Getting affordable orthodontic treatment can be a decision made for both health reasons and aesthetic purposes. While most of our orthodontic patients are between 12 and 18 years of age, an increasingly large numbers of adults are seeking orthodontics treatment as well.
In some cases, our patients make the decision to seek affordable orthodontic treatment because an improved smile would help them feel more comfortable and confident in their personal and professional lives. It’s also a way to protect against other dental problems. Orthodontic treatment has been shown to decrease risk for cavities, periodontitis, jaw pain, chronic headaches, and chewing problems.
Orthodontic treatment addresses a variety of issues that can be categorized in the following ways: spacing (either overcrowded or gapped teeth), crookedness, and malocclusion.
Gapped teeth tend to be associated with fewer long-term dental conditions because saliva can move through the spaces between the teeth, which has a cleansing effect. However, many people don’t like the appearance of their gapped teeth and are often looking for procedures to close these spaces for aesthetic purposes.
Overcrowded teeth, however, do present a long-term risk for conditions such as dental caries (cavities) and periodontitis because the hard-to-reach areas between teeth are often difficult to clean well.
Crooked teeth can lead to dental problems due to the teeth rubbing against one another over time. This damage causes premature tooth aging, and leaves the enamel more vulnerable to bacterial attacks, increasing risk for dental caries.
The two most common types of malocclusion are overbite and underbite, though we also treat patients with other types of malocclusion (such as crossbite and open bite.) Malocclusion refers to differing jaw sizes in the same person: when the upper jaw is larger than the lower, then you are said to have overbite, while a larger lower jaw creates an underbite. Besides obvious aesthetic reasons, people choose orthodontic treatment for malocclusion because misaligned teeth can shift over time. Like with overcrowded teeth, malocclusion also causes tooth wear and increases your risk of tooth decay due to the same dental hygiene issues discussed above.
That’s why orthodontics can be such an attractive option for someone with any combination of these conditions. It’s a way of investing in you, present and future. Orthodontic treatment gives you a fighting chance against the forces of cavity development and gum disease. And because dental health has an impact on your body’s overall health, orthodontics also indirectly protects against other conditions that may seem totally unrelated to your teeth–such as heart problems and complications with diabetes.
But, like many patients, even if you can see the benefits, you might still have concerns about feasibility, specifically in terms of the affordability of orthodontics. The question remains: is there any place that offers a definite advantage when it comes to affordable orthodontics? The answer is Penn Dental Medicine!