Austin Braces and Orthodontia
Braces are used to realign teeth and the jaw for cosmetic and functional reasons. They can help to straighten misaligned or crowded teeth and can also help to correct a poor bite. If you have a misaligned jaw or teeth, orthodontia can help to permanently correct these issues to give you the smile that you have always wanted.
For more information on braces and other related products and services, contact the Austin orthodontists of BridgeView Dental at 512-347-8299.
The field of dentistry that encompasses teeth and jaw alignment is known as orthodontics, and procedures within this field are referred to as orthodontia. Realigning the teeth or jaw using braces is one type of orthodontia. Braces involve connecting wires to the teeth and tightening or loosening them as necessary to realign the teeth. The three main types of braces include:
- Conventional metal wires or bands connecting the teeth
- Metal or plastic brackets bonded to the teeth
- Lingual braces, which are brackets that attach to the back side of the teeth
Braces can be used on both children and adults, though they are most effective between the ages of 7 and 14 while a child’s facial structure is still undergoing development. Children typically wear braces for about 2 years, while adults need a longer period of time and additional procedures to achieve the same results. The procedure for braces includes:
- Forming a mold of the patient’s teeth
- Taking X-rays of the mouth and jaw
- Applying braces or other orthodontic appliances to the teeth or jaw
- Periodically adjusting the tension on the braces to gradually align the teeth or jaw
- Removing the braces and thoroughly cleaning the teeth
- Wearing retainers to keep the teeth in place
In the past, orthodontia were bulky and unattractive, often including large bits of metal that could cause discomfort. In contrast, modern braces are lightweight and are designed to be clear or natural-looking to provide a much more attractive appearance.
A space maintainer is a special type of orthodontia for children that leaves room for an adult tooth if the baby tooth is missing. Children sometimes lose teeth prematurely because of decay, damage, or injury, leaving a gap in the remaining teeth. Without a space maintainer, the remaining teeth may begin to shift and grow into the space of the missing tooth, which could cause overcrowding or misalignment once the adult tooth begins to grow in. The space maintainer can be easily installed to reserve this space for the permanent tooth and is easy to remove once the adult tooth begins to erupt.
Advances in orthodontia have made it easier than ever to achieve a lasting, shining smile that you can show with confidence. To learn more about braces and other forms of orthodontia that we offer, contact Austin dentist Lance Loveless, DDS, today at 512-347-8299.