For a lot of people, the only thing they know about their orthodontist is what they do, although, I’ve found of late that a lot of people aren’t even aware of the role their orthodontist plays in ensuring their continuing dental health. A professional orthodontic specialist is a specialized dentist, who, instead of dealing with cavities, nerve endings, anything of that sort, deals entirely in alignment of the teeth, making sure that the alignment is as close to the standard alignment as possible in order to help your teeth be the best they can be, both from a cosmetic standpoint and from a health standpoint, because, whether you believe it or not, having misaligned teeth can, in fact, be bad for them.
So, it stands to reason that the first thing your orthodontist can offer you is the ability to diagnose the various misalignment issues your teeth may have (or malocclusion, if you prefer the scientific term or just want to sound interesting and smart at parties). This is pretty essential, because if you don’t have an issue, there’s obviously not any reason for you to go to their office and pay them for any sort of treatment plan. To diagnose issues you may have, they’ll examine your teeth, likely taking an impression of your bite pattern and also taking a few x-rays to see how your teeth already have, or are, coming in. In the most extreme cases, if they diagnose an issue caused by overcrowding, the solution may be the removal of a tooth in order to make room for all the other teeth in your mouth. However, for the most part, nothing will require any dental surgery, but rather a dental appliance and a treatment plan built around said dental appliance.
The most common solution used these days in the correction of misaligned teeth is standard metal braces, more commonly known simply as ‘braces’. These braces are a fairly recent development in orthodontic technology, although the idea has been around for some time.
Standard metal braces, in essence, are a very simple idea, but one that has been proven effective over the last few decades. Standard metal braces consist of a series of brackets affixed to the teeth with the use of a dental adhesive that is specially designed for long-term use inside the mouth. These brackets are made of various metals, although most commonly today, they’re made of stainless steel or aircraft grade titanium (the same thing that they make jet turbines out of for passenger aircraft, so that’s kind of cool, right? Having something they use to make plane parts in your mouth?). Over the tops of these brackets is run a metal wire, which is either wrapped around the various brackets or hooked around them, in order to provide the tensions and pressures required to realign the teeth. That metal wire is then held in place on the bracket with the use of a rubber band, which, though it is doomed to snap (I mean, it’s going to be sitting in your mouth for a long time, and your mouth is an extremely inhospitable place for anything to be put in for a long period of time), is then to be replaced with another, until the treatment plan is complete. Throughout the course of treatment, you’ll have to go back to see your local professional family orthodontists in order to have that metal wire adjusted to make sure that it’s providing the proper pressure and tension as your teeth begin to shift.
Of course, there’s a more modern treatment method that is available, and is greatly improved over the standard metal braces. I’m talking about Invisalign braces for adults and teens, invisible braces for your teeth. These braces are just as effective as the standard metal ones, but have a number of benefits over their more venerated competition. For example, they’re invisible, unlike standard metal braces which are extremely conspicuous to passerby. Then there’s the fact that with Invisalign, you don’t have to mount anything on your teeth; rather, you slip it on and off like a glove, making eating and brushing and flossing your teeth much simpler. The bottom line is this; Invisalign is obviously the best choice available, if it will treat your malocclusion.
So, if you’re looking to treat a malocclusion in order to have a healthier and more beautiful smile, contact your local orthodontist and see what they can offer you. If you’re lucky, they’ll tell you that Invisalign is a treatment option that just might be right for you,making the whole thing much simpler for you.