Malocclusion is the dental term for teeth that don’t fit together properly. There are many types of malocclusions. Your upper or lower jaw may be too far out or too far in. There may not be enough space in your mouth for your teeth, which leads to crowding. Or there may be too much space between teeth allowing them to shift. You can also have a crossbite.
A malocclusion that isn’t corrected can affect your confidence, profile and appearance. Poorly aligned teeth can also contribute to tooth decay, bone destruction, loss of teeth, and jaw joint problems. These may in turn cause headaches, difficulty in opening and closing your mouth, clicking and popping sounds, and sore and painful jaw muscles.
Orthodontic treatment is associated with the use of braces to straighten misaligned teeth.
Many treatment options are now available that allow treatment at almost any age. Orthodontics is often thought of as a teenage rite of passage, but, regardless of age, patients with crooked or crowded teeth or with overbite or underbite conditions, can benefit greatly from treatment.
How Braces Work?
Orthodontic braces apply tension to slowly reposition teeth within the jawbone. After the initial application, we adjust the tension of the braces over a succession of office visits. Oral appliances can also be used to expand or reshape the underlying jaw structure, especially in young children. Generally, the older a patient is, the more time will be required for successful therapy.
Braces are applied for both practical and cosmetic reasons. In adults, orthodontic treatment can be required in preparation for the use of bridges or implants. New options like “lingual” braces (installed on the back of the teeth, out of view) and clear plastic braces can be less disruptive to the patient’s appearance than traditional braces. Each patient’s needs are different, and some patients may not be able to be treated successfully with one type or the other.
Call McGue Dental Care today to schedule a free consultation with Dr. McGue to discuss what options might be best for you!