Patient Information

What is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specialises in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. The technical term for these problems is “malocclusion,” which means “bad bite.”

The practice of orthodontics consists of the design, application and control of corrective appliances (braces, plates, etc.) with the goal of bringing teeth, lips and jaws into proper alignment to achieve facial balance. Orthodontics will enhance the smile by straightening the teeth and correcting the bite.

Benefits of treatment

  • Orthodontic treatment would give you straight healthy teeth for the rest of your life, requiring minimal maintenance.
  • Beautiful straight teeth are an asset to anyone’s smile and patients receive a great boost to their self-esteem with treatment.
  • Straight teeth are much easier to clean than irregular teeth. Crowded or crooked teeth can be very difficult to clean between and this can lead to gum and bone problems even at an early age.
  • An incorrect bite can cause damage to the teeth by wearing them down, particularly the upper and lower front teeth. Irregular teeth can meet each other at an adverse angle and a deep vertical overlap of the front teeth can markedly shorten the crowns of the lower front teeth. This “deep overbite” may also involve the lower front teeth biting into the gum behind the upper front teeth.
  • Protruding teeth may be more susceptible to accidental damage. Correcting this protrusion will place the front teeth behind the lips, giving them more protection.
  • Early correction of crossbites of the back teeth can improve symmetrical lower jaw growth. Correction of the crossbites of front teeth can reduce adverse tooth wear and improve lower jaw function.
  • Openbites may cause speech impediments and tongue-thrusting habits.
  • In the long term, when the teeth are straight, they are easy to brush and floss, the gums and surrounding bone are healthy and, apart from care of the retainers, a yearly visit to the dentist is usually all that is necessary for maintenance.