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Orthodontics - Treatment, Procedure And Side Effects

What is the treatment?

Dentistry has many branches, one of them is orthodontics. It corrects improperly positioned teeth and jaws and treats an abnormal bite. Teeth that are not fitted together and crooked teeth cause several problems. It is harder to keep clean and always has the risk of tooth decay and periodontal disease. Improperly positioned and crooked teeth cause extra stress on the chewing muscles leading to other issues like a headache, neck and shoulder pain. The appearance of a person gets hampered because of a crooked tooth or for teeth that are not in the right place. Orthodontics helps in having a healthier mouth, a better and pleasing appearance and teeth that would last a lifetime. Orthodontic treatment is based on certain diagnostic tools like special X-rays and pictures of your teeth. Orthodontics includes the treatment of various aspects of facial growth (dentofacial orthopedics) along with the development and shape of the jaw, as well. Previously, orthodontics was known as orthodontia. The term ‘orthodontia’ comes from the Greek word ‘orthos’ that means ‘straight, proper or perfect’ and the word ‘dontos’ means ‘teeth’. Orthodontics treatment helps in straightening crooked teeth, closes wide gaps between two teeth, improves oral functions and prevents excessive wearing out of the teeth.

How is the treatment done?

Many varieties of appliances are used for orthodontic treatment. They can be either fixed or removable. The devices help in removing and positioning of the teeth, favorable they affect the jaw and restrain facial and chewing muscles. A gentle pressure on the teeth and jaw would help set the appliances.

Removable Appliances:

  • Aligners: An invisible alternative to the traditional braces and can be removed while eating or brushing and flossing.
  • Lip and cheek bumpers: The bumpers relieve the pressure that lips and cheeks exert on the teeth.
  • Removable retainers: Being placed on the roof of the mouth, these prevent in allowing the teeth to shift in its previous improper position.
  • Splints: It is also known as jaw repositioning appliances and trains the jaw to close favorable position.

Fixed appliances:

  • Braces: The most common fixed tool is the brace. It consists of bands, wires, and brackets. Bands are set around the teeth while the brackets are used to bond to the front of the teeth. The arch wires are passed through the brackets and attached to the bands. The procedure tightens the wires and puts pressure on the teeth, forcing them to move to their proper position. Braces are adjusted monthly, and they come in colors for kids and bright styles for adults.
  • Fixed space maintainers: It is used to keep the area where the baby tooth is prematurely lost until a new tooth grows.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Persons with the following conditions can opt for the treatment.

  • Overbite: If the upper front teeth stick out over the lower teeth.
  • Underbite: If the lower teeth are too far forward or the upper teeth too far back.
  • Open bite: If there is a space between the biting surfaces of the front or side teeth when the back teeth bite together.
  • Crossbite: The upper teeth do not come down slightly in front of the lower teeth when biting together.
  • Crowding: When there are far too many teeth crowding your mouth.
  • Spacing: Sometimes a missing tooth leaves a space between the teeth.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

People who do not have improperly positioned teeth or even if they do, it does not, however, affect their appearance. If a crooked tooth does not affect the oral functions, one need not undergo this treatment. Moreover, this treatment is not necessary when a person has grown and developed a better jaw naturally.

Are there any side effects?

Orthodontic treatment is used mainly to position the crooked tooth. However, this treatment has a few adverse effects. They can be inside or outside the mouth or systematic side-effects.

Intra-oral or inside the mouth: Tooth decay is the most common if the patient is not careful about the oral hygiene or if the treatment goes on for a length of time. Decalcification can occur on the tooth after the treatment leading to small white lesions. People wearing braces are more prone to decalcification.

Extra-oral or outside the mouth: It is uncommon but it includes infection from the metal nickel from the brace, or the patient might be allergic to latex, the material used in the gloves of the operator. Temporomandibular dysfunction may also occur.

Systematic side effects: There is a rare chance of having a cross infection if the instruments used in the treatment are not sterilized properly.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

After the orthodontic treatment is over, all crown surfaces are positioned, and dental bleaching is to be done next. It is because all teeth do not have the same color, particularly when the braces come off. Especially the enamel does not have the same volume or mineralization for all its elements. There might be resin fragments adhered to the coating. After the treatment, some oral adjustments need to be done.

How long does it take to recover?

