Orthodontics has been valuable both as an art, and most especially as a science in the field of dentistry. Thousands of mouths have been saved from prolonged discomfort. But what is orthodontics, really? And what specific roles does an orthodontist play that makes him/her stand out beyond the average dentist?
Orthodontics is a field of dentistry that focuses on repairing tooth irregularities such as malocclusions, impeding overbites and other hereditary or accident-borne mouth problems. The main concern of orthodontics is not just teeth, but on the mouth as a whole. These irregularities are reconstructed or repaired through special mouth apparati, with braces and retainers being the most popular.
The field of orthodontics, from its humble beginnings as set of procedures aiming to reconstruct the mouth to prevent or fix mouth discomfort, has evolved into a modern art that continuously yearns to create the perfect smile by improving the alignment of teeth, regardless of the comfort already felt by the patient.
As for orthodontic devices being used by dentists, the two most popular are the braces and retainers. Braces use an arch wire to push and pull misaligned teeth to certain directions to “straighten” out the contour and position of the teeth. The standard pull/push force (from the combined utility of both the wires and brackets) will basically move the teeth by a standard 1mm proximity each month, depending on both the orthodontist’s preference and the patient’s tolerance to pain. People with newly installed braces are expected to exhibit moderate to severe pain and numbness in the first few weeks of having their first braces installed. This is caused by the gradual, coercive force that impels the teeth to move from their original position by unnatural means.
There are different types of braces that will suit almost any malocclusion, each with a different push/pull force and aesthetic appearance. These are:
The Usual Metal Braces: considered as the most reliable and “strongest” type of braces with regards to “push/pull” effect, these are the types of braces that most dentists recommend. Modern braces have smaller brackets and a slightly engaging appearance, as compared to the older models that have brackets that cover the entire tooth. Recent advancements in technology have made these appliances cheaper for the masses, making them a popular choice on both teenagers and adults who do not want to spend additional money on Invisalign braces.
Ceramic Braces: ceramic braces, in contrast to metal braces, use purely composite material without any hint of metallic ingredients. These types of braces are more expensive and have a lesser “push/pull” force, as compared to metal braces. One clear advantage though, is that they look aesthetically pleasing (sometimes even unnoticeable), as they can be tinted to mimic the teeth.
Invisalign Braces: these types of braces are recommended to people who have very minimal malocclusions. These types of braces are made out of plastic, so they don’t stain and are also unnoticeable like ceramic braces. However, the price of Invisalign braces is quite hefty on the pocket, and losing these means having to pay for replacements. There have been a lot of cases with people losing their Invisalign braces, due to the fact that these can be removed from the teeth, unlike metal and ceramic braces, that are latched on to the teeth. Invisalign braces are currently becoming the most preferred type of braces by dentists in both Europe and the United States because of the same “push/pull” power with metal braces and because they are easily detachable, so the patient’s eating habits are not compromised.
There you have it. We hope the information on this page helps you in making the right choice in choosing your preferred type of braces. It is also imperative that you follow the advice of your orthodontist in choosing the right orthodontic device.
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Cosmetic Dentistry – improving smiles via veneer technology and teeth whitening
Orthodontics – tooth alignment and bite correction
Periodontics – periodontal disease treatment and prevention
Prosthodontics – prosthetic devices such as dentures bring back comfort to your mouth
Pedodontics – child-friendly dentistry for your precious children
By Kyle Kahveci