During the time that children are losing and growing new teeth, a lot can take place. Teeth become misaligned and can even grow in place misaligned. While people usually think of braces when they think of aligning teeth, an anchorage can also be used to assist and even speed things up.
According to the dictionary, the anchorage definition is "a place to anchor," or "the state of being anchored." Imagine an anchor keeping a water vessel from moving.
When discussing pediatric orthodontics, "anchorage" refers to teeth rather than boats. An anchorage is applied to prevent teeth from moving to undesired locations.
When one tooth starts to shift, it can interfere with the spacing of another tooth and cause it to move as well. While having attractively aligned teeth is aesthetically desirable, your teeth serve a more important function at the beginning of the digestive process.
Moreover, when teeth become crooked, not only can they create an awkward bite, but they can lead to additional issues that could result in even greater misalignment or other oral development problems for children.
An anchorage can be applied in a variety of situations. It can be utilized in the design of braces, it can be used for bridges and implants, it can be attached to bone, and it can be used outside the mouth, as an extraoral anchorage, to hold teeth in place during orthodontic procedures.
How an anchorage is utilized or applied will depend on the goal of the procedure. Most commonly an anchorage is employed for malocclusions. A malocclusion is the word dentists and orthodontists use to describe a situation in which teeth are not aligning as they should.
One way to guide a tooth into the proper position is with a temporary anchorage device, also commonly known as a mini-implant.
The TAD is a small screw, usually made from titanium alloy, that is positioned in the gum and jaw bone. The tooth that needs to be repositioned is then anchored to this screw. A TAD can be effective on its own or it can be used when braces can't perform the job alone.
One reason an anchorage might be a desirable option over braces is the amount of time it takes to work. While braces must be worn for an extended period, oftentimes over years, an anchorage can do the job in a relatively short amount of time.
Each situation is different. Your child's orthodontist can give you a good estimate of how long the anchorage needs to be in place to correct your child's teeth.
Pediatric Dental Group is happy to assist you in your child's orthodontic needs. As experts in the field of pediatric dentistry and orthodontics, we can answer any questions you might have regarding anchorages as well as any other questions regarding the development of your child's teeth.
An anchorage might be used to help correct your child's malocclusion, or your orthodontist might determine a different path is better. The only way to know what will help correct your child's teeth is by scheduling a visit with an orthodontist who performs anchorages.