We provide Orthodontic exams and treatments depending on what phase of growth and development you are. All our Orthodontic services are provided by our Board-Certified Orthodontist.
The branch of dentistry known as orthodontics focuses on preventing, diagnosing, and treating jaw and teeth irregularities. Children, teens, and adults benefit from orthodontic care to correct large gaps between teeth, bite misalignment, uneven teeth, or teeth and lips that don’t fit together properly.
A child benefits from having their first orthodontic evaluation around the age of 7 or 8, even if they don’t have any problems yet. Your child has a mix of adult and baby teeth and can catch any problems that are likely to emerge later on and require extensive treatment.
While there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends visiting the orthodontist around age seven.
By this age, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth, making it easier for the orthodontist to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems with less complexity and sometimes avoids surgery.
Don't worry! Braces aren't nearly as scary as you may think. In fact, braces today come in sizes that are lot smaller than they use to be which makes life with braces much easier, more comfortable than in the past. You can even get Clear braces which are virtually invisible.
The amount of time it takes to treat your smile with braces depends on three key factors:
Our practice offers a variety of braces, to choose from:
Orthodontic braces are a big part of life for many people. While braces may have had a bad reputation in the past, today's braces make it easy to look good and feel good! Please contact our practice to schedule your next orthodontic checkup.
INITIAL EXAM & SUBSEQUENT GROWTH OBSERVATIONS
It is recommended a child’s first orthodontic appointment be at age 7-8 unless advised earlier by your family dentist or pediatric dentist.
Around 7-8 years of age is when the adult incisors and first molars are erupting or are fully erupted. This is a good time to seek a consult to catch early on any bite problems or growth issues with the adult teeth.
At your child’s first visit the Orthodontist will listen to any concerns you or the child’s family dentist has. The Orthodontist will perform a comprehensive examination which will include-
This will allow the Orthodontist to look for any deviations from the usual and make recommendations accordingly.
If there are any potential issues that present at this 1st visit, the Orthodontist will make recommendations on further course of action.
If everything is within normal realms of development the Orthodontist will advise the child to be seen semi-annually, annually or bi-annually.
At your first orthodontic evaluation all may be within normal limits. However, with yearly exams and growth observations your Orthodontist is able to closely monitor any potential issues that may arise such as crossbites, deep bites, impacted teeth, missing adult teeth, over-retained baby teeth, pre-mature/early loss of baby teeth causing space loss, ectopic eruptions, skeletal growth and much more.
EARLY INTERCEPTIVE ORTHODONTICS or PHASE 1 ORTHODONTICS FOR CHILDREN
At your first consultation or follow up recall exams, your Orthodontist may notice certain problems that may require immediate correction or regular monitoring. They will discuss with you what course of action if any may you take at that appointment. If your child has; large spaces between their teeth, early or late loss of baby teeth or has crowded teeth, they may need treatment
The problems that may cause complex immediate or future issues such as - crossbites, impacted teeth, missing adult teeth, over-retained baby teeth, pre-mature/early loss of baby teeth causing space loss etc. may need Phase 1 orthodontic treatment.
It is important to understand, Phase 1 treatment is to address limited specific goals and is not similar to Comprehensive/Phase 2/Full orthodontic treatment
Early or Phase 1 treatment is performed in mixed dentition (mix of baby & adult teeth) to address effects of scenarios that can lead to complex problems later on. This stage can vary in children anywhere from 6-10 years of age.
Phase 1 treatment types can range from – Referral to your family dentist for baby teeth extraction, space maintainers, Passive appliance therapy, limited braces, expanders and more.
This depends on what kind of treatment your child needs. On an average it can last anywhere from 6-20 months. Rarely, a child may be ready for Phase 2 comprehensive treatment right after Phase 1 treatment ends.
Sometimes, Phase 1 treatment may lead to requiring minimal to no treatment in the future. Some complex orthodontic problems will demand a second round or Phase 2 treatment for children and adolescent patients. However, a Phase 1 may have everted complex issues like surgeries, multiple extractions, extended treatment times, non ideal bite, extensive wear of teeth etc.
COMPREHENSIVE ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT FOR KIDS & TEENS
With yearly exams, growth observations and early Phase 1 orthodontics many complex scenarios can be avoided or simplified. This may in turn lead to requiring minimal to no treatment in the future. However, some complex orthodontic problems will demand a second round or Phase 2 comprehensive treatment for children and adolescent patients after all or most adult teeth have erupted.
Depending on problems you may have, this treatment is planned to fix minor or complex teeth alignment issues with or without bite correction in a comprehensive manner.
Your orthodontist will discuss the details pertaining to your or your child’s treatment at the consult appointment. In complex treatment scenarios more than 1 appointment may be required to plan out the best treatment options and reach a decision.
*All the steps mentioned above may be done at the same visit or at separate visits. It depends on several factors – Good oral health, appointment time availability, patient’s schedule for the day, pre-orthodontic preparation for appliance, specialty consultations, extractions etc.
Extractions of some adult teeth and or wisdom teeth may or may not be required. The requirement depends on – how much crowding do you have, are any teeth impacted, is your bite not aligned etc. If required they will be performed by your your family dentist or another dental specialist.
Most orthodontists focus on their specialty and will refer you back to your family dentist or another dental specialist for extractions.
You can choose metal braces or clear ceramic braces. However, for certain bites clear ceramic braces may not be advised as they can cause aggressive wear on your teeth.
Yes, clear aligners may be a good esthetic option in some treatments. We will make recommendations with aligners based on your treatment needs.
Some of the differences between the braces & clear aligners are-
Aligners are removable.
You must remove aligners to eat or drink. You can only drink water with aligners in your mouth. Aligners must be worn 22 hours a day for them to work. You must keep track of ‘hours aligners are worn’ each day for successful on time treatment outcome.
You can eat anything with aligners since you remove them before eating.
Clear Braces are less visible
Aligners and their attachments are least visible making them an esthetic choice.
Depending on patient’s oral health status, schedule availability and treatment plan the answer to this question can vary. You can get your braces put on anywhere from the first visit to the office to the subsequent.
In majority of patents depending on the problems your teeth and bite present, full orthodontic treatment can last anywhere from 6 months to 30 months (2.5years).
Every patient is unique and presents with unique challenges. Some of the common reasons you may have braces for longer than the 2-2.5 years can include but not limited to –
Braces today have evolved and are made with advance technology keeping them as small as possible and use light forces on your teeth. You will be aware of their presence when you first get them on your teeth just like you notice a new shoe on your foot. However, in a couple of weeks you will get use to them. There might be some discomfort after your adjustment visits which easily controlled by OTC pain medications.
This varies from patient to patient and what stage of treatment you are at. Typically, you will be advised to have an adjustment anywhere from 2-8 weeks. You must follow the Orthodontist’s recommendation on the interval of visits as it is a very critical for a successful treatment outcome.
Some orthodontic treatment require wearing elastics to correct and/ or stabilize your bite. When required, the orthodontist will discuss with you if they need to be worn all day and night or at night only. You will be told how many hours to wear them for, how to put them on, how often to change them etc. If you are compliant with your elastic wear you can assure a successful outcome.