What are fixed orthodontics?

by | Sep 4, 2014 | Dentistry

Fixed orthodontics are dental appliances that are fitted in a patients mouth by an orthodontist in Medford, these appliances are designed to be removed by the orthodontist as well. These types of appliances are designed to stay in the mouth of the patient for the duration of the treatment although braces which are considered to be fixed do require periodic adjustments. In many cases the appliances will remain in the patients mouth for anywhere up to three years, this time period is necessary to slowly reposition the teeth. Once the appliance is removed the teeth will stay in the new position with no further treatment.

Of all fixed orthodontics braces are the most common. Patients who have crooked or misaligned teeth will have brackets and wires attached to their teeth by an orthodontist in Medford. These fixtures are designed to slowly move the teeth into the desired position and during the duration of the treatment the orthodontist makes minor adjustments as the teeth move. Once the treatment is completed and the teeth are repositioned to the liking of the orthodontist they will be removed using special tools.

Retainers usually slide in and out of the patient’s mouth but there is a retainer which is considered to be “semi” permanent. These fixed retainers are attached to the top of the patient’s mouth and fit around the front of the teeth. This type of dental appliance is often used for a period of time after the fixed braces have straightened the teeth.

Braces and retainers are the most common type of fixed orthodontics however there are other less common devices that are used to change the shape of the patient’s mouth rather than the teeth. This device, known as a lingual arch is used to ensure the mandible retains its shape. This appliance is used when youngster’s baby teeth are falling out. A palatal expander is another orthodontic device; this is fixed in the upper jaw between the back molars and is used to spread the upper jaw.

There are other common orthodontic devices that are used but they are not fixed for any length of time. Head gear for example is a device that works with braces, it stops jaw growth that could result in an overbite or to encourage jaw growth which prevents the possibility of an under bite. This device, as well as retainers can be removed by the patient whereas all fixed orthodontics must be removed by the orthodontist in Medford.

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