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WHAT IS ORTHODONTICS?

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities.

WHAT IS AN ORTHODONTIST?

An orthodontist is a specialist who has completed an advanced education program following dental school to learn the special skills required to manage tooth movement and guide facial development.

WHAT ARE SOME POSSIBLE BENEFITS OF ORTHODONTICS?

  • A more attractive smile
  • Reduced appearance-consciousness during critical development years
  • Better function of the teeth
  • Possible increase in self-confidence
  • Increased ability to clean the teeth
  • Improved force distribution and wear patterns of the teeth
  • Better long-term health of teeth and gums
  • Guide permanent teeth into more favorable positions
  • Reduce the risk of injury to protruded front teeth
  • Aids in optimizing other dental treatment


WHAT ARE SOME SIGNS THAT BRACES MAY BE NEEDED?

  • Upper front teeth protrude excessively over the lower teeth, or are bucked
  • Upper front teeth cover the majority of the lower teeth when biting together (deep bite)
  • Upper front teeth are behind or inside the lower front teeth (underbite)
  • The upper and lower front teeth do not touch when biting together (open bite)
  • Crowded or overlapped teeth
  • The center of the upper and lower teeth do not line up
  • Finger- or thumb-sucking habits which continue after six or seven years old
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Teeth wearing unevenly or excessively
  • The lower jaw shifts to one side or the other when biting together
  • Spaces between the teeth


AT WHAT AGE SHOULD ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT OCCUR?

Orthodontic treatment can be started at any age. Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected at an early age before jaw growth has slowed. Early treatment may mean that a patient can avoid surgery and more serious complications. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child first visit an orthodontist by age 7 or earlier if a problem is detected by parents, the family dentist, or the child's physician.

WOULD AN ADULT PATIENT BENEFIT FROM ORTHODONTICS?

Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age. Everyone wants a beautiful and healthy smile. Twenty to twenty-five percent of orthodontic patients today are adults.

HOW DOES ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT WORK?

Braces use steady gentle pressure to gradually move teeth into their proper positions. The brackets that are placed on your teeth and the archwire that connects them are the main components. When the arch wire is placed into the brackets, it tries to return to its original shape. As it does so, it applies pressure to move your teeth to their new, more ideal positions.

HOW LONG DOES ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT TAKE?

Treatment times vary on a case-by-case basis, but the average time is from one to two years. Actual treatment time can be affected by rate of growth and severity of the correction necessary. Treatment length is also dependent upon patient compliance. Maintaining good oral hygiene and keeping regular appointments are important in keeping treatment time on schedule.

DO BRACES HURT?
Some people feel a little discomfort when the spacers are put in with conventional braces, when the braces are first put on, and/or occasionally after an adjustment.  The discomfort is comparable to a headache and can easily be relieved with analgesics.  Any serious or extreme discomfort should be reported to your Orthodontist.

CAN I STILL EAT THE SAME FOOD AND CANDY AND CHEW GUM?
Hard foods like apples, corn on the cob, beef jerky and hard candies, as well as gum, can damage the appliances requiring repairs that can delay treatment time.  Cutting up fruits and cutting corn off the cob can solve some of the food problems but some foods, candies and definitely gum, will have to be avoided while wearing braces.

DO I NEED TO HAVE TEETH REMOVED?
Sometimes removing teeth should be avoided at all costs to prevent structural facial collapse or a sunken look.  Your orthodontist should carefully determine which teeth, if any, must be removed.  Innovative braces can nicely expand the jaws and reduce the need for removal.  Many doctors focus only on straightening the teeth without considering the facial profile.  A good orthodontist will take into consideration both the need to straighten teeth and the effect the method of straightening will have on facial structure.


SO WHAT IS THE FIRST STEP IN GETTING BRACES?
The first step is to setup a consultation appointment with a reputable orthodontist.  Do a little research before your appointment and come prepared with your questions. 

At your consultation appointment, the orthodontist will examine your mouth, take notes and suggest a treatment plan.  A treatment coordinator will go over fees and a payment plan with you.

If you feel confident you have found the right orthodontist, you will need to setup an appointment for diagnostic records.  Diagnostic records generally consist of a panoramic film, a cephalometric x-ray, diagnostic casts of your teeth and photographs.  This appointment usually takes about 20-30 minutes.  Most general dentists do not use these types of x-rays, although occasionally some might take a panoramic film.  If your general dentist has taken a panoramic film within a year of your orthodontic visit, you should bring it to your consultation visit with the orthodontist.  Diagnostic records are typically a separate cost from the actual orthodontic treatment fee.  If after you have done a diagnostic workup and for some reason you are unable to proceed with treatment, these records are yours to keep and bar any extreme changes to your mouth, should be usable within a year.
 
Once you have had diagnostic records taken, the doctor will trace the desired movement he is seeking on the x-ray and you will be setup for a banding appointment.  This appointment can take from 1-2 hours, depending if one arch is being placed or both.  In cases of extremely malaligned teeth or jaw, the doctor may need to obtain movement from one arch first to avoid braces hitting braces.

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Near Nepal SBI Bank, Kathmandu, Nepal

Dental Villa 

Orthodontic Center & Speciality Dental Clinic