Clyde Munro Orthodontics
Orthodontics is the area of dentistry that focuses on the alignment of crooked or wonky teeth and/or improperly positioned jaws in order to improve a patient’s oral health and, of course, smile. Treatment is carried out through the use of either removable or fixed dental appliances (often referred to as braces), in order to straighten teeth and/or correct irregular bite, and prevent these problems from re-occurring. The end result is perfectly aligned teeth with no unsightly gaps or bite issues, giving you more reasons to smile!
It is often the case that people with improperly aligned teeth will refrain from smiling and showing their teeth, due to a lack of confidence in their appearance. In some cases, this can have an emotional impact that then affects their self-confidence causing negative social and career implications.
The health considerations of straight teeth
When it comes to wonky teeth, most people focus on the aesthetic impact, but did you know that there are also health implications to consider, too? Crooked teeth are harder to keep clean leaving them at a significant risk of being lost early due to periodontal (gum) disease or tooth decay. Gum disease has been associated with numerous health problems, such as the risk of heart attack, diabetes, stroke, respiratory disease, digestive disorders, low preterm birth weights, and stress on the immune system.
Added to that, teeth that do not fit together properly put an extra strain on the chewing muscles, which can be the cause of headaches, back/shoulder/neck pain, and temporomandibular joint syndrome (TJS), which is pain in the jaw joint.
Orthodontic treatments can help to achieve a more pleasing appearance, a healthier mouth, and teeth that can last significantly longer; with the proper care, of course.
Do you need orthodontics?
Orthodontics is usually the right path to walk if you have:
Bite issues – These include:
- Overbite: Where the upper front teeth protrude over the lower ones
- Underbite: Where the upper front teeth are too far back while the upper ones are too far forward
- Crossbite: Where the upper teeth do not come down in front of the lower ones (just slightly) when you bite
- Open bite: Where there is a gap between the lower and upper teeth when you bite.
- Spacing – Whether you have too much space due to missing teeth or gaps between the teeth, or you have overcrowding, this can cause alignment problems
- Midline misalignment – This is when the centre of the lower front teeth does not line up with the centre of the upper front teeth.
Your orthodontist/dentist will determine whether your case can benefit from orthodontic treatment. They will carefully go through your medical and dental history and use a variety of diagnostic tools before they reach a decision, then they will develop an individualised treatment plan for your precise needs.
Orthodontic treatment options
- Invisalign (clear braces) – A a set of clear, custom-made, removable, plastic aligners that work like traditional braces, but are considerably less noticeable, offering a huge aesthetic advantage
- Fixed braces – These are attached to the teeth, cannot be removed, and can help correct severe problems. The most common ones are the metal (silver) braces, although there also more discreet ceramic (white) braces, too
- Short-term orthodontics – This treatment option can give adults with misaligned teeth an aesthetically pleasing smile in around six months by focusing only on the front teeth