Whenever a patient’s teeth or jaws are improperly positioned, they need orthodontic treatment. Orthodontics is a type of dentistry which specializes in correcting these problems, especially since crooked or ill-fitting teeth are at greater risk of cavities and gum disease. In addition, a misaligned jaw can eventually lead to headaches, neck pain, and possibly temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ). With an orthodontist, however, you can have a healthy mouth and pleasant smile again. The benefits of orthodontic treatment can last you a lifetime. Orthodontics Tulsa>>
Do I Need an Orthodontist?
How do you know if your problem is serious enough to warrant an orthodontist? When you visit your dentist, they should take X-rays of your mouth, and are trained to know if your jaw or teeth have a problem. Your dentist will point you to an orthodontist if you have one of the following orthodontal issues:
Overbite or “Buck Teeth”
Whenever your upper teeth overlap your lower teeth, you have an overbite which needs to be corrected.
If your upper teeth are behind your lower teeth, and it appears as though your lower teeth are jutting out, you have an underbite.
When the upper and lower teeth do not bite together correctly, you will need to see an orthodontist about a crossbite.
Whenever the upper and lower teeth fail to touch and leave a large space between themselves, then you have an open bite.
If your upper and lower teeth’s centers don’t align, then you will need to see an orthodontist about a misplaced midline.
This term describes the spaces between your teeth whenever you have lost some teeth, or when your teeth have gaps.
If you suffer from crowding, then this means your dental ridge cannot accommodate the number of teeth you have.
If you suffer from any of these problems, you should contact a Tulsa orthodontist to help you.
What Are Some Orthodontic Treatments?
Orthodontists have numerous tools at their disposal to help your teeth. Whether they need to be moved or the jaw needs to be adjusted, there is an orthodontic treatment which is right for you. Several of these treatments include:
Braces are designed to help correct misaligned teeth, and are made of several components. Bands serve as an anchor for the orthodontic appliance, brackets are attached with bonding cement to the front of the teeth, and wires are fitted into the brackets and attached onto the orthodontic bands. From there, the wires can be gradually tightened to help return the teeth to their correct position.
While these should only be applied as a last resort, special fixed appliances can help control your child’s thumb sucking.
Fixed Space Maintainers
These can be used to open the space left by a prematurely lost baby tooth, so the permanent tooth can erupt without issue.
Aligners are an alternative to braces, and are growing in popularity as an orthodontic treatment. They achieve the same effect as braces, but bear other advantages. For example, aligners are practically invisible, and can be taken off so you can eat or brush.
Removable retainers can be applied so realigned teeth don’t shift back to their misaligned position.
In some cases, headgear is required to adjust the upper jaw’s growth and hold the back teeth in place.
If you or someone you know suffers from one of these orthodontic problems, contact a Tulsa orthodontist near you.
Charles Calhoun, DDS