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The Magic of Orthodontic Treatment

Sandy TANG, Orthodontist

Most people think that orthodontic treatment only applies for teenagers and kids, actually there are no age limits for getting braces! Orthodontic treatment can easily be done for those in the latter years, and is a growing trend. In fact, nearly a quarter of orthodontic treatment is presently done on adult patients. It is quite a change from 20 years ago when only children were wearing braces. Susan is one of them.

The major motivation for Susan to receive orthodontic treatment is pathologic factors rather than beauty. Susan had been afflicted by sleep bruxism for a long time, which, at the beginning, didn’t disturb her normal life. However, it became increasingly severe afterwards, leading to a dull pain in the temporomandibular (TMJ) joint at each morning wake. Besides, dental articulation problem also emerged. Eating sunflower seeds and nuts turned difficult for her although she liked them. The joint crunches once these foods entered the mouth. Therefore, Susan finally made up her mind to get an orthodontic treatment.

Dr. Sandy Tang, orthodontist from dental clinic of Shanghai United Family Hospital (UFH), was Susan’s attending physician. Generally speaking, orthodontic cycle lasts for 1.5 to 2 years. At the first visit, Dr. Tang performed a panoramic dental X-ray for Susan, and then made specific dental braces according to her teeth state. After the making of her initial braces, Susan need visit Dr. Tang every month, who would adjust the braces based on her teeth state.

Considering the severe bruxism, Dr. Tang treated Susan not only with orthodontic intervention, but also with proper mental care. Dr. Tang has developed a unique dental theory. She explained to Susan that each tooth had its own position, and that only in the right position could a tooth function well. So, teeth in the wrong positions would try to restore its right positions by looking for proper room during the sleeping time at night, which unfortunately caused bruxism. This theory provided a very positive psychological suggestion for Susan to a large extent, consolidating her confidence in the therapy and its final effect.

Orthodontic treatment is a long cycle, during which the persistence in each day is much required. Wearing monotonous dental braces every day is not something interesting but quite dull for patients. Fortunately, the personalized braces of UFH offers multiple choices. At each subsequent visit, patients can demand decoration of a colored rubber ring on the bracket of each tooth. The rings may be replaced according to personal preferences, on important holidays or even at the time of season changing. It’s believed that one new color brings in one new mood. UFH provided colored rubber rings in more than ten different colors. The patients can choose a single color or two colors to beautify the braces, and grin confidently instead of concealing teeth during the awkward period of wearing braces. For example, Susan went with a Christmas tree decoration in red and green colors during Christmas holiday, creating a happy Christmas atmosphere for herself and the people around. Gradually, visiting her doctor became a pleasure worth waiting for. Susan would consider the particular color or combination in advance. And her friends were also expecting the monthly new looking of Susan. The dental braces had become a beautiful decoration rather than an ugly burden since then.

One and a half years have passed very soon. After the orthodontic treatment, Dr. Tang made two retainers for Susan, one for the day and the other for the night. The sight of the neatly organized and beautiful braces after treatment brought joy beyond Susan’s expectations. The perfect tooth arrangement rendered her much fulfilled. What Susan also wants to say about Dr. Tang is that her excellent expertise and rich experience give patients a strong sense of achievement. Is there any reward that’s more gratifying than this comment for an orthodontist?