It is common for a person to have their first experience with a dentist when they are a child. The dentist will check their gums and teeth and provide practical suggestions on overall oral health. However, as the child grows, problems with the teeth can arise that need more specialized care. This is when they may have their first visit with orthodontists in North Carolina.
Dentists who study orthodontics can treat patients regardless of their age. Orthodontics is a specialty that dentists will study in addition to their training to be a dentist. You can compare it to the way that a doctor may decide to specialize in neurology, cardiology, or some other field of study. All neurologists are doctors, but not all doctors are neurologists. The same principle applies to the study of orthodontics. In order to study it, you need to be a dentist, but not all dentists study it.
The study of orthodontics in North Carolina requires an additional three years of university and clinical experience going through an orthodontic residency program. This is a branch of dentistry that is regulated because of the seriousness of the issues that they treat. The AAO is the body that is responsible for regulating this field of dentistry. It is recommended that people select dentists who have been recognized by this organization as it adds credence to the qualification of the dentist and their ability to perform work in a way that shows competency in oral biology and biomechanics.
What Are Some Conditions That Orthodontists Treat?
Dentists who have orthodontic training are going to focus primarily on issues that affect the alignment of the teeth and jaw. There are a number of issues that people face that can have devastating or debilitating effects linked to their teeth or their jaw being misaligned. An example of this would be a speech defect. Another example of this would be problems chewing food that come from misaligned teeth or a misaligned jaw. It is difficult, if not impossible, to maintain good oral hygiene when your jaw or teeth are not properly aligned.
Anteroposterior deviations may be included in the conditions that these oral health professionals would examine. When a person has an underbite, their lower teeth protrude further than their upper teeth. Conversely, with an overbite, the upper teeth protrude further than the lower teeth. When either one of these conditions are extreme, they will prevent a person from being able to articulate clearly or chew their food properly.
When a person has overcrowding of the teeth, they have more teeth than what their jaw bone can comfortably accommodate. This could lead to teeth going out of alignment with existing teeth. Dentists in North Carolina who have training in orthodontics may be able to realign their patient’s teeth using braces or other devices and treatments. At times, it may be necessary to remove teeth in order to make enough space in the jaw to accommodate all of the teeth.
One of the primary reasons why people visit orthodontists is because they are concerned about aesthetic issues. In some cases the aesthetic issues simply affect the position of their teeth. In other cases, because of the position of their jaw, these aesthetic issues affect the entirety of their face. Dentists with training in orthodontics are able to realign the jaw and restructure the teeth with the goal of creating an even and attractive smile.
What Should I Expect from a Visit?
In most cases, your first visit will start with a thorough examination of your jaw and teeth. This examination may include using x-rays and bite impressions to determine the positioning of your jaw and teeth. Once all of this information has been gathered, treatment recommendations can be made. The goal is to identify the best treatment plan for the condition that you are dealing with. There are a number of tools and apparatuses that can be used with the goal of straightening your jaw and teeth.
When people think about getting orthodontic treatment, one of the first things they think about is getting dental braces. Dental braces technology has grown over the past few years. A few decades ago, the only option available was to get metal brackets and metal wires. These were ugly, painful, and the reason why many people got teased during their adolescence years. Now, there are braces that are ceramic, giving them a coloration that is closer to a person’s teeth. There are lingual braces that can be placed on the backside of the teeth, allowing adjustments to be made while keeping the braces completely invisible. There are also invisible plastic aligners that are used to correct alignment issues. Our oral health professional will determine which one of these treatments will be used based on your condition.
Headgear and face masks may be used if an individual has a more serious developmental problem. This could include an extreme overbite or an extreme underbite. Quite often, the orthodontist will use these apparatuses in conjunction with dental braces. The headgear and face mask will be made to fit around the head and attached to the braces. Over time, this structure will force the teeth and the jaw bone into proper alignment.
After a person has used braces or headgear and after their teeth have been properly straightened, steps must be taken in order to see to it that the teeth do not return to their previous position. This is where retainers come into the picture. A retainer will help keep a person’s teeth and jaw in the newly aligned position. A person may wear a retainer until their jaw bone has reformed to the proper position.
Will You Benefit from Orthodontics?
If you are the type of person who loves to smile but don’t want people to see your teeth so you put your hand over your mouth or if you the type of person who loves to laugh but you restrain yourself from laughing because you are embarrassed about your crooked teeth, then orthodontic treatment may be exactly what you need.
Orthodontic treatments focus on making your teeth move. They focus on realigning your teeth so that you have a smile that is healthy, straight, and attractive.
There are a lot of adults who grew up in families where there was not enough money or not enough emphasis on oral health that allowed them to get orthodontic treatment. They went through life embarrassed of their teeth, and they saw for themselves the negative impact it had on their self-confidence and their overall well-being.
As adults, they swore to themselves that their children would never have to go through the same issues they went through. When their children reached the right age, they took their children to the orthodontist and got their children braces. They watched as their children’s self-esteem improved as their teeth became more attractive. For some adults this has been enough to motivate them to go ahead and get orthodontic treatment themselves. That’s why it’s not uncommon to see people in their late 40s or early 50s walking around with braces.
This added interest on the part of adults in getting their teeth straightened has changed the orthodontic industry. This is one of the reasons why there is so much more focus on correcting dental issues in a discreet way. Products like Invisalign® have revolutionized the way that people look at oral health issues. A lot of the stigma attached to getting braces is gone. Even teenagers don’t mind it anymore. It’s just part of the process that they need to go through in order to have attractive teeth for the rest of their life.
More parents are taking their children to see the orthodontist. It is generally recommended that a child have their first visit by age seven. This is because when a child is seven years of age, their jaw is still growing. However, any structural issues or any issues with their teeth will start to manifest themselves.
Contrary to what some people may think, there is no such thing as too old to get braces. There are a lot of people who opt to get braces in their 60s or even their 70s. The mechanism for straightening teeth is exactly the same. The only difference is that a person may have fillings, missing teeth, or cavities that need to be addressed before they can get braces.
Your smile says a lot about you. It impacts the way that you feel about yourself and the way that people around you will treat you. If you feel that your crooked teeth or misaligned jaw is affecting your self-esteem, your oral health, or the way that other people treat you, do something about it. We are skilled orthodontists in North Carolina who also serve residents in South Virginia who are eager to help. If you would like to learn more about the treatments we offer, we warmly invite you get in contact with our team at The Happy Tooth at one of our many offices in North Carolina. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!