Orthodontics is an area of dentistry concerned with the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of a malocclusion.
By far, the most common reason for a patient to seek orthodontic treatment is aesthetics. Facial appearance is very important to an individual’s self-image, well-being and success in society. There are some patients that seek orthodontic treatment because of functional problems. Orthodontic treatment can be recommended when a patient’s occlusion is detrimental to dental health. The majority of orthodontic patients are children and teenagers. How ever recently more adults are seeking orthodontic treatment.
There are different types of braces that can be used to straighten teeth and correct a malocclusion. These can be badly divided into two groups: removable braces and fixed braces. Removable braces are not suitable for the treatment of complex cases. In such cases, fixed braces are normally used.
The traditional fixed braces, and most widely used, are made of stainless steel. Ceramic braces off a less visible alternative because they blend in more with the natural color of the tooth. Some ceramic bracelets are not as strong as metal and may require longer treatment time.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of straightening teeth using orthodontic treatment?
Correcting the alignment of teeth with traditional orthodontics allows a patient to keep his/her natural teeth without having to remove natural tooth structure. Other alternatives to braces, such as porcelain veneers/crowns, allow you to give the appearance of perfectly straight teeth in a few visits, however with the disadvantage that the teeth will have to be prepared, which means removing tooth structure.
The one drawback to orthodontic care is the length of time it takes to complete treatment. However, there are many new technologies today that make wearing braces less visible.