Usually, a child's pediatric dentist (or general dentist) will inform you of the need to seek orthodontic treatment. Alignment and bite problems, as well as cosmetic issues, may be identified by you, however, less obvious concerns can go unnoticed. As specialists in the field of orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics, we are your best resource in the identification of such needs. Our initial consultation is complimentary, at which time we will perform a thorough examination. A detailed explanation of all treatment recommendations will be provided.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child be evaluated by the age of seven. Early detection is paramount so that early corrective action may be implemented thereby avoiding more difficult treatment later.
Absolutely not! Age is not a determinant for braces. A rare limiting factor is the health of your gums and bone which support your teeth. In some such cases, working with a periodontist (a gum and bone specialist) will yield a healthy mouth over time which could subsequently be treated orthodontically. About 20 percent of our orthodontic patients are adults and that number continues to grow.
Orthodontic treatment has improved dramatically. As a rule, braces make your teeth sore for a few days, but it is not painful. The discomfort can be somewhat minimized with an over-the-counter pain reliever. Today's braces are smaller, more comfortable, and use technology that limits the discomfort. We use the latest in miniature braces and the highest quality of orthodontic materials in order to reduce discomfort and treatment time.
Yes, and orthodontics is often indicated in these situations. When teeth are missing, adjacent teeth will often drift into the empty space(s). This can cause a functional, esthetic, or periodontal problem. Orthodontic treatment can correct and prevent these problems and can provide proper alignment for your dentist to replace the missing teeth post-orthodontically.
Phase I, or Interceptive Treatment, usually starts while the child has most of their baby teeth and a few of their permanent incisors. This stage in development is usually from the ages of seven to nine. The goal of Phase I treatment is to intercept a moderate or severe orthodontic problem early in order to reduce or eliminate it. These problems include skeletal dysplasias, crossbites, crowding, and a myriad of other possibilities. Phase I treatment can take advantage of early growth which could convert a difficult orthodontic problem into a more manageable one later. This helps to reduce the need for tooth extractions or jaw surgery and provides for less complex treatment options in the years to come. Most Phase I patients require a Phase II treatment in order to establish ideal occlusion and smile esthetics.
Phase II treatment usually occurs a number of years later. Usually we are waiting for 10-14 more permanent teeth to erupt before Phase II begins. This most commonly occurs between the ages of 11-14 and will often vary with gender. The goal of Phase II treatment is to achieve ideal occlusion and esthetics with a full compliment of permanent teeth. Phase II treatment is otherwise known as full, or comprehensive, orthodontic treatment.
No. Certain problems require early intervention. All others can defer treatment until most, if not all, of the permanent teeth have erupted.
This is not advised. The orthodontist's recommendation to initiate Phase I treatment implies that a difficult problem requires attention now. If orthodontic treatment is delayed, options later become limited, more complex, and the long-term stability may be compromised. Additionally, postponing treatment could lead to tooth extraction, jaw surgery, and increased costs.
Active treatment may last 6 to 30 months, or longer, depending on the age of the patient, the severity of the problem, and the patient's cooperation.
The removal or extraction of permanent teeth is often indicated when the jaw size of an individual is not large enough to accommodate the number of teeth developing. Teeth may also be extracted to enhance profile esthetics. Non-extraction therapy is indicated when harmony between tooth and jaw size may be established without the removal of teeth.
When orthodontic treatment is implemented at the proper time, treatment is often less costly than the care required to treat the more serious problems that can develop years later.
Orthodontic fees have not increased as fast as many other consumer products. Financing is usually available and our office offers many payment programs that will meet your needs. Additionally, many insurance plans now include orthodontics in their coverage.