Perfect teeth alignment is rare for Singaporeans. Hence malocclusion is the most common reason for a referral to an orthodontist. In the last 3 articles, we looked at What is Malocclusion?, Causes of Malocclusion and Symptoms of Malocclusion. In this article, we will explore the various treatment options for malocclusion for Singaporean patients.
Treatment of malocclusion is essential as straight teeth are easier to clean and this reduces the chances of tooth decay and dental conditions. Other functional benefits include eliminating strain on teeth, jaw and muscle. This reduces the risk of breaking a tooth and may help with TMJ disorders. Besides functional benefits, straight teeth confer aesthetics benefits and this translates into greater self-esteem and increased self-confidence.
Treatment options for malocclusion includes:
Braces or other appliances - Braces are metal, ceramic or plastic brackets that are glued to the teeth with a wire connecting the different bonds. Rubber bands are used to secure the wire to the brackets. Braces help to ensure that force is applied to the teeth in order to move the teeth into the correct position. Clear braces aligners such as Invisalign can also be used as an alternative.
Extraction of teeth - If overcrowding is a contributing factor to malocclusion, teeth may be removed.
Surgery - Surgery may be indicated to correct jaw problems. This is achieved by reshaping the jaw to lengthen/shorten it. Wires, plates or screws may be utilised to stabilise the jaw bone.