What is orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontic treatment is a series of processes to move poorly aligned teeth to a desirable position.
Photograph showing poor alignment of teeth.
Orthodontic treatment can:
- Improve the appearance.
- Improve the biting position and chewing function.
Types of orthodontic appliances
Fixed orthodontic Appliances
- Placement of orthodontic brackets.
- The orthodontic wire and orthodontic brackets are connected by elastics and stainless steel wires (ligatures).
- Regular dental visits are needed according to the instructions of the orthodontist.
- After the teeth have moved to the favourable positions,a retainer is used to hold and stabilize the teeth in these positions.
- How long does a fixed orthodontic treatment take?
The overall duration lasts for about 1.5 to 3 years. The actual time needed depends on the complexity of treatment.
Removable orthodontic appliances
It is suitable for simple orthodontic treatments.
- Take impressions of the teeth
- Fabricate the removable orthodontic appliance in the dental laboratory.
- Fit in the appliance in the mouth, and activate the springs or screws.
- Regular dental visits to check the tooth movements and adjust the appliance accordingly.
- How long does a removable orthodontic treatment take?
The overall duration lasts for about 6 to 12 months. The actual time needed depends on the complexity of treatment.
Points to note on orthodontic treatments
- When you are wearing an orthodontic appliance, extra attention towards oral hygiene is needed to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
- When you are wearing a removable orthodontic appliance, the appliance and teeth must be thoroughly cleaned every morning and evening before wearing it again. Leave the appliance in a cup of water when it is not worn.
- If severe discomfort is felt when you are wearing an orthodontic appliance, consult your orthodontist immediately.
Consult the dentist to see whether or not it is necessary for you to undergo orthodontic treatment. Allow him to check your oral condition and explain the treatments to you in detail.