You may have suspected for some time that you or your child is in need of orthodontic treatment. You may have been told of some of the many reasons that orthodontic treatment is indicated.
- Improved: appearance, self-esteem, oral health, chewing, Reduction of traumatic injury to teeth and prevention of Temporomandibular Joint pain and disease.
Whatever your situation is, there are some things that you need to know about contemporary orthodontics when making your decision about who will be providing the treatment for you or your loved one.
Not all who provide orthodontic treatment in their dental practice are Board Certified Orthodontists. In fact, approximately 80 percent of the orthodontic treatment in the United States of America is provided by general dentist, as in our General Dentistry practice. Both general dentists and Orthodontists have training and experience in orthodontic diagnosis and treatment though they come by it differently.
It is possible to determine the need for orthodontic treatment at a fairly early age. Some treatments are undertaken as early as 5 -6 years of age, using removable functional appliances. These functional appliances are most effective when used while the child is growing, so before they stop needing new shoes or longer pants due to growth.
Functional appliances are used to create space for the larger permanent teeth, correct abnormal jaw relationships and break habits such as thumb sucking or tongue habits. Their use can also shorten the time needed for fixed orthodontics (braces) later. None of the appliances we use are worn outside the mouth.
Sometimes, in the case of severe crowding, permanent teeth need to be extracted however, everything is done to avoid this. It is our practice, if necessary, and only when necessary, we extract back teeth, in order not to disturb the natural facial beauty. Extracting teeth towards the front of the mouth can have a detrimental effect on the facial appearance.