The past few decades have seen a more significant push toward the need for patient education. For many years there was an unspoken concept that the doctor would always know what was best for the patient. Recent movements in the medical industry have seen a shift towards involving patients in their care. Similarly, more and more patients are moving toward active patients. Active patients seek to understand their healthcare, the treatments are suggested, and they have a voice in them. The dental industry has responded by providing more meaningful information to their patients.
The Importance Of Braces In Improving Oral Health
For decades, traditional bracket and wire braces have been used to address oral health concerns, such as dental alignment. Their reliability and effectiveness have made them a mainstay of orthodontic care. Despite this, patients rarely understood the underlying principles. Instead, dentists merely informed them that these devices would work to change the positioning of their teeth to produce the desired results.
The underlying principle of orthodontic adjustment is to apply pressure in a precise and measured way to the teeth. This pressure gently pushes the teeth out of their present position and into a healthy one. Multiple components are involved in this process, some mechanical and others biological. The essential biological components include:
- Teeth – Our teeth undergo the most direct strain as the objects are moved within our mouths.
- Jawbone – The jawbone responds to pressure by alternately softening than hardening as pressure is applied.
- Periodontal Membrane – This membrane sits beneath the gums and on top of the jawbone. It serves to hold the teeth firmly in place. It will stretch and retract as the teeth move within the jawbone.
The Mechanical components involved in this process include:
- Brackets – A unique adhesive is used to mount these metal brackets to the surface of your teeth. These brackets serve as the primary contact between your teeth and the devices that will apply the pressure necessary for the adjustment.
- Archwires – These wires are made of a special alloy that responds to body heat by stiffening. This stiffening helps to ensure that the necessary pressure is applied to the teeth to drive the adjustment. They’ll be adjusted repeatedly throughout the treatment period.
- O-Rings – These elastic bands are used to ensure the archwire remains firmly in place on the brackets. They come in various colors, from transparent to all rainbow shades.
These components work together to drive the adjustment process. Together, they’ll ensure you have the beautiful, properly aligned smile you’ve always dreamed of.
Reach Out To Your Dentist For More Information
If you have more concerns about orthodontic care, contact your dentist. They’ll take steps to ensure that you’re fully educated on the process that lies ahead. Being an active patient is an essential part of your healthcare process. By understanding the treatments offered, you’ll be able to make informed decisions and choose the best treatments for you. Start learning more about your oral health care by contacting your dentist today!