When you hear about orthodontic services, you probably assume that this involves dental bracing services. However, there is more to orthodontic service related to restoring the perfect smile in a person due to several issues. While everyone has a unique set of teeth, there are some common problems that most people experience. Fortunately, an orthodontist is trained to handle each of these problems and achieve great results.
If you have any questions about orthodontic services, make an appointment with our experienced orthodontist at La Puente Advanced Dentistry. We would love to educate you more about orthodontics and help you understand your oral condition and what can be done to provide the best smile possible.
Types of Orthodontic Issues
Orthodontic issues depend on how your teeth are aligned and meet together. Typically, the upper teeth should rest above the lower teeth when your jaw is closed to make a perfect line-up of the molars in the upper and lower jaws. However, if your teeth don't match, they might form a malocclusion, which can cause serious health complications. The following are some form of teeth malocclusion that you should know about:
An underbite, clinically known as prognathism, is a form of malocclusion or bad bite that occurs when the lower jaw's teeth overlap the upper jaw's upper teeth. The severity of an underbite varies when the two rows of the teeth are almost meeting and a situation where the teeth don't meet, leaving a wide gap. An underbite can make the impression that the affected person is expressing emotions, but it isn't their intention. This makes it a common issue that most people are eager to eliminate.
An underbite usually occurs due to the misalignment of the lower jaw, which usually presents during birth. Some of the problems associated with an underbite include the inability to pronounce correctly. In addition, if the gap is wide, it can lead to the following:
- Eating difficulties.
- Chronic TMJ pain or jaw pains.
- Chronic earaches and headaches.
- Tooth decay if your teeth’ enamel wears out excessively.
- Chronic snoring, bacterial infection, and sleep apnea.
A crossbite occurs when the upper teeth cross inside your lower teeth rather than the outside. It can occur due to various reasons like excessive thumb-sucking, excessive use of a pacifier, oversized tonsils, or delayed loss of your baby's teeth.
An overbite is also referred to as a deep bite. It is characterized by protruding the upper teeth than the lower teeth, which might completely cover them. This dental problem is hereditary and can result from a malformed jaw. A malformed jaw can be caused by the pressure created from certain habits like prolonged bottle-feeding, thumb-sucking, and tongue thrusting. An overbite can also result from excessive chewing on foreign objects.
Overjets are similar to overbites but usually differ in how they occur. An overjet occurs as a horizontal issue, while an overbite occurs as a vertical issue. This orthodontic issue is usually genetic but might also be a result of childhood habits. Overjet can be caused by habits like prolonged use of a pacifier, tongue thrashing, and thumb-sucking.
Protrusion of the upper Front Teeth
The upper front teeth might protrude due to excessive tongue thrusting and finger sucking. It is commonly confused with overbites and is caused by the pressure placed on the front teeth causing the upper front teeth to push forward.
Crooked and misaligned teeth characterize dental crowding. It occurs when the teeth compete for space in either of the jaws. In an ideal dental arrangement, every tooth occupies the right amount of space to grow in alignment. Therefore, the teeth should touch each other without affecting the proper rotation of your teeth. However, this is not the case with an overcrowded mouth.
Dental spacing also referred to as diastema, is a type of orthodontic issue characterized by a space between teeth, causing the teeth to fit improperly in the jaw. Dental spacing is usually noticeable in the two upper teeth but can be noticed from anywhere in the mouth. These gaps might disappear in children once the permanent teeth have grown. Some gaps tend to be too large and might be a cosmetic issue, while others are too small and are barely noticeable.
Diastema results from multiple factors like your teeth size, jaw bone, and genetics. Sometimes, an overgrowth of the tissues bordering the gum line and teeth can cause diastema. Other factors that might cause a diastema include:
- Bad Habits: Bad habits like thumb-sucking might cause some of your teeth to pull forward, creating a space between the others.
- Gum Disease: The gum infection can cause tooth loss, causing a gap between your teeth. Some of the signs of gum disease include bleeding gums, loose teeth, bone loss, and swollen gums.
