Orthopedics of the jaws or orthodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry that deals with correcting the improper position of the teeth and jaws, and as the end result is the establishment of facial harmony as a whole. Teeth in the wrong place or crooked teeth impair aesthetics and affect the health of the oral cavity.
Most often, orthodontic therapy is carried out in children or adolescents, but it is possible at any age – there is no age limit.
Before starting orthodontic therapy, it is necessary to carry out a comprehensive analysis of the problem, because diagnostics and analysis are the most important part of the therapy. It includes the making of plaster models, photography and analysis of recordings.
Therapy with a fixed device (fixed prosthesis)
Today it is the gold standard of modern orthodontics. It consists of the popular “braces” that stick to the teeth and through which a wire arch passes that actually straightens the teeth.
Therapy with a fixed device lasts approximately 18-24 months, and control examinations are scheduled for 3-6 weeks.
Proper maintenance of appliances and teeth is extremely important for a good result of the therapy. Healthy teeth and gums contribute to the durability and quality of the results achieved.
Mobile appliances (prostheses for children)
The success of orthodontic therapy in which a mobile device is used depends on the patient’s discipline in following the instructions and wearing the device regularly.
They are extremely effective, because they can move both jaws and teeth. They are often prescribed in the first phase of orthodontic therapy until the eruption of permanent teeth, when therapy with a fixed appliance continues. It is necessary to wear them every day for a minimum of 8 hours, and if they have a screw, the patient must turn it regularly, so that the dental arch expands and the teeth move. It is also necessary to wash and dry them well so that no scale remains on them.
Foils for straightening teeth are a more comfortable alternative to fixed appliances in milder cases of improper tooth position. They are practically invisible, significantly more comfortable and worn 22-24 hours a day. They are removed when eating, and they are washed with a paste brush, just like the teeth, after every meal.
Foils are planned and made by computer, based on impressions, and usually a set of at least three foils is needed, and the more difficult the case, the more they are needed. They gently move the teeth, and when one has completed its part of the therapy, the next one is needed. The software simulates the tooth movement and divides it into the required number of foils, each of which moves the tooth by 0.25-0.30mm.
However, foils cannot help in all cases, so the assessment should be left to the orthodontist.