Orthodontics, the branch of dentistry concerned with the growth of the teeth, jaws and face, is in high demand. Orthodontic treatment is about making the best of your teeth; it’s about improving the harmony of your mouth and jaws. Once you can bite together correctly, you can eat more comfortably and care for your teeth and gums more easily. And your smile will benefit immensely!
Most courses of orthodontic treatment begin with a referral from a general dentist to a specialist. Depending on what treatment is needed, most patients are seen by a specialist in a local practice or by a consultant in hospital. Some patients are treated by dentists with extra training and experience to treat the milder cases.
These are some of the most common reasons for a referral:
- Protruding upper front teeth – one of the most common dental problems
- Crowding – a narrow jaw may mean there is not enough room for your teeth, resulting in crowding. Conversely, some patients have significant gaps between their teeth.
- Asymmetry – particularly when the centre lines of the upper and lower front teeth do not match, perhaps because the teeth have drifted or the position of the jaw has shifted.
- A deep bite – when your upper teeth cover the lower teeth too much
- A reverse bite – when your upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth
- An open bite – when your front teeth remain apart when your back teeth meet; the tongue is often still visible between the upper and lower front teeth.
Impacted teeth – in some patients, secondary teeth come through in the wrong position or do not erupt at all. Orthodontic treatment can help bring these teeth into the correct position.