An orthodontist is a dental specialist in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. Orthodontists must first attend college, followed by a four-year graduate dental program at a university level dental school accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA). They must then successfully complete an additional two to three-year residency program of advanced dental education in orthodontics accredited by the ADA. Only dentists who have successfully completed this advanced specialty education may call themselves an orthodontist.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child be evaluated by age seven. An orthodontic screening no later than age seven enables the orthodontist to detect and evaluate problems that exist, advise if treatment will be necessary, and determine the best time for the treatment. Early detection of an orthodontic problem is important in order to take early corrective action and avoid more difficult treatment later.
Orthodontic treatment has improved dramatically in the past 20 years. Sometimes braces can make your teeth tender and sore for a few days, but is usually not painful. This issue can usually be relieved with an over-the-counter analgesic such as ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or Acetominenten (Tylenol). Please use all medications as directed on the bottle. Today's braces are more comfortable than ever and use technology that reduces any possible discomfort. We use the latest in biocompatible braces, the most advanced techniques with light forces and the highest quality of orthodontic materials in order to reduce discomfort and treatment time.
The average treatment time is 18-24 months. This depends on the development of the dentition, the severity of the problem, the patient's cooperation and the degree of tooth movement required.
Each treatment is a way to address crowding of the teeth. Extraction therapy is a technique where one or more teeth are removed to make room for the other teeth in the mouth. This is in contrast to non-extraction therapy where one expands a patient's jaw and/or adjusts the size and shape of some teeth to make them fit within the jaw. Our office's treatment philosophy is very conservative and we do make every effort to avoid the removal of any teeth.
When orthodontic treatment is implemented at the proper time, treatment is often less costly than the care required to treat the more serious problems that can develop years later. Orthodontic fees have not increased as fast as many other consumer products. In fact, these days orthodontics is the best bargain in dentistry! Financing is usually available and our office offers many payment programs that will meet your needs. In addition, many insurance plans now include orthodontics.