Dentist Specializing in Orthodontics
A dentist who specializes in orthodontics usually has children for his patients but there are also some adults who need his help. The scope of an orthodontist is to diagnose and treat malocclusions, among other things. These malocclusions are often the result of other issues that stem from crooked teeth or disproportionate jaws. The field has a lot of other subspecialties which include but are not limited to the actual recreation of regions of the face close to the oral cavity.
In general, the dentist with the orthodontic license treats irregularities in the oral cavity exclusively. This means that he or she initially assess the condition of the teeth that the patient currently has. Children around eleven to twelve years old are the ones who are treated with their first brace or appliance to correct the issues in the oral cavity. The primary reason why the professional needs to wait for this age is due to the fact that almost all of the child’s permanent pearly whites should be out by these ages except for the wisdom teeth. These come out around the age of seventeen to twenty years old which means that by then the braces would have done their job and the early permanent pearly whites should be straight already.
The dentist might make exceptions with regards to a child’s age when it comes to some malocclusions. In some instances, the dental professional will start putting on the appliance at an early age. In order to do this, he should consult with the parents first and then explain why there is a need to start early in correcting the malocclusions. A crossbite is one of the reasons why braces may be started early. This consists of one of the top units growing inwards at an angle with the lower one meeting it, growing outwards or the other way around. The meeting will further aggravate the condition causing the gums to recede. It is difficult to encourage the gums to grow back up once they recede, in most cases, surgery needs to be done to fix this.
The dental appliances that are used for treating malocclusions need to be kept in place for several months, for some even a couple of years until the teeth have been straightened satisfactorily, according to the dentist. Retainers might be necessary to continue to hold them in the same position until the growth has stopped or there are no spaces anymore to which the teeth might move to. During the entire duration of wearing braces and retainers, the child needs to regularly visit the dental professional in order for him to check on the condition of the oral cavity. A different kind of dental appliance that acts pretty much the same way as braces is called Invisalign. Instead of metal wires and a power chain, it involves making a see through appliance that can be fitted on top of the teeth to guide them in place.
Other innovations are usually proposed by the dentist to his patients in order to make the child’s experience less frightening and painful.