Braces

Braces – what you must know

Braces have become a part of modern day life for those who value and understand good dental health. The tiny metallic shiny pieces attached to the teeth have become a symbol of progress and development of the community. It symbolizes all around progress and affluence of the society that patronizes braces.
A perfect set of teeth is every one’s dream. Everyone desires a beautiful smile. It adds to the personality and leaves a permanent impression on the beholder. Perfectly arranged teeth function best and last longer in the mouth. They help chew food better and help in the digestive process and therefore are important for good health.
The treatment with braces is a major step towards providing perfect and permanent alignment to the teeth in each jaw and to the teeth in the opposing jaws.
The end result of treatment with braces can be simply stunning. It is a result oriented procedure. It is transparent in nature. The patient and the family can experience the joy of positive progress by merely checking out in the mirror at home.
The results are just beautiful. Anything well organized looks beautiful. Unfortunately, the misinformed consider treatment with braces a beauty treatment. Nothing can be further from the truth it is a complete and essential health service backed by research and technology of the highest standard.
It is in the interest of the parent / patient to seek advice from the expert. A large number of persons of all types claim to have knowledge on the subject of braces and offer unnecessary advice which can be called misguidance. This is unfortunate and deprives a large number of people of the benefits of this great service..

WHAT IS ORTHODONTICS ?

Orthodontics is the branch of Dentistry that is officially known as Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopaedics .The purpose of Orthodontics is to treat any type of “bad bites” or malocclusion , that harm the form, function and appearance of teeth and jaws .

WHO IS AN ORTHODONTIST?

An Orthodontist is a Dental Specialist trained in the art and the science of the treatment of crooked and protruding teeth and misaligned jaws. The special training is obtained after graduation in Dentistry. Presently it takes a minimum of three years to complete the course.
An ORTHODONTIST has the vision and the foresight of an Architect and can mould the face and correct the alignment of the teeth, thereby ensuring long life for the teeth and health of the jaw joint which is situated just in front of the ear.
AN ORTHODONTIST AS A SMILE ARCHITECT IS AN ASSET TO THE COMMUNITY.

EPILOGUE

The art and the science of the treatment with BRACES has always been held in great esteem by those who recommend it, those who practice it and those that patronize and submit to the great treatment.
An ORTHODONTIST’S profession is a conveted profession attracting the very best of talent passing out of the Dental Colleges all over the country. The Profession is demanding and requires excellent foresight and skill to be able to deliver the goods.
Not many people are familiar with the term ORTHODONTIST the specialist that treats with BRACES. The best of the educated in the country and that includes doctors, architects, lawyers, members of the press and well read professors are unable to identify with the profession. It is also true that those who came in contact with the ORTHODONTIST never forget them either.
BRACES have so far been provided to the public through the General Dental Practitioner who has been the basic service provider in the Dental Profession. This has worked well all these years. However, the tremendous progress in the subject has left the General dentist very far behind. It is in the interest of the patient to visit and consult the ORTHODONTIST specialist who is to deliver the goods.

WHY DO I NEED STRAIGHT TEETH?

Treatment with braces can improve your dental health and change your facial appearance for the better. It can boost your self – esteem. This is beneficial to social and career success. It also helps improve one’s general attitude towards life and the quality of life itself.
A pleasing appearance is a vital asset in today’s highly competitive world. Treatment with braces can help achieve a high level of self confidence. Straight teeth are easier to clean and last longer and enhance the quality of the smile. Some problems can cause excessive and abnormal wear of tooth surface leading to misalignment of the jaw joints which can result in severe pain in the neck face and the front of the ears.
When the teeth are not straight or properly arranged with the bone in respect to their long axis, the force is misguided and destroys the supporting structures of the teeth, loosening them and hastening their fall. We have all had the experience of driving a nail into the wall, so long as the stroke from the hammer travels along and long axis of the nail, everything is great, but the plaster falls off the moment a stroke is misdirected. This is the closest example in everyday life that I can offer for the effect of force on supporting structures.

WHAT CONDITIONS REQUIRE TREATMENT WITH BRACES?

This is the most simple step of all. Just stand in front of the mirror and check out the following.
Are your teeth

  • Crowded like passengers in an overloaded bus?
  • Upper teeth protruding far ahead of the lower
  • Lower teeth closing ahead of the upper this is called cross bite
  • Upper rear teeth, i.e chewing teeth, closing inside the lower teeth
  • Teeth falling into extraction spaces
  • Upper front teeth falling backwards and grinding against the lower teeth
  • Lower teeth hitting the roof of the mouth behind the upper teeth on closing
  • Pain in the jaw joint just ahead of the ear
  • Clicking sound in the joint during opening and closing
  • Seen from the side the lower jaw looks very small
  • Seen from the side the lower jaw looks very large
  • Habits like Mouth breathing and tongue thrusting

If one or more conditions exist. Then you need to consult an ORTHODONTIST


WHOM SHOULD I VISIT FOR BRACES

Braces are special dental treatment. The specialist giving braces is a dental specialist called an ORTHODONTIST the basic qualification to be called an orthodontist is a M.D.S (Master of Dental Surgery in Orthodontics) this post graduate qualification is obtained after a graduation course in dentistry called B.D.S.
M.D.S like other post graduate qualifications in the medical field is awarded in a number of dental subjects. EVERY M.D.S DEGREE HOLDER IS NOT AN ORTHODONTIST.
Your best bet is to be treated in a specially equipped ORTHODONTIC CLINIC

WHO WILL GIVE ME THE BEST BRACES?

