Many of our patients ask us, “What is orthodontia, and what problems can an orthodontist fix?” The word “orthodontia” may seem intimidating, but it translates to “straight tooth.” Orthodontia is the branch of dentistry that focuses on teeth and jaw alignment.
Orthodontia is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Every patient has a unique oral anatomy, dental health needs, and aesthetic goals. Patients of all ages can receive orthodontic treatment to correct misaligned teeth and malpositioned bites.
Phinney Ridge Dental offers traditional braces and Invisalign clear aligners to help patients attain optimal oral health and a more attractive smile. If you have misaligned teeth or an uneven bite, please don’t hesitate to contact our Seattle dental office today. One of our friendly team members will be delighted to schedule an orthodontic consultation for you so you can learn more about your options.
In the meantime, we invite you to continue reading to learn more about orthodontists and orthodontic treatment.
What Does an Orthodontist Do?
An orthodontist focuses on a patient’s tooth and bite alignment––how the teeth come together––to improve function, comfort, and aesthetics. Dr. Micah Bickel is a highly skilled dentist in Phinney Ridge who can help you attain the perfectly aligned and comfortable smile you have always wanted.
As an orthodontics expert, Dr. Bickel focuses on diagnosing, preventing, and treating teeth and jaw irregularities and malpositioning. He uses traditional braces and Invisalign clear aligners to correct patients’ smiles.
What Problems Can Orthodontic Treatment Fix?
Orthodontics comes in all shapes and sizes. Orthodontic treatment, such as traditional metal braces and clear aligners, can correct the following:
- Overbites, underbites, crossbites, and open bites
- Overlapping teeth
- Overcrowding and narrow jaws
- Protruding or crooked teeth
- Twisted teeth
- Misaligned jaw
- Periodontal problems
- Unmatched dental midlines
- Problems with chewing and speech
- Self-esteem issues related to misaligned teeth
Clear aligners can correct mild to moderate malocclusion and bite problems, while traditional braces are most effective for more complex orthodontic concerns.
Who Can Get Orthodontic Treatment?
In years past, orthodontic treatment was often associated with children and teens. However, today many adults seek orthodontics to correct bite problems and attain a healthier, more symmetrical, and aligned bite.
According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), one in four orthodontic patients is an adult. Regardless of age, orthodontic treatment can help create a better bite to improve your overall oral health and reduce problems like tooth decay, gum disease, dental wear, and difficulty chewing.
What Are the Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment?
There are many benefits of orthodontic treatment. Here are just a few:
#1 Improves Your Overall Oral Health and Comfort
Straight, aligned teeth are healthier because they’re easier to clean and less likely to develop decay and dental wear. When you have an uneven bite or crooked teeth, certain teeth have excess pressure, leading to dental damage, worn teeth, and chips or fractures. Also, an irregular bite places additional pressure on the jaw joints, which can wear down the surrounding muscles and ligaments over time.
Correcting orthodontic issues can prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. When your smile is healthy, it’s more comfortable and functional, so you can enjoy eating, speaking, and socializing confidently.
#2 Enhances Your Smile’s Aesthetics and Facial Appearance
Do you cover your smile when laughing or speaking, or do you hesitate to smile? Crooked teeth or an uneven smile can make some people feel less attractive or approachable. When you’re unhappy with your appearance, you may become so self-conscious and preoccupied with your image that you shy away from social situations and interactions with others. Orthodontic treatment can straighten your teeth, align your bite, and create a more attractive smile and facial appearance. When you have a beautiful smile you love, you’re more likely to share it with the world and feel comfortable in your skin.
#3 Promotes Healthy Tooth and Jaw Alignment in Children
Childhood orthodontic treatment is beneficial because it allows the orthodontist to provide treatment while their face and jaws are developing. Early orthodontic treatment helps guide tooth and jaw development as children grow and their permanent, adult teeth emerge. Early treatment can also prevent more serious issues from developing. The AAO recommends that all children should receive an orthodontic screening by the age of 7.
Comfortable, Modern Orthodontic Options Are Available
Modern orthodontics has made treatment more comfortable and personalized than ever. There are less-visible braces, clear aligners, and more, so you can choose which treatment best suits your needs and lifestyle.
Leading-edge technology allows orthodontists to create customized orthodontic appliances––both fixed and removable––so your braces or clear aligners have a precise fit. Our modern orthodontic options provide patients with enhanced comfort during treatment so they can enjoy eating, smiling, and laughing with ease.
Call Us About Orthodontic Treatment in Seattle, WA
When you have a healthy smile, you have a healthy outlook. A straight, functional, attractive smile is a great feeling at any age, and our Phinney Ridge Dental team is here to help you discover your best smile. If you are interested in Invisalign or braces in Seattle, please get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation with our dentist Dr. Bickel.