What is Orthodontic Treatment?
The goals of orthodontic treatment are preventing onset of oral and maxillofacial disorders, ceasing the progression of the already existing impairments and correcting them as well as achieving a good cosmetic and functional (biting, chewing, speaking, smiling) outcome.
What are the considerations for dental braces?
For a successful treatment, it is also important that brackets adhered on your teeth remain on the surface of teeth and they are not broken. Therefore, you should pay attention on what you eat. You need to avoid eating foods written below or you should eat them in small pieces throughout your treatment;
Hard foods, dried nuts and fruits, hard candies, fruits like apple, plum, quince and French fries as well as gums and foods that may adhere to teeth and are hardly cleaned, such as Turkish delight and fizzy drinks like coke.
Is there any age limitation for orthodontic treatment?
No; the treatment is performed for all age groups. The widely accepted notion is that orthodontic treatment is applied only for children. In fact, teeth may displace at any age. In other words, this treatment enables eruption of teeth that are not or are hardly erupting in your 8 years old child, while the interocclusal gaps between your teeth can be closed with orthodontic treatment. There is no upper age limit for orthodontic treatment. It can be practiced at any age for individuals who require this treatment. For adults, tooth-colored brackets are available or it is also possible to hide the brackets on the lingual surface of the teeth.
My child sucks finger at nights; is that harmful for teeth?
The bad habits, such as sucking finger, use of pacifier or baby bottle, nail-biting etc. should be abandoned when the child is 3.5 years old, if they are already persisting. In case they persist, the consequences of those habits become permanent and the child needs to have a serious and long-term orthodontic treatment. Among them is the sucking finger that is the most difficult one to abandon. When you recognize your child is sucking finger, it is reasonable for you to visit an orthodontist.
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My child snores while sleeping at night, his mouth is open during the day and I see some impairments in her teeth; are those conditions interconnected?
Yes. Breathing by mouth is a natural consequence of the difficulty in nasal breathing; people with such difficulty try to compensate the nasal problem. Orthodontic problems also occur frequently in individuals with mouth breathing. Therefore, you need to visit an otolaryngologist and orthodontist at regular intervals.
How long does orthodontic treatment take?
It may vary from 6 months to 36 months depending on the case and age of our patient.
Is pain or sensitivity felt during the treatment?
In first couple of days after braces are placed, toothache while chewing is an expected condition, along with mild irritation on internal surfaces of cheeks and lips. No matter how severe your complaints are, you will not feel braces in your mouth not later than 10 days.
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Do my teeth impair again after they are corrected?
Braces will be removed from your dental surfaces after alignment of your teeth is corrected. After this procedure, retainers will be used to retain the current status. If these devices are not used for the recommended period of time and you do not present for follow-up visits for a long time, recurrence of the impairment will be likely.
What kind of problems can I face if I do not have my teeth corrected?
Severity of impairments in your teeth progresses as you age. In other words, your teeth will disturb you more in the long-term.
The abnormal separation between teeth of upper and lower jaws will bear forces that are higher than usual on your jaw joint or temporomandibular joint and it may leads to particular problems in the long term, such as limited mouth opening and locking.
Since it will be more difficult to clean the spaces between the teeth and some dental surfaces due to the irregular arrangement of teeth, caries will be more likely comparing to the individuals with regular arrangement of teeth.
How can I recognize an orthodontic problem in my (my child’s) teeth?
Our patients generally visit a specialist in case of severely crooked teeth where canine teeth are located higher than other teeth. Unless the condition is such striking, orthodontic problems are recognized in advanced ages and patients prefer living the problem or require to have a dental prosthesis – a procedure where adjacent teeth are cut down – as they give up the orthodontic therapy based on the thought “I cannot have this treatment at this age”.
I suggest every people older than 3 years of age to visit a dentist to have all teeth examined optimally once every 6 months or once a year in minimum – if you think the former interval is too frequent. Even if the dentist you visit is not an orthodontist, well-educated dentists will diagnose the orthodontic problem and refer you to the specialists.
