A person of any age can be successfully treated by an orthodontist, so age is not the limit in achieving aligned teeth. A malocclusion can affect anyone at any age, and can significantly impact the individual’s speech, facial symmetry and chewing functions.
A severe malocclusion can also contribute to some serious dental and physical conditions such as digestive difficulties, TMJ, periodontal disease and severe tooth decay. It is important to seek orthodontic treatment in time to avoid problems associated with malocclusions.
What problems can orthodontics treat?
Orthodontics can treat a wide range of dental problems and in many cases completely realign the misaligned teeth. Orthodontists may work alone, or in combination with a maxillofacial surgeon and other dental specialties.
The most common malocclusions requiring orthodontic treatment are:
Overbite – An overbite refers to the protrusion of the maxilla or the upper jaw relative to the mandible or lower jaw. An overbite gives the smile a “toothy” appearance and the chin looks like it has receded and non prominent.
Underbite – An underbite refers to the protrusion of the mandible (lower jaw) in relation to the maxilla (upper jaw). An underbite makes the chin look overly prominent. Developmental delays and genetic factors generally cause both underbites and overbites.
Overcrowding – An overcrowded mouth means there is insufficient space within the jaw for all of the adult teeth to fit naturally. Overcrowding may lead to completely misaligned teeth.
How can orthodontics help?
Orthodontics offer treatment options which will realign the teeth and make the smile more beautiful. There are several treatments the orthodontist use, depending on the analysis and the results of panoramic x-rays, study models and a thorough visual dental and face examination.
Fixed dental braces can be used to expediently correct even the most severe case of misalignment. These braces consist of metal or ceramic brackets which are affixed to each tooth and an archwire which is used to gradually move the teeth through the duration of the treatment. It usually requires couple of years to realign the teeth, especially in the severe cases.
Removable appliances include:
- Invisalign® aligners,
- palate expanders and tooth movers,
- Faceguards – used to correct developmental delays in both the upper and lower jaw
- palate expanders – used to correct overcrowding
Whatever the dental irregularity or the age of the individual, orthodontic treatment can properly realign the teeth and create a beautiful smile you always wanted.