Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that is specifically focused on correcting problems that arise due to malocculsion, more commonly known as bite. Efforts to correct these problems go back to 1000 years BC and orthodontic materials have been found of both ancient Egyptian and Etruscan origin. Historically, orthodontics was primarily concerned with restorative or medical conditions associated with the jaw and bite but more recently it has increasingly been used for more aesthetic or cosmetic reasons.
Although it is always better to start orthodontic treatment as early as possible, this does not mean that orthodontistry is solely about fixing braces to teenagers and, no matter what your age, orthodontic treatment could help improve your teeth’s effectiveness and perfect your smile. Treatment may also be able to rejuvenate the appearance of your face. Some orthodontic procedures can reshape the jaw and neck and other will improve the quality of your profile.
Orhtodontists are usually required to complete an extra two or three years of post-dental school training before they become fully qualified, as they focus specifically on the realignment of teeth and improvement of bite. If you need, or are likely to need orthodontic treatment, you will most likely be referred by your regular dentist. During your first visit the orthodontist will assess your teeth by making a mould and taking x-rays. They will then be able to devise a personal treatment plan. The extensiveness and duration of treatment depend on the nature of the problem and your age. As mentioned earlier, younger patients do respond more quickly to treatment, but with more than 30 per cent of orthodontic patients now being adults, it is never too late to try and fix problems with your teeth. Ask a Central Leeds dentist if you may need to be referred to an orthodontist.