The length of time required for the recovery depends on the continuity of the treatment. A regular follow-up would take a few months to recover, while a delay can lead to years of treatment with no proper outcome.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The main cost of this treatment is that of the appliances used. The cost ranges from Rs. 5000 to almost Rs.50000 if you prefer invisible braces. In some dental clinics, the rates may be higher, ranging from Rs.90000 to approximately Rs.2 lakhs. Add on to it, the fees of the orthodontics which again varies from one to another.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The procedure is efficient, and the end results are always good and lasting. If an orthodontist diagnoses the problem correctly, the results are stable. Orthodontics is a way to ensure long-term stability of the teeth.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Transalveolar transplantation of maxillary canines is an alternative to orthodontics. Fixed orthodontic appliances were used for fixation after which transplanted teeth were firmly affixed in the new position.

Safety: Medium Effectiveness: Medium Timeliness: High Relative Risk: Medium Side Effects: Medium Recovery Time: High Price Range: RS. 5000 - Rs. 2,00,000

Popular Health Tips

Oral Health

Dr. Mithunesh Sayasikamal 90% (1346 ratings)
Dentist, Betul
Oral Health
Patients who have a history of gum diseases should also consult their periodontist while undergoing orthodontic treatment.
2 people found this helpful

Health Tip

Dentist, Ludhiana
Health Tip
If you are constantly engaged in sports related activities, always wear a mouthguard to protect your mouth and orthodontic appliances while the treatment is going on.
1 person found this helpful

Fixed Orthodontics

Dr. A. K. Verma 92% (807 ratings)
Bachelor of Dental Surgery
Dentist, Allahabad
Fixed Orthodontics
Fixed orthodontic treatment become compulsory in case of:- 1)- Maxillary mandibular prognathism 2)-Space in anterior teeth 3)- When patient age is greater than 14 years. 4)- Crowding in maxillary or mandibular or both arch 5)- Edge to edge occlusion of anterior teeth. Fix orthodontic treatment is carried out by braces. Fixed orthodontic treatment is a long time treatment. Which take 1.5 to 2 years in completion of the treatment. During fixed orthodontic treatment oral hygiene maintenance is compulsory. Bad oral hygiene during fixed orthodontic treatment can cause dental caries or pyorrhea or gingivitis.

Sports Related Activities

Dr. Darshan Parikh 92% (702 ratings)
BDS, Basic Life Support (B.L.S)
Dentist, Pune
Sports Related Activities
If you are constantly engaged in sports related activities, always wear a mouthguard to protect your mouth and orthodontic appliances while the treatment is going on.

Orthodontics, the Magic Behind a Beautiful Smile

Dr. Srinivas Nalla 90% (53 ratings)
MDS - Orthodontics, BDS
Dentist, Hyderabad
Orthodontics, the Magic Behind a Beautiful Smile
You can change your smile through the Magic of Orthodontics, the original smile-maker technique. Orthodontics is a sub-specialty of dentistry that is devoted to the study and treatment of malocclusions (improper bites). And there really is a certain magic in the way that teeth actually can be moved through bone into new positions. While most people seek it out for purely cosmetic reasons, orthodontics improves your biting function and oral health which in turn improves esthetics.

Popular Questions & Answers

Can I do facial yoga exercises like blowing balloons while undergoing orthodontic treatment that is while wearing braces? I clench a little as well.

Dr. Anshumali Srivastava 91% (981 ratings)
Dentist, Gorakhpur
You can do yoga to relieve stress. Clenching is damaging not only teeth but also TMJ (jaw joint) in long term. You can divert it by slow down it by always having something in your mouth like sugar free chewing gums. Whenever you clench try to chew on so that clenching urge can be diverted. Drink plenty of water to relax your body and mind. If this is not helping there are other things you can do at home. You can consult me personally if needed. THANK YOU.
1 person found this helpful

I had orthodontic treatment which completed in jan 2015. My upper fixed retainer broke 2-3 weeks back. I also have removable retainers which I wear sometimes. Should I fix the fixed retainer or teeth is now fixed n no need to worry?

Dr. Raveena Patel 91% (169 ratings)
Dentist, Bangalore
Adviced to get your fixed retainer repaird and fix back there is always a change of relapse of your treatment if you don't wear your retainer.

I am a complicated case of deep bite, nw my gums startED showing recession, have taken orthodontics treatment twice bt both d tym it failed need help.

Dr. Maj Ankit 89% (417 ratings)
BDS, MDS - Orthodontics
Dentist, Gurgaon
Anterior bite plane cemented to molars for minimum 4-6 months will help open the bite. Prosthodontic treatment with crowns will need RCT of all lower posteriors. Not advisable at your age.

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