As an architect is to a building, an orthodontist is to a smile. Perhaps that’s why they are so famously called the ‘Smile Architects’. But unlike the popular old notion that an orthodontic treatment is to get ‘prettier smiles’, it rather covers various dento-facial anomalies unknown to the common man.
Most common patient complaints include irregularly positioned teeth, spacing, crooked or protruded teeth. So what is the right time to start the treatment? The correct age for an orthodontic screening is no later than 7 yrs of age, since enough jaw growth happens by then, current or future problems can be identified and most permanent molars and incisors are out.
Why at such a young age? It is because initial stages are much easier to deal and require shorter treatment time. There are many important benefits as well:
– Skeletal disharmony of the face can be detected and accordingly growth of the jaw can be guided
– Width of the jaws can regulated as per facial aesthetics
– Guide eruption of permanent tooth into desirable positions
– Reduce likelihood of impacted permanent tooth
– Preserve / gain space for permanent teeth that are coming in
– Lower risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
– Correct harmful habits
– Reduce or eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems
What are the consequences when you put-off the treatment?? More the delay, more complex the problem becomes and repercussions follow:
– Treatment becomes difficult and lengthy
– More painful
– Increase cost
– Increase risk of infection
– Longer recovery time
– Patient has to take more time off from work for treatment and recovery
Duration of the treatment? It ranges from 1 to 3 years depending on the case. If treatment is done at early stages, it may take even 1 year. But a lot depends on the severity of the problem, patient’s growth response and cooperation of the patient.
Why orthodontic treatments are important?? Crooked or crowded teeth are hard to maintain. This leads to a cycle of events that involve tooth decay, gum diseases and eventual tooth loss. There is abnormal wear of teeth surfaces, inefficient chewing, excessive stress on gums and underlying bone and even misalignment of jaw joints.
One should look out for signs or habits like:
– Early / late loss of baby teeth
– Difficulty in chewing and biting
– Mouth breathing
– Thumb / finger sucking
– Misaligned teeth
– Misplaced or blocked out teeth
– Jaws that shift or make sounds
– Biting cheek or roof of the mouth
– Teeth that meet abnormally
– Jaws and teeth that are out of proportion to the rest of the face
An orthodontic treatment is a sequence of monthly appointments that requires serious time commitment. Though an investment, we at Dentition provide payment plans in case of monetary concerns. Let’s not forget that a good smile with pleasing facial aesthetics not only boosts your self-esteem but also your social interaction as well as future career aspects.