If your teeth are not straight, you have an overbite or underbite, or you have any other issue related to the positioning of your teeth or jaw, you need to see one of our orthodontic specialists. The experts here at Lanier Valley Dentistry are ready to assist you with any issues related to crooked teeth, a misaligned jaw, and other orthopedic conditions. There are many reasons why you need to have these conditions treated. If you do not, you are more likely to fall victim to a number of other oral health issues and may even experience headaches, back pain, and neck pain.
What Do Orthodontists Treat?
Orthodontists spend at least an extra two years studying orthodontics after they complete their dental degree. These specialists treat conditions related to the alignment of the teeth and the jaw. With teeth, there are two common issues. The first is spacing. If your adult teeth come in with gaps between them, it is much easier for bacteria to get between the teeth and damage them. It is harder to clean these spaces. On the other hand, another condition we treat is overcrowding. This occurs when a patient’s mouth is too small to hold all of their adult teeth. Teeth may become impacted or be pushed to the side, creating difficulty chewing and causing pain.
For the jaw, our orthodontists often handle overbites and underbites. These conditions occur when either the top or the bottom jaw sticks out a little more than it should. We may also treat crossbites, open bites, and other misalignment issues.
Common Orthodontic Treatment Methods
There are a number of different treatment methods we use in orthodontics. The most common is braces or Invisalign. These tools help us realign a patient’s teeth. While braces are typically used with younger patients, adults may need to make use of braces or Invisalign aligners, too. Another orthodontic tool is the fixed space maintainer. This is often used when a young patient loses a baby tooth prematurely. The maintainer takes the place of the lost tooth so the teeth around it do not move sideways. These maintainers can be removable or non-removable.
In addition to these tools and treatment methods, we may also need to fit patients with a jaw repositioning appliance, a palatal expander, or even full headgear. It all depends on what orthodontic conditions they are dealing with, their age, and how severe the conditions are.
Often, after your orthodontic treatment, you will need to wear a retainer to ensure your teeth stay in alignment.
Who Needs Orthodontic Treatment?
Anyone who has crowded teeth, large gaps between their teeth, or a misaligned jaw needs to come in to meet with one of our orthodontic specialists for a dental exam. There are a number of issues that patients may experience if they allow these conditions to continue or worsen. Misaligned teeth can be hard to clean, leading to more cavities, gum disease, or tooth loss. Misalignments can make it hard to chew, eat, or even speak correctly. TMJ is another concern with a misaligned jaw.
If you suspect you or your child is dealing with an orthodontic condition, contact Lanier Valley Dentistry as soon as you can at (678) 802-8654 to make an appointment.