a specialized part of dentistry involving the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. Dr. Ivanov spent three additional years after dental school at the Charles University in Prague in this specialty, where he learned to properly use orthodontics and dental facial orthopaedics to move poorly aligned teeth and develop the jaws into their correct position. This involves the design, application, and control of corrective appliances, such as “braces”, to treat and correct these problems.
Why Do Dental and Facial Irregularities Occur?
Malocclusion is a term used to describe crooked, crowded, or tipped teeth. Most malocclusions are inherited, but some are acquired. Inherited problems include crowding of teeth, spacing between teeth, extra or missing teeth, and a wide variety of other irregularities of the jaws and face. Thumb or finger sucking, tongue thrusting, airway being restricted by tonsils or adenoids, dental disease, trauma, or premature loss of baby or permanent teeth can cause acquired malocclusions. Whether inherited or acquired, many of these problems affect not only alignment of the teeth, but facial appearance as well.
Potential Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment
- Straight teeth and a beautiful smile.
- Improved facial appearance.
- Improved bite for chewing.
- Prevention of tooth loss due to improper bite.
- Healthy gums and surrounding bones.
- Healthy temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
- Psychological and social benefit.
Therefore, orthodontics can give you an attractive smile, and improve your dental health and facial features. An improvement in your appearance can result in improved self-confidence and research has shown that attractive dental and facial appearances are important factors in predicting future success.
At What Age Should I Begin Treatment?
In the majority of cases, the best time to begin orthodontic treatment is when the patient is actively growing, usually in the early adolescent years from age 8 – 12. This corresponds to when the jaws are developing most rapidly. However, in certain cases, improper skeletal position of the face and jaws should be corrected as soon as they are recognized, which can be as young as age five. Such treatment may reduce the severity of the problem and minimize or even eliminate the need for comprehensive treatment at a later date. Remember, each patient’s needs are unique. Therefore, the length and type of treatment can only be determined after a complete evaluation.
We are excited that a large percentage of our practice deals with the treatment of adults in which orthodontic and surgical-orthodontics are available. Crooked teeth, improper bite, crowding, and underlying improper skeletal positions are now being corrected in many people, regardless of age. The latest dental technology has made orthodontic treatment easier and more effective than ever. Clear braces and new bonding techniques with minimal discomfort have even encouraged more adults to seek orthodontic treatment. Also, we use super elastic, shape memory, heat activated wires to keep orthodontic treatment time to a minimum.