Children should have their bite first evaluated around 7 years old; this is typically done during a routine dental exam.
Most of the time, there is no treatment needed. However, there are some cases that are considered “interceptive treatment” which is usually done around age 7-8, when I child has a lot of growth ahead of them. Early orthodontics is usually done to prevent the need for a surgical solution or more invasive treatment in the future.
Most children start orthodontics during adolescence, around 11-13 years old.
Adult orthodontics can be done at any age.
Every case is different, some can take 6 months, others can take a few years. This will be discussed at your consultation.
I am a general dentist that completed a two-year fellowship in orthodontics with the Academy of General Practice Orthodontics. I still refer out more difficult cases to our local Orthodontists, but I really enjoy treating most cases in our office. Just like root canals and extractions, we perform most of these procedures in-house but we have a great network of specialists for the more difficult cases.
My standards and goals for case completion are the same as that of an orthodontist.
The Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends children visit the dentist after their first tooth comes in. At the first visit we will discuss how to care for your child’s teeth and try to get a look in their mouth. Our goal is to introduce them to the dentist and make it a fun and positive experience.
We always encourage our patients to try to keep their natural teeth whenever possible. It may seem easier to just pull your teeth and get dentures, but there are multiple shortcomings to wearing a denture. Dentures have significantly less chewing force than natural teeth making eating more difficult. Dentures are also difficult to get used to wearing and often come loose and can get food stuck under them. Additionally, after having teeth pulled the bone that holds the teeth in begins to shrink away. This is the same bone that holds the denture in place. This will continue for the rest of your life. Over time it will be more and more difficult to wear a denture because it will move around due to the bone shrinking away. These are all reasons to try to keep your teeth as long as possible. If we cannot save your teeth there are implant options available to help to prevent your bone from shrinking away and to hold the denture in place.
Sometimes a crown may be recommended for your tooth instead of a filling. A filling is usually used when there is a small to moderate sized cavity or a small crack is present on the tooth. When there is a larger cavity or crack, a crown is the preferred treatment. A crown is a protective covering that goes over the top and sides of your tooth. It helps to fix areas where you are missing part of your tooth or to protect a tooth from further cracking. A filling is sometimes still an option in these situations, however the tooth around a large filling may not hold up over time and the tooth or filling may break.