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 arch wires 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.
If you’ve decided it’s time for braces or Invisalign, your next step is choosing where you will go for treatment. Many general dentists are offering orthodontic treatment with braces or Invisalign. They offer “one-stop shopping” for their existing dental patients. Makes everything easier and more convenient, right? Consider this…orthodontists not only complete the four years of dental school, but 2-3 more years to specialize in orthodontics. They have made the choice to do orthodontics and ONLY orthodontics. An orthodontist doesn’t do just a few cases here and there, every minute of their practice is devoted to resolving orthodontic issues. Whether you choose braces, bite appliances, or Invisalign, you are best left in the hands of an expert. Think of it like this, if you had to have heart surgery and your general practitioner said he could do it, would you let him/her do it or go to a heart specialist? Your orthodontist has years of experience looking at numerous kinds of cases and patients and will see best how to treat them.
What is an impacted tooth? It’s a tooth that is “stuck” in the gums and will not erupt on its own. The most likely teeth to be impacted are the “wisdom” teeth, but other teeth can be impacted, as well. In instances where the wisdom teeth are impacted, many times they can be left alone if not causing any discomfort or infection. When a tooth other than a wisdom tooth is impacted however, it is usually necessary to either extract it or “expose” the tooth and bring it slowly into its proper position. Leaving these other teeth alone can likely cause infection, contribute to poor dental hygiene, or compromise supporting bone structure.
In the past, many dentists would simply extract the tooth. This would result in a gap where the tooth would have been, becoming a trap for food and plaque, not to mention create bone loss. A dental implant or bridge would be necessary to optimize the functionality of the bite and oral health. If the tooth and the root are healthy, an oral surgeon can uncover the tooth by creating a flap in the gum tissue and bond a bracket and chain or special spring to the surface of the unerupted tooth. The chain or spring then leads out through the gum tissue. Your orthodontist can then use the chain to gently pull the impacted tooth through the gum tissue and into its proper position. This option helps maintain all the patient’s teeth and bone! As the tooth comes through the gum tissue, orthodontic brackets help guide the tooth into the ideal position in the arch along with the other teeth.
So…you just got back from your first orthodontic exam…what were they saying?? Overbite? Underbite? Deep bite? Huh? Let’s help clear that up!
Ideally, a perfect bite where all the teeth fit together like a neat puzzle would be what is considered a Class I bite or occlusion. The upper first molars (also called 6yr molars and are the molars furthest forward) should sit slightly outside of the lower first molars with the first half of the top tooth cradled in the middle of the lower one. They fit together a lot like legos! When the teeth vary from this position, orthodontics can help!
Class II occlusion means that those upper first molars fit in front of those lower first molars, causing what is called over-jet. This can result in a “buck-toothed” appearance or having a “weak” chin. People might say this is an “overbite”, but an “overbite” or “deep bite” is when the top front teeth hang way over the bottom teeth. They should overlap slightly, but when they cover too much of the bottom front teeth, it can throw the jaw off and cause problems.
A Class III bite is when the upper first molars fit together with the lower second molars—too far back. This brings the lower jaw to sit in front of the the upper teeth, creating an “underbite”. This is a particularly difficult bite to battle because the top teeth trap the lower teeth and can’t allow the jaw to move back where it belongs.
Any variance from that Class I ideal bite can cause uneven wearing on the teeth, TMJ disorder, inability to chew properly on both sides of the mouth, gum disease, and impaired speech. Orthodontics is more than just straight teeth!
As we leave adolescence far, far behind, thoughts of orthodontic treatment are left far behind, too. As adults, we may remember going through braces as a teen or had parents who may not have been able to afford orthodontic treatment. Because that’s who wears braces, right? Teens! Not anymore! People of ALL ages are seeking orthodontic treatment more today than ever before. In fact, adults now make up more than 25% of those in orthodontic treatment!
Why should adults get treatment? Though adult bone growth is complete, straightening the teeth and aligning the jaws is still possible. Good orthodontic treatment has many benefits to an adult’s overall health. Crooked teeth are harder to clean and can cause deterioration of tooth enamel and gums. Poor gum health has been shown to have a direct link to heart disease. Also, digestion can be adversely affected by inadequate chewing due to poor tooth and jaw alignment.
TMJ and bruxism (grinding of teeth) are also growing problems with adults. Poor alignment of teeth and jaws are usually a primary cause of these types of painful issues. Adults often say orthodontic treatment gave them a “brace lift” because bone structure can be affected during the expansion of the arches and alignment of the jaws. Treatment can result in fuller lips, a more contoured appearance, and possibly the advancement of the lower jaw, creating a stronger jawline and eliminating the “double chin”.
