What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a dental specialty which aims to prevent, diagnose and treat facial and dental irregularities, such as malocclusion (bad bites).
Orthodontic treatments help to achieve an adequate equilibrium between teeth, lips and facial features.
What is an orthodontist?
Orthodontists are fully qualified dentists who embark on a further three years of university-based study and gain extensive clinical experience in an orthodontic residency program.
The Canadian Association of Orthodontists (CAO) is the regulating body for this branch of dentistry.
Selecting an orthodontist who is a member of this organization adds the assurance that treatment is being administered by an individual with specialty education in oral biology and biomechanics.
Only dentists that have successfully completed this specialty can be recognized
Who can benefit from orthodontics?
What problems can orthodontics treat?
Orthodontics can treat a wide range of dental problems and in most cases,
completely realign the teeth. Orthodontists may work alone, or in combination with a maxillofacial surgeon. The typical irregularities requiring orthodontic treatments are as follows:
An overcrowded mouth means there is insufficient space within the jaw for all of the adult teeth to fit naturally. Overcrowding may lead to displaced, rotated or completely misaligned teeth.
- Overbite ?
An overbite refers to the protrusion of the maxilla (upper jaw) relative to the mandible (lower jaw). An overbite gives the smile a long appearance and the chin looks like it has receded.
- Underbite ?An underbite, also known as a negative underjet, refers to the protrusion of the mandible (lower jaw) in relation to the maxilla (upper jaw). An underbite makes the chin look overly prominent. Developmental delays and genetic factors generally cause underbites and overbites.
How can orthodontics help?
Orthodontic dentistry offers techniques which will realign the teeth and revitalize the smile. There are several treatments the orthodontist may use, depending on the results of panoramic X-rays, study models (bite impressions), and a thorough visual examination.
Fixed dental braces can be used to expediently correct even the most severe cases of misalignment. These braces consist of metal or ceramic brackets which are affixed to each tooth and an archwire which is used to gradually move the teeth through the duration of the treatment.
Invisalign (almost invisable aligners) can also be used to correct teeth alignement , as long as the patient is considered to be a good candidate.
Palatal expanders are often used at an early age to correct crowding.
Whatever the dental irregularity or the age of the individual, orthodontic appliances can properly realign the teeth and create a beautiful smile.
If you have any questions or concerns about orthodontic treatments or how they can benefit you, please contact our office.
Does orthodontics cause any pain?
One of the most frequently asked questions related to orthodontic treatments is if braces hurt ?!
Braces do not hurt during installation , but there is a period of adaption and sensitivity while eating during the next few days to a week at the beginning of the treatment.
There are generally two types of conventionel brackets which are used, metal and ceramic. These brackets are individually glued on the tooth and are then inserted by a metal wire which make the teeth slowly move to their adequat position. Metal ligatures matching or mutli-coloured elastics are used to hold the wire in place.
Conventional brackets are used to correct a wide variety of malocclusions. If
the orthodontist determines that the malocclusion is due to over crowding,it is occasionally suggested to extract a few adult teeth in order to recuperate the space needed .
What does an orthodontic treatment consist of?
An overview of what to expect :
- The day we install your braces or orthodontic appliances
No pain will be felt during the installation. It may take a few days to acustomize yourself while eating . Your teeth may be sensitive, so stick to softer foods at the beginning.
- A few days later
You may feel discomfort with your orthodontic appliances. The discomfort will diminish as the days progress but in the mean time your orthodontist will have given you wax cylinders which may be applied directly on the areas of the appliance that cause irritation in your mouth. Over the counter medications such as (Advil or Motrin) can also be taken if needed.
- After 5 days
Most of the discomfort and pain must be nearly over. The teeth have begun to move and the sensitivity slowly disappears. Eating becomes easier but you must continue avoiding very hard and sticky foods.
- Regular clinical visits
It is important to visit our office regularly, every 6 to 8 weeks as scheduled by your orthodontist. Eventhough your teeth move continuously, the arch wires need to be ajusted in order to reach our goal to obtain your beautiful smile. You may feel a little discomfort after a visit but it will taper off rapidly.
If you have any questions or concerns about your orthodontic treatment please do not hesitate to contact our office.
Braces for children
Many children are ambivalent about getting braces. On one hand, they like the idea of perfect teeth, but on the other hand, they are nervous about whether the braces will cause pain and discomfort. The good news is that the placement of orthodontic braces is not at all painful, and the end result will be a beautiful straight smile.
