Orthodontists deal with the diagnosis and treatment of malpositions of the teeth and jaw. Not only children and adolescents can be provided with a clamp, adults are also increasingly opting for orthodontic treatment - be it for health or purely aesthetic reasons. Useful information about the treatment focus of orthodontics as well as the procedure and costs of the therapy can be found here.

Overview of this article

Treatment Areas of Orthodontics

If teeth are crooked or if the upper and lower jaws are not in the correct position, the orthodontist can help. He examines teeth and jaw on malpositions such as too far protruding incisors or a back lower jaw and then creates a treatment plan.

Usually a clamp is used, which shifts the teeth into the desired shape over a period of several years. This not only increases the life of the teeth, it also benefits the patient with a smoother smile. People who suffer from craniomandibular dysfunction (CMD) - a temporomandibular joint dysfunction - also find the right person to contact in an orthodontist.

When is orthodontist treatment necessary?

Orthodontic treatment is in many cases useful or even essential - for example, if the existing anomalies endanger dental health. Problems with speaking or chewing speak for a presentation at the orthodontist.

However, treatment by an orthodontist may also be required or at least desirable for esthetic reasons. Crooked teeth and conspicuous gaps in the teeth are often perceived as a blemish by those affected, so it is advisable to get comprehensive advice on a possible therapy.

How does the orthodontic treatment work?

How does the orthodontic treatment work?

The orthodontic treatment extends over several years. This is partly because - in children and adolescents - natural growth is used. In addition, only weak forces may be used, so that the periodontium is not affected. The therapy consists of the following steps:

  • Thorough and comprehensive diagnostics
  • Creation of an individual therapy plan
  • Treatment phase with regular controls and adjustments
  • Maintenance phase

1. Diagnosis

In the first step, the orthodontist performs a detailed examination of the teeth and temporomandibular joint. Subsequently, an impression of the upper and lower jaw is made, with the help of a plaster model of the teeth can be produced. This plaster model requires the orthodontist to assess the patient's position and to be able to make a precise measurement of the space in the jaw.

X-rays also help the doctor to assess tooth development and the individual growth pattern of the skull.

2. Therapy plan

After the orthodontist has a comprehensive picture, followed by a detailed conversation with the patient. The doctor explains the individual diagnosis and the planned course of treatment, including the necessary equipment. The duration of therapy and the cost of treatment can also be discussed in this interview.

The patient then receives a treatment plan, which must be submitted to his health insurance for approval.

3. Treatment phase

At the beginning of the treatment phase, the orthodontist integrates the braces. If it is a removable clip, the patient receives all necessary information for their handling. This is followed every six to eight weeks by a check-up with any adjustments to the braces.

It is very important that the patient regularly wears the equipment and follows the oral hygiene instructions closely to ensure successful treatment.

4. Stabilization phase stopped

Even if the desired treatment success has been achieved, the therapy should not simply be stopped. Instead, a so-called stabilization phase should follow, in which the respective equipment must be carried on - usually over a period of twelve to 24 months.

The denture must first consolidate before the patient is allowed to completely dispenses the braces. After wearing a fixed clasp a so-called retainer often is used. It's glued
permanently behind the front teeth wire and remains in the mouth over several years.

At what age should children be treated orthodontically?

When a child should undergo orthodontic treatment depends on various factors, in particular on individual development and on the type and extent of any anomalies.

As a rule, treatments are made only from the age of nine. However, a first examination is useful in kindergarten to ensure that the teeth and jaw develop correctly. Follow-up examinations take place one to two years apart until it is clear whether treatment is necessary or not.

What are the options for orthodontic treatment for adults?

Even in adults, orthodontic treatment has good chances of success. However, it should be noted that the therapeutic options are limited due to the lack of growth. In addition, the denture must be in good condition overall.

If there is a slight or moderate malposition, this can usually be corrected by means of removable plastic splints. In all other cases a solid clasp is required. It can be mounted invisibly on the inside of the anterior teeth.

Does the health insurance cover the costs of treatment?

If the treatment is necessary for medical reasons, the costs for orthodontic treatment between the tenth and 18th year of life are covered by the health insurance. This depends on the specific regulation in your country, however.

If the treatment goes beyond the range of benefits of the statutory health insurance, however, additional payments must be accepted - for example, for tooth-colored brackets or for the use of highly elastic wires. In general, orthodontic treatment is not provided for adults, unless the deformities are so severe that surgical intervention is required. Supplementary insurances usually cover the costs of treatment only after an accident.

Conclusion

Orthodontics has a permanent place in the field of dentistry. Children and adults, whose teeth grow askew, receive help here as well as adults whose temporomandibular joint does not work properly. After the treatment, the patient not only benefits from a healthy masticatory apparatus but also from a nice smile.