What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry specialising in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities in children and adults (link to ‘Can adults have treatment’) in order to achieve improved appearance and better function. The technical term for orthodontic problems is malocclusion, which simply means bad bite. The science of orthodontics is concerned with genetic variation, development and growth of the facial tissues, and the manner in which these factors influence the bite and alignment of the teeth, as well as the health of their associated organs.

The practice of orthodontics requires professional skill in the diagnosis and identification of facial disharmony and dental abnormality; as well as the design, application and control of a wide range of corrective appliances or braces
that can bring teeth, lips and jaws into proper alignment and achieve facial balance for a lifetime of beautiful healthy smiles.

It has been proven that improvements in personal appearance contribute to greater mental and physical well-being. Creating a beautiful smile through orthodontics is a reliable way of improving the health of your teeth as well as your self-esteem. In this way, orthodontic treatment can benefit social and career success, as well as improve one’s general attitude toward life.
If left untreated, crooked teeth could lead to an improper bite, tooth wear, tooth injury and even tooth decay and gum disease. Crooked teeth can also lead to a decrease in one’s personal self-confidence. Treatment by a specialist orthodontist
to correct the original problem is often less costly than the additional dental care required to treat more serious problems that can develop in later years.

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