Orthodontics is a specialty within dentistry that deals with the correction of malpositioned teeth and jaws. Malpositioned teeth and teeth with irregular bite are difficult to keep clean, have the risk of early precipitation due to caries and periodontal diseases, and cause extra tension on chewing related muscles, which can cause headaches, TMJ syndrome and pain in neck, shoulders and back. Additionally, crooked or malpositioned teeth devaluate our look.
Orthodontic treatments have the advantage of providing us with a healthy mouth, a nice-looking smile and teeth with higher changes of lasting a lifetime.
The specialist in this field is known as orthodontist. In addition to the basic four-year-long university studies, an orthodontist has to take part in a two or more year long course of orthodontics specialization endorsed by SEP and UNAM, and also by the school where the course was taken.
How do I know if I need an orthodontic treatment?
Only the dentist or orthodontist can determine whether you need an orthodontic treatment, basing their decision on diagnostic information such as complete clinical and odontologic history, clinical test, plaster mold of your teeth, X-rays and pictures. Based on the finalized diagnostic, the dentist or orthodontist will decide on whether you need an orthodontic treatment and will develop a treatment plan in accordance with your needs.
If you suffer from any of the following complaints, it is possible that you need an orthodontic treatment:
- Overbite: upper anterior teeth crowns cover almost completely lower teeth crowns.
- Underbite: the patient has a ‘bulldog’ look, in other words, the lower teeth protrude past the front teeth.
- Crossbite: when upper teeth do not bite slightly on the outside of lower anterior teeth and bite inside of the lower posterior teeth.
- Open bite: when a space is left open between the anterior teeth because they are unable to make physical contact with the opposing teeth for a proper bite.
- Deviated middle line: when the imaginary line that divides the upper anterior teeth in the center does not align with the line of the lower teeth.
- Gapped teeth: gaps or spacing between teeth as a result of missing pieces or teeth that do not take up all their space.
- Overly crowded: when teeth are too big and cannot fit the room within the jaw.
How does the orthodontic treatment work?
Various types of appliances, fixed and removable, are used to move teeth, retrain muscles and modify the jaws grow. These appliances work by applying pressure on the teeth and the bones. The seriousness of the problem will determine what orthodontic approach will be more effective.