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Orthopaedics And Orthodontics

About orthopaedics and orthodontics

Orthopaedics is terms of dentistry means treating the jaw, teeth, surrounding muscles, head and neck as one whole system. The development of the upper and lower jaw is examined in each patient to see if the jaw is too narrow or constricted, if there are any airway, tongue position, jaw posture, tooth positioning or any head and neck problems.

You can choose whether to be treated with traditional orthodontics or functional orthopaedics/orthodontics.

Orthopaedics isn’t just about feet! It relates to a branch of medicine that deals with deformities of bone or muscle, which means it fits in with dental work as it relates to the jaw, head, neck and teeth. Orthopaedics is the study of the human musculoskeletal system and is a method of diagnosing and treating related problems. This medical field focuses on bones, ligaments, muscles, joints, nerves and tendons in the body.

Orthodontics is a field of dentistry that focuses on the treatment and study of tooth irregularity, improper bites and the contact between teeth (occlusion).

Habits such as tongue thrusting, thumb sucking, mouth breathing and incorrect swallowing can change the way the jaw develops and therefore cause teeth to become crooked. Certain health problems such as asthma, allergies, poor posture and nutrition can also have an effect on a child’s dental and facial development.

How the tongue sits in the mouth can have an impact on the way the jaw forms. If the tongue spends too much time at the bottom of the mouth due to constant mouth breathing, it can cause the upper jaw to develop incorrectly and teeth to be crooked.

The best age to begin treatment for children’s teeth and jaw is between the ages of four and ten when the jaw and teeth are still developing. It may be possible to guide adult teeth into the correct position before they erupt.

Early correction of these habits and development of the jaw can help avoid braces and extraction in the future

By starting orthopaedic and orthodontic treatments early in life, we allow for a greater chance of success, since the jaw is still forming. Early treatment reduces the chances of having to have other orthodontic and orthopaedic treatment in the future.

If the issue is caught early enough and no other obstacles present themselves, it is possible for orthopaedics and orthodontics to be undertaken without any extractions.

Treatments used for the mouth and teeth include:
- Treatment for misaligned teeth
- The planned extraction of teeth
- Treatment with various types of braces
- The use of other orthodontic appliances
- Arthroscopy (joint examination)
- Joint replacement
- Osteotomy (bone adjustments)
- Soft tissue repair
- Internal fixation (pins and rods to hold tissue/teeth in place)

An arthroscopy is an examination of the inside of a joint performed with a special fibre optic cable. An arthroscopy is commonly used in diagnosing torn or damaged cartilage, arthritis and torn ligaments.

An osteotomy is a surgical operation where a bone is divided or taken out to allow for realignment. An osteotomy is commonly used to relieve pain and improve function in joint affected by osteoarthritis.

A laser can be used to help heal damaged soft tissue in the mouth or jaw. This may be necessary due to infection or other issues in the mouth or jaw

Internal fixation is a technique used to stabilise and support a broken bone until it is strong enough to handle the body’s movement again.

- Plates are used as internal splints to hold broken bones together
- Screws are the most common internal fixation and can be used alone or in conjunction with other fixations. Screws can be removed or left in place
- Wires and pins are used to hold small bones together and can be used in conjunction with other fixations.

Possible treatments for misaligned teeth include:
- Braces and headgear
- Upper jaw expander – corrects underbite
- Reverse pull face mask – corrects underbite
- Cosmetic dentistry
- Jaw surgery

The types of braces you can get are:
- Metal/traditional braces
- Ceramic braces – same as metal braces except with clear or tooth-coloured brackets that blend into the tooth
- Lingual braces – braces placed on the backs of teeth
- Invisalign – removable custom-made mouth guards

Other orthodontic appliances include:
- Transpalatal bar/Nance/lingual arch – used to maintain space in the mouth if not all adult teeth have erupted
- Bionator – a removable appliance used to correct overbite by promoting lower jaw growth
- Bite Plane – used to reduce a deep overbite
- Bite Splint – used to correct a crossbite
- Upper retainers
- Rubber bands – used to move teeth and in conjunction with braces

The treatment time for orthopaedics and orthodontics work will vary depending on each patient’s specific problem and the treatment chosen. Treatment times may vary from 12 to 30 months.

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