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Orthodontics – Need | Diagnosis | Procedure

Orthodontic treatment transforms teeth and jaws that are positioned improperly. Crooked teeth and misaligned are harder to keep clean, are at risk of being lost early due to tooth decay and periodontal disease. This also affects one’s appearance and causes extra stress on the chewing muscles that can lead to headaches, TMJ syndrome, and neck, shoulder, and back pain. The orthodontic treatment includes a healthier mouth, a more pleasing appearance, and better longevity of teeth for a lifetime. This treatment can be cosmetic, to improve a person’s appearance, but it often aims to improve oral function, too. Braces and other tools are used to straighten or correct the imperfect teeth.

An orthodontist can carry out this treatment to achieve the following:

  • Closing the extensive gap between the teeth
  • Arranging the tips of the teeth
  • Correcting crooked teeth
  • Reforming speech or chewing ability
  • Improving the long-term health of gums and teeth
  • Preventing long-lasting excessive wear or trauma of the teeth
  • Transforming an improper bite
  • Improving the appearance of the teeth
  • Protect teeth from damage or decay

Diagnosis By An Orthodontist

The orthodontist will examine the condition of the patient’s teeth and assess how they are likely to develop without treatment.

The assessment may involve:

  • Taking a full medical and oral health history
  • Carrying out a proper clinical examination
  • Taking x-rays of the teeth and jaw
  • creating plaster models of the teeth

Then, the orthodontist will decide on a treatment plan. And orthodontic devices can be fixed or removable.

  • Fixed appliances – These are the most frequently used devices used in orthodontics. They are used when precision is the priority. A person can generally eat with fixed appliances. Still, some foods and drinks need to be avoided, such as carbonated drinks, hard candy, gum, and other sticky foods for better results. The sportspersons need to tell their orthodontist, as they may need special gum shields.
  • Braces – These composed of brackets, wires, and bands. Bands are attached firmly around the teeth and serve as anchors for the appliance. At the same time, brackets are usually attached to the front of the teeth. The arch-shaped wires in the shape of an arch pass through the brackets and are positioned to the bands. As the archwire is adequately tightened, tension is applied to the teeth. With time, this moves them into proper position. Follow-up involves monthly visits to adjust the braces. 
  • Fixed-space maintainers – If a child loses his/her baby tooth, a space maintainer is used to stop the two teeth at either side of the spaces from its movement. A band is attached to one of the teeth next to space, and a wire goes from the band to the other tooth.
  • Removable space maintainers – These are the substitutes for the fixed-space maintainers. 
  • Special fixed appliances – These help to control tongue thrusting or thumb sucking. They may be uncomfortable, especially at the time of eating, and so they are only used if necessary.
  • Removable orthodontic appliances – These may be used to treat minor problems, such as preventing thumb sucking or correcting slightly crooked teeth. The device needs to be taken out only when cleaning, eating food, or flossing. Sometimes, the orthodontist may suggest the patient remove them during certain activities, such as playing a wind instrument or cycling.
  • Aligners – This is a substitute to braces and may be useful for adults. They are virtually not noticeable by other people, and they can be taken out to brush the teeth, floss, or eat. An aligner is used for 2-3 weeks, then transformed for a tighter one.
  • Headgear – It slows down the upper jaw growth, and keeping the back teeth in position while the front ones are pulled back. Here a strap around the back of the head is attached to a metal wire in the front or face bow. 
  • Lip and cheek bumpers – This is specially made to release the pressure of cheeks or lips on the patient’s teeth.
  • Palatal expander – This is designed to widen the arch of the upper jaw. It is made up of a plastic plate with screws that are attached to the palate or roof of the mouth. The screws pressurize the joints in the bones, forcing them outward. This increases the size of the area in the roof of the mouth.
  • Retainers – These are used post-treatment to stop the teeth from moving back to their previous original positions. If rectified, they may also be used to prevent children from sucking their thumbs.

Good oral hygiene is very much needed before any orthodontic work begins. When devices are put on the teeth, food particles are more likely to become stuck inside. The patient needs to brush much more carefully and more often to prevent tooth decay during the treatment. The orthodontist may also advise avoiding fizzy drinks, sugary snacks, and other food items that can lead to tooth decay. And before going for this treatment, one needs to get a better dental professional to carry out the procedure. A specialist who deals with orthodontics is called an orthodontist. Orthodontists receive two or more years of specialized education beyond their four years in dental school in an ADA-approved orthodontic training program. An orthodontist specializes in making the misaligned teeth straight. If you are interested in learning more about the procedure, please reach us at our office to get the best orthodontist for you today!

At Dr. Mohamed Ali’s office, San Francisco, he will thoroughly assess your mouth before recommending orthodontics for you, considering your dental issues. If required, he might suggest some alternatives which are best suited for your needs. The billing experts will inspect your insurance benefits and will offer you a complete treatment plan with all the necessary arrangements. Every major dental and medical PPO insurance plans are accepted, including Medicare. There is also an in-office Plan for Health for those who don’t have any insurance. Also, we have partnered with various financial institutions like The Lending Club, Care Credit, Healthcare Finance Solutions to make your treatment extremely affordable. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. So sit, relax, and get sparkling white teeth. Call us today to schedule your consultation. You can reach us at 415.391.7751.

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