It’s not uncommon for permanent teeth to come in crooked or misaligned. In some cases, teeth with straighten slightly over time as the jaw itself grows. However, many teeth that emerge crooked or out of alignment will require the help of an orthodontist to restore them to their proper position.
How Do I Know If I Need an Orthodontist?
Orthodontics is a school of dentistry that focuses on making sure teeth are properly aligned and not overlapping, too far apart, crowded, or crooked. Your dentist will evaluate the placement of your teeth and look for signs that teeth are misaligned or otherwise in the wrong position. If your dentist feels problems are developing, he will refer you to an orthodontist.
A consultation with an orthodontist will help you determine if you need braces or another type of orthodontic treatment. This consultation usually includes digital photographs of your teeth so you can clearly see the existing problems as well as images of what your smile will look like after treatment. The orthodontist will recommend treatment and give you an idea of how long it will take and how much it will cost.
What Kind of Orthodontic Treatment Will Fix My Teeth?
The most commonly used orthodontic treatment is traditional braces. The orthodontist affixes metal brackets to your teeth. The brackets are used to anchor rubber bands, which exert pressure to gradually move your teeth into place. Another method is using plastic aligner trays. Each tray is shaped slightly differently, and pushes the teeth closer to their final position.
Sometimes, orthodontic treatment is designed to create additional room in the mouth so the teeth can come in less crowded or closer to the appropriate position. A palate spreader can be used to accomplish this. This appliance is placed on the upper palate and is gradually widened using a special key. It effectively moves the opposite sides of the palate farther away from each other. Over time, this can create room for teeth to come in more normally.
To discuss you or a family member’s orthodontic options, contact our office today!