So your teeth are so crooked and so ugly that you refuse to smile and you have to wear a pork chop around your neck so the dog will play with you! Malaligned teeth can lead to premature wear, tooth loss, gum disease and jaw joint problems commonly referred to as “tmj.” Orthodontia may be the answer. This area of dentistry involves treatment of tooth and bite irregularities using various types of dental braces or retainers. Many general dentists are doing basic tooth alignment and orthodontists specialize in correcting irregularities of teeth and jaws.
How to choose Dental Braces?
The practitioner you choose will do a complete and thorough medical and dental history as well as order specific xrays and required jaw scans. They will also do digital or manual impressions of your teeth. Based on all this information, a personalized treatment plan will be made for you. In some cases a removeable retainer is all that will be needed. Only in extreme case is surgery required. Most cases will require some sort of braces. These may consist of bands, small metal brackets, wires or removeable appliances commonly referred to as invisalign.
How do Dental Braces work?
Braces work by applying very light continuous pressure over a period of time to move teeth in a specific direction. Braces can involve use of the following components; brackets, stainless steel bands, spacers, various types of wires, ribber ties, springs and headgear.
How long should you wear Dental Braces
There is a huge variation in the amount of time required to wear braces all depending on individual needs. If brackets are chosen they usually need to remain in place from one to three years. You will generally need to plan on monthly visits to the dentist for follow-up and adjustments. You may plan on some initial minor soreness which should last only a day or so. While wearing braces you can continue to participate in any sports you wish. In some cases wearing of a custom fitted mouthguard is recommended. After the brackets are removed it is usually necessary to wear some sort of retainer to prevent any relapse. Some retainers are removeable and require strict compliance on the part of the patient. Others are bonded directly to the teeth out of sight.
After the braces are taken off, your teeth will be thoroughly cleaned. In some cases you will be advised to have your wisdom teeth removed. There is quite a variation in the cost of braces. You can expect to pay in the vicinity of $5000 for full mouth braces. Some dental insurance carriers provide partial coverage for the cost of braces so it is advisable to check with your insurance company to determine beforehand if they will pay a portion of the cost. Your dentist is happy to help with the necessary forms to obtain this information.
Once your teeth have been straightened and your bite corrected you can expect to have a much healthier mouth and a smile you will be proud to show off.