Orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry which deals with the correction of teeth position or with disproportionate teeth or jaw intervals. The term orthodontics comes from ancient Greek and it is made up of two words, ortho-right and odons-tooth.
Your smile is the most expressive part of your face. Take a look in the mirror. Do you like your smile, or do you think it can be improved? Think of how you react when you meet someone with a pleasant smile. Does that make him or her more attractive?
The Orthodontic treatment will give you a fabulous smile, that will last a lifetime. It will also give a nicer appearance to your whole face, through the correction of intervals between two jaws and through the adjustment of their shape. If you want to correct your teeth position, you must follow an orthodontic treatment. This kind of treatment involves the application of slight pressure on growing or grown teeth through mounting of dental braces.
The most appropriate age for an orthodontist visit is 8-9 years. At this age, the maxillar bones grow faster and they are more elastic, that’s why it is easier to correct jaws and teeth positions at this stage. However, you can benefit from an orthodontic treatment at any age. Just keep in mind that the treatment last longer for adults, due to the fact that the maxillar bones are no longer elastic as they used to be during childhood.
There are two types of functional appliances: fixed and removable.
Removable appliances are mostly used for children, starting from the age of 8, but the success of the treatment depends on the child’s desire to wear them. Fixed appliances are used after the age of 12.
It is very important to correct the teeth position, not only because of aesthetic, but also from functional reasons. Crammed teeth cannot be cleaned properly and they will develop cavities and periodontal problems in time. Incorrect intervals between the two maxillar arches can cause troubles, manifested as muscular tiredness and pressure during the mastication process. However, all these problems can be prevented through an orthodontic treatment.
The orthodontic treatment allows once and for all to get rid of aesthetic problems as physiological occlusion or incorrect tooth position anomalies. The orthodontic treatment can be performed in several stages.
The first stage establishes the diagnosis and the appropriate calculation for the orthodontic complications treatment.
The second stage is the recovery of oral cavity and the teeth remineralization therapy.
The third stage of the treatment is made through orthodontic fixed or movable appliances.
In the fourth stage of completion (retention period) or the phase of orthodontic treatment, the orthodontist is using special appliances for the correct treatment of teeth. Retention period takes about 2 years. Currently, orthodontic treatment technique can be done through fixed techniques and removable appliances.
What is a removable dental appliance?
The removable appliance is a plate made of special acrylate. The basic function of appliances is to change the width and shape of the palate, maxillary bones, etc. There are various forms for such plates, they can be worn 24 hours a day or during night time. The plates are necessary for prevention and correction of deformed dental arches in case of infant swallowing disorders.
Similarly, the orthodontic trainers are from the same group of removable appliances. The trainer is a soft splint, that allows to correct erupted teeth. From the age of 5, we can perform the occlusion correction using these trainers. With their help, we can cure many vicious habits. The trainer based treatment is carried out in two stages: a soft and flexible blue trainer is used in the first 6 months of treatment. In the next 6-12 months the orthodontist is using a stiff pink trainer. In this regard the correction of dental arches becomes the final result. The removable appliances allows to perform simple teeth movements, which is an advantage of these appliances. They can be easily removed from the oral cavity. That’s why the treatment with removable appliances is carried out especially for children.
Orthodontic treatment with fixed appliances.
Orthodontic fixed appliance treatment is performed using different bracket systems. They are chosen depending on the complications of orthodontic treatment. Using a metal arch which is fixed in the oral cavity, the teeth position can be corrected.
Nowadays, the orthodontic industry has achieved remarkable results. The offer is so wide that it is easy to get lost in various characteristics and types of existing fixed appliances. Through the bracket system attached to the teeth, the metal arch which is fixed in the oral cavity moves the teeth in the necessary direction to correct their position.
During the consultation the orthodontist offers several different treatment options with fixed appliances, however you are the one to decide. You should know that there are distinguished fixed appliances, in price, aspect, comfort and duration of treatment. Do you agree to wear metal in your mouth, or you want something unusual, or may be you prefer invisible braces. What is the price that you are willing to pay for comfort and convenience? In the following we will list only the most important bracket systems, describing their advantages and disadvantages.
The first place in orthodontic services is occupied by ceramic braces. Their popularity is impressive. It is one of the most expensive, but less visible
bracket system (if we don’t consider the lingual technique). Ceramic braces are divided into two categories: polycrystalline and monocrystalline.
Polycrystalline braces are distinguished by good aesthetic properties, the variety of opacity and reduced transparency, these are the properties which imitates the tooth color. Monocrystalline braces are produced by a single company, ORMCO and are called Inspire. They are the most expensive and the most physiognomic ceramic braces.
