Learn More about Orthodontic Treatments
Orthodontics, the branch of dentistry dealing with the prevention and correction of irregular teeth as by means of braces, first entered the English language in 1909 having become a discipline in its own right in the late 19th century. However, the use of appliances to straighten teeth dates back more than 3,000 years with evidence found amongst the graves of Etruscans, an ancient civilization predating the Romans. The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates (c. 460BC–370BC) first published his ideas regarding the correction of tooth irregularities in 400 BC. Today, these appliances have evolved and digital technology means this progress should continue.
So orthodontics have been around a long time, but what does that mean for you? What are they and how can they benefit your smile?
Orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry that deals with preventing and correcting malocclusions (defined by Google as imperfect positioning of the teeth when the jaws are closed). Your bite is how your top and bottom teeth come together when your jaws are closed. A bad bite can make it hard to chew some foods and may cause some teeth to wear down. It can also cause muscle tension and pain. Thumb or finger sucking may also affect your bite. Different types of bad bites include an overbite, a crossbite, an overjet, and an open bite.
An orthodontist is a dentist who has completed a university post-graduate specialty program in orthodontics. Depending on the extent of your bad bite, your dentist or orthodontist may suggest one or a combination of the following orthodontic treatments to correct your bite:
- Removable appliances
- Oral surgery
People of any age can benefit from orthodontic treatment - straight teeth are easier to clean and less likely to get tooth decay or injured. In fact, more and more adults are having orthodontic treatment to improve the look and health of their smile.
However, orthodontic treatment takes time, and depends on your age, the seriousness of your problem, and the treatment technique used. Treatment generally involves a visit to your dentist or orthodontist on a regular basis over a period of months to years. In general, it takes longer to treat adults than children or teenagers. Most people wear braces for about two years.
Orthodontic treatment not only improves the look of your smile but your health as well. If you are not happy with the way your teeth look or work, orthodontic treatment may help. Dr. Wilczek has been providing general practice orthodontics in Prince George for the past 20 years. Orthodontics has continued to evolve and in addition to traditional braces (brackets and wires) and retainers, now we have clear brackets for the upper front teeth which make braces less noticeable. In some cases, orthodontic treatment can be carried out with clear plastic aligners (no brackets, no wires).
To learn if your health and smile can benefit from orthodontic treatments, contact Dr. Richard Wilczek Inc at 250-562-4233 in Prince George to ask any questions or set up an appointment today.