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Last reviewed by: Aleksey Portnov , medical expert, on 01.06.2018

Specialty orthodontist is the most in demand for the reason that about 90% of dental patients have bite disorders.

The name of the dentistry orthodontics comes from the Greek word "orthos" (straight) and Latin "dens" (tooth). The branch of medicine solves the problems of incorrect bite and corrects the location of teeth.

According to the doctors themselves, the number of people in need of professional assistance is increasing every year. This is due to the eating habits of a modern person who consumes mostly soft food, which in turn provokes an underdevelopment of the chewing apparatus.

To the following factors affecting the curvature of the teeth and the formation of the pathology of the occlusion, the orthodontist attributes: 

  • congenital anomalies (for example, the appearance of fewer teeth); 
  • heredity; 
  • artificial feeding; 
  • bad habits (such as sucking a finger); 
  • trauma to the teeth or jaw bones; 
  • ecology.

Visiting an orthodontist and getting rid of aesthetic defects will return not only a beautiful smile, but also facilitate the maintenance of hygiene in the oral cavity, and will also allow the most difficult in the body temporomandibular joint to function normally.

Who is an orthodontist?

The orthodontist is a physician who improves the appearance of the teeth, providing them with an even position and proper functioning, and correcting the wrong bite.

To begin practice in the field of orthodontics, a graduate of a medical university should light a specialization for 2-3 years. The practitioner must continually improve the level of skills in accordance with innovative technologies.

Orthodontist - first of all a doctor, whose work results to hide from others will be problematic. That's why it's so important to find a competent specialist. Unfortunately, the presence of vast experience is not a guarantee of the professionalism of the orthodontist. A decisive place in the final choice is played by an initial consultation, on which: 

  • pay attention to how widely the doctor covers the essence of the problem and the ways to solve it; 
  • Orthodontist clearly, clearly and logically answers all your questions; 
  • the specialist offers modern treatment technologies with the rationale for choosing a bracket system; 
  • get reliable information about the advanced manufacturers, positive and negative aspects of treatment.

When should I contact an orthodontist?

The maximum quick and high-quality correction of the position of the jaw and teeth, as well as prevent possible anomalies, the orthodontist can, the better, the less the age of the patient. The first consultation with a doctor should be planned at the age of six. However, this does not mean that adult patients are absolutely hopeless. In orthodontics there is no age limit, the complexity of treatment lies in the ability of the adult organism to adapt to the long healing and recovery period, as well as the condition of the teeth. The most numerous group of orthodontists are teenagers.

First of all, to consult a specialist makes sense if you experience discomfort and uncertainty in your smile. Common problems with which go to the reception: 

  • uneven teeth; 
  • inconvenience when closing jaws; 
  • problems with chewing and biting food; 
  • absence of teeth; 
  • facial injuries with jaw and teeth damage; 
  • incorrect position of one of the jaws; 
  • any violations - a "deep", "open" bite; 
  • "Bored" arrangement of teeth of the lower jaw.

Very often an orthodontist is sent by a dentist for preventive examination, if prosthetics can not be performed or for the purpose of treatment.

What tests should I take when I call an orthodontist?

On a question, what analyzes it is necessary to hand over at the reference to the orthodontist? - it should be answered that everything is individual. Conducting any additional diagnosis is allowed only according to the doctor's prescription.

But the correction of bite and the formation of a beautiful smile necessarily begins with the sanitation of the oral cavity. The complex of therapeutic and preventive measures includes: 

After remediation, remineralization is recommended - replenishing the mineral composition and restoring the protective properties of tooth enamel. The procedure increases the resistance to tooth decay, reduces the sensitivity of teeth. To this end, use special formulations or gels with phosphates and calcium, inject drugs with fluoride.

What diagnostic methods does the orthodontist use?

An experienced orthodontist, by visual examination of the jaws of the patient, makes a conclusion about the existing anomalies, talks about possible options for correcting defects and can predict the development of pathology with time.

The preparatory period before treatment consists of diagnosing, which makes it possible to evaluate the complexity and duration of correction, and additional techniques that help to make all the necessary measurements and calculations.

What diagnostic methods does the orthodontist use? Most often it is required to make a so-called panoramic image - an orthopantomogram and a teleradiogram, on the basis of which a therapy plan is constructed. Digital X-ray diagnostics allows you to visualize: bone tissue, the location of the roots, the main sinuses.

Specialists apply computer and magnetic resonance imaging. The latter technique helps to analyze the complexity and depth of the lesion in a number of dental diseases. X-ray examination in orthodontics is considered a low-performance diagnostic method, it is used more often after the installation of the bracket system.

