Types of Orthodontic Treatment
There are several types of orthodontic treatment available based on the patient's age and existing orthodontic problems. The following are some of the common orthodontic treatment categories and some photographs and examples of treatment actually provided by Dr. Johe:
Children at this age may exhibit jaw growth, habit, and crowding problems that would be much more difficult to address at a later age. Some examples of problems best addressed at a younger age:
- Crowding - overlap and rotation of the front permanent teeth
- Underbite - the upper teeth being behind the lower teeth
- Overbite - The upper teeth sticking out (increasing the danger of breaking these teeth)
- Crossbite - The upper dental arch is too narrow to fit together properly with the bottom arch
- Open bite - space between the top and bottom teeth, difficulty biting into foods
- Habits - thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, lip wedging
- Tooth eruption problems caused by missing or extra teeth
Treatment at this age typically involves wearing fixed or removable appliances such as expanders, habit appliances, retainers, and extra oral appliances, and is termed Interceptive treatment. Treatment may also involve wearing braces for up to one year duration. Retainers are typically required following treatment. Although patients typically require further orthodontic treatment at a later time, the final result can be greatly enhanced and treatment simplified by treating children at this age.
Children at this age may exhibit any of the malocclusion problems listed above and in addition may exhibit:
- Tooth impaction - improper tooth eruption of canines / premolars.
- Posterior crowding - overlap and rotation of the back and front teeth.
- Spacing - some spacing in the front teeth is normal up to age 12. Spacing beyond this time period may indicate a need for orthodontic treatment.
Treatment at this age typically involves wearing braces anywhere from 18 months to 30 months and is termed Comprehensive treatment. In some cases, treatment may also involve wearing removable appliances. In rare cases, surgical intervention may be necessary. Retainers are always required following treatment.
Adults can exhibit a wide variety of malocclusion problems, including any of the previously mentioned conditions. Some other typical examples:
- Lower incisor crowding - This typically occurs in 20+ year old patients who did or did not have prior orthodontic treatment
- Rotation / Crowding of anterior teeth - This typically occurs in 20+ year old patients exhibiting slow methodical crowding of front teeth over long time periods.
Treatment at this age typically involves wearing braces or retainers anywhere from 6 months to 30 months. In some cases, surgical intervention may be necessary. Retainers are always required following treatment.
Did you know?
Research has shown that straight teeth improve self-esteem and confidence. This improved self-image frequently leads to increased social interaction and career success, as well as improving a person’s general attitude toward life.