BRACE yourself for Orthodontics! An orthodontist can be defined through medical terminology as a specialist in the straightening of teeth. The tasks of the typical orthodontists include “assessing, diagnosing, and correcting malocclusions”, incorrect positioning of the teeth when biting (bad bites), with the use of various orthodontic appliances, but without oral or maxillofacial surgery, the job of an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. (Four Seasons Dental-Orthodontics and Orthodontists)The importance of treating malocclusions lies in the consequences of not correcting bad bites.
These tentative problems due to malocclusions include mouth breathing, which leads to xerostomia and inadequate air insulation and filtering, as well as “uncomfortable and harmful biting/chewing, speech difficulties, and an unattractive smile”. (Times Health guide-Malocclusions of Teeth) A particularly significant reason to correct malocclusions is the prevention of tooth decay, in that many malocclusions, such as crowding, make the teeth cleaning process much more difficult. With the skill and correct actions of the learned orthodontist, such problems can be avoided or solved.
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One might ask how the orthodontist gains the knowledge to efficiently and correctly assess and correct malocclusions. Proper training and education would be the appropriate answer to that query. The educational requirements for a licensed orthodontist include four years of undergraduate schooling (which would consist partially of required classes for graduate school) and a Bachelor’s degree, a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DDM) granted after 4 years at a dental school, and two to three years of specialized orthodontist training taken in a post-doctoral orthodontics program.
After passing the National Board Dental Examinations, state certification can be granted. Optional extra certification includes licensing by either the National Board of Orthodontics, which requires meeting “continuing education requirements,” or the American Board of Orthodontics, which requires “periodic recertification exams. ” (Orthodontist Training Program and Requirements) Orthodontists can expect a positive job outlook; increase in orthodontic job opportunities in the field is predicted to raise “20% in the ten year period from 2008 to 2018”. U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) The salary range for an orthodontist often depends on their area of occupation: Orthodontists in a hospital or health center setting earn anywhere from “$25,000 to $100,500” while an orthodontist in a joint orthodontics-dental enterprise typically earns about “$93,400 to $196,900. ” The earnings of orthodontist in private practice can range from “$100,400 to $202,200. (Orthodontist Salary Information) PART II: Orthodontics: Assessment and Treatment of Malocclusions in detail The first section of the orthodontic procedure is the assessment and classification of the malocclusion. There are several various classification systems, one of the most prominent being that of “Angle classification”, belonging to the father of modern orthodontics, Edward Angle and is based generally on the articulation of the mandibular and maxillary first pre-molars. Doctor Knows-Malocclusions)There are three classes in this system: Class 1 Malocclusion- the dental arches correctly articulate and the molar alignment is proper, but there is often crowding: “when teeth are placed too close together and overlapping,” spacing: “when there are large and uneven spaces between the teeth,” rotation: “when a tooth turns or tips out of its normal position,” and transposition: “when a tooth erupts in one another’s place. ” (Web Dental Office- Teeth Malocclusions) In Class 2 Malocclusions, the maxillary incisors excessively overlap the mandibular incisors, causing what is most commonly known as an overbite.
Although in normal human dentition there is a natural overbite, an extensive one becomes a Class 2 malocclusion in need of correction. In Class 3 Malocclusions, the mandibular arch excessively extends anterior the maxillary arch, forming what is most commonly known as a under bite. Other systems of classification of malocclusions include the canine classification and the incisor classification. The incisor classification system is fairly similar to the Angle classification but places more emphasis on the positioning and articulation of the incisors.
The canine classification system deals with erumpent of the maxillary permanent canines in incorrect places. In Class 1, “the maxillary permanent canine occludes between the first premolar and the mandibular canine. ” In Class 2, “the maxillary permanent canine occludes in front of the space between the mandibular canine and the first premolar. ” In Class 3, “the maxillary permanent canine occludes behind the space between the mandibular canine and the first premolar. ” (Doctor Knows-Malocclusions) The significant difference in these classes is the position of the improperly placed maxillary canine.
There are still other types of common malocclusions. Cross bites occur when a maxillary tooth (or teeth) has a more buccal or lingual position, or is either closer to the cheek or to the tongue, than the corresponding mandibular tooth. This can cause severe chewing problems. Open bites are some maxillary teeth, usually the incisors, cannot be brought into physical articulation with the mandibular teeth. They are usually caused by genetic jaw disorders/ structure abnormalities and, without correction, cause wear of the temporomandibular joint and improper or painful chewing.
