Orthodontics is the practice of preventing and correcting irregularities of the teeth and jaws, by the use of braces. An orthodontist is a specialist in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. They undergo additional years of specialised education beyond dental school to learn the proper way of aligning and straightening teeth to deliver both function and aesthetics.
Orthodontics is the field of dentistry that addresses straightening of crooked or overcrowded teeth and closing gaps between teeth. More and more adults who never had the opportunity as children to have their teeth straightened are turning to orthodontists to improve their smiles.
Young adults – Starting off right
Traditionally, people consider braces when they are not pleased with their smile. However braces can also help you keep your teeth healthy well into your later years by ensuring that your tooth spacing and alignment is optimal for easier flossing and brushing. Similarly, people with extensive overbite, underbite or crowding of teeth benefit from addressing the problem early.Restoration – a vital role However the core of our work here at the UK Smiles Dental Practice is helping adults with often severely compromised teeth and gums.Orthodontic treatment plays an invaluable role in the inter-disciplinary treatment often necessary in these cases when coordinated with other treatments such as dental implants, crowns, bridges and veneers especially in complex restorative cases. The reason that braces work so well is also the reason they are required to treat people. Teeth will readily move to a new position with braces but also if there is no resistance in a particular direction when teeth are missing or lost. This can often be the beginning of the collapse of an otherwise healthy mouth, a domino effect if you like.For example, if a back tooth is lost and something not placed in the gap, like a dental implant or bridge, all of the teeth adjacent to the gap will begin to migrate into the gap. The teeth behind and in front will typically tilt in the direction of the gap, and even the tooth opposite in the opposite jaw will ‘overerupt’ as there is no longer chewing pressure keeping it in place. Of course this will happen at different rates for different people, but ultimately it affects everyone.We do recommend implants for missing teeth as they do not require disturbing healthy adjacent teeth as is the case with making a bridge. There are a variety of methods of preparing bridges, most all of which do require cutting into the adjacent teeth to anchor the bridge.
Modern orthodontic treatment usually involves the use of fixed braces to move teeth, enabling patients to be treated to a high standard and giving the best possible results. Treatment options are more varied now than ever. Conditions that were not possible to be treated can now be treated as a matter of course.
Kinds of Braces
Labial (exterior) fixed braces Conventional labial fixed braces are the best value, and come in more varieties than ever before. Traditional metal braces are smaller and less obvious than ever, for youngsters we make these with changeable coloured elastics so you can surprise your friends with a different colour after each visit to the dentist. Ceramic braces are available that are tooth coloured and are very difficult to see. Crystal brackets are now available which are made from clear crystal, and are virtually invisible as well. Selection of these types of exterior braces is mostly down to personal preference and budget, as they all are able to achieve similar results in equivalent time scales. Lingual fixed braces Lingual braces are placed on the inside (backs) of the teeth in a similar fashion to labial braces and are an equally effective option. Although these are more expensive in that they require specialist expertise and longer visits they have the huge advantage of being hidden from view and therefore are not visible in the smile.