An effective long-term solution to straightening your teeth and correcting your bite is orthodontics. Orthodontics is a subspecialty area in dentistry that focuses on aligning and straightening teeth using wires and brackets that apply force to the teeth to move them into a particular position. The discipline has advanced over decades and today treatment is a lot shorter and more comfortable than it was in the past.
Patients who have problems with their bite and the way their top and bottom teeth line up against each other should consider having orthodontic treatment. Treatment does require good oral hygiene habits by the patient and regular visits to the practice for check-ups and adjustments. Depending on the extent of the alignment required with your teeth, treatment can take from several months to a year with reliable results. Thanks to fixed permanent retention you can be assured that your teeth won't move after treatment is completed.
The main benefit of having orthodontic treatment is that straighter teeth are healthier teeth. When your bite is properly aligned and your teeth are straightened, there are less gaps and areas for food to get trapped and plaque to build up on the teeth, causing decay. In that sense, orthodontics is a long-term investment in your oral health.
When you come to Smilemakers for orthodontics, you are about to start a process that involves not only your teeth but the jawbone, the sockets and the fleshy ligaments that hold the teeth in their sockets.
It takes gentle, sustained pressure to move teeth and this is provided by the braces or aligners that the cosmetic dentist recommends for you. The device applies pressure in the direction that each tooth needs to move.
It takes about 72 hours for the jawbone to start responding. It works to relieve the pressure by resorbing bone material in front of the direction of pressure, and simultaneously rebuilding it behind the area of pressure. This dual process ensures that the tooth never becomes loose in its socket.
The process is gradual, but tends to occur more quickly in younger people, as does all healing.
If the pressure from your braces, or more likely, your removable aligners, is stopped for more than a few hours, the bone remodelling process also stops. It then takes another 72 hours for it to kick in again. This is why it is really important to keep aligners in for at least 20 hours a day.
Straightening does tend to slow up as you age, but orthodontics can still do a great job of straightening teeth that may have drifted out of position after the loss of neighbouring teeth.
If you are getting dental implants or partial dentures, you may need to wear braces for a while to put your remaining teeth back where they should be and make enough space for your replacement teeth.
Once you have completed treatment and taken your braces or aligners off, your teeth can be liable to drift back out of alignment. This is because the bone has not yet properly hardened and also because the ligaments holding the teeth in the sockets have been stretched.
At Smilemakers, we use retainers to keep the teeth in position once they have reached alignment. The retainers we use are small strips of metal that are bonded to the back of the teeth to hold them in position.Click here to visit Smilemakers dedicated Cosmetic Dentistry and Orthodontics Website