Although patients of any age can benefit from orthodontic braces, they tend to work much quicker on pre-teens and teenagers since they are still experiencing jaw growth. The Canadian Association of Orthodontists (CAO) recommends that children should first see an orthodontist around the age of seven years-old. An orthodontic examination may be beneficial before age seven if facial or oral irregularities are noted.
What causes misalignment of teeth?
Poorly aligned teeth often cause problems speaking, biting and chewing. Most irregularities are genetic or occur as a result of developmental issues. Conversely, some irregularities are acquired or greatly exacerbated by certain habits and behaviors such as:
- Mouth breathing
- Thumb or finger sucking
- Prolonged pacifier use
- Poor oral hygiene
- Poor nutrition
What’s involved when a child gets braces?
The orthodontist initially conducts a visual examination of the child's teeth. This will be accompanied by panoramic X-rays, study models (bite impressions), and computer generated images of the head and neck. These preliminary assessments are sometimes known as the planning phase because they aid the orthodontist in making a diagnosis and planning the most effective treatment.
In many cases, the orthodontist will recommend fixed orthodontic braces for a child. Fixed braces cannot be lost, forgotten or removed at will, which means that treatment is completed more quickly. Removable appliances may also be utilized, which are less intrusive and are generally used to treat various types of defects.
Here is a brief overview of some of the main types of orthodontic appliances used on children:
- Fixed braces
Braces are comprised of brackets that are affixed to each individual tooth and an archwire that connects the brackets. The brackets are usually made of metal, ceramic, or a clear synthetic material which is less noticeable to the naked eye. After braces have been applied, the child will have regular appointments to have the braces adjusted by the orthodontist. Orthodontic elastic bands are often added to the braces to aid in the movement of specific teeth.
- Palatal expanders
Expanders are used to expand the palate at a young age in order to prevent further crowding as well as preparing the adequate space needed for the adult teeth at a later age.
Retainers are typically used in the third phase (retention phase). When the original malocclusion has been treated with braces, it is essential that the teeth do not regress back to the original misalignment. Wearing a retainer ensures that teeth maintain their proper alignment and gives the jawbone around the teeth a chance to stabilize.
If you have questions about braces for children, please contact our office.
Braces for adults
Orthodontic braces were historically associated with teenagers. Today, an increasing number of adults are choosing to wear braces to straighten their teeth and correct malocclusions (bad bites). In fact, it is now estimated that almost one third of all current orthodontic patients are adults.
Orthodontic braces are predictable, versatile, and incredibly successful at realigning the teeth. Braces work in the same way regardless of the age of the patient, but the treatment time is greatly reduced in patients who are still experiencing jaw growth and have not been affected by gum disease. In short, an adult can experience the same beautiful end results as a teenager, but treatment often takes longer.
Can adults benefit from orthodontic braces?
Absolutely! Crooked or misaligned teeth look unsightly, which can cause a low self-esteem and a lack of self confidence. Aside from poor aesthetics, improperly aligned teeth can also cause difficulties biting, chewing, and articulating clearly. Generally speaking, orthodontists agree that straight teeth tend to be healthier teeth.
Straight teeth offer a multitude of health and dental benefits including:
- Reduction in general tooth decay
- Decreased likelihood of developing periodontal disease
- Decreased likelihood of tooth injury
- Reduction in digestive disorders
Fortunately, orthodontic braces have been adapted and modified to make them more
convenient for adults. There are now a wide range of fixed and removable orthodontic devices available, depending on the precise classification of the malocclusion.
The most common types of malocclusion are underbite (lower teeth protrude further than upper teeth), overbite (upper teeth protrude further than lower teeth), and overcrowding where there is insufficient space on the arches to accommodate the full complement of adult teeth.
Prior to recommending specific orthodontic treatment, the orthodontist will recommend treatment of any pre-existing dental conditions such as gum disease, excess plaque, and tooth decay. Orthodontic braces can greatly exacerbate any or all of these conditions.
What are the main types of orthodontic braces?
The following are some of the most popular orthodontic braces:
- Traditional braces
These braces are strong and tend not to stain the teeth. They are comprised of individual brackets which are cemented to each tooth and accompanied by an archwire which constantly asserts gentle pressure on the teeth. Traditional braces are generally metal but are also available in clear ceramic.
- Invisalign® ?
Invisalign® aligners are clear trays and should be worn for the recommended amount of time each day for the quickest results. Although they are more comfortable then tradional metal brackets, one must be a candidate for this innovative method. Dr. Pascal Carrière will be able to confirm if Invisalign is the right option for you.
If you have any questions about orthodontic braces, please contact our office.
Inquiries and appointments:
Questions are the source of all answers. Don’t hesitate to contact us.