Orthodontics

What is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the branch of denstistry 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.

What causes Orthodontic problems?

Most Orthodontics problems are inherited. Examples of these problems, which have genetic component are crowding, spacing, protrusion of jaws and teeth, extra and missing teeth, jaw growth problems and facial deformities.
Other problems are acquired. That may be because of thumb of finger sucking, mouth breathing, dental disease, abnormal swallowing, poor dental hygiene, the early or late loss of baby teeth, and loss of permanent teeth due to accidents, poor nutrition or related medical problems. An inherited condition may be complicated by an acquired problem. Your Orthodontist will be able to treat most conditions successfully.

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PARTS OF BRACES

Parts Of Braces

Archwire: The metal wire that acts as a track to guide your teeth along as they move. It is changed periodically throughout treatment as your teeth move to their new positions.

Appliances: Any fixed or removable device, designed to move the teeth, change the position of the jaw or hold the teeth in their finished positions after braces are removed.

Braces: A word commonly used to describe a fixed orthodontic appliance, usually comprising of brackets, bands and wires. The diagram below illustrates and names each part of a typical set of braces.

A. Ligature: The archwire is held to each bracket with a ligature, which can be either a tiny elastic or a twisted wire.

B. Archwire: The archwire is tied to all of the brackets and creates force to move teeth into proper alignment.

C. Brackets: Brackets are directly bonded on the teeth and hold the archwire in place.

D. Metal Band: The band is the cemented ring of metal which wraps around the tooth.

E. Bracket Hooks: The bracket or band extensions that are used for the attachment of rubber bands.

Bond: The seal created by orthodontic cement that holds your appliances in place.

Buccal Tube: A small metal part of the bracket welded to the cheek side of the molar band. The tube may hold an archwire, lip bumper, headgear, facebow or other appliances an orthodontist may use to move the teeth.

Coil Spring: A spring that fits between your brackets and over your archwire to open space between your teeth.

Elastic (Rubber Band): A small rubber band that is hooked between different points on your appliance to provide pressure to move your teeth to their new position. Use rubber bands as instructed and remember that the rubber bands work far more efficiently if they're worn as prescribed.

 

Elastic Tie: The tiny rubber band that fits around your bracket to hold the archwire in place. They come in a variety of colors.

Functional Appliances: Appliances that utilize the muscle action produced when speaking, eating and swallowing to produce force to move the teeth and align the jaws. They are also known with names such as orthopaedic corrector, activator, bionator, Frankel, Herbst or twin block appliances.

Headgear: Headgear uses an external wire apparatus known as a facebow to gently guide the growth of your face and jaw by moving your teeth into proper position. The force is applied to the facebow by a spring-loaded neck strap or head strap. The straps have a safety release that disconnects if the facebow is pulled or snagged. Headgear is used to treat patients whose teeth are in an 'overbite,' with the upper jaw forward of the lower jaw or an 'underbite,' with the lower jaw forward of the upper jaw. Headgear gently pulls on your teeth to restrict further forward growth of your upper teeth and jaw.

Headgear Tube: A round, hollow attachment on your back bands. The inner bow of your headgear fits into it.

Hook: A welded or removable arm to which elastics are attached.

Herbst Appliance: This appliance is used to move the lower jaw forward. It can be fixed or removable. When it is fixed, it is cemented to teeth in one or both arches using stainless steel crowns. An expansion screw may be used simultaneously to widen the upper jaw.

Lip Bumper: A lip bumper is an archwire attached to a molded piece of plastic. The lip bumper holds back the molars on your lower jaw to provide more space for your other teeth.

Mouthguard: A device that protects your mouth from injury when you participate in sports or rigorous activities.

Nightguard: A removable appliance worn at night to minimize the damage or wear in individuals with the habit of clenching or grinding teeth during sleep.

Palatal Expander: A device that makes your upper jaw wider. The palatal expander "expands" (or widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars each time an adjustment is made. Your orthodontist will instruct you about when and how to adjust your expander. When you achieve the desired expansion, you will wear the appliance for several months to solidify the expansion and to prevent regression.

 

Retainer: An appliance that is worn after your braces are removed, the retainer attaches to your upper and/or lower teeth to hold them in place.Retainers are removable or fixed.

Removable Appliance: An orthodontic appliance that can be removed from the mouth by the patient. Removable appliances are used to move teeth or to align jaws.

Safety Strap: The safety strap prevents the facebow of the headgear from coming loose and causing injury.

Serial Extraction: Selective or guided removal of certain primary (baby) teeth and/or permanent teeth over a period of time to create room for permanent teeth.

Space Maintainer: A fixed appliance used to hold space for an unerupted permanent tooth after a primary (baby) tooth has been lost prematurely, due to accident or decay.

Separator or Spacer: A small rubber ring that creates space between your teeth before the bands are attached. Separators are little rubber bands that may be placed between your posterior teeth to push them apart so that orthodontic bands may be placed during your next appointment which will be after 2-3 days. The separators are removed before we place the bands. 

Tongue Crib: A fixed appliance used to help a patient stop habits or undesirable tongue forces exerted on the teeth and bone that supports the teeth.

Tongue Thrust: An individual's tongue pushes against the teeth when swallowing. Forces generated by the tongue can move the teeth and bone and may lead to an anterior or posterior open bite.

Tie Wire: A fine wire that is twisted around your bracket to hold the archwire in place.

Wax: Wax is placed on the brackets or archwires if they irritate the lips or cheeks.

 

 

ORTHODONTIC PROCESURES

Consultation: A meeting with your orthodontist to discuss a treatment plan.
Panoramic X-rays : We advice an x-ray of your head which shows the relative positions and growth of the face, jaws and teeth. These are taken at specific Radiology centres.

Cephalometric Radiograph: A lateral (side view) x-ray of the head.

Impressions: The process of making a model of your teeth by biting into a soft material that hardens into a mold of your teeth. Your orthodontist will use these impressions to prepare your treatment plan.
Photographs: Photographs are taken before we start the treatment so that you can see and compare the vast change in your smile later.
Banding: The process of fitting and cementing orthodontic bands to your teeth.
Bonding: The process of attaching brackets to your teeth using special orthodontic cement.
Debanding: The process of removing cemented orthodontic bands from your teeth.
Debonding: The process of removing cemented orthodontic brackets from your teeth.
Ligation: The process of attaching an archwire to the brackets on your teeth.