Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with the proper alignment of teeth. This issue affects a significant proportion of the general population, an estimated 50 to 75 percent of whose members could benefit from orthodontic treatment, according to Aaoinfo.org. However, those who are considering such treatment should first know what they can expect from an orthodontic exam.
Identifying the Problem
Teeth that are not properly spaced or aligned can seriously damage a person’s self-esteem, in addition to making it difficult to eat and speak. Those with such teeth and jaw disorders will first require a careful review of the specific problem and of their general health. Patients with dental crowns or bridges may require special help because such devices can affect the plans of the orthodontist. Provided that there are no problem areas, prospective patients will then receive X-rays and digital scans of their mouths.
The Treatment Process
After the orthodontic exam, the patient will be given the opportunity to work out a specific plan. The orthodontist will provide details about what type of procedure is best suited to the patient and how long the process will take. The two primary orthodontic treatment methods involve the use of conventional braces or Invisalign aligners. There are advantages and disadvantages to both methods, which the orthodontist will discuss during the initial exam.
Braces vs. Invisalign
Conventional metal braces have long been used to effectively straighten teeth. After their fitting, they will usually have to be worn for about two years until they have moved the teeth into the desired position. Invisalign aligners are the modern way to accomplish the same task. Notably, they are virtually invisible from the outside, which can increase the personal confidence of the wearer. They can also be removed for rest and cleaning. However, they must be replaced with a new set of aligners about every two weeks during the treatment process, which could last up to 18 months. Invisalign aligners are also more expensive than conventional braces, which do not have to be removed until the straightening process has been completed.
It is the orthodontist who can help decide which is the best treatment option for you. Learn more by scheduling a free orthodontic exam with David Ross Orthodontics today.