) in rare cases.
- Allergic reactions to metal or other materials used in braces or appliances.
- Relapse (teeth shifting back to their original positions) if retainers are not worn as directed after treatment.
Discussing these risks with your orthodontist before beginning treatment helps you make an informed decision about your care.
How Long Will My Results Last After Orthodontic Treatment?
The results of orthodontic treatment can last a lifetime if proper care is taken to maintain them. After removing braces or other appliances, it is important to wear a retainer as directed by your orthodontist. This will help prevent the teeth from shifting back to their original positions.
In some cases, teeth may shift slightly over time due to natural changes in the mouth and jaw. This is normal and can usually be corrected with minor touch-up treatment. Maintaining good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings are also important. This will help keep your teeth and gums healthy and ensure that your orthodontic results last as long as possible.
Find a Qualified Orthodontist Near Me
Finding a qualified orthodontist is crucial if you consider orthodontic treatment for yourself or a loved one. An orthodontist is a dental specialist with extensive training in diagnosing and treating dental and facial irregularities.
You should see an orthodontist if you have concerns about the alignment of your teeth or jaws. Common reasons to seek orthodontic treatment include crowded or crooked teeth, overbites or underbites, and jaw problems. Your dentist can provide a referral to an orthodontist if necessary.
At Tayani Dental Group, we offer orthodontic treatment to patients of all ages seeking treatment in Fullerton, CA. To schedule an appointment with one of our orthodontists, please call us at 949-741-0795.