What Is Orthodontics in Dentistry?

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If your teeth are misaligned or crowded, your dentist may recommend orthodontics. New Hamburg patients often think orthodontics is just about receiving braces, but it actually involves much more.

What Is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is an area of dentistry that covers the prevention and correction of malpositioned teeth and jaw growth issues. Dentists trained in orthodontics receive two or three years of extra training to learn how to treat alignment issues and promote healthy jaw growth.

Orthodontics is necessary for the ability to eat and speak correctly, oral health and appearance. For instance, it prevents stress on your gums and bone and makes it easier to clean between teeth.

Common Orthodontic Problems

Many orthodontic conditions are genetic. This includes issues related to jaw growth, extra or missing teeth, spacing and crowding problems, and protruding teeth. In other cases, the condition may be due to poor oral hygiene, habits like thumb sucking, or accidents that cause the loss of a tooth.

In the case of the latter, early intervention can prevent problems and avoid the need for extensive treatment. For instance, a space maintainer can fill the gap left by a baby tooth lost too early to ensure adult teeth erupt in the right position.

Types of Treatment

Although metal brackets are still a common orthodontic treatment, there are numerous other solutions. Adults and teens often choose invisible aligners, ceramic braces, and lingual braces (attached to the back of the teeth). To correct bite, there are also devices like forsus appliances (which prevent an overbite and avoid the need headgear braces) and palatal expanders (to expand the palate and correct alignment without tooth extraction).

As with all dental conditions, early diagnosis leads to the least intrusive treatment. If you believe that you may benefit from orthodontics, book an appointment with the New Hamburg Dental Group.

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