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Orthodontics

– WHAT IS IT?

Orthodontics is the specialty of dental medicine that aims to prevent and correct malpositions of the teeth and jaws. Orthodontics uses dental braces to align the teeth and improve jaw articulation.

This corrects malpositioned teeth and jaw bite. It also improves occlusion, chewing, oral hygiene and oral aesthetics.

What are the advantages of orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment improves smiles by aligning teeth, improving oral hygiene, reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum problems, restoring chewing and muscle function and restoring jaw joints.

What are the main causes of orthodontic problems?

The main causes of orthodontic problems can be: hereditary/familial (such as having a relative with a protruding chin or teeth); and/or environmental (such as mouth breathing or thumb sucking).

What are the most common orthodontic problems?

Some of the most common orthodontic problems are:

  • Tooth crowding;
  • Mandible set back in relation to the maxilla and vice versa;
  • Lack of space in the mouth;
  • Malocclusion;
  • Chewing difficulties;
  • Changes in speech and swallowing, due to poor posture of the tongue and dental arches;
  • Aesthetic reasons;
  • Loss of teeth and inability to place implants, requiring the use of braces to reposition the teeth.

What types of orthodontics?

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Preventive

Preventive orthodontics avoids occlusion problems and the need for braces, extraction of permanent teeth and surgery.

This type of orthodontics is especially recommended in childhood.

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Interceptive

Interceptive orthodontics is used when a change is detected that affects the functionality and aesthetics of the mouth.

These problems usually occur during the first or mixed dentition. The most commonly used treatment is simple braces (fixed or removable).

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Corrective

Corrective or traditional orthodontics is the most widely used and is designed to treat problems with the permanent dentition, such as problems with occlusion and tooth positioning.

To do this, mobile or fixed dental appliances are used.

What are some of the most common orthodontic problems?

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Projected teeth

It occurs when the upper or lower teeth are protruded in relation to the jaw. This complication can make chewing difficult, as well as altering the aesthetics of the smile.

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Overeating

It happens when the upper teeth mostly cover the lower teeth. This can lead to occlusal trauma and wear on the incisor teeth of the lower arch.

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Open bite

It occurs when the teeth of the upper jaw do not contact those of the lower jaw, i.e. there is a malocclusion.

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Bruxism

Grinding your teeth and the consequences of this action can be corrected with orthodontic treatment, especially when the root of the problem is malocclusion or crooked teeth.

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Diastema

This refers to excessive space between teeth. This problem can be treated with braces, veneers or a cosmetic restoration.

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Crossbite

It happens when the teeth of the upper jaw fit inside those of the lower jaw.

Pre-rehabilitation

This is an orthodontic treatment that must precede the placement of implants or crowns.

See our Clinical Cases

What types of braces are there?

Nowadays, there are different types of fixed and removable dental braces, which allow you to move your teeth and jaws as required. Here are some examples:

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Fixed Orthodontics

There are many types of fixed dental braces, which can be divided into metal and aesthetic.

  • Metal braces are the best known and use bands and brackets to ensure tooth movement.
  • Aesthetic teeth are made of ceramic or sapphire. They work in a similar way to metal braces, but are more aesthetically discreet, as they have a similar color to the teeth.

Invisible Orthodontics

These are invisible dental braces, with thin, transparent aligners that fit onto the tooth, applying some pressure so that the tooth moves into the desired position.

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Lingual orthodontics

This type of orthodontics uses prototyped brackets, made to measure for each patient’s tooth, which are placed on the inside of the teeth.

What are the steps involved in orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatments are divided into the following phases:

  • Clinical and radiographic assessment of the patient;
  • Dental treatment (if necessary);
  • Orthodontic consultation;
  • Case study and planning;
  • Placement of the dental appliance;
  • Maintenance appointments;
  • Removal of braces;
  • Placement of orthodontic retainers to maintain results.

What oral hygiene care should be taken with fixed dental braces?

Fixed dental braces contribute to the accumulation of plaque.

For this reason, it is essential that people who wear braces brush their teeth after every meal with an orthodontic brush and fluoride paste and follow the next steps:

  • Use a proper toothbrush;
  • Gently clean the brackets;
  • Use dental floss and a brush;
  • Brush your tongue well;
  • Rinse with antiseptic mouthwash.

Frequently Asked Questions

Orthognathic surgery is used to solve more complicated problems, such as correcting irregularities in the jaw bones or creating alignment between the jaws and teeth.

This procedure is also indicated to solve cases of open bite or when the chin is too small or large. This operation restores facial harmony and masticatory function.

The first orthodontic appointment should take place around the age of 6/7, as soon as the first permanent teeth erupt.

Anyone with orthodontic problems can benefit from orthodontic treatment.

To find out which orthodontic treatment is most suitable for the patient, an analysis should be made of the lateral radiograph, mouth models, photographs and clinical history.

On average, orthodontic treatment lasts 24 months, but it can be extended depending on the type of complication involved.

Dental braces can cause some discomfort, especially when they are fitted or adjusted. However, the discomfort is temporary.

Dental braces exert forces on the teeth, which transform the surrounding bone.

Those who wear fixed dental braces should wear individualized protection if they practice sports with physical contact, in order to prevent soft tissue injuries.

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