Frequently Asked Questions
- At what age should a child have an orthodontic screening?
- Why are children being evaluated at such an early age?
- What is the psychological impact of early treatment?
- Is orthodontic care expensive?
- In addition to esthetic improvements, what are some other benefits of orthodontic therapy?
- Why is growth spurt at puberty so important to orthodontics?
- At what age is a patient too old for orthodontics?
- Why are adults seeking orthodontics in increasing numbers?
- What are some of those advances?
Q: At what age should a child have an orthodontic screening?
A: Age 7, unless you suspect a problem at an earlier age.
Q: Why are children being evaluated at such an early age?
A. Early diagnosis and treatment can guide erupting teeth into more favorable positions, preserve space for the permanent teeth and reduce the likelihood of fracturing protruded front teeth. Also, early treatment may make treatment easier and faster, in some cases in may also be less expensive.
Q: What is the psychological impact of early treatment?
A: Appearance has been related to popularity, social behaviors, self-expectation, personality style, and self-esteem. Orthodontic treatment may decrease the likelihood that a child will be picked on by other children. Treatment may reduce appearance consciousness and the emotional scarring that may occur during critical developmental years. In addition, as adolescents enter the sensitive teen years, they become far less receptive to orthodontic therapy.
Q: Is orthodontic care expensive?
A: Orthodontic therapy may eliminate the need for other medical and dental treatment. The physical and psychological benefits usually last a lifetime, making orthodontics one of the best investments in healthcare and quality of life. Several options are available so that finances don’t stand between the patient and the necessary treatment.
Q: In addition to esthetic improvements, what are some other benefits of orthodontic therapy?
A: Additional benefits may include better function, improved hygiene, and favorable wear patterns, and increased longevity of natural teeth.
Q: Why is growth spurt at puberty so important to orthodontics?
A: This is the time when much of the development of the face occurs. Treatment during this period allows the orthodontist to favorably influence the facial profile in a growing child. Once growth of the facial bones is complete, correction of skeletal discrepancies usually requires surgery.
Q: At what age is a patient too old for orthodontics?
A: Patients who have teeth and healthy supporting structures are never too old for orthodontic therapy. They can spend the rest of their lives with an attractive smile if they choose to, age is not a factor.
Q: Why are adults seeking orthodontics in increasing numbers?
A: Many adults are receiving orthodontic care that was not available to them as children. They realize that improving their oral health and attractiveness of their smile and facial appearance results in changes for the better, personally, socially, and professionally. Technical advances have also had an impact on adult therapy
Q: What are some of those advances?
A: Advanced technology has produced small, tooth colored brackets that are barely noticeable. Specially alloyed wires are more comfortable, can speed up treatment, and may decrease the number of necessary appointments. New retainers can be placed where they do not show. Also, advanced surgical techniques now allow treatment of many skeletal problems after growth is completed.