According to medical studies, over half of the United States population has malocclusions, or improper bites and misaligned teeth. The types and severity of these malocclusions varies greatly, from over bites, open bites, cross bites and more. These problems, which were found to be too specific to be a part of general dentistry, gave birth to a specialty called orthodontics.
Orthodontics is a specialty under the umbrella of dentistry that focuses on the restoration and treatment of bite problems or the improper alignment of the jaw bones, the maxilla, mandible and other components of the facial structure. Orthodontics also covers the restoration of misaligned teeth, which is one of the main culprits behind faulty occlusions.
Changes in Orthodontics
For the most part, orthodontists generally treat patients who require proper alignment of their teeth. It’s been found that most bite problems are inextricably linked to the misalignment of teeth, hence the number of treatments for gaps between teeth as well as bucked, crooked and broken teeth. The reasons for seeking such procedures however, have changed from being purely health-related, to being on the aesthetic or cosmetic side of things.
The demand for orthodontic procedures for purely cosmetic reasons has risen steadily in recent years. In a society where looks are more important than ever, having a perfect smile means everything. Instead of solely being a branch of dentistry that concentrates on the treatment of jaw misalignment, orthodontics has become flooded with patients looking to restore their smiles and lost teeth. Many of these patients are oblivious to the fact that the treatments they are undergoing don’t just fix their teeth, but also help in maintaining or restoring their proper bite.
Indeed, the core objectives in orthodontics have made this area of industry an unwitting player in the race to look better instead of just feeling better and staying healthy. Proper dental alignment is still important, but it’s become overshadowed by cosmetic perfection—which isn’t exactly a bad thing since the core objectives of the field are still being held true. Regardless, orthodontics has clearly entered the world of mainstream medicine.
A lot of treatments and procedures have been developed in the world of modern orthodontics, but it is in recent years where the really astounding developments have been made. The advent of Clear Braces or Invisalign for example, has revolutionized the restoration and realignment of damaged and injured teeth by dentists and orthodontists the world over.
Invisalign or Clear Braces are essentially an improvement on conventional metal braces. They are a safer and less painful solution to teeth alignment, yet yield the same—perhaps even better—results than metal braces. Perhaps worthy of more focus to most patients is the fact that Invisalign, made of a transparent high-strength plastic, is the most aesthetically appealing aligner in the industry. It does not mar the appearance of one’s smile and is difficult to spot from afar. Furthermore, they do not get in the way of activities such as eating, drinking, flossing and brushing since they are designed to be removable.