An increasing number of Americans are opting for teeth straightening to provide a healthy, beautiful smile. Leaving misaligned teeth untreated can lead to other dental problems like tooth decay, gum disease, and difficulty chewing. Orthodontic treatment is beneficial because it can make teeth fit better and create a better bite. It can also reduce the…
Ask an Orthodontist — How Can a Braces Specialist Address Complex Issues?
Wearing braces can help support good oral health by shifting teeth into their proper position. When teeth are crooked or misaligned, chewing and speaking may become difficult, especially in the case of children and teenagers. An orthodontic specialist can examine and resolve these issues, as well as other complex problems that may arise in patients.
Orthodontists can diagnose oral abnormalities
Dentists are adept at giving oral checkups, treating gum problems and providing teeth cleaning. Orthodontists have additional skills and training that allow them to discover and diagnose different oral problems as well:
- Unusual jaw growth
- Overbites and underbites
- Improper occlusion
Patients with these conditions who want options for fixing them are often recommended to see an orthodontist who specializes in treating difficult issues. Some tooth problems are more common than others, but orthodontists have the knowledge and equipment to deal with those that require more than just improved brushing and flossing.
Impacted wisdom teeth
Most people’s wisdom teeth grow in when they are teens or young adults. Sometimes these rear molars come in with no problems, but in some cases, they push other teeth out of alignment or grow in crooked. An orthodontist can remove these teeth if they appear misaligned or show significant decay. Once the teeth are removed, an orthodontist may recommend braces to move healthy teeth back into place.
Some oral problems stem from improper jaw placement, which can cause overbites and underbites. These types of misalignment can cause severe jaw pain and affect appearance as well. Patients with this type of issue may consider corrective surgery, especially if the ability to speak or eat is being affected. Additional treatment may be necessary afterward to resolve any issues with teeth that were impacted or shifted during surgery.
Sometimes, when children’s teeth come in, they grow so quickly that they crowd the mouth and cause some to develop crooked or affect the spacing. When this happens, gaps may form between the front teeth or they may be pushed outward and result in buck teeth. Orthodontists facing this challenge may recommend several options, including extracting problem teeth or using an aligner to move crowded teeth into the proper position and to close gaps.
Alignment tools such as headgear can provide a solution for tooth alignment in kids whose jaw and facial bones are still growing. Much of the appliance is worn outside of the mouth and held in place with a neck strap that allows users to wear them without too much discomfort. Headgear can allow orthodontists to help young children with crooked teeth without having to resort to surgery or other invasive or painful techniques.
Whether it is fitting patients for braces, straightening teeth or relieving wisdom teeth pain, orthodontists face a variety of daily treatment challenges. Technology and specialized training can allow them to rebuild smiles in patients from every walk of life and ensure their oral health for a lifetime.
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