We speak to consultant orthodontist, implantologist & aesthetic laser dentist, Dato’ Dr. How Kim Chuan of the Imperial Dental Specialist Centre about Orthodontics: who needs it, the types of dental problems patients encounter, and the latest treatments available – Invisalign and Invisalign G5 for deep bites.
Dr. How, when does a person need orthodontic help?
Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that treats irregularities in the teeth and jaw. The main reason a patient would come in for orthodontics is, firstly, to improve their facial appearance, which
leads, of course, to a good smile. Secondly, it is to improve the function of the teeth and jaw. Thirdly, it’s because a patient experiences neuromuscular problems – where they are uncomfortable when chewing food due to the misalignment of teeth. If untreated, patients can get temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which is defined as damage to the hinge joint between the temporal bone and the lower jaw. The most common side effect of TMJ is headache and muscular pain. Orthodontic treatment provides solutions.
How does having straight teeth affect your overall health and wellbeing?
Having straight teeth definitely affects a person’s health and wellbeing. It is very important to keep our teeth clean for optimal oral hygiene. Patients who have a deep bite, for example, are unable to clean their teeth properly. This then causes their gums to bleed and causes pocketing. Pocketing is when bacteria gets deep into the gum and tooth interface leading to bleeding. If untreated, pocketing often leads to loosening of teeth. Pocketing also causes a lot of problems to the gums.
What treatments are available to treat misaligned teeth?
The best solution for misaligned teeth is to get orthodontic treatment. Traditional orthodontic treatment, braces, utilise brackets and wires. But nowadays, there is Invisalign, which is bracketless
and wireless technology.
What are invisible aligners, and how have they changed the way people straighten their teeth?
It is commonly thought that only metal and wire can move teeth because steel is used and is strong. But this perception is wrong. Teeth do not require steel to move. They just require constant, low force in the desired direction.
Why would someone opt for an invisible aligner treatment?
The main reason is that the low force of the treatment means that people do not feel much pain compared to conventional braces. Furthermore, it’s pretty much invisible. No one will know that you are going through orthodontic treatment. Moreover, conventional braces cause a lot of disturbance while eating due to the brackets. The best part about Invisalign is that patients can remove
their aligner while eating. They are able to chew properly and enjoy the food just like everyone else. A patient undergoing treatment with invisible aligners is able to carry on life without having to adjust too much.