What is an orthodontic dentistry?

Dental Orthodontics - Invisalign V.S. Damon Braces or Braces

Orthodontics is the specialty of dentistry concerned with the management and treatment of malocclusion and create a good relationship between the teeth and face.

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Types of orthodontics

  1. Dental ceramic braces
  2. Dental metal braces
  3. Self-ligating braces (e.g. Damon system)
  4. Invisalign
  5. Lingual orthodontics
  6. Retainers

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Orthodontic treatment

  1. Patient examination and diagnosis: The orthodontist will assess both facial and intraoral condition. Radiographic examination including Panoramic and Cephalometric views are routinely taken, as well as photographs and impressions.
  2. Scaling and dental check up prior to bonding up braces: This includes extraction of teeth as per the orthodontist’s plan. In some occasions, wisdom teeth will need to be removed before braces are placed.
  3. Bonding up and adjustment of orthodontic braces: Patients are required to see their orthodontists every 4-6 weeks depending on the types of appliances they are wearing,
  4. Retention after active fixed braces: This is a very important phase of treatment which is often ignored by some patients. Teeth can move back to their original position e.g. crowded, spaced or proclaimed. The duration of retention is variable and most retention regimes are fairly arbitrary. Usually the orthodontists require their patients to wear retainers full time for a period of time and then reduce to night time wearing.

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Instructions of orthodontic patients

  1. While you’re wearing braces, you need to think twice about eating food that could increase your risk of cavities. You also should avoid hard, sticky food which can cause damage of orthodontic brackets and thus, add to the overall treatment time.
  2. Discomfort and soreness are normally experienced especially in the first few weeks. These will subside over time. Drinking plenty of water and applying small piece of wax over the sharp spot after drying off the area with tissue will help reduce the irritation.
  3. People undergoing orthodontic treatment need to be more dedicated to good oral hygiene. Orthodontic toothbrushes and interdental brushes are recommended so as to reduce the chance of dental caries and gum inflammation during the treatment.
  4. Keeping appointments is essential as failed appointments increase treatment time and may cause imperfect result.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When abnormal relationship between the upper and lower jaws is detected, early treatment is needed so as to prevent more serious problems from developing. In many patients, early treatment achieves results that are unattainable once the faces and jaws have finished growing.
Crooked teeth, spacing or proclined teeth which effect aesthetics and interfere with eating are signs for orthodontic treatment need. Moreover, some oral habits can cause malocclusion e.g. sucking habits, mouth breathing. Significantly, these habits can influence the developing dental occlusion if they have not been treated.
Treatment time in orthodontic is quite variable depending on the malocclusion, difficulty, patient age and cooperation.
Generally 4-6weeks intervals is required between appointments but it depends on the stage of treatment.
Thorough and careful brushing helps reduce the chance of dental cavities.
Since the braces and wires attract more food, you’ll need to spend more time with cleaning. In general, cleaning after meals is suggested. Also, avoid hard and sticky food that can cause damage to brackets and wires.
Your mouth will usually be sore the first few days after you get braces and for a day or two each time they’re tightened. This varies from patient to patient. If you experience pain that doesn’t diminish, inform your orthodontist as soon as you can