Still not sold? Don’t like the fact braces are too noticeable? Limit your diet? Too painful to lips and cheeks? Invisalign is a great option for many adults. Invisalign is a series of clear aligners and small tooth-colored attachments on the teeth to gradually straighten your teeth and jaws. Since there are no brackets to knock off with sticky, hard food, Invisalign allows patients to eat whatever they want!
Impatient? Orthodontic treatment takes too long? Acceledent is a revolutionary new product used in conjunction with either braces or Invisalign for 20 minutes a day. It can cut your treatment time by 50%! Acceledent can be a fantastic option for adults wanting to finish treatment in time for big events like a wedding or class reunion.
There are soooooo many options and benefits today to getting orthodontic treatment…no more excuses!
One of the greatest things about those “sweet” holidays-Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Halloween-is to have a guilt-free excuse to eat lots and lots of candy! Unless, of course, you have some kind of expansion appliance or braces in your mouth! Booooooo! Lots of the sticky, sweet stuff winds up wrapped around that metal or (gasp!) breaks something! Not to mention, all that sugar LOVES to sit and lounge on your precious enamel and encourages cavities. Double boooooo!!!!! Hold on, hold on…just because you’ve decided that now’s the time to straighten your teeth and fix your bite doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy those beloved sugary treats once in a while. You just have to be more careful about which ones you put in your mouth and don’t forget to BRUSH afterwards! So let’s break it down…
Candy you CAN have :
Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate
melt-in-your mouth treats like Pop-Rocks
Suckers (as long as you LICK them and NOT CRUNCH them)
Fun Dip & Pixi Stix
Did I say CHOCOLATE???
Candy you need to AVOID :
Hard, chewy kind like Skittles, Starburst, Tootsie Rolls
Anything with nuts
Anything with caramel, marshmallows, or toffee
Gummy bears, Sour gummies, or Laffy Taffy
Did I miss some candy? Of course, but just use your noodle and if it seems iffy, avoid it! So just remember, as long as you continue to brush and floss like a champ after you eat anything, you keep seeing your general dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings, and you use good sense about what you eat, you CAN enjoy those fun candy holidays!
Invisalign is a new technology which we offer on selected cases. The Invisalign technology uses a series of clear vacuum molded “aligners” which gradually shift your teeth into the correct positions. Invisalign is usually reserved for our adult or mature teenage patients, While not for everyone, Invisalign may fit your needs.
The Herbst appliance is used to correct the front to back relationship of the upper and lower jaws, often referred to as Class II problems. The rod and tube that is affectionately called “the shock absorber” actually connects the upper and lower jaws. This really does not interfere with opening and closing your mouth or with eating. You might find side to side movement is somewhat restricted.
Things You Will Need To Get Used To
1. The bottom screws will irritate the lip. Your lip will toughen up like a callous, but it will take a few days for it to happen. You can put Orabase on the inside of the lip and cheek where it is sore. You can also place orthodontic wax over the screws to make it smoother. On rare occasions, it may be necessary for us to give you cotton rolls. These cotton rolls are placed inside your cheek to keep your lip and cheek away from the screw while you are sleeping.
2. When the lower jaw is brought forward, the back teeth do not come together like they did prior to the placement of the appliance, so be patient. Those teeth will come together so that you can chew normally in about a week.
3. Most of the time, there is not tenderness in the teeth when the Herbst appliance is placed. Every once in a while, a patient may feel some tenderness which is normally short lived. It will disappear in a few days.
Possible But Not Probable Problems
1. If you open very wide, sometimes the rods and tubes can pop apart. If they do, just open wide and put the rods and tubes back together. If you cannot get them together, you can leave them apart and call for an appointment to put them back together again. If, when the rods and tubes are apart, you are not in pain, they can wait to be put back together until the next day or over the weekend because the muscles will hold the jaw in position. If they are causing pain, call the office and we will put them back together as soon as possible. If you are having a problem with the rods and tubes disengaging quite often, then please call the office and we will make the rods and tubes longer so they will not come apart as easily. We don’t like to do that unless it is necessary because we don’t want to move your jaw too far or too fast because it grows better if we move it gradually.
2. Occasionally, a screw may come loose. If this happens, you will have a rod or tube dangling in your mouth. If this is causing pain, then call our office and we will replace the rod and tube as soon as possible. If it is not causing pain, it can wait until the next day or over the weekend.
3. Infrequently, the Herbst can come loose or break; there is nothing indestructible we can put in your mouth. If you have a problem with something breaking or becoming loose, please contact our office. If it is not causing you pain and you can function, you can wait until the next day or over the weekend. However, if you cannot function normally or there is pain, please contact the office and we will correct the problem as quickly as possible.
