One source of low self esteem is crooked teeth, especially when the crooked teeth are very conspicuous. Unfortunately, orthodontic treatment to straighten crooked teeth can be very expensive. Orthodontic treatment however is not limited to young people. More and more adults are getting orthodontic treatment to fix their crooked teeth, and improve their smile.
One of the primary causes of crooked teeth is genetics. Bite problems, crowding of teeth, gaps in the teeth, and malocclusion’s may all be caused by genetics. Other causes of crooked teeth may be finger sucking and jaw accidents.
Treatment for Crooked Teeth
The treatment of crooked teeth usually requires an orthodontist, but in some mild cases, a regular dentist may be able to fix the problem. Before the orthodontic treatment starts, some dental procedures may be necessary. If the teeth are crowded, teeth may need to be extracted. If the jaw is crooked, surgery may be necessary as well. Procedures like cleaning and whitening, filling, crowns, root canals, and dental implants may be done by a regular dentist.
Three stages of orthodontic treatment for crooked teeth include:
Re-correction – In this stage, appliances are used to increase the space in the mouth. Sometimes a palatal expander is used to widen the palate. Lingual bars are used to expand the lower jaw if necessary.
Correction – This is where the braces are installed on the teeth to adjust and straighten them. Depending on the severity of the malocclusion’s, this stage could take a while.
Retainers – At this stage, when the treatment with the braces is done, the patient will need to wear retainers in order to maintain the new tooth position. At this stage, the orthodontist will need to monitor the patient to ensure that the new tooth position is maintained.
Braces are needed to straighten crooked teeth. Patients are no longer limited to just the old style metal braces. Patients have their choice of different types of braces these days.
• Fixed or removable metal, ceramic, or plastic braces
• Lingual braces
• Clear aligners (Invisalign)
• Short term braces
When Should Treatment for Crooked Teeth Start?
Modern treatment is not just for children. Orthodontic treatment is quite popular these days with teens and adults who want to improve their smiles and straighten crooked teeth. Childhood, however, is the best time to start orthodontic treatment. It is recommended by orthodontists that children get an evaluation at age seven. At this age, the incisors and molars start erupting, and at this time, the orthodontist can determine possible misalignment’s of the emerging teeth. At this age, the mouth and jaw are still growing, and the treatment is preventative instead of curative. At this stage, it is cheaper and less invasive than orthodontic treatment for adults. It can also be done without having to extract teeth, since changes can be made to prevent crowding of the permanent teeth when they start to emerge.
If you haven’t received orthodontic evaluation when you were a child and suffer crooked teeth, then you can still receive orthodontic treatment. On adults, orthodontic treatment can still correct crooked and misaligned teeth, but it will take longer than it will in children. It may also be necessary for some dental procedures to remove teeth before the orthodontic treatment starts.
If crooked, misaligned teeth make you ashamed of your smile, visit Gullotta Orthodontics to learn about the possible options for orthodontic treatment for crooked teeth.