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What is Orthodontics

Orthodontics is one of many dental specialties.  The word “orthodontics” is derived from the Greek words orthos, meaning proper or straight and odons meaning teeth.  Orthodontics is specifically concerned with diagnosing and treating tooth misalignment and irregularity in the jaw area.  Initially, orthodontic treatments were geared toward the treatment of teens and pre-teens, but these days around 30 percent of orthodontic patients are adults.

There are many advantages to well-aligned teeth, including easier cleaning, better oral hygiene, and a more pleasant smile.  Though orthodontic treatment can be effective at any age, the American Dental Association suggests that an orthodontic assessment should be performed around the age of seven.  In certain situations, the earlier orthodontic treatment begins, the more quickly the problem can be successfully resolved.

What problems can be treated with orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a versatile branch of dentistry that can be used alone, or in combination with maxillofacial or cosmetic dentistry.

Here are some of the common conditions treated with orthodontics:

  • Anteroposterior deviations – The discrepancy between a pair of closed jaws is known as an anteroposterior discrepancy or deviation.  An example of such a discrepancy would be an overjet (where the upper teeth are further forward than the lower teeth), or an underbite (where the lower teeth are further forward then the upper teeth).
  • Crowding – Crowding is a common orthodontic problem.  It occurs when there is an insufficient space for the normal growth and development of adult teeth.
  • Esthetic problems – A beautiful straight smile may be marred by mispositioned teeth.  Proper orthodontic alignment is important in creating esthetic harmony.

Orthodontic Solutions

Orthodontics is a technologically advanced field which offers many sophisticated solutions to malocclusions and other cosmetic problems.  When a diagnosis has been made, there are a variety of orthodontic treatment options available.

Here is an overview of some of the most common treatments:

  • Fixed orthodontic braces – Very small Speed braces are attached to each tooth which allow us to move the teeth gently into improved positions.
  • Removable appliances – We use a variety of removable types of orthodontic appliances.  From traditional Hawley retainers, to the  Invisalign® system.

    Dr. Besson will be able to help you make an informed decision on which type of treatment is right for you. Contact our Scotch Plains, New Jersey orthodontic office with any questions or to schedule your appointment.