4 Common Types of Orthodontic Treatments

Orthodontics Albuquerque, NM

Orthodontic treatment is needed when a person’s teeth are not aligned as they should be. The misalignment could be at the dental level, or it could be caused by imperfections in the jaw.

The result is a bad bite, which is also known as a malocclusion. It makes the teeth crooked and makes it difficult to clean the teeth. In extreme cases, a bad bite can cause jaw pain, breathing problems and speech impediments.

That is why correcting misaligned teeth and jaws is so important. A dentist that finds their patient has a malocclusion might call in an orthodontist for the most severe cases. For most patients, a family dentist can administer the treatment the patient needs.

What orthodontics is used for

There are many problems that are corrected with the use of orthodontics. The most common are:

  • Overbites
  • Underbites
  • Crossbites
  • Crowded teeth
  • Gapped teeth

With the help of an orthodontic professional, these types of malocclusions can be corrected with orthodontic appliances like:

1. Braces and aligners

These are orthodontic appliances used to correct dental malocclusions such as crowded teeth, gapped teeth and dental overbites. Braces are made up of metal or porcelain brackets connected with wires.

Each crooked tooth gets its own bracket that applies pressure to it. The brackets are connected by a metal wire, which also serves to increase or decrease the pressure that the brackets apply to the teeth.

In principle, aligners like Invisalign work just like braces, only instead of metal brackets, the teeth are adjusted with custom teeth trays.

2. Palatal expander (jaw expander)

Sometimes, the upper teeth crowd together because they rest on a narrow upper jaw. To correct the shape of the jaw, an orthodontic professional will widen it by fitting a patient with a jaw expander.

A jaw expander works by stretching the cartilage and jawbone in the upper palate. This, in turn, makes the dental arch wider, creating more space for the teeth. Palatal expanders are held in place by fixing them onto the molars with metal rings.

They come with built-in expansion screws that are used to apply outward pressure to the jawbone and cartilage of the upper mouth. Over the course of many months, the dentist will use the expansion screws to gradually increase the width of the device. The patient will begin to notice their jaw expanding, and the teeth will start to pull away from each other.

When used in concert with dental braces, jaw expanders correct overbites caused by crowded teeth. It is worth noting that they work best on young children whose bones are still forming.

3. Herbst Appliances

These orthodontic devices are used to treat severe skeletal overbites. The Herbst Appliance works by pulling the lower jaw forward while pulling the upper molars back. All bad bites caused by deformed or misaligned jawbones should be treated at a young age, and that is why the Herbst Appliance works best for patients aged 12 to 15 years old.

4. Retainers

These are fixed or removable devices that are used to complete an orthodontic treatment plan. Retainers hold newly aligned teeth in their correct positions in order to stop the teeth from moving back to their old, undesirable alignment.

At the end of a patient’s treatment, an orthodontic professional will make a custom retainer. If the patient uses the retainer exactly as they are directed to, then they will keep their teeth straight and beautiful.

Do not settle for living with a bad bite

Misaligned teeth and jaws can be treated. All you need is the help of an orthodontic professional and a little patience. If you want a smile with perfectly arranged teeth, talk to one of our dentists and start your treatment.

Request an appointment here: https://familychoicedentistry.com or call Family Choice Dental at (505) 634-5657 for an appointment in our Albuquerque office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Orthodontics.

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