How do you know if orthodontic treatment is needed?
Determining if orthodontic treatment is necessary can be challenging, as many issues may not be apparent, even if the front teeth appear straight. While asking your general dentist is a good starting point, we are the experts in orthodontics and braces and can provide you with the most accurate evaluation. To find out if you are a good candidate for braces, take our online quiz, a convenient tool that can help you assess your needs.
What is Full or Comprehensive Orthodontic Treatment?
This is another name for orthodontic treatment in the permanent dentition at any age. It is more commonly used when a Phase I treatment is not performed.
What are the signs or symptoms of orthodontic problems?
Although determining if necessary treatment is difficult for you to assess, the following may help prompt you to seek Orthodontic advice: Look at your or your child’s teeth. If you see any signs of crooked teeth, gaps between the teeth, or overlapping teeth, orthodontic treatment is indicated.
Bite all the way down, but keep their lips open so you can see the teeth. Do the front top teeth line up with the bottom? Do the top teeth protrude away from the bottom teeth? Do the top front teeth cover over 50% of the bottom teeth? Are the top teeth behind the bottom teeth? These are indicators of the need for orthodontic treatment.
Look at the alignment of the jaws. Does the jaw shift off-center during biting? Any misalignment or shifting of the jaw suggests a skeletal or jawbone problem, which requires early orthodontic intervention.
These are the most common and obvious symptoms of orthodontic problems.
At what age should an orthodontist see my child? Do all baby teeth have to fall before initiating orthodontic treatment?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child be evaluated by age seven. Hence all baby teeth need not be gone before initiating orthodontic treatment. In fact, early detection of some orthodontic problems is important in order to take early preventive/intercepting action and avoid more difficult treatment later. Again, since our initial consultation is complimentary, it helps to get a consult as soon as possible.
Can you be too old for braces?
No, age is not a factor. It depends on the health condition of your gums and bone structure, which supports your teeth. Orthodontic treatment is recommended at any age. About 30% of our orthodontic patients are adults, and that number is still growing! Our oldest patient treated was 72 years old.
Will it hurt?
Orthodontic treatment mechanics have advanced technologically over the last few years. Introducing new high-tech wires, smaller braces, innovative accessories, and the stress of preventive/interceptive treatments make today’s orthodontic treatment fairly comfortable. We do not use any anesthetic injections for any of our procedures. As a rule, braces can cause a little discomfort initially until one gets used to them. Teeth can get slightly sore a day after the adjustment appointment, but they are not painful. This annoyance can be relieved easily with over-the-counter pain relievers if needed. Most of our patients do not need to take any pain relievers.
Can I still have braces if I have missing teeth?
Yes. When teeth are missing, adjacent teeth will drift into the empty space. This will cause a functional, esthetic, or periodontal problem. Orthodontic treatment will correct and prevent these problems and provide the proper alignment for your dentist to replace the missing teeth.
QUESTIONS ABOUT ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT
What is Phase I (Early Interceptive Treatment) and Phase II treatment?
Phase I, or Early Interceptive Treatment, usually starts when the child has most of their baby teeth and a few permanent teeth. The goal of Phase I treatment is to intercept moderate or severe orthodontic problems early in order to reduce or eliminate them. These include jawbone, crossbites, and developing crowding teeth problems. This phase does not use full braces, as braces are never on baby teeth. Generally, we use expanders, removable appliances, Herbst appliances (instead of headgear), and retainers during this phase. These treatment approaches take advantage of the active growth changes of the jawbone structure to either make extra room or address jawbone discrepancies. This helps reduce the need for extractions or jaw surgery and delivers better long-term results and treatment options. Most Phase I patients require a Phase II treatment in order to achieve an ideal bite.
Phase II treatment involves using a full set of braces to finish the occlusion of bite. It usually occurs when all permanent teeth are present. There is often a break in treatment between the two Phases, and it most commonly occurs around the age of 12 or 13.
Does everyone need a Phase I treatment?
Absolutely not! But in many cases, early intervention helps a lot. We will offer Phase I treatment only if it makes a difference in the future otherwise, we keep the patients for a complimentary recall consultation every six months.
What is the length or duration of orthodontic treatment?
At our office, Phase I treatment typically spans between 12-14 months, while Phase II or full braces treatment can last anywhere from 18-36 months. We schedule patients for adjustment appointments every 6-8 weeks during both phases. The success and length of treatment are influenced by various factors, such as the patient’s age, the severity of the orthodontic issue, compliance with instructions, and the rate at which teeth move naturally.
What are extraction and non-extraction therapy, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
Extraction and non-extraction therapy make room for other teeth. Extraction therapy is a technique where some teeth are removed to make room for other teeth. This is in contrast to non-extraction therapy, where it expands a patient’s jaw and/or shaves some teeth to reduce the width to make everything fit properly. We will thoroughly evaluate at the consultation appointment and discuss which options are best suited for you.
OTHER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the different types of braces?
Metal braces are the most popular with kids and teenagers. They love using different colors of ligature ties. These braces are much smaller than ever before.
Translucent clear ceramic braces are another option and are available at some offices. These braces are more fragile and have some limitations. Our office will discuss the most suited choice of braces during the consultation appointment.
The Invisalign system is becoming a very popular orthodontic treatment method for some adults. They consist of a series of clear orthodontic appliances called aligners that allow you to straighten your teeth without wearing traditional braces. Each set of custom-made aligners is worn for about two weeks, moving the teeth in small steps to the desired final position. However, this treatment option is not suitable for all orthodontic patients. For more information about Invisalign, please call our office to make an appointment for a complimentary exam to see if you are a candidate for this exciting new system.
Is orthodontic care expensive? Do you a have a payment plan?
Our innovative business model makes braces or orthodontic treatment affordable, which is very unique.
We offer all our patients financial payment plans, “NO DOWN PAYMENT,” and affordable monthly payments. We also do not add any interest to any financial plan. We have found that the initial down payment charged by traditional orthodontists is a hardship to many hard-working families, especially those with multiple family members who could benefit from orthodontic treatment.
Please call our office for an appointment. SmileHaus Orthodontics were we, “We Give You Something To Smile About.”