The branch of dentistry that corrects tooth and jaw positioning is orthodontics. Proper tooth spacing and position, as well as jaw alignment is important not only to the appearance and attractiveness of your smile, but also to the health of your teeth.
Mal-positioned teeth that are crooked, overlapping, or crowded can be difficult to brush and floss properly and can be at great risk of cavities, while jaws that do not align correctly can cause problems like tooth grinding, TMJ disorders, and can even alter the shape of your face.
Do I Need Orthodontic Work?
If you have have an overbite giving you the appearance of being “buck-toothed”, an underbite pushing your lower teeth farther out than your upper teeth, if your teeth to not come together in the front, leaving an open gap into your mouth when your jaw is closed, or another incorrect alignment of your jaw, you should schedule an appointment with your Glendale cosmetic dentist to discuss whether you need orthodontic treatment for your teeth. Similarly, if you have teeth that overlap, are crooked, are so close they are difficult to floss between, or alternately have large gaps and spaces between them, you should speak with a dentist to see if Glendale braces are the best option for you.
What Treatments Are Available?
Orthodontics in Glendale usually involve using an appliance to guide your teeth or jaw to a new position, or to change the growth pattern of growing children or adolescents. These appliances may be fixed devices that are bonded to your teeth and cannot be removed except by your Glendale dentist at your appointment, or there are removeable options that can be taken out while you clean your teeth or eat. Speak to an Arizona cosmetic dentist about what options would be best to adjust your teeth.
The most well-known orthodontic appliance are traditional metal braces in Arrowhead that are attached to the teeth and used to move them into the proper positions. There are new braces options available that may be less visible such as Inspire’s clear brackets, or the entirely removable aligner trays used by Invisalign and ClearCorrect treatment systems.
Other orthodontic treatments in Glendale can include:
- external headgear for jaw positioning adjustment
- fixed or removable retainers to prevent teeth from moving out of their newly adjusted locations
- palatal expanders used to widen the arch of the jaw
- and other devices
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A crossbite is an orthodontic disorder in which the top teeth rest on the inner side of the lower teeth instead of resting slightly outwards. Crossbites are more common with teeth located at the sides. Crossbites should be treated early while the jawbones are still expanding. These bones fuse at around 16 years for girls and 19 years for boys. Problems caused by crossbites include gum disease, bone loss, difficulty in chewing, jaws losing symmetry, etc. If a single tooth is affected by crossbite, the dentist treats it with Glendale braces. For multiple teeth, jaw expanders are used to reduce crowding between teeth.
An open bite is a condition in which the top front teeth do not come in contact with their opposite teeth. When a person affected by this condition closes his mouth to bite, it is possible to see inside his mouth because the upper and lower front teeth do not meet. Genetics, thumb-sucking, and lisping can cause an open bite. Treatment for open bite involves surgery on the upper jaw. The patient is made to wear braces for a few months before the surgery. Typically, treatment for open bite can take between one-and-half to two years.
Overbite is a common orthodontic condition also known as buck teeth. In this condition the top teeth overlap the lower teeth. Genetics and actions such as thumb-sucking and pencil-chewing can lead to overbite in children. When children repeatedly thrust their tongue against the back of the top teeth while swallowing, it pushes the teeth out. Children affected by overbite can hurt their protruding front teeth easily. The lower teeth may hit the root of the upper teeth when chewing. Till the age of nine children should be treated with a functional appliance that helps the lower jaw to develop properly. After this, the child should wear Arrowhead braces till the lower teeth come together and the upper teeth are pushed up.
Overjet is a condition in which the upper front teeth protrude too far ahead of the lower teeth. Overjet can happen if the molars are not properly aligned, the bones of the upper and lower jaw are not balanced, upper incisors flare and come out, lower teeth are missing, or from thumb sucking. The risks of not treating overjet include injury to the protruding front teeth, uneven jaw growth, and teeth may wear out early. In the first stage of the treatment overjet is treated with braces to align the teeth. Coils, springs, and headgear are used in the second stage to push back the front upper teeth and push out the front lower teeth.
In an underbite the lower front teeth extend outwards. The medical term for underbite is prognathism. An underdeveloped upper jaw and overdeveloped lower jaw are characteristic features of an underbite. It can be caused by excessive thumb sucking, nasal obstruction, and tongue thrusting. If not treated, an underbite can lead to poor functioning of the teeth and digestive problems. Underbites can be treated without surgery utill the patient reached puberty; therefore an early diagnosis is critical. Your dentist will try to modify jaw and teeth growth using headgear and braces. Treatment done at a later stage involves teeth extraction and surgery to correct the structure of the jaws.
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Greg Ceyhan, a licensed general Glendale dentist, to discuss any orthodontic concerns you have.
Frequently Asked Questions
Orthodontic dentistry is a branch of dentistry that aims to prevent and correct irregularities in teeth. Teeth and jaws that are positioned incorrectly can be treated with the help of orthodontics. Crooked teeth are difficult to clean and they increase the stress on chewing muscles. This leads to neck and back pain. Glendale orthodontic options are available for patients of all ages. Orthodontic treatment aligns the teeth, improves the appearance, and increase the life of the teeth.