orthodontics and orthopaedics
These are very similar words but the treatments are completely different.
What is orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontic treatment involves straightening or moving teeth, to improve both their appearance and how they work. It is also useful for the long-term health of the teeth, gums and jaw joints, by spreading the biting pressure over all the teeth and lessening any crowding in your mouth.
What is orthopaedic treatment?
Orthopaedics is the gentle reshaping of the bone of the jaws using very light forces applied through removable braces to allow the bone to remodel. This allows enough space for the teeth to be straightened, usually without having to remove healthy teeth.
At what age can I have orthodontic or orthopaedic treatment?
With orthopaedic treatment the general rule is the younger the better but it can be done at any age. Orthodontic treatment requires all of the adult teeth to be present and it is better for all growth to be finished before starting so any time from mid teens onward.
What are 'invisible braces'?
These are very tough but clear plastic aligners that are used to straighten your teeth. Several sets of specifically moulded aligners are made for you, each one slightly different. You wear each set for two weeks before replacing it with the next one in the series. And so gradually they move your teeth into the desired position.
With this kind of treatment, there are no unsightly bands, brackets or wires. These braces are almost completely invisible, so no one needs to know that you are straightening your teeth.
At Gentle dental we use the Clearstep system and a typical case will take six months to a year
Do 'invisible braces' work for everyone?
Unfortunately invisible braces are not suitable for complicated cases. For example, cases involving severe crowding, over- or under-bites etc will almost certainly need fixed brackets also called “straight wire” treatment.
How long does it take?
Orthodontic treatment can take anywhere between a few months to two and a half years, depending on how complicated the treatment is. Most simple cases can be treated in under a year.
Can orthodontics damage my teeth?
Braces in themselves do not damage teeth. However, poor cleaning and too many sugary drinks and snacks can cause damage. If you're not careful, braces can trap some food and cause more plaque than usual to build up around your teeth. That's why your teeth and the braces themselves need to be cleaned very thoroughly. As part of you orthodontic treatment you will be asked to visit the hygienist at least every six months to maintain the health of your teeth.
To find out more please contact Dr Rob Jukes at Gentle Dental in Salisbury