Orthodontics is the oldest of the dental specialties dealing with problems caused
by poor alignment of the teeth and jaws.
Its focus is beautifying the face by harmonizing the teeth, muscles, jaws, and jaw
joints three dimensionally. Treatment means more than a beautiful smile; it can
also aid the health of the teeth and gums.
Orthodontics is that branch of dentistry concerned with prevention, interception
and correction of malocclusion of teeth, and/or jaws, and other abnormalities of
Why orthodontic treatment is necessary?
Crooked and crowded teeth are hard to clean and maintain. This may contribute to
conditions that cause not only tooth decay but also eventual gum disease and tooth
loss. Other orthodontic problems can contribute to abnormal wear of tooth surfaces,
inefficient chewing function, excessive stress on gum tissue and the bone that supports
The value of an attractive smile should not be underestimated. A pleasing appearance
is a vital asset to one’s self-confidence. A person’s self-esteem often improves
as treatment brings teeth, lips, and face into proportion.
Who needs orthodontic treatment?
Any patient presenting following indications may need orthodontic treatment:
Unusual facial profile
Thumb and finger sucking
Overlapping and crowded teeth
Protrusion of upper front teeth
Braces are worn by both children and adults, not only to improve the attractiveness
of the smile, but also because braces correct improper alignment of teeth that can
lead to gum disease and early tooth loss.
What does orthodontic treatment include?
The way that our teeth bite together is called the occlusion, and people who have
crooked or crowded teeth have a malocclusion. Orthodontic treatment usually involves
wearing an appliance (brace). This puts gentle pressure on specific teeth to move
them into the right place.
At the initial appointment, your orthodontist will do a very detailed dental examination.
If you have any decayed teeth, these will need to be treated by your family dentist
before orthodontic treatment starts.
Orthodontic treatment usually takes between six months and two years, depending
on the severity of the problem.
Types Of Appliances Used:
A. Invisible Appliance which includes:
Ceramic/Tooth colored braces.
Lingual Braces(placed on the inner surface of the teeth).
B. Visible Appliance which includes:
There are different kinds of appliances. Some can be removed while others are fixed
in place.Removable braces are made of plastic and usually have wire clips and springs
to move specific teeth. In most cases, they are used to move upper teeth. A removable
appliance must be taken out to be cleaned, but it should be worn at all other times,
including mealtimes and at night. Fixed braces cannot be removed. They are made
of small brackets that are glued to the teeth and joined together with a wire. Fixed
braces can be used on upper and lower teeth. Once the treatment is finished, the
brackets and glue are cleaned off the teeth.
A relatively new type of orthodontic treatment allows teeth to be straightened using
removable, see-through, plastic aligners (Invisalign). This treatment is only suitable
for certain cases.
Cleft lip and cleft palate management:
Orthodontics plays an important part in overall management of a child with cleft
lip and palate. An Orthodontist provides orthodontic care for children with cleft
lip and palate as a part of interdisciplinary management along with oral surgeon,
paediatrician, plastic surgeon etc.