It is a specialized branch of dentistry that focuses on prevention as well as treatment of misalignment of teeth and facial irregularities/abnormalities.
The dentist who specializes in the process of orthodontics is called orthodontists. They are specially qualified and do extensive 3 year of specialized study in orthodontic program
One who has got misaligned teeth, crowded teeth, buck teeth, overlapping of teeth and gap between the teeth are the candidates of orthodontic treatment.
Normally the irregularity of the teeth is corrected by putting braces.
Firstly a record is made before the treatment starts, which serves as a tool for the orthodontist. This includes medical history, plaster models of the teeth are studied, clinical examination, photos of teeth as well as x-rays of head and mouth.
Second step is to plan the treatment. This varies acc. to individual patients requirement. Then appliances which are to be used are put in place, this is an active phase. These appliances are periodically adjusted just to make sure that the teeth are moving in right direction.
Third is the retention phase in which the patient is required to wear a retainer so that teeth retain their new place/position.
Orthodontics can change the teeth as well as the whole facial structure. BY aligning teeth one gets the correct functioning of the jaw and a n attractive smile. Teeth can be cleaned easily and the chances of gum diseases are reduced moreover orthodontic treatment enhances the self confidence of an individual.
There is misalignment of teeth because of thumb sucking, small jaw, incompetent lips, bad tongue and lip habits, nail biting, injury etc.
Acc to experts a child at the age of 7 should be brought to an orthodontist because this is the time when the new teeth erupt and after evaluating the teeth necessary treatment can be done(i.e. to prevent any severe problem in future).This is referred to as phase I treatment. The phase I treatment is for 12-21months .After this dentist gives a rest period in which the eruption and formation of the teeth are monitored. Then in phase II when the child turns 12-13 full braces can be put if the teeth are still not in the right shape.
In fact mostly the adults go for it because they want to look good and confident. There is no age bar for putting on braces.
There are 3 type of braces i.e. metallic, ceramic and invisalign. Metal braces are conventional and most commonly used. Ceramic are very popular with adults as they look good and match with the teeth color. Invisalign are invisible and can also be removed. They are very comfortable as there is no use of metal brackets and wires.
On an average 22 months time is required but the time depends on individual need and problem.