What is orthodontics?
A nice definition is:
“The Science and Art of Clinical Intervention to Guide or Move the Teeth and Jaws into Satisfactory Relationships”
At its simplest it may be about aligning a couple of wayward teeth. At its most complex it may be about adjusting the jaw position within the facial complex; with the help of growth in a child (orthopaedics) or with the help of jaw surgery, if required, in an adult.
It is often about treating a range of problems between these extremes.
There is a lot of Science in Orthodontics and there is Art in applying it well.
The face and smile are our most valued aesthetic features.
So where the science ends the art must begin.
Most people come to see us because they are unhappy with the appearance of their teeth. Some people may also have functional disturbances to the bite in addition. Others may have missing teeth or marked displacements of their existing teeth. Whatever the reason, the most common aspiration held by our patients is the wish to have a nicer smile. The hope for most such individuals is that they will be able to interact socially in a more positive and confident manner.
Assuming an improvement is possible, we should be able to move the teeth into a nicer position. We can move the teeth because the teeth are able to move but they don’t lose this ability to move just because we put them in a more agreeable position. Teeth can and to a certain extent do continue to move throughout life in everybody.
As part of your treatment we will provide you with retainers to wear, the purpose of which is to support the teeth in their new position. It is not possible however to guarantee that they will stay straight absolutely or indefinitely. Indeed, increasing misalignment of the teeth is so common as to be considered almost part of the natural maturational process with age.
Our treatments therefore are aimed at getting the teeth as straight as possible and maintaining them this way for as long as possible. Some individuals will be more prone to unwanted post treatment changes than others and so in some, should some loss of alignment occur, it is entirely possible that further treatment might be indicated, sought or offered later in life. As long as the teeth and gums are in a suitable condition treatment can be carried out at any age. Indeed, many patients’ consult us for the first time later in their adult life with an expectation of a worthwhile improvement.