When To Visit An Orthodontist
The right time to visit an orthodontist is when you have concerns about the alignment of your teeth or your children’s teeth. You should see an orthodontist anytime you are concerned about or have questions about the alignment of your teeth or the quality of your bite. Sometimes the problems may not be apparent and consulting with an orthodontist can help diagnose and treat the problem. An orthodontist is a professional dentist who is trained in diagnosing and treating teeth that are protruding, crowded, or misplaced. Only your orthodontist can determine if your teeth would benefit from orthodontic treatments.
Common problems requiring orthodontic treatment
When visiting your orthodontist, he or she will examine and diagnose the issue using your dental history, X-rays, and photographs to determine if your smile can benefit from orthodontics. A treatment plan will be developed to address the problems with your teeth if you have the following common issues requiring an orthodontist.
- Overbite: occurs when the upper front teeth protrudes forward over the lower teeth.
- Underbite: occurs when the lower teeth are protrudes forward or when the upper teeth are further back.
- Misplaced midline: occurs when the center of the upper front teeth is misaligned with the lower front teeth.
- Spacing or gaps: occurs between teeth due to missing teeth or teeth that do not fill the gaps completely.
- Crowding: occurs when too many teeth are present on the dental ridge.
Common appliances used to guide misaligned teeth
After a thorough examination by your orthodontist, a treatment plan will be developed to address the alignment of your teeth using different appliance methods to correct the problem area. Your dentist, depending on the severity of your problem, can recommend a type of fixed or removable appliances to help with your misaligned teeth.
Braces and fixed-space maintainers are fixed appliances that can be used to correct the problems. Braces are the most common fixed appliances, which consist of bands, wires, and brackets fixed around the teeth or tooth as support for the appliance. Over time the teeth will gently move to their desired position. Likewise, fixed-space maintainers are used to maintain space between teeth that may have been lost prematurely. This prevents a tooth from shifting towards the gap to keep the space open until the permanent tooth emerges.
Aligners, removable spacers, removable retainers, and headgear are removable appliances not physically attached to the teeth. Aligners are alternatives to fixed braces for adults. Aligners are used to gradually guide the teeth to the desired position without metal wires and brackets. Aligners are usually invisible and aesthetically pleasing. Removable spacers serve the same function as fixed maintainers. They are usually made with an acrylic base that sits over the jaw with wire branches to keep the teeth separated. Removable retainers are worn on the roof of the mouth to prevent the teeth from shifting to their former position. Headgears are worn to slow the growth of the upper jaws, and it holds the back teeth stationary while the front teeth are pulled back.
Using fixed or removable appliances will help make a beautiful smile and aid in a better bite, keeping you from having issue eating and talking and to help you stay healthy and speaking confidently. As you can see, there are many options for keeping your teeth aligned. Reach out to California Dental Group at (800) 407-0161 for any a visit with an orthodontist to see which dental appliance is right for you.