What are orthodontic problems?

These are problems of the mouth of different degree of difficulty and of complication that are categorized as:

1. Orthodontic problems
These refer to teeth problems concerning the position, the number, the size etc. of teeth.

2. Orthognathic problems
These refer to problems concerning the jaws (the mandible and the maxilla), their size and their position.

3. Functional problems
These refer to problems concerning the function of the stomato-gnathic system in relation to a good functional relationship between the two jaws.

4. Complex problems
These refer to several combinations of the above mentioned problems. They occur when minor non-diagnosed problems have developed and become complicated and risk ending up as complex and severe.

Causes of problems

The problems usually occur due to combinations of the following parameters:

1. Hereditary parameters
(e.g. small size of jaws in combination with large size of teeth)

2. ΙΙ.External parameters
(extensive carries, early loss of deciduous teeth, bad habits such as finger sucking, usage of a pacifier when too old, oversized nasopharyngeal tonsils, etc.).

The Consequences

1. Diseases of the mouth
Carries and gingivitis due to difficult access to these areas for hygiene.

2. Functional problems
Occlusal trauma during mouth closure can lead to abrasion of the tooth enamel, poor tooth support, chewing and speech disorders, stress on the temporomandibular joint, with or without symptoms and/or pain.

3.Aesthetic problems with the face
Poor or distorted smile or face, resulting in low self-esteem and self-image, sensitivity about socializing and possibly bullying.

When to worry?

As soon as we observe something peculiar concerning:

teeth (delayed development, out of position, existence of gaps between them etc.).

jaws (unusual size or position, e.g. extensive overjet of the upper or the lower jaw),

jaw function (misalignment of closure position, teeth clenching, clicking of the temporomandibular joint (noise during opening or closing the mouth). In children: difficulty in chewing, talking, breathing through mouth, usage of teat over the age of three, finger sucking, etc.).

What do I have to do? Whom to refer to?

We visit an Orthodontic specialist. The professional title is awarded by the Department of Health of the European Union, after 3 to 4 years of specialized studies, following the normal basic studies in dentistry.

Is there anything to do to prevent these problems? When ideally is the time to make a first visit?

Yes, there is! Many of these problems can be prevented or controlled. The first visit to the Orthodontic specialist (even when no obvious need has arisen) is recommended round the age of eight. Alternatively, anytime is appropriate if we detect something peculiar in mouth that negatively affects oral health, oral function, our sense of aesthetics or our psychology.

Does orthodontic treatment mean braces exclusively?

Of course not! Orthodontics are characterized by two following levels of approach.

1) Preventive screening
This consists of a simple visit-assessment, every 6-12 months, when all the parameters involved are evaluated every time (patient-mouth-environment etc.), though a holistic approach. Problems can be detected as soon as they arise (out of alignment mouth closure, tooth crowding, spaces between teeth, speech problems etc.), while advice is given in order to prevent future problems and in this way to avoid future long-term orthodontic treatment.

2) Treatment
Our treatment philosophy involves the rehabilitation of all problems in each and every smile.

Our aim is to adjust the treatment to the patient’s needs and social demands)(socializing, teenage, work, personal relationships). The time needed for resolving the problem dictates the duration, the technique and the cost of treatment.

I’m not satisfied with my smile. Can i have orthodontic treatment…?

It has been decades since Orthodontics have become popular due to the excellent results that can be achieved to satisfy even the most demanding patients of all ages. Results range from a significant improvement to a very impressive smile. Recently, modern Orthodontics have not been limited only to improving oral health and function. Modern Orthodontics can also improve the harmony and aesthetics of the lower face and in that way, improve the quality of life of the individual through the improvement of health, function, aesthetics and psychology.

Ok, I will consider it

But, will it hurt?
Possibly there is going to be some irritation during adjustment to treatment, which disappears within 1-2 days.

Will it show?
Today there are procedures and techniques that range from discrete to “invisible” (transparent splints).

How long will it last? What is the cost?
There are parameters (such as the size of the problem, the duration of treatment, the techniques involved etc.) that dictate in each individual case the time and the cost of orthodontic treatment. A dental visit with the Orthodontic Specialist will clarify the time and the financial scheme for the individualized treatment.