The American Dental Association estimates that 30 percent of adults in the United States have undergone some form of orthodontic treatment in their lifetime, and the number may be even higher now that the field of cosmetic dentistry is on the rise. Orthodontics is the diagnosis, prevention, and correction of the position of the teeth and jaws, which frequently become misaligned because of oral overcrowding and other issues.
Individuals of all ages can receive orthodontic treatment, with the most common recipients being older children, teenagers, and young adults who require the pulling of teeth or the frequently seen braces. Braces are appliances used to pull the teeth into a straighter, more natural position that is comfortable for the individual and allows for a more cohesive bite. While they are the most common procedure, patients can also benefit from receiving oral headgear, palatal expansion, and jaw surgery to fix misalignments.
The easiest way to receive assistance for an orthodontic problem is by making an appointment with a qualified dentist. The teeth will be examined during a visual and tactile exam, and x-rays are frequently done to check the alignment of the teeth in relation to their roots and the jawbone. A bite impression can also reveal problems like an overbite or underbite.
Not all misalignments require complete treatment, but conditions like an overbite should be fixed to avoid damage or a weakening of the gums, which can result in tooth loss. Palates are often expanded to even the jaws and make room for more teeth among children, and jaw surgery is done to correct alignments or help support bone graft for a dental implant.
All of these problems can be identified and diagnosed by a qualified dentist, including the staff here at Digital Smiles.
Whether or not your dental insurance policy covers orthodontics will depend on the type of coverage you have. Most basic policies that only cover cleanings once or twice a year will not have orthodontic aid, so it’s important to check with your provider before scheduling any procedures.