When you think of orthodontic treatments, you likely think about braces and straightening teeth. Although it is true that orthodontic treatments are typically designed to straighten the teeth, they can be used for other purposes as well.
Orthodontic treatments are used to close gaps in the teeth. In some cases, the teeth may have gaps between them or may be crowded in some places and widely spaced in others. Orthodontic treatments can be used to even the spacing between the teeth, creating the appearance of a more even smile.
These treatments are also used to correct overcrowded teeth. In some situations, the teeth are spaced too closely together and the teeth may grow in unusual places, such as directly behind other teeth. This severe problem can only be corrected by an orthodontic treatment. In some cases, when the jaw is too small for the size or number of teeth, some teeth may need to be extracted to bring them into alignment.
Some orthodontic treatments are used to correct the bite problems, also referred to as malocclusions. There are four general types of problems with the bite: overbite, in which the top teeth come over the bottom teeth; an underbite, in which the bottom teeth come over the top teeth; an open bite, when the upper and lower front teeth do not meet when the patient bites down, and a crossbite, when the front teeth are aligned considerably inside or outside the lower teeth. When the bite is not aligned correctly, the individual may have problems speaking or eating, their teeth may wear down prematurely or become chipped or broken, or the patient may also experience pain in the jaw. Orthodontic treatments can be used to bring the bite into alignment, eliminating these issues.
Orthodontic treatments can consist of a variety of methods, such as using braces and Invisalign aligners. There are different types of braces but they all work in a similar way. Braces use a system of brackets that are attached to the teeth and wires that gently pull the teeth into position. Invisalign aligners, on the other hand, use a series of clear plastic trays instead of brackets and wires. Like braces, these aligners also pull the teeth into position.
The type of orthodontic treatment that is best for your needs depends on the type of orthodontic problem you have as well as other factors. To find out how orthodontic treatments may help you, call your orthodontist. He or she will be glad to examine your teeth and bite and create a customized treatment plan just for you.
Our orthodontist in Rocklin can provide you with more information about orthodontic treatments.