Orthodontics of West Covina FAQs: What You Need to Know About Orthodontics
There is more to orthodontics than simply "wearing braces." Many patients often have questions about what orthodontics involve, how the orthodontic treatments work, and why orthodontics are recommended.
At Orthodontics of West Covina, we want to ensure each patient understands their treatment options and receives the best care possible.
- What is Orthodontics?
- Orthodontics, also referred to as dentofacial orthopedics, is the specialized branch of dentistry that diagnoses, treats, and seeks to prevent facial and dental irregularities. Appliances such as braces, retainers, and headgear work together to make these corrections.
- When Should You Begin Orthodontic Treatment?
- Catching the problem early is always ideal. Children may start orthodontic treatment as early as age seven. Their jawbones aren't as hard at this age as an adult's, which makes it easier to treat dental irregularities faster.
- Why Would Someone Need Orthodontic Treatment?
There are several reasons that orthodontic treatments may be prescribed by your orthodontist, including:
- Underbite - When your lower jaw juts out causing your lower teeth to extend past your upper teeth when you bite down
- Overbite - When your upper teeth overlap your bottom teeth
- Crossbite - When the upper and lower teeth don't fit together with the proper occlusion
- When you have crooked, misaligned teeth
- When your mouth is overcrowded with teeth
- When you have large gaps between your teeth
- Why Is it Important to Straighten Teeth?
While some may think that teething straightening is merely cosmetic, a misaligned bite can actually cause oral health issues. When you don't treat misaligned teeth or jaw issues, a number of serious issues can occur.
- You can develop cracked, broken, or chipped teeth
- You can develop TMJ disorder, which can result in migraines, headaches and early onset arthritis in joints
- You are at higher risk for gum disease and dental decay
- You may develop sore facial muscles
- I'm Not a Kid - Am I Too Old for Braces?
You can never be too old for orthodontic treatment! From age seven to ninety-seven, if your mouth, teeth, and jaws are healthy enough to receive treatment, orthodontic treatment is an option for you. Approximately 25% of people wearing braces and clear aligners today are adults.
If you do have misaligned teeth, you should consider orthodontic treatment today to prevent potential issues such as TMJ disorder, fractured or cracked teeth, and to improve your overall oral health.
- Which Orthodontic Treatment Option is the Fastest?
There are three types of braces available, including traditional metal braces, porcelain or ceramic braces, and clear aligners.
InvisalignⓇ clear aligners are often the fastest choice for adults, teens, and kids mature enough to properly care for them and wear them responsibly. Use of clear aligners is usually between 12 and 18 months.
- Why Do Some People Require Extractions Before Orthodontic Treatment?
If your mouth is overcrowded with teeth, you will require tooth extraction prior to orthodontic treatment. Once these excess teeth are removed, your mouth will be ready for orthodontic care.
Typically, if you do require an extraction, the teeth that are removed include wisdom teeth and first bicuspids or premolars, which are the teeth behind the eye teeth.
- If I Have Crowns or Other Restorative Work, Can I Still Get Braces of Some Kind?
Even if you have existing crowns or other restorative work, you are still a good candidate for braces or clear aligners. Your orthodontist will use a different adhesive to place braces on a porcelain crown than on a natural tooth to ensure that no problems occur.
There may be challenges with bridges and implants. However, your orthodontist will make assessments, based on the locations of the bridges or implants, as your treatment is determined.
- Besides Braces, What Other Orthodontic Appliances Can Be Used?
Sometimes, people need some extra help with other orthodontic appliances. Some additional choices that may be recommended include:
- Space maintainers
- Fixed or removable retainers
- Palatal expanders
- What Questions Should I Ask My Orthodontist During My Consultation?
Before you begin your orthodontic treatment, it's good to ask a few questions of your dentist or orthodontist to ensure you are receiving the best care possible.
- Do I need lower or upper braces or both?
- What appliances will I need?
- Would InvisalignⓇ work for me?
- Do I need elastics if I get metal or ceramic braces?
- Do I need any tooth extractions before treatment begins?
- What oral hygiene changes should I make during orthodontic treatment?
- How will braces affect my sports activities, singing, eating, and drinking?
- Will I experience any pain or discomfort? What should I do if that happens?
- What happens if a wire or elastic breaks?
- How long will my treatment last?
- What type of payments and financing is available?
- How many adjustments or aligner trays will I need?
Dr. Hamid - A Qualified And Caring Orthodontist You Can Trust
When you're ready to have orthodontic treatment, you'll find that our Dr. Hamid Barkhordar is a highly qualified orthodontist who believes in compassionate care for all his patients. He received his education from the most prestigious schools, including the University of Southern California and Harvard School of Dental Medicine, and he continually studies and researches the latest techniques and equipment to make sure every patient receives the highest quality care.