Orthodontics is the science of moving or straightening living teeth in living tissue—bringing irregular, improperly placed teeth back into positions intended by nature.
There are many causes for misplaced teeth or malocclusion. A child may inherit a jaw too small from one parent to accommodate the large teeth inherited from the other parent. The teeth may then become crowded or overlapping. Other malocclusions may be due to early loss of a baby tooth, thumb-sucking that continues after infancy, lip and tongue habits, birth injuries, and accidents.
Orthodontists are dental professionals that specialize in diagnosing, preventing, and treating dental and facial irregularities. Since orthodontic postgraduate programs are extremely competitive and selective, only around six percent of dentists are orthodontists. It also takes many years to become an orthodontist because of the demanding educational requirements.
After completing college, aspiring orthodontists must take a graduate program at a dental school accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA) for three to five years. They are then required to accomplish at least two to three academic years of advanced education in an ADA-accredited orthodontic program.
The program includes advanced education in biomedical, behavioral, and basic sciences. Students will also learn complex skills that are required to manage tooth movement (orthodontics) and guide facial development (dentofacial orthopedics).
Dentists only become orthodontists once they have completed all of these specialized education programs.
Orthodontic treatments allow your child to look their best while promoting good oral health. By bringing their teeth, jaws, lips, and face into proportion, they can feel more confident with their smile.
Our services can also relieve the extra strain on gums and bones caused by teeth that do not meet properly. Such strain may lead to gum disease, also known as pyorrhea or periodontal disease, which is a major cause of tooth loss.
If your child has crowded teeth, orthodontics can lessen cavities and allow your child to easily clean areas where food may get trapped. Additionally, orthodontic treatments promote good digestion, allowing patients to chew correctly. Not only does it improve dental health, but it also leads to better nutrition and overall health.
Orthodontic treatments are needed if your child’s teeth do not fit together properly when their mouth is closed. Other indications include:
In most cases, no teeth need to be removed. However, tooth removal may be necessary to correct certain dental problems. Our team will recommend the best treatment to help you or your child get a beautiful and healthy smile.
Our team of orthodontists has the experience and training to ensure proper tooth movement for every patient. Depending on each specific case, custom-made braces are created to address dental issues. These orthodontic appliances can either be removable or fixed (cemented). They can also be made of metal, plastic, ceramic, or a combination of these materials.
A correctly fitted appliance that is carefully cemented into place will not harm the teeth in any way. It uses gentle pressure to move teeth into their proper positions. Under this pressure, the body builds new supporting tissue to maintain the improved position of the teeth.
All cavities must be filled before orthodontic treatment can begin. Once it has started, patients must always remember to brush and floss their teeth regularly. They must also avoid sticky candy, gum, or hard foods.
First visits (when appliances are put on) may take several appointments and may require some time off from school. We will coordinate with your child’s school before the procedure to determine the right schedule.
Some appointments may be set up after school. However, other sessions may take more time and will be scheduled during school hours. Since most patients are of school age, all appointment times will be rotated to treat everyone fairly.
The right time to start treatment depends on each problem. In some cases, children with only baby teeth may require orthodontic intervention.
If you have a question about your child’s dental health, it’s best to consult your orthodontist right away. This could help you save time and money instead of paying more to address the problem later in life.
You must also remember that very few children have perfect bites. Most of the time, orthodontists will advise against treating minor irregularities or recommend treatment at a later age. In fact, many adults are being treated for orthodontic problems that were not corrected in childhood.
After getting acquainted, one of our orthodontists will examine your child’s teeth, tongue, lips, facial muscles, and speech. We can usually tell at the first examination if there is a problem that should be treated. Our team will also give you an approximate cost of how much you need to spend on the treatment.
Before determining the final treatment plan, we will need X-rays and photographs of the teeth and head as well as impressions of the teeth for making study models. Some of these may be prepared on the first visit.
These diagnostic aids serve as the textbook of your child’s case. Once we have studied these materials, we can give you an accurate idea of what to expect during treatment.
The duration and nature of the treatment are major factors in determining total costs. Less severe cases will likely be cheaper than those that may require several stages of treatment.
Every treatment is a lifelong investment for your child or yourself. At Norena Orthodontics, we provide convenient financing options with an initial payment and monthly installments to help you cover the costs of orthodontic care. You may also take advantage of employer-provided benefit plans to offset your finances.
Successful orthodontic treatments require more than the orthodontist’s skill. It is also important that patients, parents, and orthodontists cooperate with one another.
Certain phases of the treatment are impossible unless the patient diligently follows instructions. This includes wearing elastics or removing appliances when needed. Teeth and gums must also be brushed and flossed carefully and frequently.
Patients must also remember that broken or canceled appointments during orthodontic care may prolong treatment and may be detrimental to the desired result.