Orthodontics is the field of medicine that provides care for patients with dental malocclusions, which is the medical term that literally means “bad bite.” Jaws that are overly crowded with teeth often cause malocclusions. Orthodontics involves the use of dental procedures and devices to align teeth in order to correct how the teeth mesh and to restore the biting action of the teeth to a more normal level of function.
In order to practice orthodontics, a dentist has to study orthodontia as a specialty. The training required varies from country to country, but it generally involves an additional 2-3 years of study. This is also true in Costa Rica.
The most common forms of orthodontic treatment are braces. They are often used for teenagers whose permanent teeth are in. However, despite common belief, adults can benefit from orthodontic treatment too. And in fact, they should, because malocclusions aren’t only about making your smile look better, but also about avoiding future problems.
When a malocclusion goes untreated, the bad position of the teeth can create spaces that the toothbrush can’t reach. Food tends to accumulate in these places and bacteria forms. Bacteria may become plaque, which can only be removed by a dentist. If the plaque goes untreated, it can develop into periodontal disease, most commonly known as gum disease. Periodontal disease is by far the most common cause of tooth infection and tooth loss.
By treating malocclusions today, no matter what age you are, you’ll be avoiding the risk of more serious treatment in the future. However, dental health is not the only benefit of orthodontic treatment. It also makes people more secure and confident by permitting them to smile, laugh, and speak in public without being self conscious about crooked teeth.
Orthodontic treatment typically involves attaching dental brackets, called braces, to the teeth that are going to be aligned and straight teeth that serve as anchors. The attachment is done with a type of dental glue that is strong enough to hold the braces, but allows the dentist to remove it when needed. Wires are then passed through the braces and their tightening and position eventually pull the affected teeth into alignment.
The process will take one or two years, depending on the patient’s specific conditions. Today, braces can be made with aesthetic materials that make them less visible than metallic braces.
If you have crooked teeth and you think it’s time to do something about it, getting orthodontic treatment is a good option. When you’re an adult, a year passes by much faster than when you’re a teen, and the benefits of having a good smile and avoiding dental problems make the process worth it.
Many patients from the USA and Canada are now choosing Costa Rica for orthodontic care including braces and Invisalign treatments.
If you are interested in Orthodontic treatment in Costa Rica, fill out the “Help me Find a Dentist” form. A participating dental specialist will reply to your needs.