What is Orthodontics?

OrthodonticsOrthodontics is a specialised branch of dentistry that aims to diagnose, prevent and treat problems in the alignment of the teeth and jaws. This misalignment of teeth is known as malocclusion.

Although malocclusion does not normally affect physical health, it can affect patient confidence. Many patients with malocclusion feel embarrassed to smile, as they do not like the appearance of their teeth.

Orthodontists aim to realign and straighten teeth using the basic principle of applying mild force. Small but constant pressure in the direction of movement will allow for an overall change in the tooth position. As pressure is applied to the periodontal ligament (which holds the teeth in place) the body automatically creates room in the desired new location while also filling in the space where the teeth used to be located. They achieve this aim by using different orthodontic appliances, which are commonly known as braces. There are many different types of orthodontic appliances, and different types are used to treat different problems.

Our team use a variety of orthodontic appliances to treat all aspects of malocclusion, in order to leave patients feeling happy about their smile.

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Risks of treatment

As with all physical and biochemical processes there is a risk to the patient. With common orthodontic braces root shortening of the teeth may occur, and in extremely rare cases this can be significant. A useful article about root shortening to this can be found here: The Jorgensen Orthodontics Blog