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Orthodontics aims to correct misalignment of teeth, as well as incorrect positions of the jaws. People with these problems cannot chew well. Since it is difficult to clean uneven teeth, they get tooth decay and gingival problems more often. As they do not have an aesthetic appearance, they do not smile and talk comfortably. These problems can be solved by orthodontic treatment at any age.
Treatment services carried out in the Orthodontic Department Clinic at our Hospital include:
BRIEF OVERVIEW ABOUT ORTHODONTICS
Reasons of Orthodontic Disorders
Disorders related to teeth and jaw structure are called “crowding” and “malocclusion”. Orthodontic malocclusion is often of genetic origin. Crowding happens when there is not enough space for teeth to fit in the mouth. Sometimes the upper jaw or the lower jaw may be ahead of the other.
Also, bad habits cause orthodontic disorders. Pacifier, thumb sucking or tongue thrust cause an open bite of the front teeth. If this situation is diagnosed at an early age and if these habits stop, the bite corrects spontaneously. Treatment of this malocclusion is quite difficult at later ages.
Children who are unable to breathe through their nose keep their mouth constantly open (mouth breathing). Allergies, large adenoids and nasal deviation can cause mouth breathing. These children’s upper jaw becomes narrow and their jaw growth is disrupted. If nasal breathing can be established at an early age, the bite corrects spontaneously. If not, the resulting malocclusion and crowding are difficult to treat.
The Right Age for Orthodontic Care
The first check-up in terms of orthodontic disorder should be at the age of 7-8 when the front teeth change. In principle, orthodontic treatment can be applied at any age. Teeth move as easily in children as in adults, but the situation is different in disorders involving jaws. Position of children’s jaw can be corrected with “functional orthopedic treatment” at the adolescence stage. But this is no option for adults since growth has finished. In order to correct very serious jaw disorders, there is a need for jaw surgery which should be planned together with a plastic surgeon.
Orthodontic Treatment Types
Orthodontic treatment, according to the type of malocclusion, can be done with fixed or removable orthodontic devices. Removable orthodontic devices are usually used with mild abnormalities of the jaw and limited tooth misalignments. These types of devices can be easily inserted and removed by the patient, but should be worn 24 hours with the exception of meal times, otherwise they do not achieve the desired effects.
The fixed appliances consists of bands and brackets which are bonded to the teeth, and an archwire of varying shape applying the force necessary to move the teeth. Elastics or coil sprinsare sometimes added. Fixed devices remain in the mouth until the end of treatment and they can only be removed by the orthodontist. To retain the results of treatment, fixed retainers are bonded to the back side of the teeth and a part time wear of removable clear retainers is recommended.
Some malocclusion necessitate the use of extraoral support, like the use of a face mask for 8- 20 hours a day, depending on the desired effect.
Patient cooperation is a must for a good treatment result. Patients should know and apply the following rules:
Patients usually feel uncomfortable at the beginning of the treatment because of the orthodontic devices. This discomfort will diminish after 3-4 days, and disappears completely in 15 days. After each check-up visit, patients can feel discomfort again for 1-2 days.
Cooperation of the patient and the dentist results in the success of orthodontic treatment.
Duration of Orthodontic Treatment
The treatment process generally takes about one and a half to two years. Some disorders can be treated in 6-8 months while more serious malocclusions can be treated for more than 2 years. During the treatment, in-office visits are required every 4 to 8 weeks. The sessions take rarely more than 15 minutes.
Prof. Dr. Arzu ARI DEMİRKAYA
Head of the Department of Orthodontics