Many people do not know the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist. The confusion is understandable especially because both work on teeth. But it is beneficial to know how to tell the difference between them. When you have a problem with your teeth, jaws or gums, it is important that you schedule an appointment…
When an Orthodontist Should Properly Align My Jaws
You might need to visit an orthodontist if your jaw is not aligned. A misaligned jaw can prevent the upper and lower teeth from meeting comfortably. The two most noticeable types of misalignment are underbites and overbites. An orthodontist can correct this issue. Generally, you will always want to align your jaws if they do not meet.
Problems with misaligned jaws
Jaw misalignment can cause both emotional and physical problems. If the condition is severe enough, it may cause problems when sleeping, eating, speaking and even breathing. When the joint of the jaw cannot function, a patient will often experience chronic pain. When a child has misaligned jaws, the child will often experience teasing. Jaw misalignment can also result in lower self-esteem. The good news is that there are treatment options.
Getting braces from an orthodontist
Braces are a common treatment for both crooked teeth and misaligned jaws. Braces are very useful when it comes to overbites. The braces can bring the upper teeth back into position while moving the lower jaw forward. In this treatment, an orthodontist will place brackets and wires over the teeth. Then the orthodontist will adjust the pressure on each tooth, which can move the teeth into position.
If the jaw misalignment is more severe, braces alone will not achieve results. This is when a patient may wear headgear with the braces. Usually, children get headgear most often. It is more effective when the jaws are still growing.
For an overbite, a patient may wear a retraction headgear to move the upper jaw back. A protraction headgear can move the upper jaw forward. A patient will need to wear the headgear for about 12 to 14 hours every day. This is usually done while the patient is sleeping.
Another type of headgear is the reverse pull face mask. This is worn during the night as well. Patients who have this type of treatment will have metal braces on the back teeth. This will then be attached to a face mask. The goal of this treatment is to gently move the upper jaw back. When braces alone are not enough to correct an overbite, this is usually helpful.
Sometimes, a jaw is severely misaligned. In this case, an orthodontist will recommend surgery. The surgeon may gently break the jaw and move it into place. Screws, plates and wires can all be used to keep the jaw in place during healing. However, this is usually reserved for extremely severe cases where the jaw’s misalignment will cause problems with speaking and eating.
Visit an orthodontist today
If you have a misaligned jaw, it can be difficult to know when to get treatment. However, it is a good idea to visit an orthodontist for a consultation. You can work with your orthodontist to determine which treatment option would be right for you. From braces to headgear to surgery, there are several ways that you can have your misalignment fixed.
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