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Do I need orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontics or dentofacial orthopedics, is a specialty field of dentistry. It deals with diagnosis, prevention and correction of malpositioned teeth and the jaws.

Crooked teeth and teeth that do not fit correctly are

  • Harder to keep clean,
  • At risk of being lost due to tooth decay and periodontal disease,
  • Cause extra stress on the chewing muscles that can lead to headaches, TMJ syndrome and neck, shoulder and back pain.

Crooked teeth also detract from one’s appearance.

The benefits of orthodontic treatment are a healthier mouth, a more pleasing appearance, and teeth that lasts longer

Your dentist is the best qualified person to ascertain whether you need orthodontics, and will refer you an orthodontist, if necessary.

Indications that you may need orthodontic treatment

  • Overbite – where the upper teeth lie over the lower teeth
  • Underbite – where the lower teeth are too far forward or the upper teeth too far back
  • Crossbite – where the upper teeth do not come down in front of the bottom teeth when biting
  • Open bite – space between other teeth when the back teeth bite together
  • Misplaced midline – when the center of upper and lower front teeth do not line up
  • Spacing – gaps as a result of missing teeth or teeth that do not properly fill the mouth
  • Crowding – too many teeth for the arch to accommodate

Orthodontic appliances

At Dentist@Health, some removable appliances are offered, but for specialised and fixed orthodontics, your dentist will refer you to a specialist.

Orthodontic appliances consist of fixed and removable appliances

Special fixed appliances to control thumb sucking and tongue thrusting

Fixed space maintainers when baby teeth are lost, to keep the space open for the permanent teeth to grow into

Removable space maintainers

Palatal expander to widen the arch of the upper jaw

Removable retainers to prevent shifting of the teeth to a previous position

Your dentist at Dentist@Health will do a thorough examination and give you best advice about the treatment most suited to your orthodontic difficulty

Scale and Polish

A layer of food and saliva (acquired pellicle) builds up on one’s teeth during the day.

If this is not removed regularly, it may become colafied to form what is known as calculus or tartar. This hard substance needs to be removed by your dentist with a scaling instrument.

An ultrasonic scaler or hand scaler is used to remove calculus and then teeth are polished with fluoride rich polishing paste.

Most patients require a scale and polish visit every six months.

Read more about orthodonics and teen oral care.