ORTHODONTICS FOR ALL AGES

Early Treatment

Early-Treatment

Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment, to ensure the greatest result and the least amount of time and expense. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends initial evaluation at the first sign of orthodontic problems, or no later than age 7. At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but vigilant examination can anticipate the best time to begin. Prudent intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later. When orthodontic intervention is not necessary, an orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal.

By the age of 7, the first adult molars erupt, establishing the back bite. During this time, an orthodontist can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. For example, the presence of erupting incisors can indicate possible overbite, open bite, crowding, or gummy smiles. Timely screening increases the chances for an incredible smile.

Advantages of Interceptive Treatment:

  • Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
  • Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth
  • Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
  • Preserving space for unerupted teeth
  • Reducing the need for tooth removal
  • Reducing treatment time with braces

Adolescent Treatment

Two-phase treatment occurs when a patient is evaluated and needs intervention before starting regular orthodontic treatment, resulting in two separate treatment plans. The first phase of treatment, Phase I, usually occurs when the patient is a child and still has his or her primary teeth. The Phase I treatment plan can include preventive, interceptive, or modifying treatment. Orthodontic appliances may be placed to prevent a problem from occurring, correct a current problem, or help direct jawbone growth. Multiple problems with tooth alignment, gums, jaws and facial problems can be corrected with Phase I treatment. Another common added benefit of Phase I treatment is less Phase II treatment time.

Typically, Phase II treatment is normal orthodontic treatment. This involves placing braces on the patient once his or her permanent teeth have erupted. The braces straighten the permanent teeth and finish correctly aligning the patient’s jaw. Between the ages of 11 and 15 is the most common time for Phase II orthodontic treatment, and for good reasons. By 12, most if not all of the permanent teeth have erupted and are in place, and crooked teeth, gaps, and bad bites can easily be detected. These problems will hardly ever correct themselves, so this is when most parents decide to seek orthodontic treatment.

This is also a good time for orthodontic treatment because many negative associations of braces are not present. Many children in this age range undergo orthodontic treatment, and children are very often able to be convinced to wear braces because they see their friends wearing them, too, and want to fit in. Children at this age are growing rapidly, and orthodontists can usually take advantage of these growth spurts to help shape the bite and teeth correctly. Children at this age also have high metabolism, which can help shorten overall treatment time and reduce the discomfort of orthodontic treatment.

Patients who have undergone both Phase I and Phase II treatment are more likely to have lasting results. Our goal for your two-phase orthodontic treatment is to give you correctly aligned teeth that provide ideal jaw function and a great smile!

Adult Treatment

Adult-Treatment

Braces aren’t just for kids anymore. Tooth alignment can be changed at any age if your gums and bone structure are healthy. We offer a variety of treatments that are designed for different age groups, including adults. Orthodontic treatment at later stages in life can dramatically improve your personal appearance and self-esteem. Improving the health of your teeth and gums is equally important. Crooked teeth and a bad bite can contribute to gum and bone loss, tooth decay, abnormal wear of the tooth enamel and surfaces, headaches, and jaw joint (TMJ/TMD) pain.

The new techniques and appliances we use greatly reduce discomfort levels, decrease the frequency of visits, shorten treatment time, and may allow you to choose from several options. Your options may include metal braces, translucent braces, or transparent aligners that should be worn full time (at least 22 hours) to improve mild cases of misaligned teeth. During the initial examination, we will be able to determine the best possible treatment for your individual needs and can outline the treatment plan, time of treatment expected, and the approximate cost. A large percentage of our patients are adults, and they agree it’s never too late to improve their greatest asset – their smile.

Are You a Candidate for Orthodontic Treatment?

Orthodontics are not just about improving smile aesthetics – orthodontic treatment improves bad bites (malocclusion). Malocclusion occurs as a result of tooth or jaw misalignment and affects the way you smile, chew, clean your teeth, or feel about your smile. According to studies by the American Association of Orthodontists, untreated malocclusion can result in a variety of problems:

  • Crowded teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease.
  • Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping.
  • Crossbites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear.
  • Open bites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments.

Ultimately, orthodontics does more than make a pretty smile – it creates a healthier you.

Orthodontic-Treatment-Candidate

Common Issues Addressed by Orthodontics

Underbite

An underbite is characterized by the lower jaw extending too far out, causing the lower front teeth to sit in front of the upper front teeth.

Crossbite

This malocclusion occurs when the upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth, which may cause tooth stratification and misaligned jaw growth. In order to close the mouth, patients usually move their lower jaw forward or to the side when closing. This incorrect bite results in an improper use of the lower jaws and sometimes brings about facial asymmetry.

Upper Front Teeth Protrusion

The appearance and function of your teeth are impacted by this type of bite. It is characterized by the upper teeth extending too far forward or the lower teeth not extending far enough forward.

Overbite

The upper front teeth extend too far out over the lower front teeth, sometimes causing the lower front teeth to bite into the roof of the mouth. Problems often associated with an overbite include a “gummy” smile, protruding lips, and excessive incisor wear.

Crowding

Crowding occurs when teeth have insufficient room to erupt from the gums. It is the most common reason for braces. Not only is crowding unattractive, but it has also been linked to periodontal problems and dental decay because it is harder to clean overlapping tooth surfaces.

Spacing

Spacing problems may be caused by missing teeth, or they may only be a cosmetic or aesthetic issue. Spacing is another popular reason for braces. The opposite of crowding, spacing is most commonly caused by excessive jaw room for the size of the erupting teeth.

Open Bite

Proper chewing is impacted by this type of bite, in which the upper and lower front teeth do not overlap. Open bite may cause a number of unwanted habits, such as tongue-thrusting or thumb-sucking. Early evaluation and intervention is essential in correcting an open bite.

Dental Midlines Not Matched

Dental midlines that do not match are evident when the back bite does not fit and match appropriately. This may negatively impact jaw function and proper dental function.

Orthognathic Surgery

Corrective jaw surgery treats and corrects abnormalities of the facial bones, specifically the jaws and the teeth. Often, these abnormalities cause difficulty associated with chewing, talking, sleeping, and other routine activities. Orthognathic surgery corrects these problems and, in conjunction with orthodontic treatment, will improve the overall appearance of the facial profile.

Using the latest in digital imaging technology, we will demonstrate the overall functional and aesthetic benefits of orthognathic surgery. Computerized treatment planning minimizes treatment times and recovery periods and improves the overall efficacy of your surgery. State-of-the-art materials such as titanium plates and miniature screws provide stability, strength, and predictability to your treatment. These advances in technology, procedures, and equipment reduce post-surgical recovery time, thus allowing patients to return to their normal routines soon after the surgery.

Orthognathic surgery may be unnecessary if orthodontic treatment can correct the problem. With the latest advances in orthodontics, this is sometimes the case. We will determine if orthognathic surgery is the correct treatment option for you.

This is also a good time for orthodontic treatment because many negative associations of braces are not present. Many children in this age range undergo orthodontic treatment, and children are very often able to be convinced to wear braces because they see their friends wearing them, too, and want to fit in. Children at this age are growing rapidly, and orthodontists can usually take advantage of these growth spurts to help shape the bite and teeth correctly. Children at this age also have high metabolism, which can help shorten overall treatment time and reduce the discomfort of orthodontic treatment.

Patients who have undergone both Phase I and Phase II treatment are more likely to have lasting results. Our goal for your two-phase orthodontic treatment is to give you correctly aligned teeth that provide ideal jaw function and a great smile!

Schedule a consultation to see how orthodontics can transform your smile.
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