For most patients, the word ‘orthodontics’ brings to mind an image of a teenager sporting metal bracket braces. The truth is that there are many orthodontic treatments available to correct a wide array of dental issues. While we recommend that parents bring their children in for their first orthodontic appointment around age 7, teenagers and adults can also be successfully treated with orthodontics.
Orthodontics refers to the branch of dentistry that corrects misalignment issues of the teeth and jaw. Orthodontics can do more than improve the appearance of a patient’s teeth. Orthodontics can be used to correct alignment issues such as overbite, underbite, crossbite, crowding of the teeth and much more. If left untreated, these conditions can lead to further problems down the road, such as headaches, sleep apnea and TMJ.
There are many different orthodontic appliances, but the most common are braces, retainers and the Invisalign System. With braces, metal brackets are bonded to the tooth surface and connected with a wire arch. The arch puts gentle pressure on the teeth, which gradually moves the teeth and/or jaw into the correct alignment. The braces will need to be periodically adjusted as the teeth shift. While braces are safe and effective, they can be cumbersome and present issues with eating and cleaning. Often times, certain foods need to be avoided while a patient is wearing braces. For this reason, many adult patients and parents opt for Invisalign.
With Invisalign, patients use a series of clear trays which serve to shift the position of the teeth. The clear trays are removable, so they won’t interfere with eating or drinking. However, in order for treatment to be successful it is important that the patient wears the trays consistently. Invisalign is a great alternative to traditional metal bracket braces as they are more convenient and discreet. In addition, the Invisalign system is comparable in price to traditional metal bracket braces.
After an orthodontic treatment, a patient is advised to wear a custom made retained to ensure that the teeth do not shift back to their original position. With Invisalign, clear removable Vivera® retainers are available.
There are many benefits to orthodontics. Properly aligned teeth are not only aesthetically pleasing, but can benefit a patient’s oral health as well. If you are interested in orthodontics for yourself or your child, give our Edmonton office a call at 587-405-4587. Our friendly dentist, Dr. Christine Fialka-Eshenko can help you decide which orthodontic treatment is right for you.