Orthodontic treatment is a treatment that corrects congenital or acquired malformations of the teeth and jaws by means of braces, retainers and external oral appliances. Orthodontic treatments correct dysfunctions of the teeth and jaws, while at the same time providing the desired positive aesthetic changes with properly aligned teeth. As a result of the correction of incorrect bites, correct chewing movements can be made, which also protects the health of the jaw joint. Proper jaw bites provided by functional treatments also create major positive changes in the external appearance of patients.
Orthodontics is a specialty that deals with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the jaw, teeth and face. Orthodontic treatment contributes to the development of the jaw in young children. Thus, it contributes to the proper positioning of the teeth, and in adults, it provides correction of existing crowding and closure problems and maxillofacial disorders.
Since crowding of the upper and lower jaw teeth creates areas that cannot be brushed, it can lead to serious periodontal problems that threaten bone health in the future. Therefore, while orthodontic treatments straighten the teeth, they also facilitate brushing and provide healthier gums. Due to narrow upper jaw expansions, upper respiration is relieved and children who breathe through their mouths can breathe through their nose more easily.
What is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry. It is stated as a branch of science related to the treatment of structural problems in the upper and lower jaw region, oral closure problems and dental crowding that develop due to spaced teeth and teeth. Ortho means to correct in Latin and donti means teeth and dental tissues. Orthodontics, which is formed by the combination of these, aims to solve dental and jaw problems with an individualized treatment approach, taking into account the age of the person. Untreated crowded teeth are very difficult to clean. Therefore, tooth loss can cause gum problems. In addition, although the upper and lower jawbone structure is not located in the front or back according to the shape of the skull, it causes excessive pressure on the jaw muscles. In such a case, the jawbone can cause joint disorders and pain in the head, shoulders and back. With orthodontic treatment procedures, all these health problems are prevented before they occur, while a more aesthetically pleasing appearance is achieved.
What are the Conditions that Require Orthodontic Treatment?
Orthodontics deals with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases that develop due to the improper position of the teeth and jaw, which affect the external appearance of the individual. Even though dental problems are usually seen as crowded teeth due to the jaw being narrow in structure or the teeth being too large for the jaw, they can sometimes be seen in the form of spaced teeth, which is the opposite of this structural problem. Along with these, the asymmetrical position of the teeth due to the early loss of milk teeth or the lack of permanent teeth are among the diseases that concern the orthodontics department. Problems related to the skeleton or the structure of the jaw are also diseases treated by the orthodontics department. Jaw problems can generally be listed as the lower jaw being in front or behind compared to the upper jaw and the upper jaw being in front or behind compared to the face or lower jaw. We can list the conditions that require Orthodontic treatment as follows;
- Crooked permanent or mixed teeth
- Front open bites due to thumb sucking or mouth breathing
- Having bad habits such as sucking fingers, biting nails, cheek and lip biting
- Improperly positioned teeth and jaw disorders that affect the patient's facial structure
- Early or late loss of milk teeth
- Embedded permanent teeth
- Gaps between teeth
What are Orthodontic Treatment Methods?
Esthetic Braces: Adult patients may be uncomfortable with the appearance of braces on their teeth. 'Orthodontic fixed treatments', which are performed with brackets glued on the teeth, have been made more aesthetic by using transparent porcelain material, especially in adults, so that the brackets are not visible. Porcelain brackets are less visible from a distance and do not attract attention. Treatment with transparent brackets does not differ in duration from other treatments. Eating, brushing and examination intervals are the same as other treatments. The brackets on the teeth are less visible in business life and social environments and the patient experiences minimal social discomfort that braces may cause.
Fixed Orthodontic Treatment: Orthodontic treatments are orthodontic treatments performed with wires glued on the teeth so that the patient cannot put them on and take them off. These wires are attached to the surfaces facing the lip side of the teeth. There are many types of braces and they can be preferred due to some aesthetic or functional advantages. Metal, porcelain (aesthetic), capped brackets can be given as examples.