An overbite occurs when the upper and lower teeth don't meet when the mouth is closed. When you close your mouth, the teeth usually leave an opening. Open bites can be passed down in a family, but the problem usually corrects when a person approaches adulthood. However, you might develop an open bite if your baby and permanent teeth mix and you don't have too much bone. One of the problems associated with an open bite is developing a lisp as a speech impediment.
Problems with the temporomandibular joint can also be a culprit for an open bite. Other causes include tongue thrusting, excessive thumb sucking, and excessive use of a pacifier.
Apart from the development of a lisp, open bites can be noticed by:
- Self-consciousness if you have a smile that you don't like.
- Increased wear on your back teeth.
- Difficulty eating specific types of food.
Permanent teeth should erupt once a child loses his or her baby teeth. However, an improper eruption can occur when the teeth come out partially, in the wrong spot, or at an angle. An orthodontic can recommend a specific type of intervention to correct this.
An impacted tooth occurs when a tooth cannot erupt properly when another tooth is in its way, and there's not enough room in your jaw. Impacted wisdom teeth are frequent in younger adults and can cause a lot of pain. Canines are also a culprit of this dental issue when the affected person has dental crowding.
Types of Orthodontic Services You Can Choose
An orthodontist might recommend one of the several types of orthodontic treatment based on the dental issue. Your orthodontist might also recommend a specific type of treatment due to convenience, comfort, and budget. Let's have a closer look at the types of orthodontic services you can choose:
Dental bracing is a type of orthodontic treatment that straightens or moves your teeth to improve their look and function. Braces can also ensure the long-term health of your teeth and gum, making it comfortable to eat since it spreads your biting pressure to all your teeth.
Braces work by pressuring your teeth and slowly moving them in the right direction. As the pressure is taking effect, the jaw bone allows your teeth and their roots to move.
Braces are best worn during childhood, but adults can have their orthodontic treatment too. There is no limit in the age that you can have your braces, although it's recommended for children to wait for enough teeth to come through before they start their treatment.
Most braces are metallic, but there are others made of plastic and ceramics. They are designed to guarantee comfort but might rub into your mouth, making it feel sore. They might also tender or sore as they start to move. Braces might also feel large in your mouth at first, but you'll adapt to them with time.
Dental bracing may take a few months to two-and-a-half years, depending on the severity of the problem. However, most people are treated within one to two years. In addition, there are other benefits associated with dental bracing apart from straightening and positioning your teeth. These benefits include:
- Making your teeth easier to clean.
- Ensure that your teeth last longer by reducing their wear down.
Please note that dental bracing only works when you are committed to the treatment. Follow the instructions provided by your orthodontist, and everything will result as expected. You should also maintain regular dentist visiting even after the treatment has been completed.
Invisalign is a type of orthodontic treatment used to straighten your teeth without the use of metal braces. Invisalign are custom-made, clear braces that can cover your teeth and gently pull them into place over a specific period. They are removable and are less noticeable than traditional metal braces. Most people prefer Invisalign since they are more comfortable and beautiful than the traditional metal braces.
While using Invisalign, your dentist will discuss your smile goals before giving you clear aligners. After that, they can be worn by anyone as long as there are underlying issues like overcrowded teeth, crossbites, and any other dental issue discussed above.
Invisalign process works starts with a physical examination of your dental structure, along with an X-ray and a 3D model of your teeth to establish a personalized treatment for you. The treatment will help determine how your teeth will shift and how long it will take to align them.
The 3D model, X-ray, and picture of your teeth are then sent to an Invisalign laboratory, where your aligners will be made. The 3D model of your teeth will also progressively help in correcting your orthodontic issue.
You must visit your orthodontist's office when receiving your first set of aligners. First, the orthodontist will check your teeth and make the necessary adjustment when needed. After that, you must wear the aligners at all times, except when you're brushing, eating, or flossing. After that, you can briefly remove the aligners anytime when you want them.
Invisalign is an easy fit that you can wear at all times. You will wear your first batch of aligners for the first two weeks and then switch to the next set of aligners. At first, you might feel a tight fit on your teeth since the aligners are moved to gently and precisely move your teeth. However, as your teeth adjust, you will start feeling loose. Therefore, it’s advisable not to switch them early until the two weeks are over.
