Getting back to basics with orthodontics – part 1

There are fundamental basics in every aspect of life. The sun comes up in the morning and sets in the evening (except if you live in the far North or South where you get perpetual days and nights!). The earth is round, has gravity and breathable air. We need food and water, somewhere safe and warm to sleep, and a place in the world. Dogs are always happy to see you even if you only leave them alone for 5 minutes.

The fundamentals of orthodontics remain the same also. Moving teeth into a better position is more likely to last if you plan properly and take into account where to place the teeth in order to get the best stability.

Generally, the most effective teeth straightening treatments involve moving the teeth “bodily” and this is usually achieved with full fixed braces (that means attached to all the teeth), and in some cases aligner systems such as Invisalign. You want to keep teeth within the confines of the existing jaw shape to maintain bone and gum coverage, as well as gaining the most good looking end result. Some newer systems do expand the teeth to reduce extraction of adult teeth – however these cases have to be appropriately selected. Seemingly quicker brace systems may look good on the surface, but if not done properly can lead to complications that are not reversible.

Experience and exposure to a wide range of treatment methods is the only way to learn who will benefit from them best, and this information should guide the person treating you in giving the best option for your individual needs and situation.

Get the decision who to treat you right and you have a fantastic outcome, which has been safely delivered and will give you the best chance of a stable long term result.

Get that decision wrong and you may find that fabulous result comes hand in hand with a whole heap of problems that can never be undone.

My advice – do your research and don’t believe all the hype from the companies “selling” orthodontic braces. You need to trust that the person carrying out your brace treatment has the experience necessary – and be suspicious if they only offer you one brace type, especially if it sounds too good to be true.

Paula

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