Orthodontics is a specialty in the field of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis and correction of misaligned or crowded teeth. Prevention is also an essential component, as the jaws of young children can be adjusted to prevent problems in the future. Orthodontics is a necessary field because human teeth frequently do not grow incorrectly. Anthropologists and biologists believe the problem extends back to early human evolution when the brain grew too large and permanently displaced the jaw to make more room for gray matter.
Whatever the case may be, crooked or overcrowded teeth can be uncomfortable, look embarrassing, and cause future issues down the road like increased gum disease and decay. So, the problem needs to be corrected early.
The most common type of treatment people have heard about is the installation of braces. Braces are metal and wire structures that are attached to the teeth. They can be tightened and shaped overtime to push the teeth back into a more normal position, making them straighter and stopping overcrowding or the crossing of the teeth. After treatment, patients need to wear custom retainers that stop the teeth from shifting back out of position.
However, braces are not the only treatment available. Patients with severe under or overbites can have headgear installed, which adds more correction to the jaw and can help push teeth backward or forwards. Palatal expansion is done to widen the upper palate, so the upper and lower jaw fit comfortable together. Meanwhile, jaw surgery is frequently done to fix severe malocclusions.
The overall goal is to get the teeth in place and prevent future issues from occurring.
The truth is most people will need some form of orthodontic treatment in their lifetime, but the most common candidates are children, teenagers, and young adults. Most problems need to be addressed as early as possible once the adult teeth have started to grow in and settle. A frequent problem that occurs among the population is the development of overbites, as well as teeth that overlap or grow in the wrong place. Eliminating the problem early can save money, time, and pain down the road.
However, people of all ages can receive orthodontic treatment, especially if the teeth shift or move out of place as someone grows older. Jaw surgery is common in elderly patients, and adults often need additional treatment after failing to wear their retainers or keep up with the directions for care after having a procedure.
Orthodontic treatment varies in price based on the severity of the case and the age of the patient, as well as what type of insurance an individual has. In general, most dental insurance through parents does not offer orthodontic coverage for children once they reach 20 years of age, and cheaper dental plans will also not cover the cost of treatment.
People can expect to spend anywhere between $3,000 and $10,000. The massive cost difference covers how personalized each treatment needs to be since patients will often need to make a customized plan with their dentist or orthodontics provider.
Orthodontic treatment is not a short process and can take anywhere from 6 to 48 months, depending on what issue needs to be corrected. On average, people spend between 12 and 24 months with braces, while a palate expander might only be in for 5 to 6 months. To determine how long treatment will be, have a frank conversation with your dentist or provider so you can make plans for regular visits and proper treatment.
People of all ages require orthodontic treatment, so it’s important to find a dentist near you capable of working on your mouth as well as those of your loved ones. In Monarch, one of the most memorable names is Monarch Dentistry. Here, we take pride in the quality and efficiency of our orthodontic treatment and how quickly people can recover from common issues like misshapen, crowded, or otherwise uncomfortable teeth. For more information, please give us a call or make an appointment for a consultation today!