Orthodontics – tooth adjustment
Orthodontics is a special branch of dentistry that deals with diagnosing and preventing orofacial disorders. The most common cause of such irregularities is a hereditary growth and development disorder. For the treatment to be successful, it is necessary that the doctor is professionally acquainted with the stages of growth and development so that he/she may identify what is at a certain age normal and what is not. In the event that some portions of the face grow faster than others during development, disproportion and malocclusions are formed.
What causes improper bite?
There are several causes of improper bite, and influence on irregular positioning of the teeth against the jaw and its movements is something they all share. These can cause numerous functional problems with speech and swallowing, and they can often affect the overall appearance of a person’s face. This disorder can be genetically hereditary or caused by some traumas, and even by prolonged thumb sucking in children, or by a premature loss of primary, baby, teeth.
Orthodontics and when to start the treatment
If there are doubts regarding the appearance of the disorders or genetic predisposition, it is recommended that an early diagnostics is conducted already at the age of 8-9. The examination verifies whether the teeth are growing regularly and in accordance with the child’s age. All of the teeth are permanent in adolescents, and if a problem is identified, it will be easiest to solve it at this age. Problems in adults are somewhat more complicated and the elimination of the problem often requires team work of several specialists in different areas of dentistry. Due to the inability to maintain good oral hygiene, improper bite is the most frequent cause of dental caries and periodontal pathology in adults.
Orthodontics – why is treatment so important?
In the long run, proper treatment and problem solving eliminates many disorders that can be caused by malocclusions. When all our teeth are regularly placed, it is easier for us to take care of our teeth and the risk of gum disease is reduced. In cases that are not treated, irregular position of the jaw can cause difficulties in speech, swallowing and even in proper food digestion.
Orthodontics – what does therapy include?
Depending on the patient’s age, there are different methods of fixing the existing problems. At the earliest age a successful therapy can be implemented by:
- functional appliances
- myofunctional appliances
- fixed orthodontic appliances
When the problem is identified as early as at the age of 5 (thumb sucking, pushing teeth with the tongue…), myofunctional appliance therapies are very successful. The child quickly quits this bad habit before it becomes a more serious problem. If anomalies already exist, therapy is organised through several hours of wearing the appliance. These appliances must be active and removable, and later on they are replaced by functional ones. Adolescence is the perfect time to start wearing fixed appliances (braces).