Parkview Dental Care - David Bertagna, DDS
Most of us would agree, that people respond positively to a happy, beautiful smile. There is something about the balance of the teeth, the lips and the muscles that cause us to smile, that can elicit a smile in return. Even in situations that can be considered confrontational, a sincere smile can diffuse the situation.
Even people who do not have 'perfect' teeth can elicit the same human response when they smile. Think of the six month old that smiles when you do a peek-a-boo! Many times we may have friends or relatives who are getting up in years. They may be missing teeth or wear removable dentures. But that less than perfect smile will still bring a smile to our face!
There are some people who have crooked teeth and feel they don't have a beautiful smile. They may become self-conscious of their teeth. People have been known to cover their mouth when they smile or hesitate to smile at all. This may elicit a negative response from some people.
For many people, dental care is considered to be a luxury. Throughout the world, access to quality dental care is limited at best, and non-existent to many. There are probably many reasons for this, but the main reason is that people typically don't die because of crooked teeth, dental decay, and periodontal disease.
It is interesting to note however, that while people will not perish because of crooked teeth, dental decay and periodontal disease can result from misaligned teeth. So an argument can be made that for a healthy oral cavity that presents the most pleasing smile, the teeth should be in their proper position.
Orthodontic treatment (the realigning of teeth) is considered an elective treatment even though the health benefits can be significant. An elective procedure is one that most insurance carriers cover only partially with some restrictions. These typically include the age of the insured and partial coverage of cost.
This may be why many people do not have orthodontic treatment performed, or wait until they are financially able to proceed with the treatment. There are basically three types of orthodontic treatment. The first one includes minor tooth movement. The second is the most common, where braces are applied to all the teeth, and the teeth are realigned into the most effective relationship. The third type of treatment includes surgical intervention to correct any bone discrepancies that have affected the position of the teeth.
Minor tooth movement may be accomplished with removable appliances and may also use fixed brackets applied to a limited number of teeth. This type of therapy is usually considered preventive and is limited to correcting bite relationships and minor cosmetic changes of the front teeth.
The most common orthodontic treatment involves bonding specific brackets on all of the teeth. Special wires are then used in conjunction with springs and rubber bands to push, pull, and rotate the teeth into their preferred position. Over time, the teeth are realigned with respect to each other, into the most balanced and stable position.
Not as common, but sometimes necessary to properly correct the position of teeth is the introduction of surgical correction. This includes moving specific portions of the upper and lower jawbone to reposition the teeth that were misaligned due to genetics or trauma to the face.
All orthodontic treatment is followed up with the use of retainers that keep the repositioned teeth in their proper position. Many times teeth are over corrected to compensate for the fact that the teeth want to go back to their original position. The most common cause for any relapses of the orthodontic treatment is the failure to wear the retainer as instructed. Usually, the only way to correct a relapse is to reinstate orthodontic therapy.
A beautiful smile does not require perfectly aligned teeth. Self-confidence and proper oral care will always result in a healthy and happy smile. Orthodontic treatment can help restore self-confidence, but more importantly, will create an environment where the possibility of dental decay and periodontal disease will be dramatically reduced. Come visit us at Parkview Dental Care where we help you see that Happy Smiles Begin With Healthy Choices!