What is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry that focuses on diagnosing, correcting, and preventing malocclusion. Malocclusion is a condition affecting the positioning of the teeth, causing misalignment, crooked teeth, wide gaps, and overcrowding.
Misaligned teeth can cause a variety of more serious conditions if left untreated, such as tooth decay, periodontal disease, and headaches and jaw pain due to the extra stress put on the joints due to an improper bite.
What Conditions Can Dentist Treat?
Dentist can treat any condition falling under the malocclusion umbrella. This includes:
- Spacing between teeth
- Overcrowding of teeth
- Wide gaps
- Open bite
- Misaligned midline
- Crooked teeth
Common Orthodontic Treatments
Orthodontic treatments take two main forms, fixed appliances, and removable appliances.
Fixed appliances include braces, fixed space maintainers, and special fixed appliances. Braces are the most common of the fixed appliances, and have been a trusted method for fixing a multitude of orthodontic woes for decades.
Removable appliances refer to aligners, such as the popular Invisalign, removable space maintainers, lip and cheek bumpers, jaw repositioning appliances, removable retainers, palatal expanders, and headgear.
An experienced dentist can help you select the best treatment for your individual needs based on a variety of criteria.