Timing of Treatment
There are some types of orthodontic problems that are best addressed at ages as early as 5 or 6 years. One of the most common types of early treatment is expansion of the upper jaw. This is necessary when the upper jaw, or maxilla is too narrow to fit well with the lower jaw. At the early childhood ages, this expansion can be accomplished predictably and painlessly. If left unaddressed until adolescence, the maxillary expansion may not be able to be done with a predictable result, or may require surgery to correct.
Other types of early interceptive treatment include correction of crowding, retraction of upper teeth that are too protrusive and may be at increased risk of fracture from trauma, and early correction of disfiguring tooth mal-relationships when they are adversely affecting the patient's developing self-image. If in doubt as to whether or not your child has an orthodontic problem that may require early treatment, we would be glad to perform a simple examination to determine the nature of the problem. This is a courtesy visit.
The ideal time for most patients to start "Braces" is between the ages of 10 and 12. The dental development from patient to patient is very variable, and females typically mature dentally about 6 months ahead of males. This stage of orthodontic treatment may involve not only braces, but also other appliances, such as Pendex appliances to move Molars back, Herbst appliances to help correct poor lower jaw relationships, and other adjunctive appliances. Typical time frames are from 15 to 30 months, depending on the type and severity of the problem.
Adult orthodontic treatment has become a large part of our practice over the last few years. Recent technological advances have made adult treatment more patient friendly. Our adult patients value the improved appearance and self-confidence after having their malocclusions corrected. In addition, the health advantages of correcting mal-related teeth have become more obvious.
There are often several options involved in adult treatment, depending on your desired level of involvement. As with all of our patients, our initial exam to determine your needs is complimentary.