Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that deals with diagnosing, preventing, and treating malocclusions that occur when there is a bad relationship between the upper (maxillary) and lower (mandibular) dental arches. Abnormalities cause malocclusions in the position or development of the teeth (misalignment of the teeth) and structural changes in the maxillary and mandibular bones.

Orthodontics aims to treat and correct these anomalies, which may have important repercussions at both functional and aesthetic levels and cause disorders in the masticatory muscles and jaw joints.

Modern orthodontics is not limited to the correct alignment of teeth. Orthodontic treatment also supports an optimal balance between chewing efficiency, dental health, smile aesthetics and general health of the patient.

Orthodontic Treatment Stages

Orthodontic treatment can be done in three different developmental stages for orthodontic treatment:

  1. Pre-puberty: When young orthodontic patients in this period apply for treatment, they also have deciduous teeth (milk teeth) in their mouths. At the same time, these patients’ jaw and facial structures continue to develop. Orthodontic treatment aims to correct structural imbalances to support the harmonious development of dental arches at this stage. At this stage, in addition to bad habits such as thumb or pacifier sucking, nail-biting, swallowing disorder or mouth breathing, lower and upper jaw sequences that are not compatible with each other in size (cross biting, open bite) are corrected.
  2. Adolescence: Puberty is the stage that corresponds to the peak of the growth spurt. At this stage, orthodontic treatment aims to provide adequate functional balance in coordination with an optimal smile aesthetic. A good closure with oral health is planned according to the patient and the patient’s aesthetic expectations. In cases where tooth crowding is severe and/or severe skeletal incompatibility, it may be necessary to resort to tooth extraction or surgical assisted treatments.
  3. Adulthood: At this stage, orthodontic treatment aims to design a smile to provide a balanced and stable tooth closure and aesthetics of the smile. Again, at this stage, tooth loss due to recession of the bone supporting the teeth or periodontal disease causes the displacement of the teeth, necessitating corrective orthodontic intervention. Orthodontic treatment may be accompanied by microsurgery or surgical treatment if significant skeletal imbalances occur in adults.

Orthodontic Treatment Methods

In this part of our article, we will answer what orthodontic treatment methods are. The determination of orthodontic treatment methods is determined according to the condition of the teeth and the development of the patients. For orthodontic treatment, many different types of fixed and removable appliances and braces that can be applied externally or internally, depending on the type of problem, are preferred. Commonly used methods in orthodontic treatment are listed below.

Dental Braces

Braces are wire-based devices that orthodontists place directly on the upper part of the teeth to correct dental crowding. Braces are still the most commonly used method for orthodontic treatment.

There is no definite age limit for wearing braces. Still, it is generally necessary to wait for all permanent teeth to come out. In addition, intervention with braces may not always be necessary, as some tooth crowding can correct itself while permanent dentition is completed. However, the types of braces that can be used according to the condition of the teeth and the patient’s preference are as follows:

  • Metal Braces: Metal braces, also known as brackets, are the most popular method of choice for orthodontic treatment. This treatment is widely used, especially in adolescence and earlier stages. Metal-based braces are much more durable than other methods. To fix the wires between the brackets, the orthodontist uses coloured or clear elastics.
  • Transparent Plaques: These plaques, also known as wire-free orthodontics or invisalign clear plaques, are almost invisible in the mouth and make the course of treatment more aesthetic. Since they can be easily attached and removed, it is relatively easy to maintain oral hygiene. It is an application that adults frequently prefer, but there is no age limit for its use. Orthodontic clear aligners are designed exclusively for patients with the help of computers. This treatment is an effective option for athletes, models, actors, actresses, woodwind musicians or adult professionals.
  • Lingual Braces: In this method, also known as lingual orthodontics or invisible braces, the orthodontist fixes the metal brackets to the inside of the tooth, making it invisible from the outside.
  • Porcelain Braces: It is a type of braces preferred by patients with aesthetic concerns since it attracts less attention when viewed from the outside. Porcelain braces are much more sensitive than other methods and are more difficult to maintain. Therefore, its use in children is not preferred too much.

Adequate oral hygiene is sufficient for fixed appliances such as metal braces. However, porcelain braces are more delicate and fragile and require extra care. Invisalign clear aligners are the method that has the least negative impact on social life.

When Can You Wear Braces?

At what age can braces be worn? To summarize, braces treatment can be done at any age. The only real difference between children and adults is that the former still has room in the mouth for teeth to develop, while the latter does not.

In cases such as lower jaw length and lower jaw retraction, starting treatment early can make braces treatment much more effective because it is still possible at this stage to beneficially guide the direction of bone development. An adult with incorrect bone position and, therefore, a skeletal malocclusion will have less chance of recovery than a fully grown child. However, crowding can be easily corrected with similar success rates among children, adolescents, and adults.

How Long Does Braces Treatment Take?

The answer to how long does the braces treatment or clear plaque treatment take is also curious. Braces treatment time varies greatly from one patient to the next. Every orthodontic case is unique.

In addition to the patient’s age, it should be considered that many other variables can affect the duration of orthodontic treatment, such as the presence of other diseases in the mouth or throughout the body, the response of tissues to treatment, the level of oral hygiene.

Is Braces Treatment Painful?

Braces treatment is now completely painless. This is mainly because orthodontic techniques and especially the materials used for braces are much more advanced than in the past.

All experienced orthodontists tend to use very light and constant forces to achieve maximum displacement of teeth with minimum discomfort. It can be said that the most common discomfort experienced by orthodontic patients is represented by the feeling of constant pressure on one or more teeth at the same time. Other discomforts or pains are usually caused by the presence of foreign objects such as orthodontic appliances in the mouth.

Braces Prices

Braces prices may vary depending on the type of braces to be preferred, the orthodontist’s experience, the condition of the teeth, their click, and many other factors. For example, the price of clear aligners or lingual braces and the price of clear braces are completely different. In addition, orthodontic treatment prices may vary due to price increases in the cost of the material to be used in the treatment.