Oahu Pediatric Dentistry’s team of dental professionals have the experience and technology to perform all your necessary orthodontic work safely and effectively.
Orthodontics is a discipline of dentistry with a specific focus on fixing problems with the position of the teeth and jaws to maximize their usefulness and long-term viability. Through a variety of procedures, an orthodontist can rearrange the teeth and jaws for optimal function and appearance. It can be used in adults but is most commonly used in children.
Reasons Orthodontic Work Might Be Necessary
To function appropriately, the teeth and jaws must remain in the correct position and move in the right ways. There are many times that dental intervention may be required to ensure that those proper positions and movements occur. As a few examples, our dentist might intervene to straighten crooked teeth, adjust the jaw for comfortable chewing and to speak comfortably, and to prevent damage caused by a malformed jaw or teeth.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) is a common problem that affects the joint where the jaw opens and closes, located close to the ears. Either due to genetics or traumatic injury, this joint might be affected and cause pain and other issues. This disorder can be either temporary or permanent. Our experienced orthodontists can assess TMJ and correct the issue either surgically or through other less involved means.
Examples of Orthodontics
There are many types of orthodontic work, as it is a wide-ranging field of dentistry.
Perhaps the best known orthodontic practice is the placement of braces and retainers in the mouth to straighten and align the teeth. Installing braces is usually performed with preadolescents and adolescents after their permanent teeth have erupted. However, braces can be an option for any age range.
Space maintainers serve a similar function to braces and are typically used for children who have lost their primary teeth. They keep the area open so that when the permanent teeth erupt, they grow incorrectly.
A variety of techniques are employed to make sure the jaw and other areas surrounding the mouth develop correctly. Headgear can be used to control the growth of the upper jaw. Lips and cheek “bumpers” can limit the pressure on teeth from the lips and cheeks. Palatal expanders are plastic plates with screws used to increase the space on the roof of the mouth.
TMJ can be treated in a variety of ways. Non-surgical options include physical therapy and oral splints to restore proper function. Surgical means of treatment range from simple injections of Botox to surgery to remove and replace the entire joint.
In all aspects of their work, orthodontists will usually begin with minimally invasive procedures/techniques and gradually progress to more involved measures if those do not work.
When to Seek Orthodontic Treatment
In children, orthodontics is usually used to help ensure the child’s teeth and jaw form to the desired shape as they develop. It is also sometimes necessary in children and adults in the case of injuries.
If you would like to know more, contact us at Oahu Pediatric Dentistry at (808) 201-9956 today.