Dental braces (also known as orthodontic braces) are a device used in orthodontics to align teeth and their position with regard to a person's bite. They are often used to correct malocclusions such as underbites, overbites, cross bites and open bites, or crooked teeth and various other flaws of teeth and jaws, whether cosmetic or structural. Orthodontic braces are often used in conjunction with other orthodontic appliances to widen the palate or jaws or otherwise shape the teeth and jaws. They are mainly used on children and teenagers, however adults can also use them.
Types of braces
Modern orthodontists can offer many types and varieties of braces:
• Traditional braces are stainless steel, sometimes in combination with nickel titanium, and are the most widely used.
• Ceramic braces offer a less visible alternative. They blend in more with the natural color of the tooth and are arguably more visually appealing.
• Gold-plated stainless steel braces are for people allergic to nickel (a component of stainless steel), but may be chosen because they blend better with teeth, and some people simply prefer the look of gold over the traditional silver-colored braces.
• Lingual braces are fitted behind the teeth, and are not visible with casual interaction.
A dental extraction, sometimes referred to as exodontia, is the removal of a tooth from the mouth. Extractions are performed for a wide variety of reasons, including tooth decay that has destroyed enough tooth structure to prevent restoration. Extractions of impacted or problematic wisdom teeth are also routinely performed, as are extractions of some permanent teeth to make space for orthodontic treatment.
Reasons for tooth extraction
The most common reason for extracting a tooth is tooth damage due to breakage or decay. Some other possible reasons for tooth extraction are as follows:
• Severe tooth decay or infection. Despite the reduction in world-wide prevalence of dental caries, still it is the most common reason for extraction of (non-third molar) teeth with up to two thirds of extractions.
• Extra teeth which are blocking other teeth from coming in.
• Severe gum disease which may affect the supporting tissues and bone structures of teeth.
• In preparation for orthodontic treatment (braces)
• Insufficient space for wisdom teeth (impacted third molars). Although many dentists remove asymptomatic impacted third molars, American as well as British Health Authorities recommended against this routine procedure, unless there are evidences for disease in the impacted tooth or the near environment.
• Receiving radiation to the head and neck may require extraction of teeth in the field of radiation
Types of extraction
Simple extractions are performed on teeth that are visible in the mouth, usually under local anaesthetic, and require only the use of instruments to elevate and/or grasp the visible portion of the tooth. Typically the tooth is lifted using an elevator, and subsequently using dental forceps, rocked back and forth until the periodontal ligament has been sufficiently broken and the supporting alveolar bone has been adequately widened to make the tooth loose enough to remove.
Surgical extractions involve the removal of teeth that cannot be easily accessed, either because they have broken under the gum line or because they have not erupted fully. Surgical extractions almost always require an incision. In a surgical extraction the doctor may elevate the soft tissues covering the tooth and bone and may also remove some of the overlying and/or surrounding bone tissue with a drill or osteotome. Frequently, the tooth may be split into multiple pieces to facilitate its removal.
A dental restoration or dental filling is a dental restorative material used artificially to restore the function, integrity and morphology of missing tooth structure. The structural loss typically results from caries or external trauma. It is also lost intentionally during tooth preparation to improve the aesthetics or the physical integrity of the intended restorative material. Dental restoration also refers to the replacement of missing tooth structure by restoring dental implants.
Dental surgery is any of a number of medical procedures which involve artificially modifying the dentition..