You'll have to schedule an appointment with your orthodontist after six weeks to check your treatment progress. These checkups are crucial since they help the orthodontist make the necessary adjustments to ensure they are effective.
Invisalign treatment usually lasts for one year, but the treatment differs based on the specific needs and age of the target person. Your orthodontist will give you an estimated treatment time after examining the digital image captured in your first visit.
Invisalign holds some advantages over traditional metal braces. These benefits are as follows:
- They are clear, and no one can notice them when you're wearing them.
- They move your teeth more precisely than traditional metal braces.
- It's easy to maintain oral health while having them since they can be removed when eating, brushing, or flossing.
- They are more comfortable to wear than traditional braces.
- Unlike braces that require frequent dental office visits, they save time to change the archwires and adjust them.
- They have a shorter treatment time.
Your orthodontist will recommend that you wear a retainer after completing the Invisalign treatment. A retainer is designed to align your teeth. Failure to use a retainer might have your teeth gradually shift to their initial position. If your teeth shift, you might be forced to wear the aligners temporarily to reposition your teeth.
Orthodontic services do not only comprise braces and Invisalign but also have a surgical option. Surgery is suitable for accelerating your orthodontic treatment. It works best for people with an underbite, jaw misalignment, or overbite. However, surgery is not necessarily the type of intervention you need if you have a few crooked teeth.
The surgery only requires the use of local anesthesia and repositioning of the bones and gums that hold your teeth in place. Although it's a minor surgery, it still includes pain, infection, bleeding, and a slight risk of complication.
Your orthodontist can also recommend orthognathic surgery if you have crooked teeth due to a misaligned jaw. This type of surgery can fix any skeletal deformities to realign your jaw. An orthognathic surgery must be done in a hospital setting and conducted by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. It typically involves surgical plates, screws, and wires.
Factors to Consider when Looking for Orthodontic Services
Malpositioned teeth are an unfortunate situation in your life, and you must look for a way to correct them. In most cases, the success of repositioning your teeth depends on the type of orthodontist services that you pick. Here are factors that you can consider when looking for the right orthodontic services.
Look for a Family Friendly Orthodontist
Dental care is not a matter of an individual but can include a family as well. Therefore, you'd probably look for a person who's good with adults and children. You can also check whether your orthodontist can relate closely to a family since it's the only way to understand everyone's needs.
A family-oriented dentist will ensure that you receive quality services and also focuses on your safety. This type of orthodontist will also call you to find out how you're doing or have any problem.
Look for an Experienced Orthodontist
The best orthodontist is the one that has been in this profession for a longer period. An experienced orthodontist is usually familiar with different complications and knows how best to handle them. They can also know the challenges that a patient is going through and correct the malpositioned teeth.
Experienced orthodontists also have unique skills like knowing how to prevent injuries and easing your discomfort when realigning your teeth. The success of your treatment is all about working with a trustworthy orthodontist, and an experienced professional is best fitted for this expectation.
Find an Orthodontist Who Handles Every Treatment Individually
Every dental problem is unique and requires a different skill set to progress in its treatment. For instance, some people are born with malpositioned teeth, while others are victims of an accident or dental problem. Due to this kind of situation, it's recommendable for an orthodontist to treat each case individually.
Whether an orthodontist is working with a teenager, a child, or an adult, you'll have to ensure that he or she does not take a general approach in his or her treatment plan. Instead, an orthodontist notices the underlying problem through an individualized treatment plan and adopts a customized treatment plan best suited for it.
Find the Best Orthodontic Services Near Me
The success of your orthodontist treatment depends on the type of orthodontist that you pick. Remember, orthodontic treatment will change the way you look and boost your confidence. Therefore, you cannot just choose any services without knowing what they can do. If you are ready to start the process, La Puente Advanced Dentistry is here for you. We proudly offer the best orthodontic services to people needing these services in La Puente, CA, and its neighborhood. Contact us today at 626-626-7075, and let's discuss which treatment option might work best for you.