WHAT IS ORTHODONTICS?
The goals and benefits of orthodontic treatment are the achievement of function, harmony and balance between the teeth, jaws and face for a lifetime of attractive, healthy smiles. Orthodontics can also relieve the unnecessary strain and discomfort that occur when teeth do not meet properly.
WHEN SHOULD YOU SEE AN ORTHODONTIST?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but an examination can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment.
EARLY ORTHO TREATMENT
There are a few orthodontic conditions that do require early intervention. These are mostly related to jaw or bite problems, or self-esteem issues. Crossbites that cause the lower jaw to shift, and severe overbites or underbites should be treated early. Early loss of primary (baby) teeth, or excessive crowding which can cause damage to gum tissue, are examples of spacing problems that may warrant early treatment. Early, or Phase I treatment, usually lasts 9-12 months. The patient then enters the growth and guidance program until ready for a second phase of treatment, once all of the new permanent teeth have erupted. Ninety-five percent of those who have Phase I treatment at 8-10 years old will require a second phase of treatment at 11-14 years old to guide the new permanent teeth into their final positions.
WHAT ABOUT ADULTS WEARING BRACES?
Children aren't the only ones who can benefit from orthodontics. If you're an adult its not too late to correct problems such as crooked or crowed teeth, overbites and underbites. The biological process involved in moving teeth is the same at any age. No matter what your age, its never too late to improve your dental health and beautify your smile.
HOW LONG WILL MY ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT TAKE?
The average length of a traditional orthodontic treatment is 18 months, but each individual’s needs are unique and different. Although it is difficult to predict the exact duration of an orthodontic treatment, it is possible to estimate an average treatment length for each individual situation.
HOW MUCH DO BRACES COST?
It is impossible to give an exact cost for treatment until we have examined you. We will cover approximate costs and financial options at the initial examination appointment. Exact financial figures and arrangements will be provided to you prior to starting the orthodontic treatment. We will also review your insurance policy and help to maximize your benefit and file your claims.
WHY ARE RETAINERS SO IMPORTANT?
Retainers help keep your teeth straight at the completion of treatment. If they are not worn as instructed, your teeth will move, or tend to relapse. Retainers are particularly important right after the braces are removed while the teeth stabilize.