Q: At what age should someone see an orthodontist?
A:Most Authorities Agree that six or seven is a good age for your child’s first orthodontic examination. Conditions may be found that can be corrected at this early age by interceptive measures. This often will lessen or eliminate the need for help at an older age. That in turn can be a savings in the total cost of your child’s orthodontic correction. Breakage of the two upper front teeth often happens between the ages of 6 to 7 years old. When children have protruding teeth and hit something, the teeth are broken 82% of the time. When the teeth are positioned correctly in the mouth, they are only broken 9% of the time.
EARLY TREATMENT INCREASES THE CHILD’S SELF-CONCEPT
WE CAN HELP CHILDREN WITH BREATHING PROBLEMS, which can be treated at an early age, that even Nose Doctors (Rhinologists) cannot help even with surgery. This is a painless procedure.
Q: What is an orthodontist?
A: An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has successfully completed at least two academic years of continuous advanced studies in an orthodontic program of a dental school or institution approved by the American Dental Association. This advanced training includes such diverse studies as physics, embryology, genetics, human growth and development, biophysics and engineering. Only those dentists with this advanced education can announce that they are orthodontists.
Q: What causes crooked teeth?
A: Crowded teeth, thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, premature loss of baby teeth, a poor breathing airway caused by enlarged adenoids or tonsils can all contribute to poor tooth positioning. And then there are the hereditary factors. Extra teeth, large teeth, missing teeth, wide spacing, small jaws – all can be causes of crowded teeth.
Q: Why should I be concerned about my child’s bite?
A: A bad bite can be detrimental to the future of your child’s mouth. Restorations, crowns or bridges are often impossible for a dentist to perform without prior repositioning of the teeth by an orthodontist. Properly aligned and supported teeth are healthy &, easier to clean, and therefore more likely to last throughout a patient’s lifetime.
Q: What part does heredity play?
A: Heredity is A complicated combination of factors. Both parents may have perfectly aligned teeth. And the first child’s teeth may erupt unevenly. Then comes the second child and it is as if hereditary factors are working against each other. The child’s teeth appear normal, but their alignment is going to cause problems in the future. So, assume neither the best nor the worst. Have your orthodontist evaluate your child’s bite and proceed from there.
Q: How do orthodontists straighten teeth?
A: Tooth movement is actually a normal response to light pressure. Pressure is applied by using a variety of orthodontic hardware (appliances), the most common being a brace or bracket attached to the teeth and connected by an archwire. Periodic changing of these archwires puts pressure on the teeth. At different stages of treatment your child may wear elastics, a positioner or a retainer. We do not use headgear because we have found better ways to do the same things that do not require so much cooperation from the patient.
Q: Will it hurt?
A: There may be some discomfort for the first 2-3 days when the teeth are starting to move. With the type of archwires that we use. there should not be discomfort after that.
Q: What about extra-curricular activities?
A: We heartily encourage your child to pursue extra-curricular interests. Athletics can be a regular part of this routine. Certain musical instruments can actually be helpful during treatment. Speech may at first be somewhat affected, but only for a day or two. So we tell our patients that orthodontics is a normal part of this phase in their lives and that treatment should not preclude any activities they usually pursue within their school’s programs.
Q: Will I look funny?
A: Not necessarily. Minor corrections can be accomplished with braces completely concealed within the mouth. More involved treatment may require braces on the teeth to successfully move them to the desired positions. Braces are the handles used to move your teeth in a positive manner. We use small (mini) brackets bonded to the outer surfaces of the teeth. Plastic braces may be used for minor corrections. Ceramic brackets, which are similar in color to teeth, are less obvious to the casual observer and offer the versatility of regular stainless steel braces. The latest ones are translucent enough to actually allow the natural shading of the teeth to show through. In all cases, regardless of the braces used on your teeth, the activating part of your braces is the wire that goes from tooth to tooth. It is not uncommon to observe half of the children in a school class having some sort of braces. Many kids consider braces “neat” and the “in” thing.
Q: How long will treatment take?
A: Orthodontic correction can vary from the comparatively simple closing of front spaces in a few months, to the realignment of unsightly and disfiguring teeth. In the young child or the adolescent, treatment is as much a critical matter of timing and guidance as anything else. The normal treatment time varies from eighteen months to two years depending on the complexity of the problem.
Q: How often will I need office visits?
A: Appointments average about once a month. In the initial stage, the appointments are more frequent. Once the appliances (braces) are in place, appointments are scheduled at longer intervals. For children, every effort will be made to schedule appointments after school hours or on Saturdays. Occasionally, your child may have to come during school hours. School authorities are usually understanding.
Q: How much will it cost?
A: Do not assume your treatment will cost the same as someone else’s. Because no two problems are the same, treatment plans and accompanying costs will vary among patients. Those factors affecting the simplicity or complexity of your problem will be explained in detail by us. We offer very reasonable payment plans (no interest), conveniently spread over the estimated treatment period. We have 3-18 month loans at 0% interest (no interest) available.
Q: Will my dental insurance pay for it?
A: Today many dental policies include orthodontic benefits. For questions concerning eligibility a pre-determination of available benefits can be requested from your insurance company representative. The percentage of reimbursement varies from plan to plan.
Q: Will the improvement be permanent?
A:The combined experience of orthodontists across the country points to a 95% permanent improvement rate. Teeth, like all parts of the body are constantly changing and adapting. Where growth guidance is accomplished, the results are usually permanent. Jaw relationships affecting facial contours can be expected to remain for life. However, there are certain types of facial patterns that continue to change even past adolescence. (Should this be the case with your child, of course it will be discussed thoroughly so you are made aware of any detrimental growth indications.) Conscientious retainer wear following treatment will minimize minor movement or relapse.