Norwithstanding that, ceramic braces are very expensive, the majority of patients prefer this system. Their appearance is less visible among other vestibular braces, their surface is often confused with tooth color. The color of Clarity ceramic braces, for example, correspond with the tooth color of the pacient, they do not stain and do not injure the enamel when it is removed from the teeth and they are very resistant.
The disadvantages of ceramic braces(polycrystalline).
1. The ceramic braces are more expensive than metal braces
2. The treatment with ceramic braces lasts longer than with metal systems
3.They are larger an bigger than metal braces
Some people are wearing sapphire braces as a jewel, they have an prestigious aesthetic aspect. Sapphire braces have a unique composition and they are made from an artificial crystal (sapphire). One of the main advantage of these braces is the fact that, they do not absorb food colors or accumulate plaque on their surface.
The disadvantages of sapphire braces:
1. High cost
2. Their visibility is accentuated on white teeth.
Compared whith ceramic systems, metal braces are less expensive, because they are more visible, but they work equally effectively. The metal braces are the cheapest type of fixed orthodontic systems. Today, they have small dimensions and they may also have silver or gold color. They are very resistant. The metal braces are made up of several elements (locks, rings, etc.) which are fixed to the external side of the teeth, linking all these elements into a single system.
The disadvantages of metal braces:
1. They have less physiognomic properties.
2. At the beginning of treatment the patient may feel uncomfortable, but over time (usually a week) this sensation disappears.
3. At the beginning of treatment the irritations of gums, cheeks and lips may occur, in this case the patient should cover the sensitive areas with special wax.
The fixed systems with plastic braces are more aesthetic than metal and cheaper than ceramic. Unfortunately plastic does not fully correspond whith the requirements regarding orthodontic resistance. For this reason there is a need to add additional metallic element in the braces composition. The suitability of choice for acrylate color is an advantage of plastic braces, which can not be achieved using metal braces. In terms of damaging the plastic elements, we should mention that there are systems consolidated with other materials to increase their resistance. Because of their aesthetic the patients are often ready to choose this type of braces.
The disadvantages of plastic braces:
1. The ability to absorb food pigments. The patients that are wearing plastic systems are forced to limit drinks and foods (coffee, strong tea, some jams, etc)
2. During treatment period (1.5-2 years) their surface changes in color and appearance.
3. Like any plastic, this system has low resistance, therefore some difficulties may occur during occlusion correction treatment, thus the patient should be prepared for breces abrasion and fragility.
4. The damaged braces must be removed and replaced.
The gold braces are for those who care about their style and individuality, for those who do not try to hide their braces as part of their image. The appearance of gold gives a luxurious look. At the same time their functionality is identical to ordinary steel.
The disadvantage of gold braces:
Their cost is higher than for other systems
The aesthetic Damon 3 braces
Since its appearance the Damon System has achieved a revolutionary result. It is a self-regulating device. It is more comfortable than conventional systems. Damon braces acts gentle on teeth and ligaments, it do not require replacement even in complicated cases. The treatment takes from 14 to 18 months. Since the braces arch remains free, the patient that use the self-regulating Damon device does not feel pressure and do not actually sense it.
Damon 3 braces are smaller than ordinary systems because some of the elements are made of transparent composite material and cutting-edge surgical stainless steel. The force of friction makes teeth move significantly faster under the action of physiological forces. This technique allows the maxillo-facial system to set the correct position of teeth. Soft contours and rounded edges provide the optimum comfort for the patient. The braces can be easily corrected. The Damon system reduce the treatment duration and increase the intervals between dentist visits.
The disadvantage of Damon braces:
The braces are fixed to the exterior surface of the teeth thus making them visible.
Unlike all other types of braces, the lingual systems are the most unusual. Lingual braces are made of metal. They are fixed to the inner surfaces of teeth and therefore are invisible. This is also their main advantage.
The disadvantages of lingual braces:
1. It is important to do a rigorous hygiene as braces are located in inaccessible places.
2. After the fixation of lingual braces, the space in the mouth is reduced. Thus at the early stage of treatment, speech problems are possible.
The general rules of braces care are simple: use a brush and special toothpaste, dental floss and interdental toothbrushes, after every food consumption brush your teeth. If possible, it is recommended to abstain from food that causes dental affections: pasta, sweets, soft drinks, etc. It’s also advisable to avoid chewing gum, eating nuts and other solid food.
Finally, remember that every fixed system, it choosen individually by the orthodontist-doctor depending on the condition of your teeth!