Written by Mojdah M. Akhavan,
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry which is concerned with giving a person a good-looking face, with the jaws in the right place and teeth in the most aesthetic, functional and stable position.
Is orthodontics just "braces"?
No,orthodontics has become much more than "braces" for teeth. The field is now highly concerned with facial form and works closely with orthognathic (jaw) and plastic surgery. About 10-15% of the population have some type of skeletal or dental discrepancy which needs to be addressed. Dental problems can be solved with braces alone. However, often people's teeth are "off" because of a skeletal as well as a dental deviation. The upper teeth may look like they're sticking out because the lower jaw is too small and too far back. In such a case, jaw surgery as well as braces will be needed. A third option is growth modification. If an orthodontist sees a child at a young age, before the growth spurt, and diagnoses a possible skeletal problem, interceptive treatment can sometimes correct the problem using the child's growth potential. Aesthetics Many would like straight teeth without a mouth full of silver. We even have options for the esthetically conscious. Clear Braces are now widely available. They are made of either plastic or crystal and are barely visible in the mouth. Lingual Braces are braces which are placed on the back side of teeth and out of sight, as opposed to the front. Many models and stars choose this option. This type of treatment is usually more expensive, takes longer and is more limited in what it can accomplish, but for some, it's the only way to go. Retainers can also be used to straighten teeth in lieu of braces. They 're handy for milder cases, the advantage being their removability on those "special" occasions.
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