About Orthodontics

What is an Orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontics defines  orthodontists as qualified dentists, who after graduating from dental school, go on to additional full-time university-based education in an accredited orthodontic residency program supervised by orthodontists.  That training lasts at least two to three academic years—sometimes more.  By learning about tooth movement (orthodontics) and guidance of facial development (dentofacial orthopedics), orthodontists are the uniquely educated experts in dentistry to straighten teeth and align jaws.

woman_bracesEarly Treatment

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends a child’s first orthodontic visit  by age 7.   The first permanent molars and incisors have usually come in by that time and crossbites, crowding and other problems can be evaluated. When treatment is begun early, the orthodontist can guide the growth of the jaw and guide incoming permanent teeth. Early treatment can also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correct thumb-sucking, and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems. In other words, some early treatment can simplify later treatment.

Adult Treatment

Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age, and adults especially appreciate the benefits of a beautiful smile. One of every five patients in orthodontic treatment is over 21. Many adults seek orthodontic treatment not for aesthetic purposes only, but to improve the function of their bite.  Adult orthodontics are more convenient and comfortable than ever due to the technological advances like Invisalign and clear braces.

The First Appointment

This appointment involves a complete orthodontic examination and a discussion with the patient of the following:

ortho_modelIf orthodontics is necessary and the patient is ready to begin treatment, an appointment is made to obtain the following orthodontic records for diagnosis and treatment planning:

After these orthodontic records are obtained, a treatment explanation and financial consultation will be made.

Working With Your Dentist

Our office works closely with your dentist to ensure that you achieve your ideal smile.  We maintain open communication so that he/she is informed about your care.  It is extremely important that you continue to visit your family dentist regularly for routine dental care.

Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontists diagnose, prevent and treat dental and facial irregularities.  Orthodontists limit their practices to orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.  That means that orthodontic treatment is what they do, and that is all they do.  Orthodontists treat a wide variety of malocclusions (misaligned aligned teeth and/or jaws).  They regularly treat young children, teens and adults.