An effective long-term solution to straightening your teeth and correcting your bite is orthodontics. Orthodontics is a subspecialty area in dentistry that focuses on aligning and straightening teeth using wires and brackets, applying gentle pressure to the teeth to move them into a particular position. The discipline has advanced over decades and today treatment is a lot faster and more comfortable than it was in the past. Here is an overview of orthodontics:
- Patients who have problems with their bite and the way their top and bottom teeth line up against each other are good candidates for orthodontic treatment.
- Impressions, photos and x-rays are taken at the start of treatment to determine the course of action.
- Brackets are bonded to individual teeth and wires clip onto them that gently guide the teeth into position over time.
- Good oral hygiene habits are essential during treatment and regular visits are required for check-ups and adjustments.
Are your teeth stained, chipped, or not aligned on top of each other? Veneers are a good treatment option to consider because they look like natural teeth and don't require a major procedure. Veneers can also be used to close small gaps when braces are not suitable. If one tooth is slightly out of position, a veneer can sometimes be fitted to bring it into line with the others. Here is how they work:
- A veneer is a very thin, tooth-coloured piece of porcelain (like a false finger nail, but more durable) that is bonded on top of your own tooth.
- Based on your needs, the shape and size of the veneers can be adjusted to make your teeth overall look longer and or closer together.
- You can have just one veneer fitted or a whole set, known as a smile makeover.
A crown is a type of dental restoration used to fix teeth that have been broken, weakened by decay or contain a very large filling. Here is how it works:
- An impression is taken of the tooth that needs restoring.
- A crown is made in the dental laboratory to fit the tooth precisely and match the neighbouring teeth.
- The tooth is then prepared and the crown fitted securely on top.
A crown could be a good solution for you if you have some discoloured fillings and would like to improve their appearance. Crowns can be used to replace these to give you a more appealing smile. Additionally, if you have had root canal treatment you will need a crown to protect or cap the restored tooth, allowing you to eat and bite down on it as if it was a real tooth. Crowns are also used to anchor a bridge or denture firmly in place in the mouth.
- Strengthens remaining tooth structure.
- Natural-looking restoration.
- Functions like a real tooth, so you can bite and chew as usual.