An important place is occupied by proper hygiene of the oral cavity and absence of concomitant diseases, therefore, they perform sanitation of the oral cavity, remineralization and removal of tartar.

What does an orthodontist do?

The main task of the orthodontist is correction of the jaws' alignment (alignment of the bite) and giving the teeth the right direction of growth.

The orthodontist works with both kids and adults. From the year of life, it is possible to predict the presence of anomalies in the dentoalveolar system. In addition to direct treatment, the specialist gives recommendations for weaning children from the pacifier, teaches the rules of nutrition (the need for timely introduction of solid foods) and hygiene.

Based on the information received from the primary diagnosis and additional research, the orthodontist diagnoses and plans treatment. Bite correction occurs in three stages: 

  • preparatory - getting rid of foci of infection and treatment of caries, making a plaster cast of jaws. If necessary, take additional photos / X-rays; 
  • installation of special devices (bracket systems) - this period is supported by control techniques for 1-3 years; 
  • retention stage - fixation of teeth in aligned position by means of removable or non-removable equipment (retainer). The wearing time is approximately 2 years.

The duration of treatment by braces and retiners is determined individually based on the age of the patient, the complexity of curvature of the occlusion, the presence of bad habits and genetic predisposition.

What diseases does the orthodontist cure?

The most common problem with which an orthodontist is referred is an incorrect bite. Physiological (normal) arrangement is the absence of a gap when the jaws are closed, when the upper teeth protrude above the lower ones by about one-third, and the intervals of the central incisors fall on the middle line of the face. It would seem only an external defect is the cause of diseases of the digestive tract and ENT organs, disturbance of respiratory function, improper operation of the speech apparatus and a swallowing reflex. Orthodontist also helps to eliminate curvature of teeth in childhood, when there was a change in milk teeth, as well as in adult patients.

Orthodontist eliminates the following pathologies: 

  • dysfunction of speech, breathing and chewing; 
  • aesthetic problems with the shape of the face due to an incorrect bite; 
  • congenital / hereditary anomalies of dental character (adentia, superfine teeth, incorrect tooth shape, etc.); 
  • caries
  • parodontitis (inflammation of the gingival, bone and muscle tissue adjacent to the tooth) and periodontitis (a disease of periodontal tissues of a systemic nature with dystrophic changes in the gums); 
  • Gingivitis (inflammation of the mucous gum without compromising the integrity of the dentogingival joint).

Orthodontist's advice

The formation of a beautiful smile begins already from the first month of the baby's life. In modern society, in addition to charm, competent treatment of the orthodontist makes it possible to form a harmonious face profile, to ensure the normal functioning of the temporomandibular joint, to prevent periodontitis and periodontitis, fraught with early loss of teeth.

The orthodontist pays special attention to preventing the development of malocclusion in childhood. If the child is on artificial feeding, then parents should definitely get expert advice on how to properly feed through a dummy, how to behave when teething. In order to ensure physiological masticatory and swallowing functions, it is necessary to introduce timely solid foods and not forget about the correct position of the baby during sleep.

Here are the basic tips of an orthodontist: 

  • to wean the child from the nipple follows with the onset of the first year of life; 
  • Do not let your child suck a finger; 
  • the formation of a temporary bite ends somewhere by three years, by this time one should exclude mouth breathing, use of a bottle, incorrect swallowing, only soft food; 
  • use a toothbrush at least twice a day; 
  • Teach children from two years to brush their teeth, with three years of pasta; 
  • Remove milk teeth in extreme cases, as this leads to a malocclusion; 
  • If there are any dental problems (including bite defects), do not delay contacting a specialist.

When wearing braces, the orthodontist recommends: 

  • regularly visit a doctor to monitor the quality of treatment; 
  • Abstain from biting solid foods - cut vegetables, fruits and hard meat into small slices before serving; 
  • Avoid food that can damage braces (seeds, nuts, etc.); 
  • Do not eat toffee, chewing sweets and other viscous products, and also apply chewing gum; 
  • restrictions are imposed on coloring drinks and food (coffee, berries, sprite, etc.); 
  • consumed food should be comfortable temperature; 
  • increased attention should be paid to oral hygiene, using a toothbrush, brush, floss (teeth cleaning should take at least 10 minutes twice a day). 

It is important to know!

A dentist-therapist is a medical specialty in the field of dentistry, which includes medical actions aimed at treating dental diseases. Read more..

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