Orthodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry which deals with the alignment of irregular teeth. The word 'Orthodontics' is derived from the Greek words 'orthos' meaning correct, and 'odontos' meaning teeth. Correct tooth position is an important factor for facial beauty, oral function and for overall preservation of dental health. When the teeth are arranged properly in relation to each other as well as in relation to teeth in the opposite jaw, leading to optimal esthetics and function, it can be called as ideal occlusion.
However, when the irregularity of teeth is so much that it leads to poor facial appearance and other functional problems, it is called as malocclusion.
Irregular, protruding or maloccluded teeth can cause three types of problems for the patient –
1) discrimination because of poor facial appearance,
2) problems with oral functions like difficulty in chewing food, swallowing or speech, and
3) more possibility of developing dental diseases like tooth decay and gum problems, and greater likelihood of trauma to the upper front teeth if they are more forwardly placed.
Teeth play an important role in facial beauty and the overall appearance of the face. Facial appearance can and does make a difference in our social life. Poor facial appearance can also cause psychological problems like lowered self-esteem and lack of self-confidence. The major reason people seek this treatment is to improve their facial appearance and smile. These problems are not 'just cosmetic'. They can have a major effect on the quality of life.
Well-aligned teeth and pleasing smile carry positive status at all social levels and ages, whereas irregular and protruding teeth carry negative status. Good-looking children are subconsciously liked more by parents, teachers and other adults. Good-looking adults are more likely to get good jobs, more friends and better life partners. So, the value of this treatment cannot be overemphasized. It is a question of a person's future physical and psychological well-being.
Orthodontists are the dental specialists who treat such irregular, protruding teeth by putting braces. Look for a competent orthodontist who holds a masters degree [ M.D.S. (Ortho.)] from a recognized Indian university.