Orthodontics is a specialized field of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of dental problems, such as crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, and other tooth and jaw irregularities. Orthodontic treatments can enhance and improve the quality of life for children, adolescents, and adults of all ages with significant orthodontic problems.
Orthodontic irregularities can result from both environmental and genetic factors, and proper diagnosis by a professional who specializes in orthodontic care should precede any treatment. Diagnosis often includes taking x-rays and photographs as well as dental impressions to determine the severity of the patient’s dental problems and the best course of action for correction.
Common Orthodontic Corrections for Children and Adults
The most common form of orthodontic treatment is braces, which come in several different varieties. Braces gently shift the alignment of the teeth by applying light pressure over the course of many months. The two main components of braces are the brackets and the wiring. The brackets are affixed to each tooth with a cement adhesive, and the wire is bent in the shape of the patient’s ideal bite, looped through each bracket. Over time, the teeth shift into proper position and new bone growth develops to support the new alignment.
Typically, orthodontic treatment can last from six to 30 months, depending on the severity of the irregularities and the age of the patient. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children be evaluated for orthodontic problems starting around age seven, and if treatment is necessary, it is best to start orthodontic treatment in children between the ages of seven and 11. Beginning treatment at this age can often prevent irregularities from worsening, since face and jaw bones are not yet fully developed.
Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment
Orthodontic treatment offers many benefits for patients, both physical and psychological. When the teeth are in proper alignment, they are less prone to chipping, and they are also easier to keep clean, which reduces the likelihood of gingivitis and tooth decay. Properly aligned teeth put less strain on the jaw muscles and joints, and are better able to properly break down food particles for better digestion. Additionally, in today’s image-conscious world, having a beautiful smile can increase confidence and self-acceptance.
Let Hallock Family Dental Make a Difference for You
At Hallock Family Dental, your oral health is our top priority, and we strive to create an atmosphere in which your whole family can feel welcome and comfortable. We have built our practice on the values of honesty, integrity, and quality, and you can be confident that when you trust our family-owned practice with your orthodontic care, you won’t be pressured into treatments or services that you or your family do not really need. We accept most PPO insurance plans, as well as Care Credit and Citi Health Card. If you are a new patient, you can even fill out your paperwork online. If you have any questions about our services or you need to schedule your appointment, call our Allen office or McKinney office today.