Devices employed by orthodontists and top rated dentists are classified as fixed and removable. Fixed devices are more common because they achieve more permanent and ideal outcomes. Common fixed devices include brackets,orthodontic bands, and archwires for the the mouth and teeth. Headgear may be prescribed for more severe molar and jaw issues. Fixed devices are able to rotate teeth to form the arched shape of the mouth, move multiple teeth at once, adjust the long axis angle or tilt of teeth, and adjust teeth root conditions.
Treatment options are prescribed by orthodontists based on indexes applied to a patient’s condition. Modern indexes include descriptions of malocclusions and the degrees of severity associated with them. For instance, the Index of Orthodontic Dental Treatment Need contains descriptions of malocclusions such as overjet, overbite, and displacement. Degrees of maloclussions are quantified in millimeters. Based on the degree, a grade and treatment option are prescribed. For instance, an overjet of greater than 6mm and less than or equal to 9mm warrants a Grade 4 rating. Grade 4 stipulates treatment required. Grades range from 1 to 5 and stipulate “no treatment required” to “moderate treatment need” to “treatment required”.
Orthodontics and cosmetic dentistry possesses many important benefits and risks. Potential benefits include easier chewing and biting, an ideal smile, corrected speech problems, a realignment of facial features, and repaired jaw mechanics. Possible risks include irreversible damage to the roots of teeth. Orthodontic devices accelerate root resorption which can wear away tissue in the roots of teeth. An additional risk is the potential buildup of plaque. Oftentimes, fixed devices trap plaque against the teeth leading to cavities. Cleaning teeth becomes more difficult.