Always trust a qualified dental specialist for braces. The qualification is an M.D.S in Orthodontics.

EVERY M.D.S DEGREE HOLDER IS NOT AN ORTHODONTIST.
Many dentists claim to be able to treat with braces. You would be taking a big risk by submitting to treatment with an unqualified Orthodontist. The conditions requiring braces can easily be checked out in front of a mirror. If you are in doubt about the need for the treatment, consult an ORTHODONTIST. Remember an ORTHODONTIST is never very far and is worth the visit.
Of course the most important aspect is the THE REGULARITY OF THE PATIENTS VISITS AND THE CO OPERATION OF THE PATIENT .

WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF BRACES

Braces are generally of two types.

1) Removable braces and 2) Fixed Braces

The removable braces as their name suggests, can be removed from and placed in the mouth by the patient. They are made of wire and plastic and are made outside the mouth on the plaster models of the mouth of the patient.
Removable braces require a great amount of co- operation from the patient in order to produce the result. It is not possible to control the movement of each tooth of the patient during the treatment.
The fixed brace are their name suggests are fixed to the teeth and cannot be removed by the patient at his own free will. They are made of steel or ceramic and represent the greatest of advances in technology.
Fixed braces do not solely depend on the co- operation of the patient. The result is excellent as they provide control on individual teeth. The part that is fixed to the tooth is called a BRACKET for the front teeth and a TUBE for the molar or posterior teeth. Both the bracket and the tube are examples of the ultimate in engineering and technology.

WHAT ARE THE COMPONENTS OF BRACES

Braces are a complete force system capable of generating and transferring force to move teeth and align them in perfect positions. Braces consist of TUBES that are attached on the grinding or molar teeth and BRACKETS which are attached to all the rest of the teeth, premolars, canines and incisors, in the mouth. The BRACKET and the TUBES hold the WIRE which transmit the forces to the teeth. Sometimes elastics made of latex are used to generate extra force in the appliance. Teeth can be moved every which way-up, down, left, right, rotated, and pushed into the bone. In short everything that is needed to give the perfect setting to the teeth.
Both the upper and the lower teeth carry similar appliances. The appliance is complete only when placed on both the upper and the lower teeth.

HOW DO BRACES WORK?

Braces move the teeth with their support system through the bone. They work on the simple principle of bones resorbing under pressure and forming under tension. When force is applied on the tooth, the bone on the side on which the pressure is applied slowly dissolves out and the tooth moves into the gap thus created. New bone forms on the bone on the opposite side which is experiencing the pull of the force. All this happens simultaneously.

Do braces only move teeth?

No they are capable of manipulating the direction of growth of the facial bones. Growth of the bones is determined genetically. What can be achieved is the change in the direction of the growth of the facial bones.
Small lower jaws that close far behind the upper jaws can be made to grow favorably if and when treated in the growing years. The same applies to upper and lower jaws which are seen to be growing far ahead of their opposite member.
Appliances placed outside the mouth called extra oral appliances may be required to achieve these corrections.
CAN I GET A TREATMENT DONE WITHOUT METALLIC SMILE
Yes . definitely with the new advances in the field of orthodontics we have a number of solutions for professionals and those involved in glamour industry to get a treatment done without the metallic smile .
Ceramic braces is one of the solutions where the braces are exactly tooth coloured or transperant. They are the least visible braces
Lingual braces are another solution for the metallic smile . these braces are placed on the tongue side so are not visible.

WHAT IS THE BEST AGE FOR TREATMENT

Humans are blessed with two sets of teeth in a life time. The milk teeth for the child years and the permanent teeth for the adult age. The transition from milk teeth to the permanent teeth takes place over a period of time usually from 6 years to 13 years of age. Most problems develop during this period. It is good to see a specialist ORTHODONTIST during this period.
Conditions requiring braces for treatment can be prevented to a good extent, and those conditions which have appeared can be prevented from growing in severity during this transition period from the milk to the permanent teeth. It is a good idea to start early and try to reduce the severity of the problems which have developed.
Problems to be treated with braces are problems of the growing child. These are best treated during the growing years. There are two periods well recognized for treatment. These are the pre puberty and the post puberty growth periods i.e somewhere between 12 to 18 years . These are the best times to treat as changes in the face can best be achieved at these times.
However, treatment with braces can be taken at any age . The age is not the guiding factor. What is important is the nature of the problem to be treated and the condition of the teeth and their supporting structures. That is if the gums and the holding soft bone are healthy, braces can be prescribed if indicated. Best bet is to consult the ORTHODONTIST
As a thumb rule “THE EARLIER THE BETTER” .

