Types of Orthodontic Problems
Orthodontic misalignments, called malocclusions, can indicate a number of different conditions. Inherited malocclusions include jaw growth problems, congenitally missing teeth, extra teeth, crowded or protruded teeth and spacing problems. However, the premature loss of baby teeth, retention of baby teeth, thumb- or finger-sucking, accidents and certain types of dental disease can also result in a need for orthodontic treatment.
Importance of Orthodontic Treatment
Correcting orthodontic problems is not just about cosmetics and improving self-confidence; there are very important dental health reasons as well. Malocclusions can cause difficulty in chewing and speaking, according to the AAO, while wearing away enamel on healthy teeth and putting excess stress on your gum tissue and surrounding bone. In addition, teeth that are crooked or overlapping are difficult to clean, which can put you at risk for tooth decay and gum disease.
Invisalign, also known as invisible braces, is made of smooth plastic aligners that are virtually invisible, removable and fit comfortably over the teeth. Each aligner is specially customized and will gradually shift your teeth over time.
Promotes best oral hygiene as it allows you to continue brushing and flossing your teeth normally
Almost invisible and allow you to undergo treatment discreetly
Comfortable as there is no irritation to the gums or surrounding tissues
Removable and has minimal interferences on your daily activities and diet
Clear braces consist of ceramic or polycarbonate (plastic) brackets stuck onto the front of teeth, clear rubber bands and a Teflon coated or fiberglass archwire. They can be either conventional or self-ligating.
Less noticeable than metal braces
More expensive than metal braces
The ligature can stain easily without proper care
Conventional Dental Braces
Metal braces (1st generation) is the most common and popular form of treatment and consist of metal brackets stuck onto the front of teeth, rubber bands and an archwire.
Choice of modules (colored rubber bands) available
Most noticeable type of braces
Less hygienic as it is difficult to clean in-between brackets
Sharp ends of brackets often cause mouth ulcers
Longer treatment time
Lingual braces are very similar to conventional and self-ligating braces except that they are placed behind the teeth and less noticeable
Less noticeable and not visible from outside
Difficult to clean
May cause slight difficulties in speaking
May hurt the tongue and be uncomfortable at first
Regular adjustments take a long time and are more difficult as compared to traditional braces
Self Ligating Braces
Self-ligating braces (2nd generation) use a ‘sliding door’ technique in which metal brackets are stuck onto the front of teeth, allowing the archwire to slide back and forth without the need for rubber bands to hold it in place.
More hygienic than metal braces as less food gets trapped between brackets
Requires fewer adjustments and visits to the dentists compared to conventional braces
Shorter treatment time than 1st generation metal braces
No staining problems
More expensive than 1st generation metal braces