When most people seek orthodontic treatment, they have one primary goal: straight teeth. This is something that can certainly be achieved. However, with advances in the field of orthodontics, we now know that aesthetics isn’t the only important element of a smile. At Roy Orthodontics, Dr. Carl Roy practices a comprehensive form of orthodontics – one that addresses all oral and maxillofacial structures for optimal health and function. Understanding orthodontics is crucial for planning treatment that will keep your teeth and gums healthy for years to come.
One of the most important elements in a smile is joint health. Your jaw joints are responsible for healthy jaw movement and function, so you can eat, chew, and speak comfortably. If the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is not seated properly, it can lead to a myriad of dental issues, such as tooth erosion, gum recession, and TMJ disorder, among other things. Over time, you may develop bruxism (teeth grinding) and chronic headaches. Orthodontic treatment can move the jaw joints to their correct locations to alleviate discomfort and provide optimal function.
A Functional Bite
The second element of excellent oral health is a functional bite. To prevent unnecessary force from damaging your teeth and gums, the pressure should be balanced when you bite down. If there is one area enduring too much force, it can lead to issues such as gum recession, mobility, and even tooth loss. Orthodontic treatment can align the teeth and move them into their correct positions for a stable and balanced bite.
Facial and Smile Aesthetics
Anytime oral and maxillofacial structures are out of alignment, it can affect your facial symmetry as well as your smile aesthetics. At our practice, we take your unique features into account, and personalize your treatment for optimal results. When your teeth, jaw joints, and bite are all in alignment, your facial and smile aesthetics will be improved.
Proper Tooth Form
In order to have a functional bite, your teeth must be shaped properly. If teeth are misshapen, we can work in conjunction with a general dentist during your treatment. If restorative procedures are necessary for proper tooth form, we will include these steps as part of your custom treatment plan. When properly shaped teeth are in their correct positions, your bite function will be drastically improved.
Many people do not consider what orthodontic treatment can do for your airway. Did you know that many cases of sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea and snoring, are due to oral and maxillofacial structures that are out of alignment? If your jaw is positioned too far back, the soft tissues can obstruct the airway. This can ultimately lead to serious health issues, as those who suffer from sleep apnea have a higher risk for developing heart disease, stroke, and dementia, among other things. Orthodontics can reposition the jaws to open the airway, increasing oxygen flow for optimal health.
Oral cancer is usually quite treatable when diagnosed in its early stages. That is why oral cancer screenings are so important. During every visit with Dr. Roy, he will assess your oral soft tissues for discolorations and irregularities. This process only takes about five minutes to complete, and can save your life.
We will also evaluate your periodontal health. If gum disease is present, we will refer you to a periodontist for an assessment before beginning orthodontic treatment.
Contact Us to Learn More
If you are thinking about orthodontic treatment, it is important to consider all aspects of oral health. With straight teeth, healthy joints, a functional bite, and an open airway, you will enjoy a lifetime of benefits, and a much higher quality of life. To schedule a consultation, or to find out more, you can contact us in Virginia Beach or Chesapeake, or contact us online.