What Is Orthodontics, And What Is It For?

The orthodontic process involves a set of dental movements performed to improve the esthetics, function, and chewing of your mouth. During childhood, orthodontics is more effective because the bone structures are still developing. Thus, it is easier to detect and correct any jawbone problems early.

Orthodontics is divided into several stages until the desired smile is achieved. In total, orthodontics has 7 phases:

1. Orthodontic study

Once the first visit has taken place, and the most appropriate treatment for the patient has been chosen, whether it is invisible orthodontics, metal brackets, or transparent brackets, the first thing to do is to carry out an orthodontic study to obtain an accurate diagnosis and proceed to prepare the treatment.

To do this, the orthodontist Arizona will perform a series of tests to determine any oral problems you may have: jaw, bites, midlines, etc.

Once the braces are in place, tooth movement begins. Then, the active phase of the orthodontic process begins.

2. Alignment and leveling

This phase aims to correct crowding and vertical discrepancies. Again, light forces are used for this purpose. Next, the dental crossbite is fixed, and the adjacent teeth are tractioned. This phase can last between 6 and 8 months, and after its completion, the teeth are in line, and the arches are level.

3. Correction of the bite and molar relationship

In this stage, the bite or occlusion is corrected, and the teeth begin to fit into their correct position. Sometimes it is necessary to use rubber bands (or elastics) as external forces to help correct the bite.

4. Closing of spaces

This is the next phase in which the spaces between the teeth must be closed once everything is aligned and positioned.

5. Finishing and completion

At the beginning of this phase, the teeth should be completely aligned, the spaces should be closed, and the bite should be in a correct relationship. In this phase, the orthodontist arizona will make minor adjustments to perfect the tooth position:

  • Final settling of the teeth.
  • Adjust small individual tooth positions
  • Equalize the roots and check that they are all parallel.
  • Correct minor midline discrepancies so that the lower and upper midline match.

6. Removal of the appliances

Once all objectives are deemed to have been achieved (teeth aligned, no space between teeth, esthetics are correct, the bite is corrected, etc.), the orthodontist Arizona will remove the appliances and move on to the retention phase.

7. Retention stage

This is a critical phase, as it will help us maintain the results achieved, as the teeth will want to return to their previous position. To avoid this, the orthodontist Arizona will place fixed retainers at the top and bottom and transparent covers you will wear while you sleep. In this way, the teeth will always remain perfect.

Keep in mind that after childhood, the bone structures of the face can only be modified with orthognathic surgery, for which combined surgical orthodontic treatment can be performed. This treatment is only used in adults in whom the total growth of the jaw has already been completed.