Timing of Treatment 
Common Types of
Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontics offers a beautiful smile and a healthier mouth. It is an important branch of dentistry, which deals with correcting the positioning of the jaw and the alignment of the teeth. And, there is no age restriction for orthodontic treatment. 

 

There are many types of orthodontic treatment available, which depend on the type of problem the patient may be facing. Here are some common types of dental problems treated with orthodontics:

 

Crowding:

Crowding of teeth occurs when the permanent teeth do not grow in their correct position usually due to lack of space. The upper and lower jaws may be too narrow as compared to the size of the teeth or the teeth may be too large. Crowded teeth can be unsightly as well as be more difficult to keep clean.

 

Open Bite:

A person is said to have an open bite when the upper teeth do not meet the lower teeth when a person bites down. This can occur in the front or back teeth and the chewing process of such a bite is usually less efficient.  Open bite often occurs when a patient sucks their thumb as a child.

 

Excess or Deep Overbite:

Excess Overbite happens when the upper teeth of a person vertically cover the lower teeth more than is ideal. It can result in excess wear on the front teeth over time.

 

Excess Overjet:

This condition results due to protruded front teeth, retruded lower teeth, or a misalignment of the jaws.  Excess overjet most often occurs with a Class II occlusion or bite. 

 

Class II Occlusion (Bite):

This is a bite in which the lower teeth are further back relative to the upper teeth than is ideal.  It usually occurs with excess overbite and overjet. As with excess overjet, a Class II bite usually indicates that alignment of the jaw is not correct (either the lower jaw is too far back or too small, the upper jaw is too far forward or too large, or any combination of these problems).  Again, depending on the severity and cause, early diagnosis and orthodontic treatment is often very helpful and successful. In more severe cases, jaw surgery along with orthodontic treatment may be necessary. 

 

Underbite:

Underbite occurs when the lower front teeth overlap over (in front of) the upper front teeth. This also usually indicates that alignment of the jaw is not correct (either the upper jaw is too far back or too small, the lower jaw is too far forward or too large, or any combination of these problems).  Depending on the severity and cause, early diagnosis and orthodontic treatment is often very helpful and successful. In more severe cases, jaw surgery along with orthodontic treatment may be necessary.  Underbites often occur with a Class III occlusion (bite).

 

Class III Occlusion (Bite):

This is a bite in which the lower teeth are further forward relative to the upper teeth than is ideal.  It usually occurs with an underbite. As with an underbite, a Class III bite usually indicates that alignment of the jaw is not correct (either the upper jaw is too far back or too small, the lower jaw is too far forward or too large, or any combination of these problems).  Again, depending on the severity and cause, early diagnosis and orthodontic treatment is often very helpful and successful. In more severe cases, jaw surgery along with orthodontic treatment may be necessary. 

 

Spacing of Teeth:

Some people may have spaces between their teeth which occur due to missing teeth or when their teeth are too small compared to their jaw size. Braces are usually used to eliminate the uneven spacing or provide ideal spacing for missing or undersized teeth.

 

Missing Lateral Incisors:

This may happen at times when the upper lateral incisors are congenitally not present. Often, orthodontics is required to properly position the surrounding teeth and provide ideal spacing for replacement of the missing teeth with bridgework or implant.  Occasionally, the spaces can be closed and remaining teeth in the mouth arranged with braces to substitute for the missing teeth.  

 

Non-braces Treatment:

Not every patient requires braces fixed to the teeth. Some treatment is simply treated with removable appliances.

 

The timing of orthodontic treatment can sometimes be obvious, and other times it can be somewhat unclear.  The American Association of Orthodontists and most practicing orthodontists recommend an orthodontic examination by 7 years of age. 

 

Ultimately, there is no easy answer about the best timing for orthodontic treatment, since every patient will have a different set of circumstances.  What may be appropriate for one patient may not necessarily be recommended for another.  The best advice would be to seek consultation by an orthodontist ideally by 7 years of age.

 

To learn more about treatment timing, click on the documents below.

 

Treatment Types

 

Straight teeth are healthier, reduce the risk of future dental issues, and give you a big reason to smile. With straight teeth, you have a better chance of preventing plaque buildup which could lead to gum disease. With straight teeth you’re also able to chew food properly and speak better.

 

When it comes to orthodontic treatment options, there are many. It all depends on the type of orthodontic treatment you need to achieve a balanced, aesthetic result. Dr Zierhut will recommend a treatment based on the severity of your bite, the degree of dental misalignment and your desires regarding treatment times and the final results. Contact our West Hills orthodontic office or our Valencia orthodontic office for more information.