The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first orthodontic visit by age 7. This allows the orthodontist to evaluate the growth of the jaw and the development of the teeth. Often abnormal growth problems can be intercepted and harmful habits can be eliminated if caught early. A panoramic film is taken at an early age to view the teeth in the formative stages. Early detection and phase 1 treatment can help guide growth and development.
We offer both metal and ceramic braces. The average age for most full orthodontic cases is 10 - 12 for girls and 11- 13 for boys. However, adult orthodontic treatment is available - at any age! This type of treatment involves braces on the upper and lower teeth and can include growth modification to address growth discrepancies. The average length of treatment is 18-24 months.
Sometimes Orthodontic Treatment is needed in conjunction with Orthognathic Surgery to correct abnormalities of the Facial Bone. Jaw surgery is often necessary in non-growing adults or teenagers who have developed malformations. This may include a smaller lower jaw resulting in an overbite, a larger lower jaw resulting in an underbite, a gummy smile or an openbite. Working as a team with an Oral Surgeon, we can align the teeth and correct the jaw misalignment so that function and aesthetics are improved.
There are symptons that can be associated with TMJ disorder. Pain, popping or locking in the jaw usually indicates the disc in the joint is slipping or has become dislodged. If diagnosed early, wearing a rigid acrylic splint can allow the inflammation in the joint to subside and the disc to resume a more normal position. If damage has occurred to the joint and a surgical procedure is indicated, we work in conjunction with the oral surgeon to fabricate a splint which is needed during the healing process.
A retainer is always the final step in conventional orthodontic treatment to help maintain your beautiful smile. However, minor tooth movement can be accomplished using a retainer as well. The body is in a constant state of change and teeth can shift overtime. Wearing retainers will help maintain the straight position achieved during orthodontic treatment.