I feel pain in front of my ears; can it be related to the impairment of my teeth?
The pain felt in jaw and the facial system can originate from teeth. However, it is hard to speculate that they definitely originate from teeth, because there are many underlying causes of such pains. In this case, treatment of teeth is one of the primary measures that should be taken.
Can stains remain on teeth after removal of braces?
No stain will be likely in case of a good oral hygiene. These stains, also called discolorations, are actually the onset of dental caries.
Does orthodontic treatment accelerate the dental caries?
The wavy surfaces of braces that are adhered on teeth provide a good basis for accumulation of food residues. If teeth are not brushed correctly, the risk of dental caries is likely during orthodontic treatment.
Some teeth need to be extracted for treatment. Is intended extraction of tooth harmful?
Extraction of teeth for orthodontic treatment is generally not wanted by parents of most patients. However, the decision to extract teeth ensures better and long-lasting outcomes, if teeth cannot be placed on jaw bones.
What are the methods of orthodontic treatment?
- Fixed metallic brackets
- Fixed ceramic brackets
- Lingual treatment (applied on lingual surface of teeth)
- Clear braces (Invisalign)
- Removable brace
What are the substances of the teeth?
Our teeth are composed of enamel, dentin, cementum and the pulp.
Enamel: It is the hardest substance of the human body. It is the outermost protective layer that surrounds the tooth. Since it has no nerve cells, it is not sensitive to any stimulus. It is composed of calcium salts by 97 percent. Enamel is organized as hexagonal “apatite” crystals.
The calcium salts enter into the enamel and slowly deposit on the organic tooth model and finally, they crystallize. This deposition initiates in the intra-uterine life. If the mother takes certain medicines in the pregnancy or the child develops a disease while the enamel forms, the deposition of enamel may interrupt. In this case, teeth can be yellow, gray or brown. Sometimes, the enamel forms in a hypoplasic configuration.
Dentin: It is the layer beneath the enamel. They account for 75% of the tooth in an adult human. Although its density is identical to that of bone, it is sensitive to heat and touch. Dentin tissue can be regenerated by repair cells, if required. The principal mass of the tooth is formed by dentin. The dentin is covered by emanel in the crown and by cementum in the root. Dentin is a viable tissue and it is composed of mineral salts by 70%, organic substances by 20% and water by 10 percent. Dentin contains many canaliculi or tubules. The canaliculi are filled by filaments that are extensions of cells that form the dentin at the junction of the dentin and the enamel. The cells that form the dentin are called “odontoblast”. There are almost 10,000 dentin canaliculi per millimeter square. If the tooth is carved or reduced for filling or veneers, these canaliculi are exposed and sensitivity is provoked by cold, hot, sour and sweet foods.
Pulp (pulp chamber): It implies the mid zone of the tooth and the soft tissue located in this chamber. It extends to the root. Blood vessels are found in this part and the teeth are protected against infections and kept viable by the blood vessels. Hypersensitive neural cells are also found in the dental pulp and the sense of hot, cold and pressure is perceived by these cells. “Dental pulp” is composed of capillary arteries and veins, sensory fibers and connective tissue that protects the former one in a chamber formed by the dentin. The dental pulp is externally surrounded by cells that form the dentin (odontoblasts). These cells resemble guards of a castle that protect the teeth against caries and other noxious agents. If the underlying cause of the caries is defeated by the cells that form the dentin, these cells encompass the castle of the dental pulp with dentine; if they are defeated, the dental pulp opens and gets inflamed. Occurrence of this event is more common in the dental pulp of the young people.
Cementum: it is a very thin bony layer that surrounds the root. It attaches the root of the tooth to the jaw bone. It is composed of inorganic substance by 65 percent. Sometimes, abnormally high amount of normal cement accumulates around the root and in the apex. This is called “hypercementosis”.