Early (Interceptive) Treatment
Along with the American Association of Orthodontists, we recommend that a child receive first orthodontic screening by age 7. In our office, most interceptive orthodontic treatment occurs when children are between 7 and 9 years old, once their six year molars and some of their incisors have come in.
Early interceptive orthodontic treatment has proven to be beneficial for the overall desired result, and orthodontic problems that are identified at an early age stand a better chance of being corrected. Since a young child’s permanent teeth have not finished growing, we are able to thoroughly evaluate the front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships and address any impending problem at its earliest stage. Crowding, spacing, and bite issues – including crossbites, underbites, overbites, and narrow palates – are frequently addressed with interceptive treatment. Correcting these problems early on leads to better mouth function as well as improved appearance and self esteem!
We consider the adolescent years, specifically between 11 and 15 years old, an optimal time for orthodontic treatment! Most children at this age already have all of their adult teeth, but their bodies are still growing rapidly. This means that we can evaluate bites, alignment, and spacing based on permanent teeth, and then address any orthodontic issues while the face and jaw are still growing and changing. Orthodontists can take advantage of adolescent growth spurts to more easily correct any issues, and pre-teens and teenagers tend to have particularly high metabolisms, which can help shorten overall treatment time.
Additionally, orthodontic treatment is very common during adolescence, which can help make your children feel more comfortable with treatment. It’s an experience they are sharing with their peers, and they may feel less self-conscious about any appliances.
Despite our recommendations for early and adolescent treatment, you’re never too old to see an orthodontist! Tooth alignment can be changed at any age, if your gums and bone structure are healthy. Orthodontic treatment at later stages in life can dramatically improve your personal appearance and self-esteem. Improving the health of your teeth and gums is equally important! Problems with teeth can lead to other health problems, including headaches and jaw join (TMJ/TMD) pain.
We offer a variety of treatments that are designed for different age groups – including adults. In fact, roughly twenty-five percent of our patients are adults! Schedule your consultation today!
Why should I choose Dr. Ross?
Dr. Ross is an Orthodontic Specialist who has completed an additional three years of academic training in orthodontics upon finishing dental school. It is important to choose an Orthodontic Specialist because teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. It is important that your treatment be appropriate and properly completed. Orthodontic specialists have extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide their patients with professional, personalized treatments.
How often will I have appointments?
Appointments are scheduled according to each patient’s needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every 6 to 8 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.
Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?
Yes. A tooth with a crown will move just like a tooth with a simple filling. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will aid in the alignment of the remaining teeth.
How do you handle emergency appointments?
If your braces are causing extreme pain or if something breaks, you should call our office. In most cases, we can address these issues over the telephone. If you require an emergency appointment, we will set aside time for you.
How long will it take to complete treatment?
Treatment time depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic needs, but we utilize the best technology in order to reduce treatment times! In general, treatment times range from 12 to 24 months. The “average” time frame is approximately 18 months.
Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?
Roughly twenty-five percent of our patients are adults! There’s no age limit on orthodontic treatment, especially because treatment can improve your health, happiness, and self-esteem. No patient is “too old” to wear braces!