Orthodontia is a dental specialty dealing with the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of oral-facial deviations, bad teeth arrangement, and incorrect proportion of dental arches and jaws. Bad teeth arrangement and problems with the bite impede the maintenance of oral hygiene causing gum inflammation and caries.
It is recommended that every child visit an orthodontist for the first time before the age of 7. Many orthodontic problems may be treated much more easily by utilizing natural growth. This allows rectification of problems whose resolution would be much more complicated once facial development is completed.
However, adults are also perfect candidates for orthodontic treatment. The biological process of teeth movement is the same in children and adults. If you have always wanted a more beautiful smile, or if you have problems with your bite affecting your health, orthodontic treatment is the right choice for you.
Orthodontic treatment is not just about proper teeth arrangement, but it may also control and modify the growth of facial bones (upper and lower jaws). In this case, orthodontics is more correctly described as “orofacial orthopaedics” since it is not focused only on the teeth, but also on the overall facial harmony.
Orthodontic treatment can be carried out by either detachable (plastic or transparent splints), or fixed devices (braces).
Detachable devices are used mostly (but not only) in mixed dentition for teeth arrangement in both jaws as well as for correction of the relationship between the jaws and the bite. They are made of plastic, and can be in different colours depending on the patient’s wish.
They are easy to wear and clean, and allow maintaining good oral hygiene.
Transparent detachable splints are unnoticeable which is why they are preferred by patients. The German system ОrthoCaps is the newest aesthetic system for teeth straightening.
Orthocaps uses 3-D technology through which teeth with bad arrangement are virtually shifted, and the complete course of treatment can be executed. According to this plan, a series of transparent splints (aligners) are produced, which are unique for every single case. Every splint is worn for about 3 weeks, and is then replaced with another. Thus, the teeth move gradually to their desired final position. OrthoCaps is not applicable for all orthodontic cases. That is why imprints should be taken, and orthodontic analysis should be made. Treatment duration is comparable to that of traditional braces. It varies depending on the case but in most cases the desired result is visible in less than a year. These splints (aligners) are detachable which facilitates eating and the maintenance of personal oral hygiene, which makes them not only aesthetic and almost invisible, but also very hygienic.
The fixed devices in orthodontics are the braces. They are used for treatment of many orthodontic problems and have a number of advantages in comparison to the detachable orthodontic devices. Depending on the type and degree of the orthodontic problem this treatment may continue between 1,5 and 3 years. The placement of braces is a fast but delicate, precise and fairly specialized dental manipulation. It requires preliminary analysis by imprints (moulded to replicate the teeth in the month), x-ray photographs (orthopantomography and telerentgenography), and choosing an appropriate system of dental braces for every individual case. The placement of braces itself is the final phase of the already planned treatment.
Before the start of an orthodontic treatment the oral cavity should be sanitized. That includes treatment of cavities, gums inflammation, and any factors that may compromise oral health and orthodontic procedures. All patients (regardless of the treatment) are instructed and trained to maintain strict oral hygiene with brushes and other means that are appropriate for this purpose. It is the patient’s responsibility to follow the instructions for oral hygiene during the course of the treatment as well as to observe the deadlines for maintenance therapy of the gums, including professional cleanings and check-ups before every visit to the orthodontist.
Once the orthodontic treatment has been completed, it is obligatory to place devices to preserve the results, and to check up regularly. For common orthodontic treatment of healthy patients with periodontic diseases, this period is between 2 and 4 years. We use different types of passive, detachable, or fixed devices such as fixed retainers, more often on the lower front teeth. They are invisible because they are made for the inner part of the teeth, and allow maintenance of good oral hygiene.Vacuum retainers are transparent thin plates which are placed on the teeth. They are detachable and at first they have to be worn 20 hours a day. Subsequently, they may be worn only at night.