What Procedures Are Considered Orthodontic?

What Procedures Are Considered Orthodontic?

Jan 01, 2022

When getting oral treatment, it can be challenging to determine the type of physician to go to for specific procedures. While you might visit your regular dentist for procedures like a dental crown, fillings, and other standard procedures, some dental treatments, particularly orthodontic treatments, may require an orthodontist.

When most people hear orthodontists, they think of braces. Yes, this is part of their specialty, but they are trained in several other areas like jaw repositioning and other procedures for teeth alignment.

What Does an Orthodontist Do?

Many people confuse orthodontic work for cosmetic procedures, but they are different. Orthodontists perform efficient work involving improving their patients’ quality by offering preventative solutions to more severe future problems.

Thus, an orthodontist can be defined on two aspects: the condition they treat and the types of procedures they perform. The American Association of Orthodontics defines an orthodontist as a doctor concerned with diagnosing, preventing, intercepting, and treating irregularities in the mouth and face.

Orthodontic procedures include:

  • Overbites
  • Underbites
  • TMJ conditions
  • Open bites
  • Crossbites
  • Overcrowding
  • Gapped teeth
  • Teeth misalignment from thumb sucking

The most common types of orthodontic treatments at Golnick Pediatric Dentistry include:

  • Braces
  • Clear aligners
  • Retainers
  • Palatal expanders
  • Jaw alignment splints

Orthodontic Procedures Step-by-step

The most common orthodontic treatments include:

  • Braces

Braces are the most common type of orthodontic procedures. There are different types of braces, including traditional braces, lingual braces, and more.

Traditional Braces –Also called metal braces, they are largely popular in orthodontic treatment and have been around for the longest period. The system consists of a series of brackets fixated directly to your teeth and attached by wires that pull in teeth to the desired position. Your orthodontist may tighten or loosen the wires as the teeth get into shape with time. Depending on your specific situation, you can wear braces for a few months or years.

Lingual braces – These resemble traditional braces in that they attach to the teeth to correct the alignment. To affix the lingual brace, your orthodontist affixes the brace to the back of the teeth so it’s invisible from the outside. This system has the advantage of fixing teeth misalignment while exempting the wearer from feeling self-conscious about the brace.

  • Invisalign

It’s an efficient technique orthodontists use to fix teeth misalignment and smiles without braces. Instead of issuing metal brackets and wires, you will put a clear plastic aligner tray on the teeth like a retainer. The trays are changed after every two weeks to adjust the shifting change of the teeth. One benefit of these aligners is removing them during meals and when you want to clean your teeth.

However, the most significant advantage of using Invisalign is that the aligners are clear, so no one understands whether you’re wearing them. This eliminates the worry of confidence issues while under treatment, as with brace colors, because your teeth look natural.

  • Retainers

Retainers are removable oral devices recommended after completing the tooth alignment treatment and seek to retain the shape of the teeth. For the bite to remain corrected and to prevent the shifting back of teeth, your orthodontist prescribes a retainer.

Retainers are of different types, and you get one depending on the treatment issues you had and if there are remnant issues. Banded retainers are attached to the back of the teeth, maintaining a correct placement of several teeth, or one can wear the retainer overnight.

  • Orthodontic Headgear

It’s a special elastic rubber band device worn over the head to correct bite problems. Most of the time, elastic headgears are used with braces for the best results on jaw alignment.
They work by pulling the lower jaw back and forth for a better bite and to enhance the speed of healing of other alignments you have.

  • Palatal Expansion

Patients having a smaller upper jaw get a palatal expansion. This procedure aims to widen the upper jaw, which also aligns it with the lower jaw and teeth. This orthodontic procedure mainly benefits children born with underdeveloped jaws, so they need them adjusted. However, adults benefit from this procedure, too, but it is more complex and takes longer.

  • Jaw Surgery

Finally, in orthodontic treatment is jaw surgery. There are several reasons a jaw surgery is recommended, including:

  • Enhance chewing and swallowing
  • Minimize tooth breakdown and wear
  • Correcting under and overbites
  • To achieve an oral or facial symmetry
  • Aid the seamless lips movement
  • Relieving pain caused by jaw issues and surgeries

Note that orthodontists do not perform jaw surgery alone. They work closely with maxillofacial surgeons to determine the best procedure for you.

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