There is a rare condition where people have too many teeth, it is called hyperdontia. It is a rare condition where some people have extra teeth. People who have such a condition also often have a condition known as cleft palate or Gardner’s Syndrome. The treatment for having too many teeth is to remove extra teeth and use Orthodontics to correct the bite.
Gardner’s Syndrome is a rare condition. There is a more prevalent condition known as Crooked Teeth. Most children do not have naturally straight teeth. Crooked teeth can cause an inferiority complex in children and make them a target for bullies. It can also make them less confident among their peers.
Orthodontics can be used to treat Crooked Teeth and also to correct a misaligned bite. One of the main methods of orthodontics is the use of braces.
Price of Braces in South Africa
In South Africa, getting braces can be a bit costly. The costs lie between R6,000 and R25,000. This is based on two major factors which are the dentist or orthodontist and the complexity of the process.
Negative Effects of Crooked Teeth
Patients with a crooked set of teeth will find it very difficult to clean the tiny nooks and crannies between their teeth. Also, patients are exposed to an increased risk of injuries if their upper teeth are crooked. When one or more upper teeth deviate from the arc, accidents are more fatal and teeth are more likely to crack.
Consequent to the difficulty in cleaning the tiny nooks and crannies between the teeth is bad breath. Bacteria retained in the mouth is the most common cause of bad breath or mouth odor. Mouth odor, in turn, can cause low self-esteem.
Another effect of bacteria retained in the mouth is gum disease, which is one of the most common consequences of having crooked teeth. In crooked teeth situations, gums do not fit firmly around the teeth and hence allow bacteria to grow.
Extensive injuries inside the cheek while eating, due to misaligned bites can cause excess pain in the jaw, gums, and teeth.
Children, teens, and adults with crooked teeth hardly smile. They often have low self-confidence, generally, have fewer friends, and offer targets for bullies and jesting.
What are braces?
A brace is a device for straightening teeth. Braces can be used to help correct crooked teeth and misaligned bites. Stainless steel or porcelain brackets are bonded to the outer center of the teeth using an adhesive.
Wires are then placed in a slot in the bracket, these wires allow for controlled movements. The wire can be attached in different ways such as ligatures, elastics or boxes.
Apart from using wires, this can be forced together by using elastic bands. These elastic bands are used to push the teeth and close the gap or otherwise.
Types of braces
In recent times there are more options or braces as a result of advancements in research of orthodontics. The most common options are Metal Braces/Traditional Braces, Ceramic Braces, Lingual Braces, and Invisalign Braces.
- Metal braces/traditional braces.
Metal braces are what come to mind when you first hear the word “braces”. They are made up of metal brackets and wires. Although in recent times metal braces are smaller and are less noticeable than the awkward metal braces than most adults can remember.
The advantage of metal braces is that they are less expensive. They can be gotten in different colors hence users can express themselves with a variety of colors.
- Ceramic braces.
Ceramic braces are the same size and shape as metal braces but they are the same color as the teeth. The brackets used in making ceramic braces are clear in color hence the blend with the color of the teeth.
There are even tooth-colored wires these days which make them the less noticeable. The main advantage of ceramic braces is that they are less noticeable than metal braces. This will allow much faster movement than the Invisalign braces.
A disadvantage of the ceramic braces is that they are more expensive than metal braces. Also, their brackets can be stain easily if they are not well cared for.
- Lingual braces.
Lingual braces are the same as traditional metal braces. The difference is that the brackets are placed inside of the teeth as against the metal braces, which are placed outside of the teeth.
The advantage of lingual braces is that they cannot be seen from outside. A huge disadvantage of lingual braces is that they are more expensive, more difficult to clean. This is because of their more hidden position. They are also more uncomfortable to use and require regular adjustments and are more challenging than traditional braces.
- Invisalign braces.
These use a series of removable clear aligners to straighten teeth and correct gaps, crowding, and bite issues. It consists of a series of 18 to 20 custom made flexible plastic that fit over the teeth and gradually adjust their position over time.
The aligners of the Invisalign are removable and are replaced every two weeks. The advantages of Invisalign are that they are almost invisible and the patients can eat and drink whatever they want. Though it is not advised to drink hot liquids while wearing the Invisalign braces.
Unfortunately, Invisalign will not work for serious dental problems. Also, the treatment of crooked teeth with Invisalign may take a longer period of about 6 to 18 months. The Invisalign correction method of crooked teeth may cause a slight speech impediment. Thus patients may have challenges with spoken words where tongue and teeth meet.
This causes the patient to experience excess saliva or a dry mouth, this speech impediment is often resolved in a couple of weeks.
How to know if you need braces
Patients with tooth related challenges should visit a dentist. The dentist usually recommends braces to improve a patient’s physical appearance if the patient needs braces.
When is the right time and what kind of braces?
Orthodontic treatments can be administered at any age to patients with such problems. With orthodontic treatment problems, such as crooked teeth crowded teeth overbite, underbites, and misaligned bites can be corrected. The dentist will know what type of braces is best for the particular patient’s problem.
How long will I have to wear my braces?
The amount of time required for a patient to wear his or her braces depends on how complicated the problem is and how old the patient is.
Braces are not a bad idea as they help to fix challenges with the teeth. They make you look good even though they may be quite costly in South Africa.