In today's world, a premium is placed on health and beauty. The mouth is a focus of attention because we consistently communicate and express our feelings through it. An attractive smile can make a positive difference, and create a better first impression. This can help with a child's acceptance in school and or an adult's projected image in their career or perhaps even a job interview.
Orthodontics is a dental specialty that not only takes care of improving the health of the mouth but also helps improve the patient's looks and self-esteem. Such treatment can help and enhance the patient's appearance thereby boosting confidence and improving the quality of their life.
Traditional braces are standard orthodontic devices designed to help straighten the patient's smile. Nowadays, contemporary braces are made out of high-end materials that are quite strong enough to withstand the test of time. Although contemporary clear braces are the best choice of treatment due to its sturdy appearance and form, patients have the option of choosing clear braces that offer the same results. Clear or ceramic braces are known to be translucent in nature (no metallic appearance) and not stain or wear over time.
As part of early orthodontic care, it is advised that children visit an orthodontist by the age of seven. It is by this age that the child's first set of permanent molars and incisors would have come up resulting in crossbites, crowding, and other dental problems.
Early orthodontic treatment can help guide the growth of permanent teeth, maintain the width of the upper and lower jawbones, avoid extractions, reduce impacted teeth, and other dental problems.
There is never a particular age by when patients would have to start seeking orthodontic treatment. Treatment started at any age can successfully help improve the overall health and aesthetics of the smile.
When considering orthodontic treatment as an adult, the idea of having braces makes some people shy away from taking care of dental health and aesthetic issues. The fact is that one of every five patients in orthodontic treatment is over age 21, and the number of adult patients is growing exponentially.
With more and more adults turning to orthodontic care to improve their smiles, orthodontic professionals are recognizing more and more that the aesthetic benefits to orthodontics are not limited to the smile.
Class II problems represent an abnormal bite relationship in which the upper jaw and teeth are located in front of the lower jaw and teeth. Class II patients usually exhibit a convex facial profile with a recessed chin. A skeletal Class II problem occurs when the upper back molars are forward of the lower back molars. This gives the patient the appearance of having a recessed lower jaw, a protruding upper jaw or both. In both cases, this relationship is due to the inherited characteristics.
Class III problems are also primarily genetic in origin. In this instance, the lower jaw and teeth are positioned in front of the upper jaw and teeth. The lower jaw may appear to be excessively large, but in many cases, the lack of upper jaw development is at fault. Several treatment options are available to correct a Class III problem.
Crowding of the teeth is probably the most common orthodontic problem. Although many factors contribute to dental crowding, this problem typically stems from a discrepancy between the space in each jaw and the size of the teeth.
Crowding is often one of several orthodontic problems. Crowding can be the cause or result of other problems, such as impacted teeth, retained teeth or teeth that do not naturally fall out. Crossbite of the front or rear teeth can also cause the teeth to become crowded.
Excessive vertical overlapping of incisor teeth, called "overbite", is generally found in association with an excessive eruption of either the upper or lower incisors or sometimes both.
Spaces between teeth are another common problem associated with the need for orthodontic care. Like crowding, spacing may be related to a tooth-to-jaw size disharmony. Spacing may occur between the front and the back teeth. Tooth size discrepancies, such as smaller teeth or abnormally shaped teeth, can also create abnormal spacing.
An open bite can occur with both the front or back teeth. An open bite on the front teeth is called an anterior open bite, while an open bite on the back teeth is called a posterior open bite. An anterior open bite is the lack of vertical overlap of the front teeth and can usually be traced to jaw disharmony or habits such as thumb sucking or the posture of the tongue pushing against the front teeth. A posterior open bite is a problem in which the back teeth do not meet vertically, which keeps the jaw from functioning properly.
Excessive Gingival Display
Also known as a gummy smile, this orthodontic problem gives the appearance of excessive exposed gums on the upper arch. There are several treatment options for this problem. In severe cases, corrective jaw surgery may be necessary to actually shift the jaw vertically upward, thus reducing the amount of exposure of the upper gum tissue.
A posterior crossbite will usually result from a narrow upper jaw or abnormally wide lower jaw. When a patient with a narrow upper jaw is closing their mouth, they will likely be forced to move the lower jaw forward or to the side in order to achieve a stable bite. When closed into this accommodating position, the lower teeth are located outside the upper teeth.
A posterior crossbite can involve one side of the jaw, known as a unilateral crossbite, or both sides of the jaw, known as a bilateral crossbite.
Pseudo Class III
Pseudo Class III, particularly in younger patients, is often a function of habit rather than hereditary factors. A misaligned bite may cause the lower front teeth and jaw to deflect the forward of the upper front teeth, giving the appearance of a Class III relationship.
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