Orthodontics is a dento-facial speciality aimed to correct bad teeth and jaws positioning in order to optimize the occlusion.
External forces make the teeth move thanks to a constant affixing and resorption of the alveolar bone surrounding the roots.
By doing so, it improves the aesthetic and functional aspects of the dental arches. Not only does it favour aesthetics but also chewing, phonics, breathing, swallowing and growing.
Orthodontics is easy on younger patients, but it can also be feasible on adults. In that case, the treatment takes more time.
Permanent and removal devices are used, which are more or less sophisticated.
These devices apply force either on the teeth only, it is then called orthodontics, or on both the teeth and the bones (jawbone and mandible), it is then called orthopaedics.
The force applied on the teeth, which can vary in terms of intensity and duration, enables the correction of dysmorphia and dental malpositions. In case of severe dysmorphia, it is sometimes necessary to use both surgery and orthodontics.
Orthodontic devices have evolved over the last twenty years. Removable devices have been abandoned in the orthodontic phase, in favour of permanent devices, also called "multi-braces", glued onto the teeth. Orthodontics sometimes requires a device fixed on the outside of the mouth (extraoral force). However, removable devices are the preferred option for treatments requiring a phase of reeducation of certain functions (tongue positioning…) and for orthopaedics destined to young children (correction of the gap between the bones with or without extraoral traction). Inter-maxillary traction for orthopaedic purpose can be judiciously combined with multi-braces.
The applied forces must be soft and constant. If the force applied is too brutal, problems will occur : root destruction , periodontal recessions.
The main problem at the end of the treatment is the teeth setting in their new therapeutic position : in case of a persistent and unusual salivary swallowing, teeth tend to go back to their initial position, before the orthodontic treatment. This is orthodontic recurrence.
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