Orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry dealing with the diagnosis, prevention and correction of malpositioned teeth and jaws. Dentofacial orthopaedics additionally covers facial and jaw growth control. There is no age limit for orthodontic teeth correction; however, if started at an early adolescence, the results tend to be much better. On average such treatment lasts about 1,5 to 2 years; certainly, the period depends on the complexity of the clinical case, present pathology, chosen orthodontic apparatus system, patient’s age, their responsibility and the ration of treatment.
Teeth straightening and treatment:
Fixed appliances (brackets) are such appliances that cannot be taken out by a patient and used to treat more complex cases most commonly for various stomach and teeth placement malfunctions. Brackets are placed on teeth surface with a wire slot. There are few types of brackets:
- Metal brackets are among the most commonly used types of brackets. The treatment duration is quicker comparing with other types; however, they are less aesthetic.
- Ceramic brackets are gaining popularity because of its aesthetic appearance.These brackets are less visible, the treatment lasts for few month longer, while the broken brackets needs to be changed into a new one. These brackets can be placed on the entire teeth arch or only on front teeth, while placing metal brackets on less visible teeth.
- Self-ligating brackets are the ones that use little metal doors to hold the wires instead of elastic ties. The treatment with such brackets is typically shorter and a patient does not have to go to the doctor as often. This treatment is often suitable for adult patients or patients with teeth overcrowding.
- Tongue spikes brackets are the most aesthetic ones, since they are glued on from the tongue part of teeth, however, are suitable only in very specific cases.
- Removable orthodontic appliances (retainers, functional appliances) are appliances that are customised and a patient can learn to put them on or take them out by themselves. Simpler cases are treated with such appliances, in addition, a patient may be required to wear them after bracket treatment for the best results.
- Transparent mouthguard are changed every two weeks into the other set of mouthguard. Each set is customised individually and a patient has to change them on time. In such a case the teeth are slightly moving until the final position.
Orthodontic treatment has two phases:
- I. Active phase which helps fixing teeth and occlusion. A patient has to visit a doctor from four to eight weeks on average. Occlusion correction and jaw growth modification is treated in phases. In these cases, few types of appliances might be needed and the treatment last longer.
- II. Retention phase is needed when the teeth have been correctly aligned, the cumberstone part of the orthodontic treatment is over. A patient might sometimes need to wear retainers or mouthguard to maintain the best result. Retainers can be taken out and fixed in order to keep the teeth straight. The retention duration depends on the orthodontic anomaly complexity.