What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the specialty of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. Orthodontics is also a word derived from the Latin words "ortos" meaning straight and "dontos" meaning tooth.

Who is the orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. To become an orthodontist, it is necessary to first graduate from dental school and then complete a specialty or doctoral program that can take four years or more. During this training, the orthodontist learns the necessary information to control tooth movement (the general name of these interventions is orthodontics) and to direct facial development (this treatment approach can be called jaw and facial orthopedics). Only dentists who have successfully completed this specialty or doctoral education can use the title of orthodontist.

What are the possible causes of orthodontic disorders?

1- It may not be possible to benefit from the opportunities offered by preventive medicine to patients; For example, caries in milk teeth may not be treated with the logic of "it will change anyway", teeth may have been pulled out prematurely, fluor and fissure protective applications may have been ignored.

2- Genetic factors: It is important whether there is a similar anomaly in the family history, especially in individuals with skeletal disorders. Hereditary tooth deficiencies, narrow upper jaw, and crowding problems can also be inherited to the child. In this case, the emergence of orthodontic problems is inevitable. What needs to be done is; It is to take the child to regular dentist control, starting from the milk dentition period.

3- Ear-nose-throat problems: (such as tonsillitis, presence of nose and adenoids; constant mouth breathing) can prevent the formation of jaw bones and cause tooth eruption disorders.

4- Bad habits: Bad habits such as thumb sucking, using a pacifier or bottle for a long time, tongue sucking, lip sucking, pencil biting can also cause orthodontic disorders in the teeth and jaw structures.

5- Some muscle disorders can also cause orthodontic problems.

What is the age of orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment can be applied at any age. If there is no skeletal problem and there is only crowding in the teeth, these disorders can be corrected with orthodontic treatment at any age. The patient's age only affects the duration of movement and treatment. However, if there is a skeletal problem, the treatment of these disorders can be corrected with orthopedic treatment approaches until the end of adolescence. In the adult period, such skeletal problems can be corrected with orthodontic treatment carried out together with orthognathic surgical operations. Today, teeth can be straightened with unaesthetic wires (transparent brackets), wires attached to the back of the teeth (Lingual technique) and transparent molds (Invisalign).

How necessary is orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment, by correcting the crowding in the teeth and the incompatibility between the jaws; It is not only for aesthetics, but also helps to prevent possible future gum diseases and problems in the lower jaw joint, as well as to correct chewing function and impaired speech. Orthodontic treatment, which is more commonly known as the correction of crowding in the teeth, includes various treatment techniques. Depending on the orthodontic problem in the mouth, treatments can be performed with removable appliances, functional appliances and fixed appliances. Orthodontic problems that are not too complicated can be solved with plastic removable appliances that can be attached and removed by the patient. Tools that help the jaws to develop in a certain direction, called functional appliances, are used in the growth-development period for insufficient development and excessive development of the lower or upper jaw. Fixed appliances, which have taken a wider place in orthodontic treatment in recent years, have an effect with the philosophy that the wires placed in the grooves on the tools called brackets, which are attached to the teeth, move the teeth. Apart from these basic appliances, there are many more auxiliary appliances. After the completion of active orthodontic treatments, reinforcement treatments are also of great importance to prevent relapses and deterioration in the treatments performed. Various passive appliances are used for this treatment period.

Basically, the main goals of orthodontic treatment are; Correction of chewing function, correction of speech function, helping to provide better oral hygiene, providing aesthetics and providing psychological support by increasing the patient's self-confidence in society.

Orthodontics can also contribute to the patient's nasal breathing by working with ear-nose-throat specialists. It also collaborates with plastic surgeons or maxillofacial surgeons in solving skeletal problems in adult patients and in the treatment of babies and children with cleft lip and palate.

Orthodontics constantly works with other branches of dentistry.

Decays in milk teeth and premature extraction of milk teeth; It is a proven fact that it causes orthodontic disorders and permanent teeth to remain impacted in the jawbone.

What is the importance of milk teeth in terms of orthodontics?

Milk teeth start to erupt in a certain order from the 6th month after birth, and in a child of approximately 2.5 years, all milk teeth will have erupted. A total of 20 milk teeth in the lower and upper jaw continue to remain in the mouth until the age of 6 years. From this period until the age of 12, all milk teeth are replaced by permanent teeth in turn. During this period of change, major cavities and early loss of primary teeth can cause crowding as a result of the movement of the posterior teeth into these spaces, and the permanent teeth may not erupt and remain impacted. Therefore, it is very important for milk teeth to remain in the mouth in a healthy way.

Conditions in the primary dentition period are not solely responsible for the formation of orthodontic disorders. Orthodontic problems can be passed on genetically from parents or older family members to children. Apart from this, mistakes made during infancy due to insufficient feeding with breast milk or the use of bottles and pacifiers; Bad habits such as thumb sucking, lip sucking, tongue thrusting and mouth breathing in childhood can also cause orthodontic problems. In case of mouth breathing, if there are problems that prevent nasal breathing, it is necessary to work with ear-nose-throat specialists to eliminate them.