The Herbst appliance is one of our most frequently used appliances. We feel it is one of the best ways to treat Class II bite problems. It is fully contained within your mouth and does not show. It is glued in the mouth, so it is always working. This is absolutely critical for a quick and complete resolution of orthodontic problems. We generally leave the Herbst in for one year.
The pendex appliance is a combination upper jaw expander and space gainer. It is glued onto the teeth and usually left in place for a period of 4 to 8 months.
The upper expander is used to make your upper jaw wider.
1. You will have more saliva in your mouth for a few days until your brain gets used to the
idea that the expander is not something to eat. Once this happens, you will find that excess saliva is not a problem.
2. EATING: In the beginning, you may have a difficult time chewing certain foods.
However, within a few days, you will find you are able to eat normally. Start out with smaller bites and more easily chewed foods. While you are eating, food may get stuck in the appliance. Take a drink of water and swish it around. This should flush out any food. A small water syringe is also helpful for dislodging food particles. We will be glad to give you one of these free of charge.
3. BRUSHING YOUR TEETH: Brush your expander just like your own teeth. Take
special care to brush along the gum line so that these tissues do not become inflamed. Some inflammation of the gum tissue is common. This will quickly go away after the expander is removed. Regular use of an over the counter fluoride is encouraged.
4. ROUGH SPOTS: We try to make sure everything is smooth before you leave the office. However, your tongue and lips can find areas that we cannot. If you have a rough spot, call our office and we will schedule an appointment to take care of it.
5. LOOSE APPLIANCE: If this happens, stop turning the appliance and call our office. If you can get the appliance out of your mouth yourself, go ahead and do so, but call us as soon as possible.
6. SPACES: You may initially get a large space between your front teeth. Do not be
concerned, as this is a normal and expected result of the expansion. The majority of this space will often close on its own once the expansion is stopped.
7. SPEAKING: While speech may be affected initially, you will find you quickly adapt to
the expander. Within a few days, speech will return to normal.
8. DISCOMFORT: During expansion, you may feel pressure in your teeth and along the
side of your nose and sinus area. If the pressure is excessive, you can reduce the turns to once a day. Many times, taking an Advil _ hour before the appliance is activated is helpful in relieving the pressure. Most patients find the pressure decreases with increasing expansion.
9. The normal length of wear for your expander will be 4 to 5 months. The actual
expansion will occur only during the first 2 to 3 weeks.
10. Please remember that if you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to call
the office. We are here to help you in whatever way we can.
At our office, you’ll be treated like Family while we create for you a beautiful smile increasing your self confidence. The doctor and his caring staff can show you how today’s state of the art braces offer many aesthetic options and efficient treatment to a winning smile.
Providing the best in orthodontic care – Cutting edge digital imaging and the latest in orthodontic technology assure precise and gentle care. We offer comprehensive and modern orthodontic care in a most patient friendly environment.
YOUR FIRST VISIT
We look forward to meeting you on your first visit to our office.
We will help you get acquainted with our office and learn about the different types of orthodontic braces and teeth straightening procedures that can be offered to you to create your new and beautiful smile.
The doctor will take extra care to present you a thorough and efficient clinical exam to help diagnose your personal needs. He will tailor a treatment plan especially for you that meet exactly your goals for treatment.
You will have time to ask any questions regarding treatment, office policies or finances. You will be given a treatment plan and a complete breakdown of your financial responsibilities including benefits from any orthodontic insurance.
TYPES OF BRACES
Orthodontic appliances come in a variety of styles these days.
From the multi-colored rings that go around the metal wires to clear trays, orthodontic treatment has advanced in more ways that you know.
Sometimes it is advantageous for children between ages 7-10 to undergo an early treatment of orthodontics. This is commonly known as a Phase I treatment. Indications for a Phase I treatment include anterior and/or posterior crossbites, extreme crowding, excessive overbite, and jaw disharmony. Another reason for starting an early treatment is to build self-confidence in a child who is very conscious about his or her smile. Phase I treatment usually last about 12 months. You must understand that accepting an early treatment does not eliminate a Phase II treatment. Phase I usually helps prepare for a Phase II by eliminating the need for extractions at a future treatment.
Many adults are having orthodontic treatment to give them a brighter smile. About 25% of most practices are composed of adult treatment. This ranges from simple alignments with clear aligners to more complex treatment involving orthognathic surgery. Please don’t be alarmed; just because you have stopped growing does not mean that you are doomed to have extractions or will require having your jaw repositioned.
Most adults do not require extractions and with some cooperation using rubber bands can correct most problems. Adults of all ages are having treatment; you are never too old to consider improving your smile.
Our promise – Creating tomorrow’s smiles, today.
Call us to schedule your appointment for a complementary examination to find out what orthodontic treatment can do for you.
We look forward to serving you.