At Sapphire Dentistry, our Principal dentist Dr. Paul Hwin has undergone extensive further training in Orthodontics to be able to better serve his patients. Orthodontics is a specialty field of dentistry that deals with misaligned teeth and jaws. The role of the orthodontist is to correct problems with misaligned teeth that would otherwise cause difficulties with chewing, maintaining adequate oral hygiene and speech defects. The added benefits of orthodontics are in the alignment of the teeth which is aesthetically pleasing, however, in general, this type of dentistry is more involved than more simple cosmetic procedures such as Teeth whitening.
The process for determining if you need orthodontic treatment begins with your dental history, a dental exam, a plaster model of your teeth, and x-rays and/or photographs of your teeth. All this information provides the orthodontist with information for determining if you have a condition that requires orthodontic treatment.
Conditions of malocclusion or incorrect alignment of your teeth, arches, and/or the jaws such as an overbite, underbite, cross bite, open bite, misplaced midline, the spacing between the teeth, or overcrowding are good candidates for orthodontic treatment.
There are many different types of treatments available for your orthodontic condition. Orthodontist use fixed and removable orthodontic appliances to help move the teeth and adjust the growth of the jaw as well as the muscles connected to it. These appliances work by applying gentle forces in the desired direction to help align both teeth and jaws. The orthodontist will determine what method to use based on the severity of your condition.
Traditional wire braces are considered a fixed orthodontic appliance. Braces consist of orthodontic bands, brackets, archwire, and wire or elastic ties. Orthodontic bands are used to support the braces and are usually attached to wisdom teeth on each side of the arch. Brackets are then placed on the front side of each tooth. The archwire is then run from the band through each bracket from one side of the arch to the other. Wires or elastic ties are then used to secure the archwire to the bracket. The wires are then tightened to apply force onto the teeth to move them gradually in the desired direction and are typically adjusted monthly. Today, traditional wire braces come in a variety of metals, colors, and transparencies. Read more on our Braces page.
An example of a removable orthodontic appliance would be an aligner. The biggest difference between a traditional wire brace and a clear aligner would be the visibility of the appliance. Clear aligners are nearly invisible and so helps with confidence for the wearer as the aesthetics are far improved over traditional wire braces. Another difference from an aligner and the traditional wire braces is the method which it uses to correct the alignment of the teeth. Where a traditional wire brace would apply force to the entire tooth loosening it, allowing it to move, a clear aligner rotates and tilts the teeth into position. Read more regarding clear aligners on our Invisalign page.
Getting traditional wire braces is usually thought of as something that you get in your youth because your teeth are still growing. Getting braces at that time makes a lot of sense. However, braces are not just for children. Adults should consider getting braces as well. Your teeth do not stop moving as you get older, even if they are healthy. This means you can still experience misalignment in your teeth as you age. Other good reasons for getting braces as an adult is that it has never been more affordable, braces less visible, and you can still improve your oral and general health by getting braces.
So contact our friendly and caring team at Sapphire Dentistry today on 03 9842 2677 or book on our website and we can consult you on what maybe the best treatments for you.