What is my problem?
We strongly recommend an early orthodontic treatment , when necessary, for our younger patients. Proper orthodontic care at a young age can facilitate a healthy smile and healthy gums, as well as the growth and development of a proportionally balanced face.
Panoramic X-rays (also known as Panorex® or orthopantomograms) are wraparound pictures of the face and teeth. They offer a view that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye. X-rays in general, expose hidden structures, such as wisdom teeth, reveal preliminary signs of cavities, and also show fractures and bone loss.
The panoramic X-ray provides the dentist with an ear-to-ear two-dimensional view of both the upper and lower jaw. The most common uses for panoramic X-rays are to reveal the positioning of wisdom teeth and to check whether dental implants will affect the mandibular nerve (the nerve extending toward the lower lip).
The cephalometric X-ray is a unique tool that enables the orthodontist to capture a complete radiographic image of the side of the face. X-rays in general offer the dentist a way to view the teeth, jawbone, and soft tissues beyond what can be seen with the naked eye.
Cephalometric X-rays are extraoral, meaning that no plates or film are inserted inside the mouth. Cephalometric and panoramic X-rays display the nasal and sinus passages, which are missed by intraoral bitewing X-rays.
An X-ray image receptor is exposed to ionizing radiation in order to provide the dentist with pictures of the entire oral structure. The advantage of both cephalometric and panoramic X-rays is that the body is exposed to less radiation.
Cephalometric X-rays are not as common as "full sets" or bitewing X-rays, but they serve several important functions:
- Provide views of the side profile of the face.
- Provide views of the jaw in relation to the cheekbone.
- Provide information about "bad bites" or malocclusions.
- Allow measurement of the teeth.
- Identify fractures and other injuries to the teeth and jawbone.
- Assists in orthodontic planning.
How are cephalometric X-rays taken?
Cephalometric X-rays are completely painless. The head is placed between the mechanical rotating arm and the film holder, which is placed on another arm. The arm rotates around the head capturing images of the face, mouth, and teeth. The clarity and sharpness of these images will depend on the positioning of the body. The images are usually magnified up to 30%, so any signs of decay, disease, or injury can be seen and treated.
After capturing cephalometric X-rays, the dentist will be able to see a complete side profile of the head. This can assist in orthodontic planning and allow an immediate evaluation of how braces might impact the facial profile and teeth. Another common use for this type of X-ray is to determine specific measurements prior to the creation and placement of dental implants.
If you have any questions or concerns about cephalometric X-rays, please ask your dentist.
Class II problems represent abnormal bite relationships in which the upper jaw and teeth project from the lower jaw called an "overjet". Class II patients usually exhibit a convex facial profile with a deficient chin prominence.
Class III problems are also primarily genetic in origin.
Posterior crossbites usually result from a constricted upper jaw or unusually wide lower jaw. A narrow upper jaw will often force a patient to move their lower jaw forward or to the side when closing into a stable bite. When closed into this accomodated position, the lower teeth are located outside the upper teeth.
Crowding of the teeth is the most common problem associated with the need for orthodontic care.
Excessive vertical overlapping of incisor teeth called "overbite" is generally found in association with a discrepancy between the length of the upper and lower jaws. It usually results in excessive eruption of either the upper or lower incisors or both.
- Excessive display of gum tissue
- Lip protrusion or entrapment of the lower lip
- Biting the roof of the mouth
- Worn out incisors
Spaces between teeth are another common problem associated with the need for orthodontic care.
A lack of vertical overlap of the incisor teeth can usually be traced to jaw disharmony or persistent habits (i.e. thumb sucking habits and postureof the tongue between the front teeth) or excessive vertical growth of one or both jaws.