Braces. They conjure up images of unsightly headgear, hours and hours at the bathroom sink, and cumbersome retainers. However, today's orthodontic treatment from The Dentists at Mercy in Pittsburgh, PA, is more comfortable and efficient than ever before. Learn here about the importance of orthodontics.
What is orthodontia?
It's the dental specialty that corrects a variety of cosmetic and functional smile issues stemming from:
- Bite problems (malocclusion)
- Crooked teeth
- Missing teeth
- Oral injury
- Differences in tooth size and jaw size
Besides correcting aesthetic issues, the orthodontic treatment creates smiles that are easier to keep clean, thus avoiding the perils of tooth decay and gum disease. Also, correctly aligned teeth and jaws are far less prone to jaw joint pain and headache caused by Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, or TMJ/TMD.
Should you get braces?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children receive an orthodontic examination by age seven to make treatment, if necessary, easier. Most young people who do need braces begin wearing them before the age of 14. However, the Association also says that about 20 percent of current orthodontic patients are adults.
To settle the question of getting or not getting orthodontic treatment, we perform a complete dental examination, noting tooth number, size, shape, and position. We take digital X-rays to look at roots and bone structure and evaluate the size and shape of your upper and lower jaws. We also note how upper and lower mandibles close together. Oral impressions allow us to create a study model to determine the best course of treatment for you as needed.
Life with Braces
Your dentist will determine what kind of braces are best for your particular needs. Appliances may include:
- Traditional metal or ceramic braces
- Lingual, or tongue-side, braces
- Clear aligners from Invisalign
- Palatal expanders which widen the jaw
- Space maintainers to leave room for erupting adult teeth
While conventional braces often impose dietary restrictions and oral hygiene routines which can be complex, clear aligners are removable and easy to clean. Treatment times, of course, vary case to case, but generally, clear aligners straighten smiles more quickly than other kinds of braces.
Your smile goals
Orthodontic treatment could be the path to your aesthetic smile goals and your best oral health. Why not contact The Dentists at Mercy in Pittsburgh, PA,? Call us at 412-732-7227.