The misplaced midline malocclusion features a facial medial line between the maxillary central incisors doesn’t match up with the medial line of the mandibular central incisors. Misplaced midline can also cause wear of the temporomandibular joint and improper or painful chewing, without treatment. In a deep bite, mandibular teeth are overlapped by the maxillary teeth so that mandibular incisors come into contact with the gingival tissue in the maxillary arch. This contributes to gingival erosion and other related health issues.
Each of these malocclusions can be corrected with one of or a combination of the several orthodontic appliances of varying purposes. The most popular and most versatile appliance are braces. They are often used to correct underbites, overbites, cross bites, open bites, deep bites, crooked teeth, and various other flaws of the teeth and jaw. The most common braces, wired ones move teeth, “as a result of force and pressure on the teeth. There are four basic elements that are needed in order to help move the teeth.
In the case of traditional stainless steel metal or wire braces, one uses brackets, bonding material, arch wire, and ligature elastic, also called an O-ring to help align the teeth. The teeth move when the arch wire puts pressure on the brackets and teeth. Sometimes springs or rubber bands are used to put more force in a specific direction. Braces have constant pressure, which over time, move teeth into their proper positions. ” (Dental Braces) Braces also come in several forms.
Other types of braces include clear braces, such as Invisalign, which serve to “gradually and gently shift your teeth into place” and serve as the near invisible plastic cosmetic alternative to braces (How Invisalign Works), gold plated stainless steel braces, for those allergic to the usual nickel within the traditional stainless steel braces, lingual braces, which are the standard stainless steel braces glued to the lingual aspect of the arches to serve as cosmetic alternative, and titanium braces, which are lighter than stainless steel braces but just as strong.
Other dental appliances include retainers, which are worn once braces are complete in order to keep retention of the corrected bite. “They are made of metal hooks that surround the teeth and are enclosed by an acrylic plate shaped to fit the patient’s palate. ” (Dental Braces) Springs are attached to the wires of braces in order to open up spaces between overcrowded teeth. The Anterior Bite Plate contains a shelf behind the maxillary incisor that the mandibular teeth articulate with in a way that the posterior teeth will grow to the same length as the anterior teeth.
The Bionator I serves to pull the mandible forward and spread it so that the mandibular arch will grow in a way that keeps the front teeth from growing vertically so the posterior teeth can catch up and reach the same position as the anterior teeth, while the Bionator II serves to hold the mandible forward so that the arch will grow and has plastic over the back teeth keeping them from growing so the front teeth can catch up. The Celb Night guard is a transparent guard that keeps patients from slipping back into bad habits at night time. A Class II Activator serves to pull the mandible forward and make teeth grow flat.
Coil Springs are wired in to move one jaw toward the other like rubber bands do. The Fan Expander has an expander screw in front and a hinge in back, so that as you crank the screw it spaces the incisors but maintains posterior teeth positioning. The Saggital Appliance creates space between the teeth to fix overcrowding in the mouth by cranking a screw to push individual teeth to different places they need to go. The various types of Frankel Appliances all serve to make the mandible grow correctly. The Hyrax Rapid Palatial Expander splits your palate while moving posterior teeth apart to make an abnormally small maxillary arch wider.
The Nance Appliance serves to Holds the molars from rotating or moving forward while children are waiting for their bicuspids to grow in. (Types of Appliances and What They Do) There are several more appliances used to help create and maintain a healthy occlusion, and the variety of appliance within the field of orthodontics continues to expand. Advancements in the field of orthodontics includes the Med610-3D Printing material and the Biomers SimpliClear braces system. The Med610-3D Printing material is a new transparent material more suitable for making unique stone models, orthodontic appliances, surgical guides, and lear aligners and retainers. The BioMers SimpliClear braces system is the first completely translucent braces system, composed of a polymer that is also versatily, helpful in several various biomedical appliances. The field of Orthodontics is one expanding in opportunity and innovation. Without the corrective measures taken in orthodontics, malocclusions could make dental hygiene more difficult and less effective. Poor dental hygiene could only lead to tooth decay and further harmful conditions. So give your gratitude to your orthodontist, and consider the smiles you can bring to the world through a field in orthodontics: Brace Yourself!