Benefits of Orthodontics
When people think of orthodontic treatments they may think of the pain, time, and money that can sometimes accompany the treatments. What they don’t think of are the many important benefits that come from the treatments. Not only do orthodontic treatments lead to brighter and prettier smiles, but they also play an important role in alleviating physical health problems. Leaving orthodontic dental issues untreated can overtime result in tooth decay, gum disease, bone destruction, speech impairments, tooth loss and other dental injuries. If your dentist has recently recommended you see an orthodontist and you are weighing the possible costs and benefits of the treatment, below is more information for you.
What is an Orthodontist?
First, you may be wondering what exactly an orthodontist is. An orthodontist is a dentist who specializes in orthodontics, or treatment to ensure the proper alignment and spacing of the teeth. A general dentist will refer patients to an orthodontist to treat overbites, occlusions, misaligned teeth and jaws, or an overcrowded mouth. If these issues are identified by a dentist, and that dentist is not a certified orthodontist, they will likely refer patients to receive the appropriate diagnosis and treatment they need. Orthodontists are very important because they fix dental issues that, if left untreated, will potentially grow worse and cause more severe problems.
Benefits of orthodontic treatments
Yes, most of the dental issues that require orthodontic treatment will require the investment of time, money, and may result in some pain. Some orthodontic treatments can take between one to three years to fully treat. Additionally, seeing a specialist will cost more money than just a general dentist. But after considering these costs, it is important to also think of all of the possible benefits of treatment. Here is an example:
Benefits of braces: Braces are the most popular orthodontic treatment received today. Besides having a pretty smile after the treatment, there are many other benefits from getting braces. Teeth that are crooked and crowded are often much more difficult to keep clean and care for. Teeth that are not kept clean will eventually result in tooth decay and possible tooth loss. Braces will help prevent these issues. Additionally, crooked or crowded teeth can lead to abnormal wear and tear, reduced chewing functionality, misalignment of the jaw joints, or stress on your gums. All of these additional issues can lead to pain, headaches, or worsening issues overtime.
Yes, treatments can seem expensive and timely, but in the long run, orthodontic treatment can end up being far less costly than dealing with problems that can develop if timely treatment is not used.
Treatment benefits for Children & Adults
Orthodontic treatments don’t just benefit young adults who get braces, they can benefit patients of all ages.
Benefits for children: Currently, it is recommended that orthodontic interventions should happen early in a child’s life. When permanent teeth first erupt it is an ideal age to determine if orthodontic treatment may be needed in the future. Early orthodontic intervention allows treatment to guide the growth of the jaw and incoming teeth. Instead of the treatment approaches being used to treat an issue, treatments can be used to avoid future dental issues.
Benefits for adults: Orthodontic treatments can help patients at every age. It may be surprising to know that one of every five patients receiving orthodontic treatment is over 21 years old. The treatments not only help with improving the appearance of a smile, but they also can help with pain and discomfort that adults may not even realize are the result of dental issues.
How long will the orthodontic treatment take?
In general, the duration of an orthodontic treatment is usually between 1-3 years. The duration of treatment will depend on many issues, including the severity of the problem, the state of the patient’s oral health, and the aggressiveness of the orthodontist in their treatment approach. Every patient responds to orthodontic treatment differently so treatment timelines may change overtime. In order to help move the treatment along, it is important to take good care of your orthodontic appliances and maintain your regularly scheduled check-ups.
How to get the most from an orthodontic treatment
The best way to ensure you get the most benefits from receiving an orthodontic treatment is to find a good orthodontist. One of the first places to start is to find an AAO certified orthodontist. AAO certified orthodontists have completed all additional orthodontic specialty training and are board certified. Finding a good orthodontist is not just about certification, it is also about bedside manner, availability, price, and trust.
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