The common myths in Orthodontics:
Orthodontic treatment is only for teenagers.
During the early days of development of the technique, materials available were limited and a good result was usually seen in the age groups of 10-20 years where the adaptation of biological tissues to tooth movement was best. Today there has been a sea change in treatment techniques and availability of materials made of special alloys has made Orthodontic treatment independent of “age factor”. Any patient can be considered for treatment if he or she has the motivation and good oral hygiene. Age is not a bar for orthodontic treatment.
Adult Orthodontic treatment in the form of Lingual Orthodontics and Invisalign has been successful with improvement in technology and miniaturization of brackets. Now the age factor is 6 to 60 years.
General Dentist is an Orthodontist too.
Orthodontics is a specialty subject where the knowledge of a General dentist to treat is limited. A general dentist could however handle some Preventive and Interceptive treatment in children like space maintainers and habit breaking appliances.
Is purely for Cosmetic Reasons!
Having a good set of teeth does improve the image of a person, but is important to have health teeth and gums. A good set of teeth is necessary to carry out proper functions like speech, tooth brushing and mastication. Since normal functions are not affected due to the adaptability of the oral tissues inspite of having crooked teeth gives the impression that this is a cosmetic treatment.
Are a lengthy and a painful procedure?
The duration of treatment may last between one to three years, depending on the complexity of the problem. Fixed appliance (Braces) tooth movement has to be done in a controlled manner in order to avoid root resorption of the tooth and relapse. The initial adjustment phase is one month and usually after this period the patient is comfortable with the advent of new materials (heat activated archwires) orthodontic treatment has become to a great extent pain free procedure.
Orthodontic Treatment means Braces.
Orthodontics is not limited to guiding teeth into a harmonious relation but also deals with the correction of skeletal (bony) problems. The types of treatment modalities are divided into (a) Preventive and Interceptive treatment – 6 to 10 years of age (b) Functional Appliances – 8 to 15 years of age (c) Fixed appliance (braces) treatment – 12 to life (4) Ortho-gnathic Surgery – after 18 years of age, Orthodontic treatment performed alongside surgical correction of the jaws.
Hence, a visit to the orthodontist is deemed necessary as early as six years of age and thereafter depending on the doctor.
Teeth become loose after the treatment.
This is a common complaint with patients who do not follow the post treatment instructions with retainers. Proper tooth movement is possible only when an optimum range of force is an applied thro brace. It is important the patient not be in an urgency to see changes. Movement occurs with time. Improper force application leads to post-treatment relapse. Hence, it is important to get the treatment at the hands of a qualified and experienced specialist.
Is a very expensive procedure?
The duration of treatment could be between 1 to 3 years. During this period the patient would visit the Orthodontist once in 4 – 6 weeks. The use of quality Orthodontic products is expensive. This treatment is a time intensive treatment hence the cost factor increases. In some treatment options, Laboratory help is sought. This again increases the cost factor. The payments are collected on monthly installment basis making it comfortable on the pocket.