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Orthodontics

Jaw Co-ordination

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Teeth have certain limits within the jaws where they may be placed if their supporting structure is not to be damaged and long term health not compromised. Once these limits have been reached and the teeth still do not fit into each other (top and bottom) as designed to do jaw shifting needs to be done.

Orthodontists are specially trained to be able to plan this all. Together with tooth movement, co-ordination (shifting) can be done either by utilizing growth or surgery.

Utilizing growth

When utilizing growth we either need to only stop top jaw growth or minimize top jaw growth and help guide bottom jaw growth.

Headgear

This is an appliance worn outside of the mouth with an attachment to connect it to the teeth on the inside. It is usually worn to move the upper teeth backwards or to stabilize them in their present position. Furthermore can growth of the upper jaw be restricted or redirected depending on force applied and amount of hours worn. Headgear should always be worn as directed – usually 10 hours per day namely at night when sleeping. Headgear must be worn every night, if not you allow your teeth/jaw to move back, just as a ball that you push uphill will roll back if you stop and let go. Not only will treatment then take longer, but may also not be accomplished.

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Face-Mask

This appliance also worn outside the mouth pulls under developed upper jaws forward. It is basically the opposite of the headgear and all headgear aspects also apply.

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Elastics

Elastics are rubber bands of different sizs and strengths that need to be hooked onto certain teeth in your mouth. They are usually worn 24 hours a day (only out when eating) and need to be replaced with new ones daily.

Elastics (class I Maxillary)

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Elastics (Class II Overjet)

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Elastics (Class III)

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Elastics (delta premolar open bite)

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Elastics (Midline Correction)

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Elastics (palatal crossbite)

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Elastics (anterior open bite)

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Elastomeric Chain Ligation (Colored 3-3)

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Jaw Surgery

Orthognatic surgery (corrective jaw surgery) can treat and correct abnormalities of the facial bones, specifically the jaws and teeth. Often, problems in the jaw can cause other difficulties, such as with chewing, talking, sleeping and other routine activities. Jaw surgery can potentially correct these problems and when used with orthodontic treatment, can improve the overall function of the jaw and the appearance of the face profile.

Computerized treatment planning minimizes treatment times, recovery periods and overall efficacy of your surgery. State-of-the-art materials such as titanium and minature screws provide stability, strength and predictability to the treatment. These advances in technology, procedures and equipment reduce post surgery recovery time, thus allowing patients to return to their normal routines soon after surgery.

Orthognatic surgery may be unnecessary if orthodontic treatment can correct the problem. With the latest advances in orthodontics, this is sometimes the case as with temporary anchorage devices. The the treatment option for you will be determined by us and explained in detail.

Surgical Procedure

Correcting Underdeveloped Lower Jaw

Surgically Assisted Palatal Expansion
Correcting Overdeveloped Lower Jaw

Correction Vertical Overdeveloped Upper Jaw (Gummy Smile)

Correction Underdeveloped Upper Jaw

Correction Vertical Underdeveloped Back Part Of Upper Jaw (Open front Bite)

Correction Chin Prominence Only
Facial Asymmetry (Maxilla & Mandible)

What do orthodontists do?

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We don’t only straighten teeth. Our aim is to give you a beautiful smile that lasts. This starts with improving the appearance of your teeth and face. Sometimes we also need to restore functionality, eradicate harmful habits and establish stability. In short what we do is the alignment of teeth and the correction of skeletal and muscle deviations.
When the correct balance exists between teeth, muscles and jaws the possibility of  tooth decay and the wearing down of teeth is greatly diminished. The health of the gums and ligaments holding the tooth roots to the supporting surrounding bone is also enhanced.  Other possible improvements might also be the smoother function of the jaw joint and better speech.

Orthodontic work takes longer than other medical and dental procedures with about 24 months being the average length of treatment.  Creating the ideal and balanced, stable end result entails placing permanent braces on the teeth with a necessary chemical process, followed by a series of regular follow-up appointments where certain adjustments are made.

The type of treatment as well as time and effort needed differs from patient to patient according to needs and requirements.  Depending on age and requirements one can also use removable appliances or surgical procedures.

While the prospect of orthodontic treatment may be scary you can rest assured that we will be with you every step of the way.

What is an Orthodontist?

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An orthodontist is a specialist in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. All orthodontists are dentists, but only about six percent of dentists are orthodontists. Admission to orthodontic programs is extremely competitive and selective.

It takes many years to become an orthodontist and the educational requirements are demanding.

An orthodontist must first do a five-year graduate program at a dental school. After dental school, a minimum of three academic years of advanced specialty education in an orthodontic program are required to be an orthodontist. The program includes advanced education in biomedical, behavioural and basic sciences. The orthodontic students learn complex skills required to manage tooth movement (orthodontics) and guide facial development (dentofacial orthopaedics).

Only dentists who have successfully completed these advanced specialty education programs may call themselves orthodontists.

How to find an othodontist near you

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All active members of the South African Society of Orthodontists (SASO) are uniquely qualified specialists. Each has met the exacting standards of education and experience required to be an orthodontist by the SASO for membership.

To find an orthodontist in your area, ask your family dentist. Additionally, the South African Society of Orthodontists will be happy to assist you in finding a member orthodontist in your are. Pleases contact the South African Society of Orthodontists by visiting our website at www.saso.co.za.

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Address

321 Bulwer Street
Central CBD
Pietermaritzburg
3201

Appointments

E-mail: orthodontist@sainet.co.za
Telephone: 033 394 7635

Appointments can be made daily from Monday to Friday 08:00 to 16:30. You may also leave a message at any time for us to contact you on our answering service.

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