Lingual Orthodontic Treatment: The wires used in lingual treatment are similar to traditional metal treatment wires, but they are attached to the back surface of the teeth so that they are not visible.
Orthodontic Treatment with Removable Appliances: These are orthodontic treatments that are performed with the use of mouthpieces that patients can put on and take off. Some of the appliances in this group cover a large group that we use during the "mixed dentition" period, when both permanent and deciduous teeth appear together. Jaw extensions, correction of crossbite, bad habit breaking appliances are in this group.
Functional Orthopedic Treatments: These are devices that can be worn and removed by the patient or are fixed and used to correct poor jaw relationships. They can be used during fixed treatment or in combination with extraoral devices.
Transparent Aligner Treatment (Invisalign): Technologies developed in recent years have enabled the orthodontic treatment of patients who do not want to use fixed braces to be performed with transparent aligners that the patient can wear and remove. Patients who can remove their appliances while eating can have straight teeth by wearing invisible transparent aligners. Clear aligners should be removed while eating and consuming hot drinks. They should be in the mouth at other times and while the patient is sleeping. This period is approximately 18 hours. Each aligner is worn for about 10 days, after which a new one is replaced. The total treatment period is the same as the fixed treatment periods. The patient should come to orthodontic control at regular intervals throughout the treatment. At the end of the treatment, the patient should use retention devices just like in fixed treatments in order to prevent the straightened teeth from deteriorating again.
Orthognathic Surgery: Orthognathic Surgery treatments, which require the joint work of orthodontics and surgery departments, are orthodontic treatments performed in adult individuals and in the presence of bony anomalies.
Orthodontic Implants and Mini Screws: These are support units used inside the mouth instead of using devices from outside the mouth, especially in adults. These screws are removed after treatment with the support of screws placed in the jawbone. They are easy to place and remove because they are small and do not cause discomfort to the patient during their use.
Space Retainers: Fixed or movable devices that protect the area where the permanent tooth from below is located in case of premature loss of the milk tooth for various reasons (decay or accident).
Cleft Lip and Palate and Treatment: Both conditions can be treated. Treatment can be long-term and the goal is evaluated in two separate stages. The first stage is to ensure that visual problems and speech problems are completely corrected before the child reaches primary school. The next stage is to ensure that the development of the teeth, jaws and face is at the natural limit in adulthood and that both the visual and respiratory problems of the nose inside and outside are solved in case of an affected nose. These applications are under three main headings including plastic surgery, orthodontic treatment and speech therapy.
How Long Are Orthodontic Treatments?
The timing of orthodontic treatments varies from person to person and according to the type of treatment to be applied. The treatment of disorders that concern only the teeth takes a shorter time. The average duration of these treatments is 18 months. In orthopedic treatments where skeletal disorders are corrected, positive results can be obtained in about 18-24 months.
Reduced or prolonged treatment time may also depend on the person being treated. Maintaining the health of the teeth and gums during the treatment period, avoiding foods that should not be consumed, correct and proper use of the apparatus used in the treatment are among the factors affecting the treatment time.
Orthodontic Treatment in Adults
There is no age limit for orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic treatment can be applied in every age group. The most important point in adults is that the bone and gums must be healthy. Since adult individuals are not benefited without growth during treatment, orthodontic treatment can be applied at the limits where the jaw bones are possible.
For adults who prefer not to have brackets visible on their teeth, transparent or tooth-colored "aesthetic braces" can be used. There are also lingual braces that are bonded to the inside of the teeth.
Orthodontic treatment with clear aligners has also been a very popular treatment method in the field of aesthetic orthodontics, giving good results in most of the adult patient treatments. Surgically assisted orthodontic treatments can be applied in patients with skeletal anomalies.
Treatment of Speech Disorders
Among the most important causes of speech disorders are disorders in the soft palate, palate, teeth and lip structures. These disorders may be congenital, such as cleft lip and palate, or may occur later due to various reasons and may lead to speech disorders. Therefore, the elimination and reorganization of tissue loss in this region is one of the important stages of treatment. The treatment of speech disorders is handled in cooperation with speech therapists who are experienced in their field.