/ Dentofacial Orthopedics
Orthodontics is the branch of dental science dealing with
detection and correction of mal-aligned teeth and developing
malalignment of teeth and jawbones using orthodontic appliances.
Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the
diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial
irregularities. The technical
term for these problems is "malocclusion," which means "bad
bite." The practice of orthodontics requires professional skill
in the design, application
and control of corrective appliances (braces) to bring teeth,
lips and jaws into proper alignment and achieve facial balance.
Fixed Orthodontics is a system of dental treatment whereby
braces are fixed onto teeth in order to move them to the desired
position. Here, it is performed by senior orthodontists who are
specialists in the field.
Duration of the treatment - is highly variable –
it depends on the age of the individual undergoing treatment,
the nature of the corrective tooth movements involved and a host
of other factors. Generally a time period of one year to a year
and a half will be sufficient. However patients requiring
complex tooth movements and those who are comparatively older,
tend to require more time for completion of treatment than
Commencement of treatment and frequency of following visits
– Treatment can be commenced only after complete scaling
(cleaning), fillings and extractions (if they are required).
Other treatment procedures such as periodontal surgery etc. may
also be required prior to commencement of orthodontic treatment.
The first orthodontic appointment will be a long one as
sufficient time period is required for fixing the braces.
After completion of fixation of braces, the subsequent visits
are generally short – for about half an hour. However, much more
time may be required in the event of breakage or damage to the
braces. Generally a time gap of approximately one month is given
between appointments, unless otherwise required.
Instructions to be followed by patients during treatment
The appliance is likely to cause certain amount of discomfort
during the initial phase. This can manifest as ulcers in the
mouth, difficulty in chewing and talking. Once the patient gets
used to the appliance, these problems will gradually subside. In
the event of ulceration in the mouth caused by the appliance,
the drugs, mouthwash and ointment prescribed by the doctor are
to be taken. Warm saline may be used for rinsing the mouth twice
or thrice a day. Place a clean cotton bolus over the area of the
appliance which appears sharp and tends to hurt.
If the appliance gets damaged, kindly report to the clinic so
that appropriate measures are taken. Please do not try to tamper
with the appliance or try to repair the same yourself. If you
are wearing elastics (rubber bands), kindly wear them in the
manner you have been asked to. In case you miss an appointment,
please discontinue using the elastics so that further tooth
movement is prevented. In case any portion of the appliance gets
dislodged and comes out, please retain them with you and hand it
over to the doctor during your next visit.
Maintenance of meticulous oral hygiene is a must during the
phase of treatment. If this is not done, food debris is likely
to accumulate in the appliance spaces. This will further lead to
tooth decay and gum diseases. Hence, lack of proper brushing
twice a day will eventually lead to loss of the teeth which we
are attempting to reposition.
Do not have hard or sticky food stuffs during the treatment
period. If used, they can cause damage of the appliance, cause
accumulation of the food debris on tooth and appliance surfaces
and the spaces. Avoid chewing using the front teeth. Avoid
aerated drinks as they tend to dislodge the bands and brackets
by dissolving the bonding/cementing medium.
Try to avoid all activities which tend to apply pressure on the
appliance thereby damaging it. These include boxing, wrestling
Completion of treatment - After completion of fixed
appliance treatment, you will be given a removable
retention-appliance. This is meant for maintaining the position
of the repositioned teeth. This appliance has to be ideally worn
for a period of total one and a half years – the first 6 months
day and night, the next 6 months night alone and the last 6
months on alternate nights. The appliance need not be worn
during food intake. Discontinuation of the retention appliance
can cause relapse – ie., return of the teeth to the original
position, just as it was prior to treatment.
Do not hesitate to make clarifications with the doctor(s) if
you have any.
Please contact us one week prior to your scheduled appointment
to confirm the same.
Kindly keep appointments. If you miss an appointment, your
treatment period will certainly get prolonged. If, due to
unavoidable circumstances you should change the appointment
date, kindly inform us at the earliest.