It may sound a bit convoluted, but you’re probably wondering, “What exactly is orthodontics?” It is a specialty that some dentists have so that they can set things right when it comes to your jaws and teeth. Besides being a huge drag on a beautiful smile, there’s a lot of other problems associated with maligned teeth. There’s a greater risk of tooth loss due to decay, teeth can be difficult to keep clean, and all that effort in trying to get the teeth to cooperate with each other nicely can be a source of stress on jaw muscles that results in TMJ syndrome, shoulder, and back pain. Dentists who’ve got the chops for this sort of work are called orthodontists, and they’ve usually received at least two more years of educational background, on top of dentistry school. An orthodontist can provide the treatments you need which will lead to a healthier, more appealing smile lasting a lifetime.
Your friendly dentist or orthodontist will consult with you about the benefits of orthodontic treatments. They will use tools such as: an in-depth physical exam, plaster casts of your teeth, specially-designed X-rays, and a review of your dental history to come up with a treatment plan which works well for you.
You might be a candidate for orthodontic treatment for the following conditions:
- Open bite — a gap forms between the front and/or side teeth when the molars in the back bite down
- Overbite — the upper jaw protrudes past the lower jaw to the point that the upper front teeth “stick out” over the lower teeth
- Misplaced midline— the centerline of the upper and lower teeth is not symmetric with one another
- Underbite — the lower jaw protrudes past the upper jaw, resulting in a “bulldog-like” scowl
- Spacing — missing or abnormally sized teeth which result in unwanted spaces between the teeth
- Crowding — simply too many teeth with nowhere to go; the dental ridge doesn’t have enough space for them to fit properly
- Crossbite — the upper teeth won’t seat slightly ahead of the lower teeth in a normal bite pattern.