Orthodontics - a multifaceted speciality of dentistry (PART-1)
Dr Bhabatosh Kumar Roy, Professor, Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthodontics explains the purpose of orthodontics for dental treatment
Orthodontists are specialists in orthodontic care. Orthodontists graduate from dental school but unlike general dentists, those who wish to become orthodontists must continue their education after dental school, and successfully complete a three year course of study in orthodontics at an accredited orthodontic residency program to earn a Master of Dental Surgery (MDS) degree in orthodontics. This extra education qualifies them as specialists in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.
As specialists, orthodontists limit their scope of practice to orthodontics only. Orthodontists are uniquely qualified, by virtue of education and scope of practice, as experts who have the skills and experience to give your child a healthy and beautiful smile.
The purpose of orthodontic treatment is to create a healthy, functional "bite," (occlusion) which is part tooth alignment and part jaw position. When jaws and teeth line up correctly, they are able to function as nature intended. This promotes oral health and general physical health. That orthodontic treatment also brings about an attractive smile is an added bonus.
Orthodontic treatment will help your child bite and chew better, and contribute to clear speech. When teeth function properly, they tend to look nice. An attractive smile is a pleasant result of orthodontic treatment, and can have emotional benefits. Self-confidence and self-esteem may improve as orthodontic treatment brings teeth, lips and face into proportion.
The purpose of orthodontic treatment is to create a healthy, functional "bite," (occlusion) which is part tooth alignment and part jaw position. When jaws and teeth line up correctly, they are able to function as nature intended.Straight teeth are less prone to decay, gum disease and injury. The beautiful smile that results from orthodontic treatment is the outward sign of good oral health, and sets the stage for the patient's overall well-being. Orthodontic treatment plays a larger role in healthcare than is generally realized.
Most orthodontic problems are inherited. Some are "acquired," developing over time by sucking the thumb or fingers, mouth breathing, dental disease, abnormal swallowing, poor dental hygiene, or early or late loss of baby teeth, accidents and poor nutrition. Sometimes an inherited orthodontic problem is complicated by an acquired problem. Whatever the cause, orthodontists are usually able to treat most conditions successfully.
Unfortunately, your child's teeth will not straighten out as he or she grows. The space available for the permanent front teeth does not increase as one grows. For most people, after the permanent (12 year) molars come in, there is even less space available for the front teeth. This is more so because most of the children do not chew hard food but prefer soft ones instead.
Untreated orthodontic problems can become worse, and more difficult to treat as a child gets older. Untreated problems may lead to tooth decay, gum disease, broken front teeth and loss of bone tissue that holds teeth in place. So the children appear unattractive with bigger sized front teeth in smaller sized jaws. It is overcome by encouraging the children to chew and bite to facilitate expansion of the jaws to accommodate bigger sized permanent teeth. (Article to be continued in PART-2)
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