What Is Orthodontics? An In-Depth Look Into Orthodontic Treatments

What Is Orthodontics? An In-Depth Look Into Orthodontic Treatments

People visit general dentists mostly for cleanings and other problems such as gum diseases or tooth cavities. However, the dental field, just like any other field in medicine has sub-categories. Orthodontics in Bolingbrook, IL, is one of the many sub-categories in dentistry that deals with certain dental irregularities.

Some people are blessed with straight teeth that almost seem perfect, but for most, this is not the case. Some people have some spaces in between their teeth or have problems with their bite. This is where our Bolingbrook orthodontist comes in handy.

Orthodontics does not focus on beauty but function of the teeth and jaw, but beauty is usually an end product of well-aligned teeth. For a long time, people have mistaken that orthodontic treatment is specifically for children and teenagers, but adults also can benefit from orthodontic treatment.

Understanding Orthodontics

In layman’s terms, orthodontic treatments aim to create a functional and healthy bite which is part jaw position and part tooth alignment. When your teeth and jaw line up as they are supposed to, they will function as they were designed. The attractive smile comes as a bonus.

Teeth that do not fit correctly or are crooked are challenging to clean, which can lead to early tooth loss or can cause periodontal (gum disease). At times your chewing muscles might undergo too much stress and can lead to TMJ syndrome, headaches, shoulder and back pain.

Who Needs Orthodontic Treatment?

Only our dentist in Bolingbrook, IL, can determine whether you need orthodontic treatment or not. Our orthodontist near you will use a host of diagnostic tools including X-rays and plaster models of your teeth to decide whether or not you need the treatment.

If any of the following is discovered, then you are likely to receive orthodontic treatment:

  • Open bite. This is when you have spaces between the front and side teeth, especially when you bite the back teeth together.

  • Spacing. Spaces or gaps in between the teeth as a result of tooth loss or teeth that don’t fill up the gums.

  • Crossbite. This is when your upper teeth don’t come down slightly as they should in front of the lower teeth when you are biting.

  • Overbite. This is also known as “buck teeth”, where your upper teeth are too far forward than your lower teeth.

  • Underbite. This is when you have a “bulldog” appearance, meaning that your lower teeth are too far forward or your upper teeth are too far back.

  • Crowding. This is when you do not have enough dental ridge to harbor any more teeth.

  • Misplaced Midline. This is when the center of your lower teeth does not align with the center of your upper teeth.

What to Expect From an Orthodontist

When you visit our orthodontist, the goal is to achieve the following:

  • Align the tips of your teeth
  • Close wide gaps between your teeth
  • Improve your chewing and speech ability
  • Treat an improper bite
  • Straighten crooked teeth
  • Prevent long-term trauma of the teeth
  • Boost long-term health of teeth and gums

For our orthodontist to achieve these goals, there is a range of dental devices that will be used.

How Does Orthodontic Treatment Work?

In orthodontic treatment, there are two types of devices which are used: removable or fixed. They are utilized to aid the teeth to move, affect the growth of your jaws, and retrain muscles. These devices typically apply pressure on the jaws and teeth.

The severity of the problem determines the type of device that will be used.

Fixed Devices

  • Braces

Braces are the most common type of fixed device that is used in orthodontics. They typically have bands, wires and brackets. When braces are fixed on the teeth, they put some pressure on the teeth. During every dental visit at Sonrisa Dental of Bolingbrook, they are readjusted to bring about the desired results.

  • Fixed Space Maintainers

If your child losses a baby tooth prematurely, our dentist will place a space maintainer to keep the space open until the permanent tooth emerges.

  • Special Fixed Appliances

These appliances are used as a last resort to control tongue thrusting and thumb sucking.

Removable Devices

  • Aligners

These are used as an alternative to braces which adults can use. They still get the job done, and they are aesthetically pleasing as compared to braces.

  • Palatal Expander

This device is placed in the mouth to widen the arch of the upper jaw.

  • Jaw Repositioning Appliances

These appliances are worn on either the lower or top jaw to train the jaw to close properly. They are typically used to treat temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ).

  • Lip and Cheek Bumpers

These devices are used to keep your cheeks and lips away from the teeth since they can exert pressure on the teeth.

  • Headgear

Headgears are used to slow the growth of the upper jaw and holds the back teeth in place as the front teeth are pulled back.

As you have noticed by now, orthodontics in Bolingbrook, IL, is not only for children, but adults can also benefit. You can contact our orthodontist at Sonrisa Dental + Orthodontics of Bolingbrook if you need orthodontic treatment.

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