Articles by Dr. Hukmani

Dr. Hukmani regularly contributes articles and related content to the online dental resource, Your Dental Health Resource Magazine.


WHAT CAN BE DONE TO CORRECT ‘CROWDING OF THE TEETH’?

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Usually, this condition results from a mismatch of teeth and jaws such as large teeth erupting in an undersized jaw. Why does this condition need to be addressed, and what can be done to correct it?

The primary reason that most people want to address crowded teeth is because they do not like to smile when their teeth are rotated and misaligned. Unfortunately, this is the least of the worries for a person with crowded teeth. In fact, misaligned teeth simply do not function or “bite” correctly and make it difficult to maintain proper oral hygiene.

For instance, floss may be difficult to thread between the teeth. Tooth brushing is difficult when teeth overlap one another. Dental decay may result in the hard to brush and floss areas. Decay left untreated may very likely lead to gum disease. As the problem worsens, it can lead to loss of teeth, pain, difficulty chewing, gum disease, bad breath, etc.

Orthodontic treatment is the key to correcting crowded teeth. Braces can realign teeth allowing for correct bite and proper oral hygiene. An orthodontist will evaluate how best to achieve alignment of teeth and provide one or more options. Unfortunately, there may be circumstances in which extraction of permanent teeth is required to obtain a stable, ideal result. Extraction of teeth is a very serious consideration, selected after careful deliberation and as the only option to correct the bite.

In some cases, the crowding problem is a defect in the jawbone. If the jaw is simply too small to support a full mouth of teeth, then growth modification treatment is appropriate for growing patients. In adults, jaw surgery may be necessary to correct jaw discrepancies.

The correction of serious crowding of the teeth allows for proper dental care keeping teeth and gums healthy. Frequently without any other serious measures, braces alone may resolve crowding – improving alignment of teeth, bite relationship, chewing efficiency and tooth to lip relationship – your smile!

At Lansdowne Orthodontics, we provide each patient with multiple options to achieve an ideal result in optimal treatment time. We pride ourselves on delivering exceptional care. Our reputation depends on our good work and your good word.


WHY IS 7 YEARS OLD A GOOD AGE FOR AN ORTHODONTIC EVALUATION?

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A parent looks at a child’s smile and sees baby teeth and perhaps issues with thumb sucking habits. Sometimes a child’s teeth erupt with a lot of spaces or the teeth erupt in a crooked pattern.

What does this mean?

A gapped smile or crooked baby teeth is just one indication of dental health. An orthodontist is not only concerned with the health of the teeth and gums, but more importantly with the relationship and structure of the jaws. Does the growth pattern indicate sufficient development to allow for the permanent teeth waiting to erupt? Is the lower jaw too far out front of the upper jaw or vice versa indicating a need for growth modification?

What may the orthodontist see when an x-ray is reviewed? The orthodontist may see too many teeth (supernumerary) or too few teeth (congenitally missing) revealed by a Panoramic X-ray that shows all the teeth in both jaws in one view. The evaluation may reveal very large teeth about to erupt in a too narrow upper jaw or one or more teeth at a severe angle that may not erupt at all without treatment (impacted).

Your child’s smile reveals a great deal about future needs. Many times though, it’s what can’t be seen that requires professional guidance. A comprehensive orthodontic evaluation by 7 years old may indicate that your child exhibits normal growth patterns or exhibits issues that may best be addressed with early (interceptive) treatment.

As we do with patients in our Northern Virginia orthodontic practice, a conversation with your local orthodontist will reassure you that whether with required treatment or if no treatment is necessary, your child’s future smile is going to be great.


DENTAL SPECIALIST SPOTLIGHT: WHAT IS AN ORTHODONTIST?

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What is an Orthodontist?

Orthodontists specialize in correcting crooked or misaligned teeth and incorrect bite issues related to jaw discrepancies. Upon completion of dental school, dentists apply for highly coveted spots to receive specialty training for two to three years. This is just the beginning of lifelong continued education to remain current in the field of orthodontics.

Orthodontists may recommend growth modification treatment for patients who are 8 to 12 years of age or recommend starting treatment when all permanent teeth have erupted. Treatment is individually planned to address such problems as jaw size discrepancies, spacing, crowding, impacted teeth, unerupted teeth, rotated teeth and other issues affecting the bite. Adults may have similar issues that can be addressed with traditional braces or more extensive treatment requiring surgical procedures.

Orthodontists use many different types of appliances to correct the bite utilizing the latest technological advances in materials, equipment and processes. Clear brackets, metal brackets, lingual brackets, or clear aligners such as Invisalign may be an option for some patients. Treatment time can vary from six months to two years. The end result is a beautiful, healthy smile that lasts for a lifetime.


IF ADULTS THINK ORTHODONTIC BRACES ARE ONLY FOR KIDS, THINK AGAIN.

To view original article online on Your Dental Health Resource Magazine: click here.

Misaligned or crooked smiles are conditions experienced as much as by adults as well as children, though many adults are skeptical about getting braces because they don’t want to have to walk around with a ‘metal’ smile. However, new innovations have been made in orthodontic care that have revolutionized the way that people get braces, and not multiple treatment options are available. Adults don’t necessarily have to undergo traditional metal braces to receive treatment for misaligned teeth anymore. There are other more aesthetically-pleasing options nowadays offered by orthodontists who treat adults, and orthodontists in your area can discuss the treatment plan that is best for correcting your smile, and which is most accomodating for your lifestyle.

Some of the treatment options for adults to straighten their smiles include:

Clear Orthodontic Braces

Clear braces are a popular choice for adults because they are exactly as their name implies: braces that are clear. Therefore, they aren’t as unsightly as traditional metal braces. There are numerous types of clear braces, but they all feature the same basic benefits. They allow you to get the beautiful smile that you’re always wanted without the discomfort of regular braces and without you having to undergo tightening of braces every week or two. Instead, clear braces usually consist of a series of aligners that move your teeth invisibly without anyone even knowing that you have braces.

Damon Orthodontic Braces

Damon braces are a popular type of clear braces. They employ high technology archwires and tieless braces to move teeth quickly and comfortably. The results that Damon braces offers people can be dramatic, as they allow people to get the smiles that they want discretely, and they also take into account the shape of your face, your profile, what you will look like into your 40s, 50s, and older. The way that Damon braces works is by utilizing a slide mechanism to maintain the archwires in their brackets while still allowing them to move freely. The sliding mechanism reduces any friction and binding so the teeth are permitted to move more quickly and comfortably than they would otherwise.

With Damon braces many patients can begin to see these results with their smile in as little as 10 weeks.

Lingual or Inside the Teeth Braces

Lingual, or inside the teeth braces, are similar to traditional braces except that they are hidden inside your teeth. Rather than the braces being placed on the outside of your teeth, they are placed on the inside where they work in the same manner as they would if they were on the outside. Yet, because they are on the inside of your teeth, nobody even knows that you have braces. Discreet and effective.

Clear Retainers

Clear retainers are popular ways for adults to get their teeth straightened as well. One of the most popular brands in clear retainers is Invisalign. Clear retainers are designed and modeled specifically for a certain individual’s teeth. They allow you to achieve a straighter smile over time without anyone being any the wiser that you have braces, and they can be easily removed.

From this overview you can see that modern orthodontic care presents adults with difference treatment options, which provide less discomfort and more convenience to accomodate your lifestyle. The treatment option that is best for you depends upon your individual circumstances and personal preference. If you have been putting off orthodontic care as an adult, discuss the alternatives to traditional metal braces that are available with your orthodontist, and get the smile you want.

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American Association of Orthodontists American Board of Orthodontists
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