WHAT ARE THE PROCEDURES INCLUDED IN THE TREATMENT

The treatment would generally consist of the following steps:
• Consultation
• Records and investigations, consisting of x rays and plaster models and history.
• Case analysis and case discussion, treatment planning
• Completion of all general dental work like filling and extractions
• Fabrication of appliances and fitting
• Follow up visits till treatment goals are achieved
• Models and x rays to compare with the record and evaluate the result. End of active treatment.
• Retention appliance. To retain the result and allow setting down.

IS TOOTH EXTRACTION ESSENTIAL?

The diagnosis is the most important part. It is very essential to understand the nature of the problem being treated. Once that is done the treatment plan decides the requirement of the appliance
If the diagnosis indicates it, it is essential to extract some teeth for the purpose of the treatment. This should not cause any alarm, It is an internationally accepted procedure and the decision to extract is taken with all considerations in mind.
Imagine a school bench meant for four children that gets occupied by six. The result is that the children have to sit haphazardly. If the teacher were to insist on order, then either the bench would have to be made bigger or the number of children reduced. In the mouth, a similar situation arises, since the jaw bones can not be made to grow to take all the teeth, some teeth have to be reduced in number for the others to be arranged perfectly well.
The decision is always made according to the space available in the bone as compared to the space required by the teeth to be arranged perfectly. If the space available for the teeth is less, then some teeth will have to be removed to adjust the arrangement of the teeth in the mouth.

HOW MUCH TIME WILL I HAVE TO WEAR BRACES

On an average a treatment time shall vary anywhere between 4 months to 18 months. Time for treatment varies from case to case. However, treatment with braces is a very transparent procedure. One can easily stand in front of the mirror with the pre treatment plaster models in the hand and check out the progress of the treatment at any given point in time.
There is no known method to predict the exact time for the treatment. The estimates given are on the basis of past experience of treating similar cases.
There may be some cases which show slow progress, however, no treatment goes on just endlessly without showing any significant progress compared with the pre treatment plaster models
CAN THE TREATMENT BE DONE FASTER .
Special methods can be used to reduce the time of treatment .like use of implants, lasers but only in selected cases.
WHAT IS ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY IN ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT
Technology plays a very important part in Braces. Modern day braces incorporate the highest technology and research in Material Sciences, Mechanics and Biology. The better the technology the better and more comfortable the treatment.

COST OF TREATMENT WITH BRACES

Two kinds of costs should be considered in treatment with braces. One the direct cost, the amount quoted by the ORTHODONTIST and the indirect cost in terms of regular visits, time, discomfort, treatment result and length of treatment. Braces are considered expensive the world over. The reasons are simple, it is a very highly skilled job and requires expensive materials.
The experience of the Orthodontist, the quality of the braces and the problem to be treated decide the cost of the treatment. You could choose out dated low technology cheaper braces but will end up paying more in terms of hidden costs such as extra visits longer treatment time, more discomfort, poor results. Cost of treatment varies from city to city. There is no standardization of charges for treatment. Creamic braces are very expensive but offer no treatment advantage.
Treatment with braces is purely result oriented. A comparison with your pre treatment record will tell just how well you have been treated and the time taken for the treatment to be completed.

PRECAUTIONS WITH BRACES

There may be some discomfort at the beginning of the treatment and when new wires are placed on the teeth, some wire may poke at the soft tissues of the mouth. These are very small problem and can be attended to instantly. Better quality braces are very comfortable and the patient does not even feel their presence in the mouth.
Certain foods are not allowed during treatment with braces chewing on ice, hard candy, hard chocolates, bones and biting into fruits like apples is not allowed.
Braces when subjected to heavy pressure can break off from the tooth surfaces. This means discomfort, extra appointments and a delay in the treatment. Also the wires may hurt the tissues in the mouth causing injury. This can be easily avoided by following the instructions of the ORTHODONTIST.

COSMETIC DENTISTRY AND BRACES

Some doctors offer cosmetic dentistry in lieu of treatment with braces on the plea that braces take longer time to complete.
This is pure misguidance. Brace cannot be substituted with cosmetic dentistry. Changes with braces are permanent as compared to a camouflage treatment with cosmetic dentistry which is temporary in nature and needs to be repeated. Braces create changes in the position of the teeth from the roots upwards. The changes are longer lasting and ensure health and longevity of the teeth. The basic treatment philosophy is different. Therefore, there can be no comparison.
The plea that braces take longer is an attempt to mislead the patient on the advantages of treatment with braces.

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