Dr. James S. Kim, DDS. SC

When Is Orthodontic Dental Care Medically Necessary?

July 13, 2022
Posted By: James S. Kim, DDS, SC Team

Orthodontics in Wausau, WI, is medically necessary for some situations—improving or establishing your bite or combating diagnosed issues. However, there are also instances when your dentist recommends orthodontics to ensure a healthy smile in the future or help with side effects involving the temporomandibular joint.

Orthodontics can mean traditional braces, offshoots of conventional braces, and Invisalign clear aligners.

Let’s explore when orthodontic dental care may be medically necessary or strongly recommended by your Wausau, WI, dentist.

Medically Necessary Orthodontics

Should your dentist or physician deem orthodontics medically necessary, they will explain why and introduce all treatment options if available. Some (but not all) scenarios follow:

Craniofacial Abnormalities

All types of craniofacial abnormalities can impair eating and speech. In some cases, these issues can be corrected through orthodontics—or orthodontics can play a crucial role in treatment.

Craniofacial abnormalities may be present at birth or result from trauma.

Jaw Defects or Oral Trauma

Jaw abnormalities with resulting malocclusion—either through trauma or present at birth—may be deemed medically necessary for orthodontics.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ)

TMJ, as a defect from birth or resulting later, may be helped or reversed through orthodontic treatment. Other TMJ treatments include nightguards, exercise, lifestyle changes, and surgery.

Reasons Your Dentist May Recommend Orthodontics

While not medically “necessary,” there are times when orthodontic treatment is your best bet. Orthodontics can prevent wear and tear on teeth, especially if you have an uneven bite surface. Braces and Invisalign in Wausau can also help prevent or reverse conditions like TMJ and make crowded teeth easy to clean effectively.

TMJ is sometimes linked to bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching). Therefore, your dentist may recommend orthodontics followed by appliance therapy or vice-versa for best results.

Following orthodontic treatment, you may notice fewer cavities, fresher breath, and a cleaner-feeling mouth, especially if teeth are overcrowded and overlapping.

Issues that orthodontics can treat include:

  • Bite issues: Underbite, overbite, an open bite
  • Misaligned teeth: Twisted, crooked, and crowded teeth
  • Spacing: Wide gaps between teeth and uneven spacing

Invisalign and traditional braces, when needed, contribute to improved oral health and help keep your teeth and gums in great shape for life.  

How Traditional Braces Work

Traditional braces rely on brackets attached to the teeth. Your dentist laces these brackets with guidewires. Then, you come into our dental practice every few weeks for wire adjustments. This method gently maneuvers your teeth into upright and healthier positions.

As the weeks go by, you’ll notice your smile changing for the better.

Of course, sometimes pretreatments are in order, especially for medically necessary braces and orthodontics.

Invisalign Clear Aligners

Invisalign may not be the first choice in medically necessary orthodontics—insurance-wise and as a treatment. However, your dentist will make the final determination.

Invisalign works through a series of transparent aligners created from impressions of the teeth. Each aligner is worn according to the dentist’s schedule—usually a week or two—before you move on to the next, and so on.

You can remove your aligners to eat and brush your teeth.

For Invisalign or Medically Necessary Traditional Braces, Contact Us

It may be that you’re having difficulty chewing or speaking. Perhaps you have jaw pain or misaligned teeth. No matter the issue, your Wausau, WI, dentist can assess your jaws, TMJ, and other oral structures to determine whether you need braces as a medical necessity or to improve your oral health and stave off future dental issues.

Reach out to a team member today to arrange your consultation with the dentist or if you have any questions for our team.

We are proud to provide orthodontics and evaluations for people of all ages.

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