There are different types of orthodontic appliances that your dentist may use depending on your issue. We’ll go over the common orthodontic appliances and when they are used.
Probably the most common type of orthodontic treatment, braces can be used by patients with varying levels of complexities and at different ages.
If you suffer from a sleep disorder like sleep apnea, there are devices that can help you to sleep more soundly throughout the night. These sleep disorder devices can help alleviate issues like snoring by opening the airways. Typically, they are made of plastic or acrylic and worn over the teeth like most orthodontic appliances. These sleep disorder devices can help to keep the patient’s airway open and also stabilize the jaw and tongue. They are often custom-fitted to suit the individual’s needs and ensure they are comfortable to wear.
Some teeth have cusps that are either too low or too high. This is a dental issue that hinders proper jaw closure. The occlusal equilibration is a device that reshapes the biting surfaces of the teeth and stabilizes them.
Patients who have abnormal wear or pain in areas like the jaw or shoulders may be good candidates for occlusal equilibration. The orthodontist may also recommend this device is he/she notices that the lower and upper jaw doesn’t match properly.
This device can be applied in a single appointment. However, in severe cases, it may require multiple dental visits. The goal is to stabilize the bite and eliminate symptoms like pain.
To determine if you are a good candidate for orthodontic appliances like braces, visit our dental clinic. We will guide you on which treatment to consider based on factors such as your age and dental issue. For instance, children ages 7 to 14 years are the best candidates for braces because their bone is still growing, and their permanent teeth may have started erupting. At this stage, it’s easier to straighten teeth.
Space maintainers, braces, and retainers can be used together to treat malocclusions, especially for younger patients. The space maintainers can be worn for a specific time period because they act as placeholders that prevent teeth from moving into open spaces in the mouth where a tooth is lacking. Whether the patient is lacking a tooth due to a traumatic loss or extraction, space maintainers can be a viable solution to keep teeth intact.
To determine how much time you’ll have to wear braces, the orthodontist will need to assess your individual needs. The average child or adolescent will wear braces for 24 months whereas an adult would wear them for 28 months. Retainers can be worn for as long as you like because they work by helping the teeth to remain straight. Remember that teeth move over the years unless there’s something that’s forcing them to remain where they are. Retainers are an ideal solution to keep the teeth from moving.
Orthodontic treatments offer the best results during childhood and in adolescene. This is because the teeth and mouth are still growing so it’s easier to use a device that will manipulate their course. However, this is not to say that orthodontic treatment cannot be done for older patients. Adults can still benefit from orthodontic dentistry when issues such as overbites, underbites, jaw-joint disorders and crooked teeth have advanced. The only drawback is that, with adults, orthodontic treatments usually take a longer time to treat because their teeth have finished growing. The treatment is also more expensive and uncomfortable in some cases. The orthodontist may recommend surgical intervention to achieve the patient’s goal.
If you have healthy gums and teeth, you can seek orthodontic treatment immediately. However, if you are currently suffering from periodontal disease, it needs to be treated first before you begin any orthodontic treatment. This helps to avoid potential issues like gum disease which can lead to tooth loss. When you visit our dental clinic, we’ll walk you through all options to help your orthodontic issue or periodontal problem. Our dentists have the experience and skill to cater to all your dental and orthodontic needs.
Every patient is different and for this reason, your treatment plan will be designed uniquely to cater to your needs. It’s impossible to tell how long you’ll wear the appliance without knowing details about your current situation and what needs to be treated. There are several factors that will determine how long you’ll need the orthodontic appliance. They include:
On average, the patient wears braces for 1-3 years and then a retainer for 1 year. This helps to ensure the teeth don’t shift out of their new positions. The dentist may also, recommend the use of a retainer at night which helps to keep the teeth straight.
Orthodontic appliances should be worn for the specific purpose for which they were designed. For instance, mouth guards that are designed to be worn when playing contact sports or any other physical activity should only be used for this purpose. Orthodontic appliances which are recommended for use after oral surgery should only be worn as advised by the orthodontist.
If your dentist has recommended a sleep disorder appliance, how long you’ll need to wear it is based on the progression of that disorder. If it’s a severe disorder, the patient will be required to remain in treatment for a longer period.