By Dr. Rudy Wassenaar
Orthodontic treatment and care have decreased the cases of cavities and missing teeth not only in Williams Lake, BC but in other parts of the world as well. It is our joy to gaze upon our patients’ beautiful, healthy smiles after taking advantage of our orthodontic services here at Williams Lake Smiles.
WHAT IS ORTHODONTICS?
Orthodontics is a specialization in dentistry that focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of problems in the jaw, face, or bite (also known as malocclusions). Orthodontic treatment is done by an orthodontist, an oral health care provider that has undergone adequate years of training beyond dental school.
WHY DO I NEED ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT?
You may need to undergo an orthodontic procedure because of two primary reasons: function and aesthetics. Having healthy teeth that function well is important in a person’s daily life, yet an attractive smile also boosts one’s self-confidence. You can have both by receiving the appropriate orthodontic treatment depending on your specific condition.
DO I HAVE A POTENTIAL BITE PROBLEM?
Dr. Wassenaar detects a problem once the patient’s teeth are protruding, crowded, or shifting out of position. Aside from such symptoms, one may also be able to notice breathing through the mouth, frequent accidental biting of the palate or cheek, difficulties in speech, and thumb-sucking that continues beyond the age of three or four. An orthodontic problem may be present once teeth do not properly meet when the mouth is closed, or if the jaws shift or create sounds as they are moved.
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN GETTING BRACES AND WEARING THEM?
Generally, the installation of braces does not cause significant pain. However, pain and discomfort can surface a couple of days after the installation of the appliance. In such a case, the patient may be required to return to the office to have their braces adjusted. Periodic adjustments are a contributing factor to soreness in the area as well, but this only lasts a couple of days. There are also over-the-counter medications that can alleviate pain.
WILL THERE BE EXTRACTIONS DURING AN ORTHODONTIC PROCEDURE?
Extraction may be necessary if teeth are too crowded or if impacted teeth are present. However, younger patients who have been treated much earlier may not need any tooth extraction.