Orthodontic treatment is an effective way to improve the function and aesthetics of teeth and jaws. This form of treatment can be carried out at any age and its benefits are well documented. Despite these benefits, orthodontic treatment also has certain limitations that need to be considered. In this article, we explore both the benefits and limitations of orthodontic treatment.
Benefits of orthodontic treatment
Improved dental health
Orthodontic treatment can help improve dental health by correcting the alignment of teeth and jaws. Due to the correct positioning of teeth, oral hygiene can be improved, thus preventing tooth decay and gum disease. In addition, a healthy and well-aligned smile can increase self-confidence and self-esteem.
Improving speech problems
Crowded or incorrectly positioned teeth can lead to speech and articulation problems. Orthodontic treatment can help correct these problems, improving speech and articulation.
Reducing pressure on teeth
Incorrectly positioned teeth can put uneven pressure on neighboring teeth, leading to wear and even tooth loss. Orthodontic treatment can correct these problems, reducing pressure on teeth and preventing wear and loss.
Preventing future health problems
Understanding and correcting orthodontic problems in the early stages can prevent more severe dental and jaw problems in the future. Orthodontic treatment can help prevent problems such as dental abrasions and fractures, joint problems and even sleep apnea.
Improving smile aesthetics
In addition to the health benefits, orthodontic treatment can help improve the aesthetics of your smile, creating a beautiful, well-aligned smile. This can have a positive impact on self-confidence and personal and professional relationships.
Limitations of orthodontic treatment
Some orthodontic problems may be limited by the patient’s individual anatomy. For example, a patient with a small jaw may find it difficult to recognize more complex orthodontic problems. In such cases, a combined approach, such as orthodontic surgery, may be necessary to achieve the desired results.
Orthodontic treatment can be carried out at any age, but there are certain limitations depending on the age of the patient. For example, treatment may be more effective in children and adolescents, as the bones and soft tissues are still developing and can be more easily shaped. In adults, bones and soft tissues are stiffer and more complex treatment may be needed.
Orthodontic treatment can be expensive and can be a limitation for many patients. Also, some types of treatment, such as orthodontic treatment with clear aligners, can be more expensive than other types of treatment.
Orthodontic treatment can take anywhere from a few months to a few years, depending on the complexity of the problem and the type of treatment. This can be a limitation for patients who want to improve their smile quickly.
Every patient’s wish is to have neat, aesthetic and functional dental units.
Therefore, when the teeth are not harmoniously aligned on the dental arches, the patient may experience problems in the physiological functioning of the oral cavity in addition to the aesthetic reason.
Orthodontic treatment is a way of straightening and aligning the dental units on the arch to improve their appearance and improve functionality.
In the long term, an even arch also reduces the chances of gum inflammation or TMJ disorders.
Following orthodontic treatment, the pressures during chewing will be transmitted evenly to the periodontium, while maintaining the health of the underlying structures.
Orthodontic treatment should begin in childhood, but more and more adults are opting for it today.
Much more important than the age at which orthodontic treatment begins is the number of teeth present on the arch.
In children, at the time of eruption, it is not possible to estimate the space needed for complete alignment, nor do we have enough dental units to be able to perform bracket bonding.
The advantages of orthodontic treatment are as follows:
Correct dental contacts lead to less brutal food impaction than before and ensure gum health. Dental spacing or crowding leads to gum inflammation, which can progress to periodontitis.
Prevent joint pain and dysfunction that can result from poor tooth alignment.
From a psychological point of view, dental malposition can affect a person’s integration into society. With an improved facial appearance, self-confidence increases considerably.
Relative disadvantages of orthodontic treatment
Inflammation of the ligament system around the tooth – the orthodontic treatment process of moving the dental units generates inflammation of the surrounding periodontal tissue.
Most of the time this inflammation is not perceived by the patient.
If, however, the tooth has suffered trauma in the past or is protected by a unit crown, it is prone to be more sensitive during treatment.
Orthodontic appliances cause food retention.
Hard and soft food deposits aggregate in the brackets and create an environment conducive to the growth of bacteria that cause dental caries.
Therefore, hygiene for orthodontic appliance wearers must be thorough in order to clean all retentive spaces.
Interdental brushes, which are useful for removing food residues, are also used in addition to traditional brushing.
The patient can also use the oral irrigator, an electric device which projects a jet of water under a certain pressure at the level of the dental and interdental units, which is very effective in completing hygiene.
Rarely, orthodontic appliances can lead to mispositioning of the dental root, destabilizing it by moving it very close to the cortical bone boundaries.
Over time, periodontal problems can occur which can lead to tooth mobility.
However, these complications rarely occur, because the orthodontist calculates the bone availability well before starting treatment.
Oral mucosal damage – can occur if salivary flow is reduced and the oral mucosa becomes dry.
The orthodontic appliance will rub the already irritated surfaces and painful ulcerations may occur for the patient. Normally, in the absence of pathology, the salivary glands produce enough saliva to prevent the mucous membranes from drying out.
Orthodontic treatment has a number of advantages that make it the solution of choice for correcting dental malposition. The benefits of this type of treatment far outweigh the limitations and patient satisfaction is particularly high.
Orthodontic treatment can bring numerous benefits including improved dental health, improved speech problems, reduced pressure on teeth, prevention of future health problems and improved smile aesthetics.
However, there are also certain limitations to treatment, including anatomical limitations, age limitations, financial limitations and time limitations. Before choosing orthodontic treatment, it is important to discuss the benefits and limitations of each type of treatment with your doctor and choose the treatment that is best suited to your needs and desires.