Crooked Teeth Orthodontic Treatment
If your children’s teeth are crooked, you may be worried that nothing will fix them. When treating crowded or crooked teeth, often the treatment involves creating space for teeth to reposition them. Here is some information about how that is done.
How Does Orthodontic Treatment Work?
When I meet with patients and their parents, the parents often ask me, “How does orthodontics work? How do you fix crooked teeth?” The answer to that question depends on the specific situation and the type of treatment we need to do. For some patients, their first step in orthodontics is creating space for teeth to be made straight. That often includes some expansion and space creation so that, when we are ready to put braces on or use Invisalign, we will have the space we need to make teeth straight
For adults, treatment can differ a little bit because we don’t have the same options when it comes to creating space for teeth. As far as how orthodontics works overall, it’s basically creating space for teeth through either expansion or other means and then using braces, Invisalign, or other modalities to make the crooked teeth straight within the arches.
The last aspect is just making sure the upper and lower jaws fit together as they should.
Expanding the Jaw vs. Expanding the Teeth
When we diagnose a case, we measure x-rays, one of which is a view from the front. We measure the widths of the upper jaw and the lower jaw as they relate to each other and as they relate to the head size. We measure the width of the patient’s jaws relative to that individual’s head size. Then, if we see that they’re skeletally narrow, we know we need to widen the upper jaw skeletally. One of the ways we’ll recognize this by looking clinically is that the patient will have what’s called a posterior crossbite. If a patient’s upper jaw is biting on the inside of the lower, we’ll know by looking at them that they’re likely to need a skeletal expander.
We always make sure to measure on the x-ray as well to clearly determine how narrow that patient is and how much expansion we need. If we notice that they’re not skeletally narrow, but densely – meaning that the teeth look as if they’re kind of tipped in toward the roof of the mouth or toward the tongue, we will use a dental expander to push the teeth into a better position.
If there’s crowding, we often try creating space for teeth by using an expander first, and then make those crooked teeth straight with braces later.
If you want a dental practice that is experienced in orthodontics and cares about your family, contact our Buffalo office today.